The 33rd annual RWA Conference, this year in Atlanta, Georgia is a gathering of more than 2,100 published and aspiring romance writers, editors, agents, and other industry professionals.
|From the ground floor looking up at each floor in the Marriott|
Conference attendees will enhance their writing and knowledge of the ins and outs of publishing at more than 100 workshops; get the inside track at panels and round-tables featuring publishing professionals; schedule a one-on-one pitch meeting with an acquiring editor or literary agent; attend parties and network with the stars of romance fiction; and be a part of RWA's "Readers for Life" charity book signing. The four day conference ends with the gala RITA® and Golden Heart Award presentation.
|2013 Literacy Event|
|Janet Dean, Missy Tippens, Debby Giusti|
In addition the following awards are presented at conference:
Lifetime Achievement Award-2013 recipient-Mary Jo Putney
Emma Merritt Service Award-2013 recipient-Nancy Haddock
Service Award-2013 recipient-Eloisa James, Julie Hurwitz, Donna MacMeans & Trish Milburn
Bookseller of the Year-2013 recipient-Cathy Genna Barnes & Noble
Librarian of the Year-2013 recipient-Sarah Whitten
Industry Award-2013 recipient-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal
|Dianna Shuford & Debby Giusti|
Part of the fun of conference is wearing your RWA Badge which includes unique pins for each conference you attend and pins for chapters, chapter contest wins and RITA and Golden Heart finaling. It also includes ribbons for various designations.
|Kelly Ann Riley and Mary Curry. Mary has just won the Long Contemp Category of TBL|
Join the celebration at RWA.org, Facebook or Twitter to follow conference events. Saturday night (8-10 ET) be sure to check RWA FB and Twitter #RITAGH and #RWA13 to follow the awards ceremony.
Seekerville wants to give you the ultimate armchair conference experience so please enjoy our photos and be sure to comment. Three commenters will win their RITA® finaling book of choice as available on Amazon (print or ebook). Just tell us you want to be in the drawing. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.
Here are the 2013 RITA® finalists.
One of the best parts of conference? Catching up with friends!
|Piper Huguley and Mia Ross|
|Lyndee Henderson and Debby Giusti|
|Myra Johnson, Mary Connealy|
|Mary Connealy, Mia Ross, Myra Johnson, Mary Curry|
|Jane Dean, Myra Johnson, Mary Connealy|
|Janet Dean, Walt Mussell, Mary Connealy|
|Janet Dean and Shirley Jump|
|Patty Jo Moore brought Seeker treats.|
|Mary Connealy, Marilyn Puett, Myra got a new do Johnson|
|Group Hug, L to R Marilyn Puett, Myra, Janet, Missy, Lindi Peterson, Patti Jo Moore, Sandra, Debby and Mary Curry|
|Sandra Lessmith at her Indie Booksigning Event|
|Julie Hilton Steele and Vanessa Riley|
The RWA Board of Directors met for two productive days in Atlanta, and one of the items on the agenda for the meeting was the adoption of rules for the 2014 RITA and Golden Heart contests. We are pleased to announce some exciting changes. In furtherance of RWA’s strategic goals of raising awareness and status of the RITA Awards, and ensuring the RITA contest remains viable in light of industry evolution, the Board is pleased to announce the following:
•All published romance novels and novellas with a copyright date of 2013 are eligible to enter the 2014 RITA, including self-published works.
•Number of total entries will be increased by 66 percent (from 1,200 to 2,000).
•All author-entrants are eligible to judge the preliminary round. PAN members who are not entered in the contest also are eligible to judge the preliminary round. The final round will be judged by PAN members.
•Changes to categories: •A category was added for Erotic Romance
•Contemporary romances will be divided into two categories: novels with fewer than 65,000 words and those with 65,000 words or more
•All entries with a minimum total score of at least 90 percent of the total possible score will advance to the final round. This means that no entry will be advantaged or disadvantaged by the number of entries in a category. Final round entries will be scored in the same manner as the preliminary round.
• Judges will be allowed to opt in to their preferred categories; they must choose at least five categories.
Please note that this is a summary and is not intended to replace or supersede the rules, which will be published soon. Members interested in a full report of actions approved at the July board meeting are welcome to read the minutes, which will be published on the RWA website within the next few weeks.
Board of Directors
Romance Writers of America, Inc.
The Blog that Helped Us Sail Off Unpubbed Island (CAREER) Speakers: Mary Connealy, Janet Dean, Debby Giusti, Myra Johnson, Sandra Leesmith, and Missy Tippens. Thursday, July 18, 8:30 to 9:30 am. Learn how group blogging helped these aspiring authors sail straight to publication.
|Debby Giusti passes out leis and chocolate|
|Your instructors, (L to R) Sandra Leemsmith, Missy Tippens, Debby Giusti, Mary Connealy, Janet Dean and Myra Johnson|
|Patty Smith Hall, Julie Hilton Steel and Debby Giusti after class.|
For more RWA Conference photos check out Julie Hilton Steele on Facebook
Lastly, we have some quick chats with RITA® finalist Missy Tippens and GH finalist Piper Huguley. Missy chatting with LI author Mia Ross and Piper being interviewed by Julie Hilton Steele. And Debby Giusti and Missy Tippens. All videos courtesy of Mary Curry's iPad.
That's it until Saturday.
Don't miss the Weekend Edition for Award Night photos and more videos!
2014 July 23–26 San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter & Marriott Riverwalk
2015 July 22–25 New York Marriott Marquis
2016 July 13–16 San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina
2017 July 26–29 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
P.S. I'm also cooking in the Yankee Belle Cafe today. So when you get hungry, stop over there for some Chopped Salad.