Thursday, July 31, 2008

Things to Do If You Aren't Going To RWA Nationals

Not going to San Fran for the big conference?

You aren't alone.

Keep in mind that while it may seem like everyone is going, reality is out of over nine thousand RWA members, less than a third are attending.

That's SEVEN THOUSAND of us not in attendance.

There also happens to be a lot you can do from home to prepare for the new writing year--as defined from conference to conference.

1. Check out the upcoming RWA conferences, ACFW conference, and local conferences to find one that will accommodate your budget and schedule. Start planning now.

Next year's ACFW conference (held in September) will be in Denver, Colorado, my backyard. Denver is also known as the Mile-High City or 5280 (miles above sea level). I'm looking forward to this event!

The RWA conference calendar looks like this :

July 15-18
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel Washington D.C

July 28-31
Gaylord Opryland Nashville

July 27-30
NY Marriott Marquis

Keep up with RWA Conference happenings this week through these sites:

If you know of any podcasts for the Saturday night glitz and glamour ceremony please share. I'd like to watch in my jammies eating chocolate cake. You all are welcome to join me.

3. Post conference you can catch all the publisher workshop recaps by subscribing to Cindi Myers yahoo newsgroup. There is a weekly post and no chatter.
Anyone can sign up by sending a blank email to

4. Head over to Bill Stephens Productions to get the conference workshop tapes and cds. The site posts conference specials that end shortly after conference. In past years I have gotten the entire conference on MP3 cd for $99.00. They arrive in late August.

5. While you're home this week remember it might be a good time to finish your current manuscript in time to submit it to the second contest of the 2008 Challenge.

  • The second contest has no beginning, but ends August 31st and requires evidence of a manuscript completed in 2008 (not necessarily begun in 2008). The winner of a random drawing will receive $50 to assist their manuscript entry into the 2008 Golden Heart competition. This contest may be entered once per completed manuscript; however, there will be only one winner.

6. If you are reading this and are not in San Fran then that means you are eligible for a fantastic drawing here in Seekerville. Just post and tell us why you want to win.

You could be the winner of a the audio CD version of The Hero's Two Journey's by Michael Hague and Christopher Vogler .You can find out more about this great workshop at Michael Hague's site, Screenplay Mastery.

You could win a copy of Write Tight, the comprehensive and indispensable writing resource by William Brohaugh.

Product Description:

William Brohaugh, former editor of Writer’s Digest, goes beyond the discussion on redundancy and overwriting to take on evasiveness, affectations, roundabout writing, tangents and invisible words. Other topics include:

  • Outlining the four levels of wordiness
  • Identifying 16 types of flabby writing
  • Exercises that help writers avoid wordiness
  • Streamlining through sidebars and checklists
  • Tests that show how concise a writer’s prose is

The winners will be posted on Saturday at 8 p.m. MST.
(after the conference) Only those not attending RWA Nationals are eligible to enter this contest.

7. Finally, remember this is a great time to prepare your contest entries for the end of summer and fall contest fever that is about to hit. Be sure to visit Seekerville on Friday for a huge contest update post.


  1. Thanks for the RWA news links, Tina! I'll definitely check in on some of them. We have quite a few Seekers there this year. On the home front, I'm sticking to my usual 4:30 rise-n-shine and 60-90 minutes of writing before I get ready for my day job. I figure the best way to keep my mind off not getting to attend is to stay glued to the routine & make headway on my WIP!

  2. Oh, my, you get up at 4:30? Makes me feel really lazy.

    I would love to win either one of these writers resources. Why? Because my goal is to be the best writer in the world, and I'm a long way from accomplishing that goal. Need all the help I can get.

  3. Tina, my friend, you always know how to make a girl feel better -- and in this case, about 7,000 girls!!

    Thanks for the RWA schedule -- I am hoping I can make one of those in the future. I've only been to RWA once, but it's calling me back ...

  4. I'm a "morning person," Melanie -- you won't catch me up and writing during the midnight shift! You have to go with your inner clock. I'm looking forward to which of the workshops my fellow Seekers most recommend I listen to post-conference.

