Friday, February 12, 2010

Conferences Anyone?

I took the day off today in an attempt to finish a few chapters and avoid snow-traffic. It’s been a very busy year so far and conferences have weighed heavily on my mind.

I’d love love love to get to the Backspace Writers Conference in May. This is a wonderful conference for anyone looking for an agent. Colleen Lindsay at FinePrint and the people at Backspace are holding a query contest for two scholarships (each worth $750, not including travel and hotel). Excellent opportunity. Last year they had 600 entries and 4 scholarships. All four entrants who won scholarships secured agents. See details at

Then in July, RWA National is coming to us this year--located in Nashville! With so many agents/editors and excellent workshops, how can anyone pass this up? Well, there’s cost. For a lot of us (me included), expenses are tight in this rough economy. I still don’t know if I can make it to this conference, although I’d love it. Time will tell. See details at

Many attend the Moonlight and Magnolias conference each year, and I’ve heard great things about it (check out their editor/agent lineup and speakers!). This conference is affordable too, compared to others, and is held in October (for those saving pennies to go). See details at

Don’t you just get goose bumps looking at these exciting opportunities?

What are your conference plans for 2010?


Diane Richmond said...

It seems that it should be illegal to pass up the national conference this year since it is in Nashville but I may just have to do it. It's not that I don't want to go, it is just a matter of being able to fit it in the budget. Like you, Callie, we are dependent on the economy for our livelihood. I love having our own business but in tough economic times it is a real roller coaster ride.

Having gone to Moonlight and Magnolias I can attest to what a great conference it is to attend.

Hopefully we will both be able to make one of these events.

M.V.Freeman said...

I'm headed to M&M...I can't afford the RWA nationals. I wanted to...but things are changing for me financially.

But I am cheering on those who can make it to RWA...

And Callie, GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!

Callie James said...

Ah! So I'm not alone in counting pennies this year. I hate to say it but I'm glad to have company. Each year I miss nationals and each year I feel like I'm the only one.

One day I'll get back to it.

Jeanie said...

Went to Murder in the Magic City this past Saturday. Great panel discussions by published authors. Plus, they had an agent there from the Sandra Dijkstra agency taking pitches from all genres. Got to meet a lot of nice people, get jazzed about writing in general AND pitch to an agent, all for fifty dollars. I highly recommend it.

I plan on attending RWA this year. I'm going with several other people to cut costs. For those of you counting pennies, you might to the same thing. It is so worth it!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Going to Nationals for the first time this year. I'm very excited, but the cost is definitely a stretch since I'm not working.

Figured I better do it this year while it's within driving distance, and since I have an MS to pitch.

If I weren't going, I'd be looking at some of the local alternatives. Definitely can't do it all.

JoAnn said...

I, too, would love to go to Nashville. I'm waiting to see if my lottery tickets come through. Just kidding. Sorta. I'm hoping for a raise in March--and if I get it, that money will go to my Nationals fund.

But I have a better chance at winning the lottery. :(

Callie James said...

I hear you. I'm hoping for something to happen at work as well. If not (I'm not holding my breath), then Nashville is out for certain. The last time I went was in Dallas, and even sharing a room and getting a cheap flight, I ended up paying ~$1,000.


Cari Hislop said...

I somehow missed the fact that there are romance fiction conferences, but now that you mention does sound really fun! I'll have to see if they have any in England. It would be really nice to get together with a bunch of people who live in similar worlds and discuss various topics. Thanks for the lovely post!

Callie James said...

Cari, it's so exciting. You come away so energized. :)

Louisa Cornell said...

I'm going to Nationals with Jeanie and Tammy and some of the rest of our crew may go as well. The three of us went to DC together and had a ball !! And for someone in my financial situation it is a completely, ridiculously extravagant vacation. But as it is the ONLY vacation or recreational trip I take all year I try not to beat myself up about the expense. And thank goodness my nephew has a good sense of humor. He gets stuck dog and cat sitting and has managed to survive and entire week with Frodo the devil dog without getting bitten!

Carla Swafford said...

I'm going to Silken Sands in March and Nationals in July.

Nationals is fun, but there's so much going on it makes me think of being a kid in a candy shop...HOW DO YOU DECIDE! It's enough to make your head spin.

Silken Sands and M&M are two of the best...that is, when Southern Magic doesn't have one (Romance in the Magic City). Bias, ain't I?

Carla Swafford said...

Cari, there is a romance writers conference in England. Check out .

I know there are a couple more writers ones there as I've read something about them on other blogs.

Christine said...

I'm hitting the RWA National Conference this year because it's in driving distance and I will have an MS to pitch. I figure the NYC one will be out of my range financially so I'm taking advantage of this one. It'll be my second. I plan to hit things I didn't get to hit last year: author chats and so forth. I didn't hit too many workshops last year, but I did do the PRO Retreat. I will help with that one this year.

I'm also attending M&M. I had so much fun there last year when I was a MAGGIE finalist. It's a great regional conference and very affordable. I plan to attend it every year.

Once my darling daughter graduates, I hope to make it to at least 3 regional conferences in lieu of trying to hit the big one. My deal is it has to be within range drive wise and I want one person to share the expenses of the hotel with me.

I think I will hold off attending another National Conference after this year's one unless one or more of the following criteria are met:

*I final in the GH
*I have a contract
*I have an agent

Yes, the networking is amazing at Nationals and it is an awesome experience, but it is so expensive for me and with only one income and a kid heading to college, I won't be able to justify the expenses unless one or more of the criteria are satisfied.