Monday, July 22, 2019

It's Conference Time

If you know any romance writers, chances are you’ve heard us talking about writers’ conferences—if nothing else, you’ve seen photos of the shoes we’re planning to bring (lots, and way more than we could possibly wear). But just in case I’m the ONLY romance writer you know, let me clue you in.

This week in New York City is the Romance Writers of America’s annual four-day conference. It’s a big deal. There are famous writers who speak—Nora Roberts, for example; workshops on everything from what not to do at a conference—don’t accost editors and agents in the bathroom—to how to market your books to how to self-publish; and pitching sessions, where we get a chance to talk about our manuscripts to our dream editor and agents in the hopes that they’ll love them as much as we do. 

It’s exhausting and inspiring and filled to the brim with noise and people and food and workshops and drinks.

I’m not officially going this year. Despite its proximity to my house, the timing doesn’t work for me. So instead, I’m taking the train into the city on one of the days to mingle in the lobby and meet up with writer friends I only know via social media. Plus, I’m having dinner with my editor—there are about 30 of us and we’re having a pizza party in her hotel room. Just picture that many romance writers in one hotel room. Together. Oh boy.

And, it means I can wear whatever cute shoes I want. They don’t have to be comfortable for four days of walking; just comfortable enough to get me from the subway to the hotel. I will be eating more food than I’ve ever wanted, since I’m meeting up with people throughout the day and each meeting seems to involve a meal and/or coffee. I might jet out to a museum to take up some downtime between unofficial appointments. And I’ll probably join the multitudes of writers sitting in the lobby, hogging an outlet as we charge our computers and write. 

Writing is a solitary experience. We spend most of our time alone at home on our computers. So when we have the chance to mingle with other writers, even the most introverted of us takes the opportunity. Besides, there are few other people who understand our quirks and can banter along with us about sex scenes without getting arrested or written up for inappropriate workplace talk. 

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