Sunday, July 18, 2010

RWA Nationals Countdown

Let’s start with the important stuff. I went shoe shopping:

Also, my sister-in-law, who is both generous and fashion-savvy, lent me a really cute dress for the Awards Ceremony. (Thanks, E!) There. I’m sure we’ll all sleep a little better tonight knowing that’s covered, because . . .

. . . In little more than a week, over 2,000 romance writers from all over the country and around the globe will descend upon Orlando for RWA’s 30th Annual Conference. It’s a chance to hone our craft, pitch our stories, celebrate our genre, recognize extraordinary talent, and connect with friends. This will be my third year attending, and I’m looking forward to it more than ever. Here’s why:

• Both my critique partners have been nominated for the Golden Heart® award this year! I’m so proud of them I could just burst! By the time Saturday night rolls around, they will want to slap the camera right out of my hands.

Keli Gwyn’s a finalist in the Inspirational Category with Violets & Violins. This story’s had amazing success on the contest circuit, and it landed Keli a fabulous agent. I can’t even tell you how supportive Keli’s been of me, and I’m thrilled that I’ll get the chance to cheer her on at the Awards Ceremony.

Lisa Connelly’s story, The Sinners, is a finalist in the Novel with Romantic Elements Category. Lisa is insanely talented and she’s my cousin. (You know how, growing up, there was always a cool cousin you wanted to hang out with? Yep, that’s her.) We live about 300 miles away from each other, so we were each writing for a couple years before we finally figured out we were on similar paths and connected. I’m so grateful that writing brought us together.

• There are lots of fun items on the schedule, but some of the highlights for me are the Literacy Autographing, dinner with my Ruby Sisters, and, basically, any event where dessert is served. The keynote speeches are always moving and inspiring, and this year, they’re by Nora Roberts and Janyne Ann Krentz. Sabrina Jeffries is emceeing the Awards Ceremony, and though I have no idea what the theme will be, I'm certain that there will be plenty of laughter and tears.

• I’m really eager to see all the friends I’ve met at past conferences and those I’ve gotten to know through writing loops. As much as I love a good Yahoo! group, there’s nothing like chatting in person. Or making new friends.

• But for me, the best part of Nationals are the intangible and unexpected things. Like when an author you love sits in the chair next to you, introduces herself (as if you didn’t already know her name) and asks you about your current story. Or an agent in the lobby says your shoes are adorable. (Thank you very much!) Or you’re sitting in an incredible workshop and you realize RWA just might be the only organization whose members give so generously of their time and talent.

I promise to post a recap with some pictures after Nationals, but for now, I leave you with a peek inside the preparations for Nationals, created by and starring Jeannie Lin, author of Butterfly Swords (Oct. 2010 Harlequin Historical).


MaryC said...

I loved this, Anne. Jeannie's video made me laugh. I remember reading somewhere that RWA National was the only time of year when writers got manicures.

Have fun in Orlando. I can't wait to read everyone's reports.

Anne Barton said...

Thanks, Mary! The video made me laugh also. I think Jeannie really captured the essence of RWA preparations. She's so talented . . . and nice too!

Keli Gwyn said...

Cool shoes! Can't wait to see you in them. Heck. What am I saying? I can't wait to see YOU!!! That will be the highlight of Nationals for me.

As another historical writer, I was so looking forward to the fashion show. Sadly, my session with an editor comes at the same time. :(

It's not long now. Orlando, here we come!!

Anne Barton said...

Aw, thanks, Keli! Same here.

Too bad about the conflict with the workshop. Maybe you can snag a full request from the editor and race over to the historical fashion show. :)

Almost time to start packing!

Sarah Simas said...

Fun post, Anne!! I adore your shoes! LOL No way I could wear those babies without falling on my caboose. I can trip in tennis shoes!

I WISH I was going to RWA!! Oh, I'm positively pea-green with envy. I'll be waiting for those pics and to hear all about your trip.

The video was too funny! Thanks for the laugh. :)

Anne Barton said...

Hi, Sarah! You know what? The shoes in the picture are the ones I *wish* I could wear all conference. In reality I'll only clunk around in them for a couple hours--till I get the first hint of a blister--and then switch to something more sensible (read "unsightly".) :)

I wish there were live webcams at Nationals for everybody who can't make it. I think four years ago RWA tried to have a webcast of the Awards Ceremony. I was at home and tried desperately to get on the site, but apparently there were too many of us trying and it didn't work out too well.

But I will take pictures--and I'll try to do a better job than last year (what can I say, I was still figuring out my camera). I'll also tweet any interesting tidbits.

Thanks, and I hope the writing is going well!

JenBC said...

Ha! Love that video, Anne. Just catching up with my favorite blogs again and happy to see that I'll get to enjoy the RWA excitement vicariously. Good stuff!

Anne Barton said...

Thanks, Jen! I'm relieved you don't mind the RWA talk. My family is so sick of it that they're practically pushing me out the door to Orlando. :)

I'm looking forward to seeing some of your latest drawing projects!*taps toe impatiently*