Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Liz's 2013 RWA Flashback

I’ve now had a full week to recover from and muse over RWA 2013. I thought maybe the shine would fade from the high I got in Atlanta this year. Honestly, however, it has not. This remains my second-favorite conference of all time. I have to admit that I have a bias (along with our illustrious Angi Morgan) for the 2010 conference in Orlando. That was where Angi and I became Golden Heart sisters AND winners together.  Here we are in a blast from the past.
Liz and Angi in 2010 with Golden Hearts

But that was then. This time, I attended RWA for the second year as a published author. Last year was a little like being in limbo. I was published but not PAN (RWA’s Published Author Network) and I was an Avon author but nobody except my editor and one friend at the publisher knew me.  In Atlanta, I came as part of a family. Of several families! 

Here are a few of my Avon sisters—family #1.
L-R: Avon authors Margo Maguire, Gayle Callan, Laura Lee Guhrke, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Kaye, Kay Thomas, Liz (Me!), Lena Diaz and Carla Swafford.
Here are a few of my Golden Heart sisters—family #2:
Golden Heart Sisses from 2010

Me with the adorable Rochelle Staub

Jacqui, Angi, Rochelle, Katrina, Lee, Liz, Linda
 Here are some of my Minnesota (Midwest Fiction Writers) sisters—family #3:
Me, Nan Dixon, Gail Buell and Kathryn Ster

 Here are my GLIAS sisters – family #4:
Clover Autry, Heather Snow, Maureen McGowan, Angi Morgan & Liz Selvig
And here are some real-life heroes—(my adopted-without-their-knowledge) family #5:
Lori Wilde!!!

Blythe Gifford!!!

Keely Thrall!!!

Important People in the Bar

This year it was so amazing to find I was NEVER lonely, and that's probably why it was such a favorite. There was always someone around to visit.  BUT—I didn’t only visit with my friends. Even though my very best talent in the whole world is talking, I did sit through some workshops and some meetings and actually learn a few things.

For example: through Avon I learned that the future is always right on our doorstep. I got to participate in an electronic booksigning, which was completely amazing. Authors were able to use iPads and styluses to sign pre-designed pages and e-mail them along with their books to fans. The signed pages ended up right in the e-books, after the cover—voila, a personally signed e-copy. We had so much fun!

Autography electronic signing.

I also learned that it pays to get up in the morning, however early, and take a nice long walk before the humidity hits. It gets the juices flowing and exposes you to a little of the city culture. I didn’t get to the art museum where Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring” was being featured, but I did walk past the Margaret Mitchell home several times. I guess that counts as culture.
Where Margaret Mitchell wrote that book she wrote.
I learned about street teams and healthy eating and social media at the PAN retreat groups. I met with my editor (worth the price of going right there). And, I re-learned (because I learn this every year) that everybody looks awesome when they dress up for the RITA/Golden Heart Award Ceremony. 
Angi Morgan, Hope Ramsay and Me
 So, if you didn’t make it to RWA 2013—try to come sometime. I didn’t get famous. I didn’t find the magic bullet to success. But I sure did get a renewed understanding of why I chose this writing career: the fun, the friends, the learning.

If you’re a writer and went to RWA, what did YOU think? If you’re a reader—what kinds of conferences have you been to in your life?


Blythe Gifford said...

It was a wonderful conference, wasn't it? You call them families, I call them tribes. And the longer you are part of RWA, the more of them you will have. One of the best conferences ever!

LizbethSelvig said...

Hi Blythe!
Tribes! Wonderful name -- that is exactly what they feel like. I'm so happy to be part of the large tribe that is RWA and very, very happy to be in a sub-tribe with you :-) Thanks for coming by.

Angi Morgan said...

Different this year for me, too. LOVED IT !!

LizbethSelvig said...

Hi Angi (waving back!) We did have a lot of fun -- even through the stress :-)

Lara Lacombe said...

I wasn't able to go this year, but I went to last year's conference (my first) and loved it. I can't wait for next year! :)

LizbethSelvig said...

Hi Lara,
If you loved it once, you're sure to come back again--and we'll find you when you do!!

Clover Autrey said...

I love how this became a picture blog. And it was so fun to meet you in person... 2014 San Antonio?

Lisa W said...

Sounds like you had a great time at RWA and will be making more memories in the future. As a reader I would love to attend a conference and meet some of my favourite authors. Unfortunately, since I live in SW Ontario, there never seems to be any near me and I'm unable to travel far. Hopefully one of these days I will find a way to go to one. Until then I will live vicariously through the pictures and posts from authors like you. :-)

Donnell Ann Bell said...

So terrific, especially since I couldn't be there to be with you! Thanks for sharing, Liz!!!

Amy Valentini said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. It's one I hope to have some day! :-)