mostly about RWA (a quick overview)

At the moment I am having a “technical difficulty” with outgoing email. I can work around it but it’s slowing me down a lot (it really does take a lot of time to cut and paste all these things). Fixing it will require a software upgrade or a change in programs that I can’t do until at least tonight (and I never expect these things to go smoothly and work right away). Of course, this is not helped by the fact that I decided not to tote my laptop down to the RWA National Convention over the weekend (actually I left on Thursday) so, as of tomorrow, I’ll have about a week’s worth of backlog. Oops.

Speaking of RWA, I did, indeed, attend this year. And it was a very interesting conference. I’d missed it last year for various reasons. And it turned out that I was the lucky one as I have heard that the Reno location was problematic. And then there was the lovely awards ceremony that I have heard so much about. This year’s award ceremony went much better. I got to sit with one of my clients during the event, and she knew quite a number of the nominees, so she was able to fill me in on those I wasn’t familiar with. Alas, my nominee did not win this year. However, another client of the agency was a double-nominee for the Golden Heart and she won. Congrats to her!

At least the travel went relatively smoothly. Despite the fact that it was in my own timezone, though, I still feel all jetlagged. Of course, that could have something to do with entertaining in the lobby until 1am, going to the St. Martin’s, Penguin, and Harlequin parties the next night, and then the Ritas and parties thereafter the following night. Hmmm….

I spent a lot of time mingling and even got to attend a couple of panels I wasn’t scheduled to participate on. Plus, I met with my attending clients and got to try out a couple of restaurants. In particular, it seems that Pittypat’s Porch, a restaurant with southern specialties, got a lot of traffic from convention attendees. Their pecan pie was really exceptional.

It turned out that one of the biggest events I particpated in was the Agent Cartel panel. Ten agents plus one moderating agent. Two hours. A double-size conference room, packed to the gills with standing room taken in the back and some people sitting up front on the floor. Each agent delivered a short commentary on an individual topic. These topics covered everything from pitching romantic comedies in Hollywood to using blogs and websites to promote your work and interact with readers. There was also time for some Q&A. Plus, at the beginning we gave away a handful of critiques to those who could answer trivia questions about the agents included on the panel. I kept hearing about this panel for the rest of the convention. Rave reviews. If we do it again, we’ll have to get a bigger room….

But I’m not sure I’ll be going next year. It’s back in Dallas, which was another un-fun location a couple years ago. Plus, Thrillerfest is on the same weekend and I have at least one client who has been encouraging me to attend that one. So many conventions, so little time. And speaking of which, I had better get back to cutting and pasting, among other things…

4 responses to “mostly about RWA (a quick overview)

  1. Thanks for participating in the Agent Cartel panel. It was fascinating. Author blogs were discussed, and that several agents on the panel blog. I don’t know if you agent-bloggers know what a service you do for those of us who are working our way into the publishing world. Its a tremendous gift and I, for one, truly appreciate the effort you put in to demystifying, explaining, and just kinda making publishing a friendlier–and honest–place. 🙂

  2. Mmmm, pecan pie….

  3. RWA in Dallas will not be at the same hotel as it was previously so this should elminate some of the issues. Also, I doubt we will be there at the same time as the Mary Kay ladies again. I hope. I pray. (That couldn’t possibly happen twice, could it?)
    -Kristen Painter

  4. Agent Cartel
    The Agent Cartel session was one of the highlights of the RWA National Conference. Everyone I talk to lists it in one of their top three! There was something comforting about the united front, and ethically sound approach of all of you and when Kristin answered the question about competition or “hurt feelings” if two agents from the cartel were submitted to — and she responded “Heck, we feel like the best gal won, no problem” there were head nods all around.
    Hats off and high 5’s to all of you, and thanks for putting a few myths to rest.

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