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RWA 2011: Reflection

I spent the last week in New York City attending the Romance Writers of America national conference. It was a whirlwind of activity for four days that should have sent me and my generally reserved self into hiding, but instead, when I left the Marriott Marquis yesterday I found myself planning for next year’s conference in Anaheim, California.

So much for being reserved.

I left New York feeling energized, optimistic and professional and I truly believe it was because of the wonderful women I met, the speakers I heard and an environment that fosters growth and collegiality.

So what were some highlights?  Here goes:

View from room 2515

My roomies, Jolyse and Patty are the best.  That is all.  We had chocolate and wine and stayed out late.  We talked, laughed and encouraged each other.  This is the view from our room on the 25th floor.

I met lots of my online friends.  They are real people and wonderful and proof that social networking is worth the time and effort.

Went out for fancy drinks and dinner with my LIRW friends.  What a fun evening.  I think I drank a bottle of wine by myself.  I was very happy.

I met with Emily from Waxcreative Design. We talked about the future and what will happen with this beautiful site they designed for me when I sell my books.

I had the opportunity to chat a little bit with romance authors Eloisa James, Kristin Hannah, Jennifer Crusie, Cherry Adair, Julia Quinn, Virginia Kantra and Kristan Higgins. (I only gushed a little.  I swear.)

Got to know the fabulous Vicky Dreiling, Kieran Kramer, Laurie London, Ashley March, Heather Snow, Rebecca Clark and Miranda Neville over breakfast or drinks or both.

I had lunch with RITA winner Jill Shalvis!  At the PRO retreat, my name was drawn and I won the opportunity to sit with her at Thursday’s award luncheon and she could not have been nicer.  I was tickled she won the RITA the following night; I love when good things happen to good people.

RWA Swag

I went to some fabulous workshops and learned a lot.

I pitched my book.  AND GOT A REQUEST!  Yay!

I brought home many, many books. This photo shows some of my new TBR pile. (Many are signed)  My husband is wondering where we’re going to put them all!

I saw some of my Dunes and Dreams chapter mates.

Jeannie and Simone Elkeles at RWA 11

The high school librarian in me got a little giddy when I met and spent some time with Simone Elkeles.  I cannot keep Simone’s YA romances on the shelves in my library!  The kids love her. She’s so funny and nice, I hope she visits New York on her next book tour.

I met wonderful people when I volunteered, got coffee, rode the elevator, and sat in workshops.

Attendees were smiling and happy, and we were all cursing our sore feet as we tried to cram one more book into our conference tote bags.  I think the books helped take away the pain.

I’ll always remember my first conference.  Always.  It will stand as the year I allowed myself to see everything I could achieve if I worked hard enough. My mission before California?  Sell a book.  Or two.  Or three.

To thank you for stopping by, I’ll be giving away books by RITA winners Jill Shalvis and Virginia Kantra to one reader who comments on this post by 4 pm (ET), Thursday, July 7th.  So, tell me what you think of the post, share your RWA experience or just say “Hi.”

Yeah. It was a great week. 🙂

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    42 Responses to RWA 2011: Reflection

    1. Michele Shaw says:

      Wow! What a great time! If I couldn’t go, it was nice to hear about it. Just a wee bit jealous over here.

    2. Donna says:

      Wow, sounds like great fun and success with your pitch too. Almost makes me wish I was a writer, but I’ll stick to the librarian part. Just read your excerpt from Games, really wonderfully written, can’t wait till your published so I can read more. Great site and to think I found all this through my Islanders obsession, good things lead to good things. . .

    3. This was my 4th RWA conference, but, in many ways it was the best. It can get very lonely walking through a huge conference hotel knowing your chapter mates are 3000 miles away. This year, 25 were in attendance!

      God willing, you won’t be alone in Anaheim, Jeannie! I plan to be there 🙂

    4. Hi Jeannie,

      I had a terrific time, too. My roomies were phenomenally supportive throughout our RWA11 experience!

      I’m thrilled you had the good fortune to make Jill Shalvis’ acquaintance and that you met so many of your on-line friends. (That inspires me to take the leap and open that Twitter account.)

      I attended all but the last three workshops, and I learned so much from each of them. Listening to authors such as Harlan Coben, Lisa Jackson, Molly Harper, Sue Brockman, Cindy Kirk, and Zoe Archer has brought my understanding of my craft to the next level.

      Anaheim is far from home, but I’m hoping to make it happen. The knowledge, networking, and enjoyment derived from this one week at RWA Nationals is incredibly empowering!

