Monday, August 4, 2008

Snippets from San Francisco - Part 1

I just got home from the RWA National Conference last night and am still trying to process everything, but it was amazing. By now, you already know I didn't win the Golden Heart, but I can honestly say it didn't diminish the fun or excitement of the conference.

Rather than give you a play-by-play of events, I'm going to list little snippets. Keep in mind, these are my own, honest reflections and they're not representative of conference attendees as a whole. This first installment is called...

..."The Best Things:"

  • The Pixie Pitch Practice Session - About twenty GH finalists squeezed into one hotel room to do a test run of our pitches prior to having formal appointments. For many of us, it was our first time meeting each other in person, and though we didn't polish our pitches as much as planned, we laughed a lot. When author Jill Barnett popped in (it was her room too) someone asked her what she wished she had known as an unpublished writer. Her advice was to appreciate the innocence and sheer joy of writing that you have before publication, and try to hang on to it. Hmmm.
  • Keynote Luncheon Speaker, Author Victoria Alexander - She was a hoot. Her speech meandered through a variety of topics relevant to writing and otherwise. Embedded throughout were "chicken nuggets" of wisdom. If you have a chance to listen to or watch a recording of her performance, it's worth it just to hear about how she's managed to kill off her husband in each of her books.
  • The Imparting of Author Secrets - During the workshops, authors were extremely generous. They candidly shared their techniques and tips for researching and writing. During one workshop, Regency author Stephanie Laurens revealed that though mens' shirts generally didn't button down the front till the 1830's, all her Regency heros had a "forward-thinking tailor" who designed their shirts with buttons, much to her heroines' delight. :)
  • RITA Reactions - On Awards Night, it was wonderful to see the thrilled reactions of published authors receiving their awards. There were screams, tears, trembling hands, and the whole bit. I guess it's nice to know the thrill never really wears off. Also, the author/editor relationships were obviously very strong and positive.
  • Motivation & Inspiration - Maybe the best thing about the conference was it made me want to be a better writer AND gave me some ideas about how to accomplish that.

I have more pictures to post, but first I want to make sure other people in group pictures don't mind.

Tune in tomorrow, when I'll post snippets of... "Surprising Things."


JenBCosgrove said...

Wow - can't believe you've had time to post these great snippets. Sounds like an amazing experience that will just add to your momentum! Can't wait to read more.

Keli Gwyn said...


One of the best things at Nationals for me was meeting you as well as other Pixies. What incredible memories we have.

Anne Barton said...

Jen, thanks for dropping by! While I was pitching to an editor she asked me why I wrote Regency-set historicals, and of course I told her about our semester in London. She thought it was great I had some "first hand experience" of the city. A lot of details from that trip (twenty years ago) now escape me, but I'll never forget my great roomates and the fun we had. :)

Keli - awww! Meeting you and the Pixies was the highlight for me as well. In fact, I'd say it was the greatest perk of being a finalist. It's great to know we're not in this alone. :)