Tag Archives: #rwa2019 #RWA19

#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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#RWA2019 #RWA19 Last days…

Friday was a whirlwind, let me tell you.

It started with a great workshop on writing Romantic Comedy – which is near and dear to me, as you all know, and how much we can learn about writing it from watching classic RomCom movies. Excellent stuff, peeps.

Than, it was on to the KENSINGTON book signing. I had copies of my Golden Quill Winner, CAN’T STAND THE HEAT and A SHOT AT LOVE.

The worker elves at Kensington made these gorgeous frames for us to display

and you can see where I placed mine in the picture above of the table. The room, let me tell you, was jampacked with readers when the doors opened at 11. I had to turn my hearing aid DOWN because the level of excitement was shooting through me at warp speed! I gave away all my books – signed! Such a great turnout. And it was nice to connect with fellow Lyrical writers Susan Mann , Kate Pearce, and Mary Ann Marlowe.

The rest of the day was spent at workshops, including a fabulous marketing class taught by the wonderful and uber smart and talented, Kilby Blades.

The evening ending with annual RITA AWARDS where romance authors are recognized for their writing. This night, history was made as the first and second black women EVER were awarded Ritas. It was a long time coming and these uber talented women richly deserved the honors.

I’m going to do one last post tomorrow, a wrap-up of sorts, of this year’s RWA experience for me, so you won’t want to miss that.

Until next time ~Peg

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Another jam-filled day at #RWA2019 #RWA19 for this little #romancewriter

So, yesterday was another info-fun packed day. It started with a workshop on marketing strategies for a 12 month period that blew me away!!! If I can do one fourth the things the instructors suggested, I should see a real uptick in sales for 2019!

My mouth to God’s ears, peeps!

I was thrilled to be part of the INDIE BOOKSIGNING next. I brought print copies of DIRTY DAMSELS with me and I am delighted to report they all went!!!

The last Golden Hearts Awards luncheon came next and I am thrilled and overthemoon-delighted to say a dear writer-friend BETSY GRAY won for her unpublished manuscript LOVE ON THE BOOKS. I clapped and cheered so hard, my mascara started running and I had to go back to my room to fix my face!

 

 

After that emotional time I was off to to the INDUSTRY MARKETPLACE where I hung out with my publisher of the WILD ROSE PRESS, Rhonda Penders. She was giving away tons of swag and books and one of the prizes was my Deerbourne Inn Novella, HOPE’S DREAM, in POD form!!! Since it’s exclusively a digital book, it was fabulous to see it in print.

 

 

Another few classes on how to make INSTAGRAM work effectively for you and then dinner at the KENSINGTON BOOK PARTY!

These were our door prizes this year and I have to tell you I lovelovelove them!! I’ll be signing this award winning book ( Can’t Stand the Heat) at the Kensington book signing on 7.26.19 so come and see me to grab your copy!

… I was just about pooped after all of that, so I had a hot date with my comfy pillow~

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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A busy day in #NYC and #RWA2019

 

Today was the official first day of the conference, but nothing started until 2 pm, so i took advantage of the beautiful day and toured around the city a bit.

Visited the place where I spent many a happy day as a NYC college student, The New York Public Library on 42nd street and Bryant Park

Okay, go ahead and laugh, because my eyes really do look crooked int this photo!

I passed by my favorite street address in all the world

and two buildings I’ve visited more times in my life than I remember.

SO when the festivities began at 2, I spent the rest of the day learning, networking, eating, and visiting with the best people in the world: My romance sistahs from from and near!

Today is the INDIE BOOK signing, so if you’re attending, look for me! I’ve got free books!

Until next time ~Peg

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#RWA2019 #NYC…a little rainy, a little busy

Even though RWA doesn’t “Officially” begin until tomorrow, Wednesday, I still had a fairly busy Tuesday here in the big apple.

I started my day attending the Contemporary Romance writers of America workshop.

Forensic specialist Geoff Symons was the morning’s speaker and boy was he amazeballs! I think I could listen to him for days speak about all things law enforcement and evidence related.

Oh, I received this little thing while I was in class:

Made my day, I tell ya!

Then on to lunch at one of my favorite places,

Best chicken sandwiches on earth! Truly.

And finally, the doors opened to officially register for the weeks event:

 

My name tag hangs down to my knees, but so what. Just sayin’

In the evening the CRWA Stiletto awards dinner  rolled around. We had a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant across the street from the hotel

and since the awards are called the Stiletto awards, I had to wear a pair of…well, stilettos

Alas, I did not win, but I had a great time and met some new amazeballs RWA members. It was a fun, FILLING, night. Hee hee

After that, I met up with some fabulous writer friends and didn’t go bed until waaaaaaaaaaaay past my bedtime.

More fun today as RWA officially begins.

Until next time, from a very tired little romance writer ~ Peg

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