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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Romance Writers of America National Conference in New York City

I spent this past week in New York City at the Romance Writers of America National Conference.  This year over 2,100 romance writers attended and the energy in the Marriot Marquis hotel, located in the middle of Time Square, was as electrifying as the lights outside.

The opening session was inspiring, as well as funny, as Tess Gerritsen, Diana Gabaldon and Steve Berry gave us a view into their writing processes, struggles, triumphs, and fans. Other wonderful speakers included Madeline Hunter who recognized the strength of the romance writer’s heart and demanded we listen to our hearts while Sherrilyn Kenyon, who proved triumph can come from the ashes of failure, encouraged all of us to go after our dreams.

The conference also included PRO and PAN Retreats, workshops, editor and agent appointments, a literacy signing, constant conversation, laughter and hugs, as well a few forays out into the city for shows, restaurants, and the necessary souvenirs. Though for this island girl, the sensory barrage from Times Square was best taken in small quantities :-)

For me, the pleasure of seeing my critique partner from Illinois who I hadn’t seen in over two years, and reuniting with my Phoenix Arizona chapters’ friends, was the best part. Also, making new writing friends was so enjoyable that I can’t wait to start sending emails to keep in touch. 

Writing conferences of all kinds can be very motivating. We, as writers, all sit alone, before our computers listening to the characters in our head, focusing on finding the perfect words to describe the scene unfolding within our minds.  

It is only when we get together that we can truly share the trials and joys of our profession. And I bet many readers will be the beneficiary of this empowering conference as favorite authors who attended get back to work, energized and excited to produce the stories we all love.

Is there an author you are hoping will come out with a new book soon? Let me know, so I can watch too for the next riveting story. 

Alexis, who is energized and ready to hit the keyboard . . . again :-)

P.S. The photo is the view from my room at the conference.


  1. Thanks so much for the overview on what I missed this year! I tried to forget that I wouldn't be there, but not a chance. I'm not going to make a habit of missing the Nationals. And it's not just the place, but the comradery, learning, and all the rest as you described.

  2. It was quite energizing. We would never have met if not for Nationals in DC :-) Of course, there was the Marriott elevator cliches, but not too bad. I even took the wrong train in the subway on Saturday. I got to visit with my brother, niece, sister-in-law, brother's father-in-law and my mom after the conference, so all around a good trip.

  3. Sounds like you had a great time, Alexis!

  4. I did, but now it's back to the keyboard and setting up the new computer. After all, what's a writer without a good computer? A dreamer?

  5. Sorry I missed it, maybe next year. I'm glad you're jazzed up to write.

  6. I sorry you missed it too, but only because I didn't get to see you and chat, but I'll be coming to Arizona in April because I'm speaking at Desert Dreams. Hope we can connect then :-)