  5. Tina said this: Check out the upcoming RWA conferences, ACFW conference, and local conferences to find one that will accommodate your budget and schedule

    Instead how about this: Check out the upcoming RWA conferences, ACFW conference, and local conferences to find out which ones you can't afford to attend NEXT YEAR.

  6. One of my many dreams is to attend a RWA and ACFW conference!

    I'll keep those dreams lifted before the Lord to come true in His timing.

    IMW, I'd love to win one of these items to help me improve and grow in my writing - all of my writing...short stories, articles, essays and of course, novels.

    Some feel that once you are published, you know it all.

    Well, I have 5 full-length novels, 3 short stories and numerous articles and essays and STILL don't know it all LOL.

    Books like these you're offering always help - and to be honest, these are the types of books I only dream of buying.

    Like Glynna, I'm sticking to my up at 4:30 and do what I can with my career until I get ready for my day job.

    Thanks for the post!


  7. Oh hey, oh hey!

    Next year in Washington, huh? That's only a seven hour drive for me...

    And a great city to visit.

    And 2010 in Opryland??? Such a great hotel. A group of Seekers went there during ACFW at Nashville and we had a ball. Amazing fountains set to water... Wonderful things to see, and a live creek running right through the hotel, then back out to the river. Amazing stuff. And they were already stringing the Christmas lights in September because they string so many.

    Today, though, I'm working hard, hoping to be ready for requests that are sure (!!!!) to come...

    And planning to make the best use of this year that I can.

    And eat lots of chocolate. And drink the occasional frappuccino.


  8. Fun post, Tina. Hey, has anyone heard if or how the California earthquake this week affected travel to RWA? Kinda made me glad I WASN'T going this year!

  9. I look for links of those going to RWA. Like so many writers, I can't afford to spend $2000 plus to go to a convention anymore. So I have to wait until it is closer to home. I always order the tapes of the sessions and listen to those. In the meantime I'll just continue to do what I do everyday and that is write.

  10. Did everyone hear that Roxanne Sherwood, who did a guest post in Seekerville, won first place overall in the Touched by Love? Awesome, Roxanne! Way to go!

    I'm not a morning person or a night owl. I wish I didn't like to sleep so much!

    Amazing fountains set to water, Ruthy? I think you meant, set to music. :-) I love that hotel. So beautiful.

  11. Did I really say 'set to water'????

    Oh, man.

    Can you tell I'm typing briskly as I work? Or rather, don't work?

    Yes, set to music. And the varying levels of floors, balconies, viewing spots. Wonderful. I was wishing we'd had our conference there instead of the Marriot Music City, but now an RWA lurks in their future.

    Who knows? Mare, you're probably right on the money (or lack thereof...)

    Which conferences can I NOT afford to pay for in two years, LOL????

    Just FYI:

    Dee Henderson: never goes to conferences

    It can be done, ladies, with or without conference attendance.

    And I brought a box of See's chocolates to share with y'all. What a shame those conference attendees will have to miss these truffles and nuts.

    No, not Mary, Tina and Myra, ladies! I meant the chocolates!


  12. That was a good one, Ruthy! Truffles and nuts! LOL!

  13. Thanks for all the information, Tina. Where do you find out much valuable info?
    I'd love to be at national, but since I'm in cloudy north Florida, I'm going to work on my wip and not feel sorry for myself--at least not too much.

  14. Tina said: There also happens to be a lot you can do from home to prepare for the new writing year--as defined from conference to conference.

    I never thought of that, but it’s so true. I DO define my writing year from conference to conference.

  15. You know, advancing the career, seeing my agent and meeting editors, etc. is important, but that's not the only reason I love to go to conferences.

    I love seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and talking about writing non-stop for 3 or 4 days. You just don't get that around home.

  16. Write Tight. Now there's a reference book I could use.

    I'm revising my first 80+ pages. I've got 12 pages of discarded text and nearly as much insertion. My word count hasn't changed one bit. Clearly, the final edit will be a doozy!

  17. I feel blessed to go this year to ACFW. Just so happened this year. Next year in Denver ... not.

    We were keeping our social calendar open in hopes DB and fiancee would opt for a destination wedding in 2009. HOping for Hawaii :-D However it looks the destination is going to be the pastor's office. Good for them, though. He's 48, never been married, and she's a 50-year-old widow.

