Hello romance writers! As many of you know, Romance Writers of America’s annual conference is right around the corner. The Marriott in Atlanta, Georgia, is about to be overrun with authors, editors, agents, among many others. It is an incredible event where authors can learn, network, pitch, make new friends, brainstorm, become inspired-any number of things. In fact, this conference can really be a game-changer in a writer’s life.
So, I have to ask the most important question: Are you packed?
What does one take to a conference of this magnitude? I have started a packing list that I’m going to share here. This is my second RWA annual conference so I have a little experience. I’m sure, though, there are people out there with even more experience so please feel free to add to my list in the comments section. There is always a drug store, grocery store, clothing store around the corner, but who wants to take the time out from an amazing workshop to stand in line to buy a phone charger?
- Duh. Of course we need clothes. But more specifically:
- A nice dress (cocktail or dressier) for the last evening’s dinner + awards.
- Shoes for the nice dress.
- Accessories for the nice dress: hose, if you wear them; spanx, bra, undies, matching purse.
- During the days, it is recommended folks dress business casual. I wouldn’t recommend jeans, though admittedly it is very difficult for me to veer away from these favorites.
- Shoes to go with all the above.
- Undergarments-see list above.
- Sweater to wear during the day. I also like to take a scarf.
- Anything else you might need, depending on your travel plans, i.e. if you’re leaving the hotel for sightseeing, etc.
- Pins from previous conferences to put on new nametag. This is really fun because some conference-goers have a dozen, beautifully displayed on the nametag. Don’t have a dozen? Don’t worry. You’ll pick up a few here and can keep them around for the next conference.
- Books (for networking and for book signing). The literacy signing is Wednesday night. This is an amazing event for authors and readers. In NYC at my last conference, people were lined up around the block, mostly readers looking for their favorite authors and seeking out new ones. Don’t miss this event!
- ‘Autographed by’ stickers. I’m participating in the literacy signing for the first time with Wren’s Fantasy and A Life, Redefined. Way. Too. Cool. So if anyone stops by my little table, wanting an autograph by little old me, I can slap an ‘autographed by’ sticker on the book and it’s signed, sealed and delivered!
- Computer. I plan to write, taking advantage of the workshops as well as the inspiration that wafts through the air like an enticing perfume.
- Computer accessories-charger, mouse, etc.
- Notebooks. You’ll get some things at the conference but I carry my own notebooks with old notes readily available.
- kindle + charger for that nighttime reading (or when you just need a break. The conference can be overwhelming for HSP’s-aka highly sensitive people, like myself).
- pens, highlighter. Again you’ll get some of this there.
- Cell phone.
- Cell phone charger.
- Nail kit (polish, remover, cotton balls, nail file). I really hate to have chipped nail polish or a broken nail. Really, I do.
- swag for the swag room.
- Business cards.
- Snacks. You may not always want to spend $ on eating out. Some meals are provided. Some are not. Sometimes you feel like a nut…sometimes you don’t. Anyway, I take snacks.
Visit www.rwa.org for more information about travel, schedules, etc.
This is sure to be a great event. I hope to see many old friends and make many new ones. If you are a fellow HSP, study my pic on the author bio page of this website and come and find me. I am a thorough introvert but am very friendly and like to see a friendly face in return.
Cheers to Atlanta 2013!