Tag Archives: conference workshops

#RWA2019 #RWA19 Wrap Up… And an open letter to the RWA Board.

On the train back home on Saturday, I had a few hours to ponder on this year’s RWA experience for me and I came up with quite a few things.

When I was first published 5 years ago and went to my very first RWA in San Antonio, every class I took was craft-related. I wanted to hear from the experts about how to master the art of romance writing. I didn’t even know that the publishing houses gave away free books! I was so intent on taking every craft class I could to make myself a better writer.

The second year I did know they gave away free books and I split the time 50/50 between craft classes, (fangirling) and going to book signings.

Third year I only went to book signings! hee hee

Fourth year I attended nothing but marketing classes ( and a few book signings) because now that I had over 10 books published I figured I knew what I was doing, writingwise, but now needed to know how to effectively market and sell those books.

This year, no book signings other than my own, and nothing but marketing classes. Well, that one on RomCom writing. How much my perspective has changed over these five years!

This year, for the very first time ( which is disgraceful that it took so long) the first and second black women were awarded RITAS. This was an historic RITA ceremony and while I am thrilled for the AOC who won, I am disheartened that it took so bloody long for it to happen. The board’s directive to solve this issue is imperative.

That’s all the good stuff. Now…the not so good.

Dear RWA Board Members.

I recognize that this was a hard year for you all. Cockygate, then the plagerism scandal; the #dontattendtheRitas movement because of the diversity issue. These have been tough hills to climb, I get that.

But…..

  1. Attending RWA in NYC is wicked expensive. The rooms alone are bankruptable to most writers who don’t make 6 figures ( hell, even 4 figures) a year. There must be some hotel that can accommodate this group for less money.
  2. And while we are on the subject of expensive hotels, 37 dollars for a breakfast buffet is ridiculous! I can’t believe there wasn’t some cost reduction that could have been given due to the large volume of guests RWA provided for the hotel.
  3. Now…the elevators. We’ve been in many hotels for RWA and this hotel has, hands down, the absolute worst elevators of any we’ve stayed in. They  broke down 3 times, took between 4 and 7 minutes to arrive most days ( yes, I timed them) and simply could not accommodate the amount of writers who needed to get to classes, all at the same time.
  4. The cost of registration is very high. Very high. And this year ( as last year) I personally don’t feel the cost was worth it for the mediocre quality of the workshops given. DOn’t get me wrong – some of them were fabulous. Truly. But overall I found the choices lacking.
  5. And having said that, there was a greater emphasis on indie and self publishing than ever before. Many of us are still traditionally published – like I am – and have no desire to switch to Indie.  It would have been nice to have a 50/50 split instead of the topheavy indie offerings. Just sayin’
  6. Now, the RITAS. In the past we’ve had desserts on the table to snack on during the long ( and long winded) ceremony. Little petit fours, snack cookies, delicious desserts to help sugar us up and get us through the event. This is what we had this year:

A box of lemon drops. LEMON DROPS. Really? I paid $499 for a lousy 8 pack of vile tasting hard candies that looked like the came from the land of Halloween candy rejects? Badly done, RWA. Badly done. And while we’re on this subject, $8.00 for a shitty 8 ounce glass of soda and $20.00 for a half glass of champagne was insulting. We’ve already been monetarily gouged for the cost of registration, the hotel, the food and now add insult to injury and charge penurious amounts for a drink at a ceremony?

Yeah, I think I’m skipping San Francisco for sure. I simply can’t afford it.

You can do better than this, RWA. You really can.

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#RWA2018, day 1 done…

First day done and gone. What a funfilled day it was, too. Got to reconnect with some old friends and finally met some of my Wild Rose sistahs in person. That was amazeballs.

Yesterday’s first and only workshop for me was a master class in perfecting your writing newsletter. I have to admit, it was waaaaaaay over my head almost from the get-go. That has nothing to do with the presenter and everything to do with my lack of techy skills. The language, the constructs, even the terminology was more than my little brain could take, so I didn’t master the class, I was strictly a lowly apprentice.

Very lowly.

I did get a chance to tour the area a bit, though, before everything started.

Found this appropriate plaque on a wall tucked in an alley. It’s like the Denver Chamber of Commerce set it up just for RWA peeps!

 

This little guy was tucked into another alley, just hanging out and smiling at the passersby.

Denver-ites sure do love their Tex-Mex cuisine. I took this pic at 8:10 in the morning and the locals were already lined up and buying their flavorful truck food for the day. The name on the truck says “Asada Rico – Mexican Grill.’ Burritos and tacos before 9. Whoa!

Along the 16th Street Mall there’s a center lane that’s filled with these food trucks, artists, even a few pianos placed by the Chamber, where people ( mostly the homeless) gather, sit, and in one very special case I saw, play Chopin brilliantly.         

This little stoop was a surprise. I found it as I was walking along and thought it was a private residence with an owner who loved his/her flowers. Here’s the surprise: it’s the MUSEUM of the Wild West!

Kinda cool, eh?

So that concludes my little Denver tour for the day.

Today is a full one. I’ve got tons of classes back to back AND my KENSINGTON BOOK Signing at 3pm, and capped off with the RITA AWARD ceremony tonight. For those of you who follow me, you know one of my dear and talented NHRWA chaptermates, Lisa Olech, is up for an award. All my chapter sistahs who are in attendance are going to be screaming our heads off when she wins. You might even hear us wherever you are.

Just sayin….

Off to the gym. More to come, so stay tuned.

And look for me posting about RWA here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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