Tuesday, January 18, 2011

RWA 2011 Conference

The 31st annual conference of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) is now open for registration. The conference is at the Marriott Marquis in New York City from June 28 through July 1.

For those of you who don't know about RWA, it's an organization for the serious romance novelist. The annual conference has nearly 2,500 published and aspiring romance writers, editors, agents, and other industry professionals in attendance every summer. There are more than 100 workshops for conference attendees, in addition to editor and agent panels, one-on-one pitch meetings with acquiring editors and agents, a charity booksigning event with 600 authors in one room, publisher parties, and networking events.

This year, the Librarians' Day will be on Tuesday, the Opening Session on Wednesday, the Keynote Luncheon on Wednesday, the Awards Luncheon on Thursday, and the Awards Ceremony on Friday. Steve Berry, Diana Gabaldon, and Tess Gerritsen present the Opening Session. Madeline Hunter is the Keynote Luncheon speaker, Sherrilyn Kenyon is the Awards Luncheon speaker, and Julia Quinn is the Librarians' Day Luncheon speaker. Meg Cabot will emcee the Awards Ceremony.

Registration fee for members is $525 and for non-members is $600. Register early, because the organization caps the event at a certain number. And given that this conference is in NYC where all the editors and most of the agents are, expect people to sign up early and in large numbers.

The room rate for the New York Marriott Marquis hotel is $211 per night for a standard single/double room plus 14.75 percent tax per room and $3.50 occupancy tax per night, all of which comes up to $250 a night. Use the RWA Roommate Forum for roommates.

For travel information, hotel stay, eats and sights of Manhattan, and oh, any NYC questions at all, follow SB Sarah's blog. She's going to periodically blog about this from now through June.

The conference runs mainly on volunteer strength. So please do volunteer your time, even if it's only for an hour.

The Goody Room is a great place to pick author promotional items and free books. Publisher book signings is another place to pick up free books. A third place to pick up free books is at the Librarian's Goody Room is you're a published author.

The organization celebrates the achievements of its published and aspiring members with the RITA and Golden Heart Awards, respectively. The honors are awarded in an Oscars-style glamorous event on the last night of the conference. The winners are posted on the RWA website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.