Washington Romance Writers Retreat

Romance Jeopardy is one of my favorite events at the annual WRW retreat.  Our fearless RJ organizers are increasingly creative in their themes and accompanying costumes, and this year they did not disappoint!  Here’s my good friend Karen Lee our MC and score keeper in my favorite pic from the entire weekend:

aka author Karen Lee

Flanking her on the left is the Scarecrow (aka author Kathy Maxwell) and, on the right, the Cowardly Lion (aka author Kathleen Gilles Siedel).  Guess what our theme was this year?  My team didn’t win, but we had the most fun. ;->

Our keynote speaker was the wonderful, wise and funny Charlaine Harris:

Not the greatest picture, but the talk was terrifically encouraging — all about how she became an “overnight success” through many years of hard work and lots of books.

I was so busy enjoying the weekend that I didn’t take a lot of pictures.  One of the most useful workshops for me was on how to use social networking tools.  As a result, I’m using Twitter a lot more these days.  Follow me and I’ll follow you back! 

My Twitter id is LaurinWittig.

Have you attended a writers’ conference? 

Romance Writers of America has a huge one every July that I’ve been to a few times.  It’s an amazing event with tons of great workshops and networking opportunities.  However, if you’re just sticking your toe in the conference pool, I’d really recommend you start with one of the smaller conferences. 

Many RWA chapters hold one day or weekend conferences that are more affordable, and less intimidating.  Other writing groups also hold conferences. James River Writers in Richmond, Virginia, is one I know of, but haven’t had a chance to attend yet.  Colleges often hold conferences for writers, as well.  The opportunity to meet both writers and industry professionals tends to be greater in the smaller conferences. 

Also, if you are an introvert, which face it, most writers are, the smaller conferences are easier to manage.  Just prepare a few conversation opening questions to have ready (What do you write?  What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year?  Where are you from? are perrenial no-fail favorites!), then dive in and introduce yourself.  You’ve got nothing to lose, and the potential for great gains.

I gained my agent and my first sale at the Washington Romance Writers retreat.  So go find yourself a conference or workshop to attend this year and make the commitment to your writing career!



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