    I think there might be a story in there, somewhere. Two cat people finally meet ...

    I digress. I hope to go to ACFW again in 2010. (Lord willing)I hear it's in Indy, my "old stompin' grounds."

    I'm going to make a pot of Kona blend which will go great with the chocolate

  18. Conferences are expensive, and I admit as an unpub I go to see what is going on in the publishing world..and to reconnect with old friends and to energize.

    Glynna lovely to see you.

    Hey, Pat!!

    Ann, thanks for the Kona.

  19. Besides the money, I also have a very unsightly chip in my toenail polish...if I could reach my toes and fix it, I might have been able to go.

    Perhaps when I'm thinner.

  20. Ann honey, rule of thumb...ALWAYS digress from cat people.

    no reason

  21. Mary, good rule of thumb for cat people.


    Can you put that cat out, please????

    Poor man, feels like Fred Flinstone, I'll wager.

    Mary, I'd come to Nebraska and fix your toenail chip if that allowed you to go. Seriously.

    But glad the diet's working. You've a tough cookie, Connealy.


    Don't call dieting
    women "Cookie". Forgot. A pox upon me for a clumsy oaf!

    Ruthy (the clumsy oaf)

  22. Tina, thanks for all the wonderful info. Where do I start?

    Well, I'll be at ACFW in Minn and it's my 1st writing conference. I've been hyped for weeks and even added the countdown widget to my blog a month ago. I think Cara talked about it in yesterday's Seeker blog post as well as weeks ago. Seeing the widget on my blog makes me feel like I'm really going this time. 8-)

    I'd love to win those writing resources - I've a voracious appetite for writing advice.

    Re the contest: How do I prove I've completed a novel this year?

    Thanks to Seekerville, I found the courage to enter this year's Genesis. I used the positive comments I rec'd in that and improved my ms's - at least my CP's tell me so :) - and have entered 2 contests this summer already in 3 different cats.

    I don't know if you all can appreciate the support you've provided to a 'provincial' girl like me sitting in the middle of the prairies.

  23. Hey Tina,

    Thanks for the post. I was feeling oh so lonely here at home. All the other GH finalists have ABANDONED me!! (Are you wiping the tears away yet?)

    Great information. I tried to find the conference blog but couldn't see it. Do you have a specific address?

    And great prizes your offering! I've heard so much about Christopher Vogler's Hero's Journey, I'd love to win that.

    If you hear of any podcasts, etc. please post it. One of the GH finalists said the national site was going to 'stream it', but before I could ask her what that meant, she was off to SF. Oh well, Sunday will come soon enough. Besides, I'm 3 hours later here in Toronto and I don't think I'll be able to stay up. Maybe the chocolate cake would do it!

    Hi to all you Seekers out there.



  24. Oops, just found the Blog. All I had to do is click on your clever entry.


  25. I'd love to win because I'm a new writer just in the process of editing my WIP, and I need all the input I can find.


  26. Hey, Susan I edited the post to include the direct link to the RWA blog.

    Debbie! Welcome to Seekerville.

  27. Anita Mae,

    Hey there.

    I wanted to remind you to get your contest questions to me at for our August contest Q & A session. You can check out Saturday's post for more info.

    Congrats on taking the LEAP!!

  28. How to prove you have completed a msc.

    Just send me an email telling me so.

    If we can't trust our guests in Seekerville well.....

  29. I will be watching for a podcast of the awards and will post them here when I do.

  30. Sorry, Tina-kins, I failed you on the pics. First I forgot my camera but I had my cell phone. But then I forgot to take pictures! I swear, my memory gets worse every year and I know it's not going to get any better!

  31. I'm only an hour and a half from Washington DC so I plan on going to RWA Nationals next year.

    Thanks for mentioning cats. I ought to ask the kids if anyone has fed our cat in the last three or four days. Then again, if I don't remind them, then odds are, they won't remember.


    Yes, Roxanne won TBL overall as well as Short Contemporary.

