Ten Tips For Rookies- Romance Writers of America Conference

I attended my first ever RWA conference in NYC this year. As a rookie I walked around in a bit of a daze for the duration of the event and missed some things I really wish I hadn’t, but that’s the nature of the beast.

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Picture by veerasak Piyawatanakul (Pexels)

The organizers have a first-timers orientation of sorts which was helpful but some very important points were neglected altogether. For all of you who are planning on going to one of these conferences in the future, here are some nuggets of wisdom that may help you get more of an amazing but slightly overwhelming event.

  1. Wear comfortable clothes and comfy shoes even if you look like a bag lady. Sitting for hours and walking from one workshop to another, often in different levels of the hotel can quickly get to you.
  2. Do bring a nice outfit for the awards ceremony or if you plan on attending any of the parties (I didn’t because I’m a terrible introvert who gets too stressed out in social situations involving lots of people).
  3. Bring a rather large empty suitcase or bag. You’ll need it (you’ll see why further down).
  4. Bring snacks that do not require refrigeration if you can. Snacks at these nice hotels will cost you an arm and a leg.
  5. If you’re an introvert like me, see if you can bring a writer friend. I always feel very lonely at events like this because I am a one-on-one socializer who gets totally lost in groups of people I barely know.
  6. Bring a fan and a sweater. Hotel air-conditioning is insane. One moment it feels like Hades, the next you’re in the South Pole.
  7. Don’t skip the Goody Room. There you can grab some free books and a lot of free swag. I use the swag for ideas to create my own swag and it doesn’t take much space in the suitcase.
  8. Don’t miss any of the signings (reason to follow) even if you have to miss a chunk of an awesome workshop. They record the workshops and you can buy them later for a song (if you don’t buy the whole thing that is).
  9. Take breaks. It is as exhausting as it is exhilarating and inspiring.
  10. The most important tip of all. The so called signings are not like the normal ones where the readers buy books and have them signed by the authors. In these signings you get the books for free AND you get them signed by the author. I was like a kid in a candy store. Refer back to #3 and #8. I missed quite a few of these because I didn’t know what they were. I talked to other rookies who did the same. I still came home with over fifty books. YOU DON”T WANT TO MISS THESE.
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Lines of Time and Desire
If someone sent you a text saying they’re from the future, would you believe them? Londyn doesn’t know if this stranger with a charming personality is just pulling her leg or telling the truth, but what she does know is that it’s too much fun not to play along. With her heart now on the line and dark secrets looming, will she make the right decision or will she let the love of her life disappear into time? A romantic tale of love, time, and tragedy.
By, Author J.L.Clayton

Homecoming
Astrid finds something at a local witch’s house, something that doesn’t belong there…
It belongs to her baby brother. The only problem with that is…he’s supposed to be dead.
Astrid searches for the truth, learning that sometimes death isn’t final…
By, Carissa Ann Lynch

A Web Through Time
Meet Alex. Ordinary. Quiet. And she plays by the rules. Until she’s forced into a world where her past becomes her future and the governments of Earth are searching for her execution. Will she embrace her true nature or succumb to the threats of her parents’ enemies?
By, Niki Livingston

Willow and The Forbidden Portal
Willow, a simple Herb Woman, flees for her life after a child under her care loses his life.
Accused of witchery, she knows the only way to save her life is to find The Forbidden Portal and escape through time.
By, Regina O’Connell

Cassandra’s Choice
One moment, Cassandra’s driving along in her car to meet her new niece; the next, she’s waking up in the bed of an angry 19th-century Duke. What begins as a battle of wills soon turns into a struggle of emotions as Cassandra finds herself falling in love with the Duke. Will she make it back or choose to stay with the man she has come to love?
By, Ashlee Shades

The Secrets Crows Keep
Mildred was certain she’d escaped her past…she buried him. So when he showed up at her front door she had no choice but to question everything. As secrets are revealed, she realizes nothing is as it seems and the truth is more bizarre than she’d imagined.
By, Author Bradon Nave

Bridging the Gap
A dismantled bridge. A portal into an era time had forgotten. That was all Garrett needed to realize how better the future could be. But at what price?
It isn’t until Garrett sees his ways are destroying the future rather than bettering it that he comes to his senses. But will it be too late?
By, Jeremy Simons

Time’s Launch
The year is 2363, and the Earth Confederation launched their first time-ship the ECS Andrea commanded by Captain Joseph Dyson, the ships experimental engines move them ten thousand years into the future.
By, Joe Pranaitis

The Salesman
Melanie, consumed by guilt over a recent tragedy, struggled to forgive herself and move forward, until one day, when a peculiar salesman offered a remedy to what ailed her.
By, D.A. Roach, author

“One Cockroach Left”
A tale of dinosaurs, aliens, time travel, and a really bad day . . . sixty-six million years ago.
By, Genevieve Moultrie

Time
When tragedy strikes, Vida Morton is given the choice to go back in time, and save the man she loves, Mort Vidal. But love is a tricky game, and so is time. Especially in the face of death.
By, Grace Charles

Whisper’s of Forever
A breathless caress, an echo of desire whispering of Forever.
Layla thinks she is from the modern world, but her modern life hasn’t been simple. Plagued with visions of others, Layla always felt as if she belonged in another time with the strangers that haunt her mind. Layla will soon find out if her visions are true. A deliciously dark serenade of hope filled tragedy.
By, Author T. Guthrie

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Travelling in Time

I just came back from the past. Okay. Not really, but as close as anyone ever could. I spent a few days in Colonial Williamsburg. I go there quite often and I am always wondering when will the magic fade. It hasn’t yet. As soon as I set foot in the cobbled sidewalks of that reconstructed historical town, I am immediately transported to another time. A simpler, yet complex time in history when America was still a baby country, trying out its legs and learning to walk on its own.

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This is a place where the past mingles with the present and where it is clear to anyone paying attention how things change and yet stay the same throughout time. Sitting on a bench a colonial couple–obviously gentry by the clothes and the richly decorated parasol the lady is carrying–converses with a modern couple in jeans. A colonial woman walks down the street with a twenty-first century mug of coffee in her hand. A couple of tourists cross paths with a group of militia men heading to a drill.

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I have a dream of one day sitting under my favorite tree in Williamsburg, a giant with branches that reach into the ground as if trying to hold on to reality, and write.Hard to explain that yearning to my husband, who is not a writer and does not feel the magic of that place like I do. So I don’t explain and I don’t ask. But one day I will sit under those old branches and write while shadows of the past come into focus only to fade away around me.

WilliamsburgTree

As I walked down King St, for the last time this visit, I snap a shot of the young man scribbling away by the Post Office and the soldier playing the penny whistle. I stare with wanderlust at one of the many taverns in town and the little shops peppering the street.

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My time in this time capsule is over this time, but I will be back. I wonder if they would hire me as a cast member and allow me to live onsite… Until next time, Williamsburg, I bid you farewell.