      Kindly,
      Jolyse

    5. I loved every minute!

    6. Kati R says:

      Wow! I’m so jealous!!! I’m so glad you had a super fabulous time =) Congrats on the pitch. *fingers crossed* Best wishes and hope to see you in my backyard next year.

    7. Lisa B says:

      I loved hearing about this. I’ve never been to anything like that but it’s awesome to hear it from your perspective as a first timer. I think the books would make me feel better about my feet too! lol Good luck with your book. I hope you get published soon!!

      Lisa B

    8. Lisa says:

      I’m so glad you had such a wonderful experience. Can’t wait to hear all the details.

      And I love your new site!

    9. abby mumford says:

      you leaving with a creative boost is exactly the way i’d feel after leaving one of the week long residencies i attended throughout my MFA program. i miss that feeling! i’m so glad you were able to capture it and share the details of it with us and i think i need to make it my mission to attend a conference soon!

      p.s. CONGRATS on the pitch + request. can’t say i’m surprised, just impatient to get your book between my hands!

      • Jeannie says:

        Abby, the creative boost is exactly what I needed and the best part of the conference. On top of that I met some amazing people. Next year it’s in California and whatever it takes, I’ll go again. (Come with us!)

    10. Sherry S. says:

      I’ve never been to RWA but I would love to go sometime I would love to meet the authors.

      sstrode at scrtc dot com

    11. It was my 1st RWA Nat’ls too, and I had the most wonderful experience. I went in there saying, “I won’t be able to go to CA next year, so I have to make this count.” By the 3rd day, I’d changed my tune to, “I don’t care WHAT I have to do, I’m GOING next year!!!”

      And a definite highlight was being there & sharing all the fabulousness with my many LIRW sisters. I felt like we were a definite presence and that made me proud. 🙂 Love you guys.

    12. Donna Coe-Velleman says:

      Like some of you it was my first RWA National Conference and it was the second conference I ever attended. It was great.
      My highlight was talking to Sherrilyn Kenyon. Didn’t she give the most moving speech? I thought it was fantastic. Never give up!
      Jeannie you did a wonderful job moderating for Jennifer Cruise’s brainstorming workshop.
      But what I’ll probably remember most is the friendship we (the LIRW sisters) shared with each other. Thank you ladies.

      • Jeannie says:

        Aww, thanks for the compliment Donna! I was up there for all of a minute, but I will not lie that it was a thrill to meet Jennifer Crusie. It was a great week and I was really proud of our chapter.

    13. Mikki-Mano says:

      Hi! It’s always great to read post and testimonials about these kind of events. I’m sooo envy 😛 I hope I will meet some of my favourites authors someday 🙂
      So many thanks for the post – I loved it 🙂

      • Jeannie says:

        The conference is very well run and allows published and unpublished authors like me the opportunity to network. Meeting some of my romance writing idols is a bonus. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

    14. Thanks for the RWA11 conference update. What a bubbly and excited blog.
      I didn’t get to go this year, but I will be in Anaheim with bells on for RWA12.
      I hope your book request goes smoothly for you. Good luck.
      Cheers~
      Sherri

    15. Jeannie says:

      Congrats to Mikki-Mano! She was randomly selected (I have this nifty little program called The HAT) from all commenters on the RWA11 post to receive books by RITA winners Jill Shalvis and Virginia Kantra. E-mail me your address, Mikki and I will send those out to you. jeannie at jeanniemoon dot com.

    16. So fun meeting you, too, Jeannie! I have a feeling we’ll be hearing some sale news from you soon.

    17. Heather Snow says:

      Jeannie,

      It was a pleasure meeting you, as well! I wish we’d had a chance to spend a bit more time together 🙂 It’s always crazy at those things!

      Super congrats on the request! Can’t wait to hear news of a sale…

    18. Debora Dale says:

      Wow, Jeannie, this post brought back all the great moments from Nationals. I can’t believe it’s been a week since we attended the award ceremony! All those newbie fears I had were for nothing! What a fabulous time with fabulous people. I’m so glad I had my LIRW sisters there to share the experience. Love you all!

    19. Hey, I was right down the hall from you in 2525! How great that you won lunch with Jill Shalvis. It’s great to be able to pick the brains of a published author, and to see that they’re real people like us who just happen to be getting paid to write. 😉

      Good luck with the request!

    20. Linda G. says:

      Sounds like you had a fantastic time! Glad your pitch went so well — congrats on your request!

      And your new site looks fabulous, dahling! 🙂

    21. Pingback: Getting to My Happy Place | Jeannie Moon

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