    Oh, I want to win a prize just because winning anything is awesome. And the prizes are UBER-awesome.

    Gotta get back to doing mom stuff.

  32. That's okay CAMSTER.

    Just give us a live report from Camy-ville.

    We heard YOU have some news too.
    Can you share yet???

  33. sounds interesting.
    I think there should be more books about Cat people! I for one would read them. I love cats but really am not a dog person.
    but I digress

  34. I'm not going to conference, either, but I have been participating in several online not going to conference workshops, namely, the one run by Paperback Writer and The Romance Divas forum.

  35. Margay, thanks for stopping by Seekerville. Will have to check those sites out.

  36. These sites are loaded with info (especially the Paperback Writer one, which has several links to other workshops around the web), so be warned - you will be spending a lot of time there! But it's time well spent. I have learned a lot from them this past week.

  37. BTW -- a day late and a dime short -- I would love to be in teh drawing for the "Write Tight" book.

    I would love for my stuff to be un-"flabulous."

  38. Hi Seekers,
    I've got mixed feelings about missing National this year. A part of me still glows with the fun I had last year. Another part recalls feeling like a tiny speck of dust amongst all the talented writers. Work wouldn't have let me go because of the timing (month end/accounting dept) so there is some relief that I didn't have a bunch of stress trying to make something happen than couldn't. I'm planning on getting the conference audio. I didn't last year (big mistake) and figured I'd get quite a bang for my buck this year by ordering them.

    I can't wait to find out the Rita GH winners tomorrow night. I hope anyone that's attending has a great time.


  39. Great blog, Tina. This is my first visit. I found The Seekers while searching for news from National. I'm a Daphne finalist and the awards were given out last night. Unfortunately, I wasn't there and still don't know the results. Your post made me feel so much better about not going. Misery loves company. ;-)

    It's a close call for me on which book I'd want if I won the drawing, but Hero's Journey 2 wins. :-)

  40. I know how you feel, Pamela! I was a finalist in the Romance Through the Ages contest, and the winners were announced yesterday morning, and I still don't know how I did.

  41. Thanks so much for this opportunity.
    I would love to win.....writing is my passion.

  42. Roxanne Sherwood:

    Thanks for the contest news and cheering me up for missing Nationals. I wish I could have attended the FH&L awards ceremony.

    I'd love to win either resource.

  43. Help! I need help, and lots of it!! LoL. Seriously! I do NOT want to stay where I'm at forever, I want to move on. *grin* (That's why I'd like to win one of those fantastic tools.)

    I'm writing those dates & conference locations down, too! Thanks for the great info--once again. ;)

  44. Thank you to all the Seekers for the interesting blogs that you so faithfully write and that I enjoy reading!

    I would appreciate winning one of these writing resources as I live in South Africa where resources for writers are limited and the air fares to attend a conference in the States are prohibitive.

    God bless

    Ruth Dell

  45. Thanks for stopping by and coming out of lurkdom, Ruth and Patty.

    The lovely generous, Seekers have enabled me to give away a few more books on Sunday.

    So we will have more than two winners!!

  46. Deep in revisions. Could really use the Write tight book. Great blog.

  47. The GH and RITA winners are posted on the RWA site. Congrats to all the finalists!!! A huge accomplishment.

    Special congrats to 2008 Golden Heart Winner Best Inspirational Romance
    Running From Trouble
    by Kit Wilkinson

    Okay, now we need a photo of Kit accepting her award!!!!


    Congrats to Seekerville visitor,

    Linda Goodnight on her Inspy win!!!

    2008 RITA Winner for Best Inspirational Romance
    A Touch of Grace by Linda Goodnight

  48. A little RITA trash talk video. A hoot!!

  49. Post of MY favorite authors, Kristan Higgans won a RITA.

    We hope to have her as a Seekerville guest this autumn.

    Check her out at

  50. WINNERS!!

    All the winners have been notified by email. As soon as they respond I will post the list.

    Thanks for your support!

  51. We've heard from three of our winners...

    Patty and Patricia W who won Write Tight and Susan who won The Heros Two Journeys.

    Still waiting on one more.

  52. Our final winner just checked. Congrats Janet Kerr!1