It's nearly that time of year again. The annual RWA Conference takes place in Atlanta, Georgia this year from July 26-29.
It's a time when published and unpublished authors gather to attend workshops, meet & greet, make new contacts, renew old friendships, listen to editors & agents and, for those who are unpublished, a chance to connect with an editor or agent who hopefully wants to buy your manuscript.
The conference is in a different place every year- last year it was Reno (and resulted in the birth of this blog, as a matter of fact), next year it's in Dallas, Texas. The big draw for the public is the literacy signing every year. Over 400 authors in one room, all signing their books and all of the profits go to the Literacy Council.
This is also a time when people begin to stress about going to Conference. Do they have the right clothes, the right shoes, the right attitude, the right manuscript? Will they meet the perfect editor/agent in the hallway and be struck dumb or say something totally inane?
I've decided not to stress (too much) this year. I'm taking fewer clothes so I will wear exactly what I've packed without worrying about whether or not I'm dressed "appropriately." Hey, if my clothes are good enough for work, they should be good enough for a conference! The only sticking point for me is the Gala. For the past three years, I've dressed up - I mean really dressed up...this year, I've decided not to do that. I'll be nicely dressed, but I'm not going the "prom dress" routine. I'm also not going to wear heels. They just do not do good things for my feet!
Anyway...back to conference. This is a time to meet other unpublished authors and talk about something we all have in common - the written word. We all love it, we all strive to perfect it, we will talk about it, share our opinions and our dreams and ultimately, we'll come away from Conference this year renewed in our commitment to the written word and exhausted from all the information we're bombarded with and meeting new people and trying to download all the ideas floating around in our heads.
Now, for some interesting facts regarding romance...
*Did you know that romance fiction comprises 54% of all popular paperback fiction sold in North America?
*Did you know that romance fiction comprises 39% of all popular fiction sold - mystery/detective/suspense novel sales is 29% of popular fiction sold - General fiction is 12% and Science Fiction is 6%...
*Did you know that 64 MILLION Americans read at least one romance novel last year?
*Did you know that 22% of romance readers are men?
*Did you know that RWA has 9,500 members around the world? (No wonder the conference always sells out!)