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July 19, 2016

@sloanebcollins RWA is like Christmas in July #PlottingPrincesses #rwa16 #MFRWorg #ChristmasinJuly #amwriting

We’ve all heard of Christmas in July.  Several channels are running holiday movies, some shows have craft and cooking segments showing you how to make holiday foods and gifts.  For me, it really is Christmas in July, my favorite time of the year for another reason: the annual Romance Writers of America conference.

I’ve just returned from this year’s conference in San Diego, and I got so many presents!  Here’s my top 10 list of “gifts”:

1.      Rooming with my best friend and fellow Plotting Princess, Sasha Summers.
2.      Our hotel room faced the marina, so we had sail boats and water views! 

3.      Networking with 2000 other authors and industry professionals
4.      Free books!
5.      Cool weather!
6.      Fantastic workshops on so many topics, such as the craft of writing, the writer’s life, careers, etc.
7.      Did I mention Free books!
8.      Making new friends in my fellow authors
9.      Setting new goals for my writing career
10. Having my bestie help me figure out the ending to my work in progress, then adding in a surprise to really make the stakes even higher for my hero

Most of the workshops I attended are about the craft of writing.  I’m always searching for that One Big Secret that will give me all the answers I need when it comes to writing.  From almost every workshop I attended, I took away at least one tidbit that will go in my writer’s toolbox.  In a few of them, I took notes as frantically as I could, because there was a wealth of information provided by the presenter.

"Networking" with authors
I'm the type of person who avoids conflict as much as I can in my own life, so I have a hard time torturing my characters.  But in order to make a story interesting for the reader, conflict between the hero and heroine is what’s needed so when they finally get their “happy ever after”, it’s well worth the journey the author has just taken the reader on.  

My bestie and I worked out some surprises to add into the story that will help drive the conflict, and even though I wasn’t sure about it at first, I’m fully on board with it now.  And just today I figured out how to make the black moment for Nash something that will knock him to his knees.

So all of the above reasons are why the RWA conference is like Christmas to me. Now if the conference had just been THIS week, maybe I could have caught a glimpse of Sammy and Dean at Comic Con in San Diego.  Now THAT would be a great present!

Where's my present?
As much fun as I had, however, it was good to get home to my kitties and husband.

As a reader, do you go to conferences, and if so, what is your favorite part?  It can be any type.

Authors, did you go to San Diego? What was your favorite part?


Sylvia said...

Hi Sloane,
I stayed home this year, but really missed the networking with other authors and also industry professionals. Next year, it's in Orlando and frankly... I don't want to go to Orlando, but I may reconsider. Depends on what is going on in my life at the time. Glad to hear you had a great time and you fixed your plot problems.

Sloane B. Collins said...

We missed seeing you, Sylvia! Thanks for reading my post today.

Kathy Ivan said...

So glad you had a great time! I rarely go to RWA National unless it's in my own backyard, it's just too much of a hassle for me. But, that being said, I really do love getting a chance to meet up with old friends and make new friends in the writing business, and spend quality time seeing people that I rarely get to see face-to-face. I might consider next year in Orlando, though. said...

Love the run down! I am trying to figure out how to attend Orlando. Posts like these give me ammunition for my "plan that conference" arguments with myself :)

Sloane B. Collins said...

Kathy, you'd love it! I made 5 new friends this year. And put myself out there by introducing myself to 2 editorial directors. (I'm PAINFULLY shy)

2010 in Orlando was my first conference, and where I met Sasha. It was fate.

Sloane B. Collins said...

Kimberly, if you do get to Orlando, make sure you let me know! Would love to meet in person. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
See you in Boot camp!

Sasha Summers said...

It was a wonderful conference! I'm so so glad we had time to plot and write and brainstorm. I think there's something about the energy of a writer's conference that helps with the recharge. :) So here's to recharging, awesome friend time, and amazing weather *hugs*