#lessonslearned from #rwa13

I am addicted to hash tags. Not sure why or how long I’ll be in this phase, but for now, I’m loving them and going with it!1374267224163

What an amazing week at RWA! I learned so much, and I can’t help but repeat that attending a conference for writers is like returning to the mother planet.


At dinner one night, someone said, “I think it went well.”

Another writer immediately responded, “She said with an upward tilt to her voice.”

I love that writers finish each other’s sentences with dialogue tags! Who else would get that and appreciate it and laugh? Huh, Amanda?

Aside from spending time with people who get me for being me, I also came back with some great lessons learned.

So what are the main lessons learned from RWA’s national conference? Here are my notes from those wiser and more experienced than me.

1. Do your research. In today’s publishing environment, there is so much information at your disposal. Go online. Join RWA, SCBWI, ACFW, and/or any other group with members who have similar goals to your own. Network or lurk on loops.

2. Think about your path and the repercussions. Self-publishing has been around for years, and it will continue to be around for years to come. Whether you are writing for an audience of one or one million, everyone has the tools necessary to publish a book. But that also means your debut sales numbers will follow you, and unless your sales are upwards of five digits, experts say it will be difficult to land a traditional publishing deal, if you want one.

3. There are no short cuts to success in publishing. Even the bestselling indie authors spent time (if not money) on earning their sales ranking.

4. It’s all about the rights. The more they want, the more they should pay.

5. This one is probably the most important one I learned from the entire conference. All readers (writers, agents, and editors) want a great story to enjoy, and books – digital and print – aren’t going anywhere, because people love to read.

IMG_20130719_175617_807How about you?

Which conferences do you attend?

What’s something you’ve learned from them?



  1. I don’t write fiction. I write opinion, namely mine, so I have often wondered, whether RWA would be good for me.
    I have attended BEA twice. I may go again. But since it is a poor venue for connecting with authors and publicists because of the THRONGS of people, I will probably spend less time there. And, it’s expensive.
    For any conference I ask myself, Is it the best use of my time and money? I can’t go to dozens of events. Maybe one or two.
    Having people sign my book is not all that big a deal to me. I love authors, but I am not a groupie. I love readers as much as authors. Which is one reason I do what I do. I want people to love and ENJOY what they read so I want to help bridge the place between the reader and their next book.

    This year I am attending AAD in Savannah. My advice is to wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated.

  2. Every time I read a post like this I wish I could go back in time and find a way to make RWA13 possible. LOL I’m really hopeful I can attend next year. The energy, the knowledge, all are indispensable and impossible to get anywhere else. Regional conferences are just as good, in a different way, so I’m attending Fiction Fest next month for my “mother ship” hit. 🙂

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