This question from Vicki seems well timed!

What is your favorite thing about going to a writers conference or convention?

There are tons of conferences out there. In a month, the RT Booklovers Convention is in Atlanta. There have already been some conferences, and many more are coming. If you’re looking for a way to connect with romance authors, you probably don’t have far to go. It depends on what you’re looking for though. Some conventions are tiny with only 50 or so authors. Others are massive.

For me, there’s only one conference I go to. That might change eventually, but right now, my kids are little and I want to have time with my family. So I choose the one conference that I feel gives me the most as an author.

That’s Romance Writers of America National Conference.

Every July, RWA holds a national conference for members and non-members. Workshops are presented on everything from how to write a book to marketing to earning six figures. It’s a huge conference packed with tons of information, awards for excellent books, and a chance to network with other authors.

It’s intense, I won’t lie.

It’s also amazing.

This summer will be my third RWA conference. Each year, what I’m looking for changes, but the whole reason for going is the same.

To learn.

It’s five days away from my family. It’s not cheap. It’s not relaxing. But I leave wishing I could take another week away from home to focus on putting all the things I learned into action.

Me in Times Square
Me in Times Square at my first conference!

Of course, I want to see my family too!

But the question is what is my favorite thing about conferences or conventions. It’s hard to choose one thing. I’d have to say there’s a couple things I love.

One is all the things I learn. To come away with a portion of the wealth of knowledge at the RWA conference is huge.

A second thing I getting a chance to see friends who don’t live close. My roommate, and good friend, is from California. We see each other once a year. Being able to grab a glass of wine and some dinner together is always so great.

The third thing I love about it is the energy. Maybe it sounds silly, but being surrounded by so many other authors and people who love romance is invigorating and simply inspiring. When do you get a chance to hang out with 2000 other people who do the same thing as you, who respect you, who encourage you, and who want to help you? It’s absolutely amazing.

This year’s conference is the end of July in Orlando. My family chose to add on a trip to Disney with the conference so this year’s conference is even more exciting for me! But, as you see, I love it no matter what!

Thanks so much, Vicki, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

Mary
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