RWA Nationals – Part One

4 Aug

OK, sleep would be helpful right now, but I thought I’d post a WOW! Nationals is over post.


I saw some amazing talks, volunteered, pitched and hung out – was that the update everyone wanted?  No?


OK, talks: I’m coming home with some great talks. Most of them were agent given. There was some great information and Luv YA just became bullet point land – blame the fact that I’ve slept 9 hours in the last 3 days:


I know way more people than I thought I would – learning point: GET INVOLVED. I knew chapter members, CP’s chapter members, people from writing classes and conferences and workshops, people from being the Workshop Chair for the New England RWA, people from Romance Divas, people from moderating the craft loop — I thought I’d know no one, but lets add to that list people who know people who know me — RWA was a remarkably friendly conference


Hearing peoples’ stories is inspiring AND discouraging.  We found there were two camps on this. One workshop, the woman talked about how she had over 9,000 rejections before she sold.  I thought I heard her wrong because the first thought in my head was “Is that even possible????” So, Camp One thought that was amazingly motivating and exciting. Camp Two thought 9,000!!!!! I don’t think I could take that many!!!!  It made me wonder, not if I would stop writing, but if I would stop submitting and just write for myself after, say 4,000.


Lisa Gardner (who is just amazing) gave a talk on revision. She opened her hour talking about how she was “an overnight success” and blew that myth out of the water. When she finally sold her first single title, they wanted revisions – a lot of them. It took her 2 years to get the OK and what they wanted. And then she walked us through what that was. She talked about going Bigger – and how it’s easier to pull an author back in than to make them try to go bigger in their writing. She talked about analyzing your work and the path a novel should take. She talked about repeating and not trusting your words and your reader. — I loved how she said she wanted her reader to know that in The Perfect Husband the hero and his sister fought A LOT so she gave them lots of arguing scenes. The scenes were good and showed what she wanted, but did the reader really need to read several or just one big one that showed the fact tht this was a normal state of affairs?  This is something I’ll be looking at in my own next read through.


Having a team is the best way to go. I’m not someone who will walk up and say “Hi I’m Bria? And you are?” If I’m in a situation where the introduction is more comfortable than the alternative, I will (sitting together at dinner, sharing a couch waiting in the lobby, standing in line) but having a team to drag me around and introduce me to people led to some amazing door opening moments. It got me two more requests I wouldn’t have had and a couple amazing new people to keep in touch with.


Speaking of having a team – I found it much easier to introduce other people and talk about their book than my own. It’s wonderful to have seen other people do that for me as well. I had been at a conference a while back where the team thing didn’t happen. People I knew even!!! They heard an agent say four times to a writing partner of mine, I want to talk to you next, I’m intrigued and then she would get grabbed by someone else (one of her friends) and then never got a chance to speak with her without looking rude – Not so at RWA, I was amazed that the number of people who understood, even in a “social” situation, you need to chat, pitch, hang for a small amount of time, and pass the person on — preferably taking the opportunity to pass her own to one of your own.


 Next to come this week: What I learned from Agent talks and (if I’m brave) the car wreck known as “Bria goes to her pitch appointment.”

3 Responses to “RWA Nationals – Part One”

  1. Kaige August 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    Sounds like you had an awesome time! I don’t know if I’ll be able to go next year. Will depend on some timing issues. It sucks when things that are good for two family members coincide.

  2. Gwen Hayes August 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    I missssss you muchly.
    And this is the same wordpress theme I used before I got my dotcom. Kinda skeery innit?

    My husband tried to get me to talk about Nationals last night and I couldn’t even put it into words. “It was fun” was about all I could manage.


  1. RWA Nationals - Agent/Editor Moments « Luv YA - August 5, 2008

    […] — briaq @ 11:10 am Tags: Agents, Editors, Pitching, RWA Nationals “As per” yesterday’s promise (you didn’t think I’d go there, did you?) here is my agent pitch car wreck […]

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