Home > Columns > Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense > RWA National Conference–A Fun Event!

by Linda O. Johnston

I was one of the 2,000+ attendees at the Romance Writers of America National Conference last week. It was held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, and the theme was Bright Lights, Big Stories. That was the saying that appeared on the tote bags we were handed upon registration–filled with the conference’s program, a thumb drive with handouts, a fill-it-in-yourself conference calendar, and lots of books!

I understand that this month’s program at OCC will be a recap of conference highlights. Unfortunately, I’m unlikely to be there, although I’m not sure how much actual information I’d be able to contribute anyway. I spent most of my time networking more than attending workshops or other events. But there’s a lot of value in that, and I’m delighted that I was there. I saw lots of writers I already know and met many more. I spoke with people who buy and promote books professionally and by word of mouth. I went to lunch with industry professionals who affect my career, and attended parties including the ones thrown by Berkley and Harlequin.

One very helpful event was Harlequin’s Digital Day. I obviously blog, and I also belong to Facebook, but I’ve been avoiding Twitter. I took lessons on how to sign up, though. I’ll probably give in and join it one of these days.

Then there was the librarians’ and booksellers’ event, where I networked with some of those pros and distributed handouts for both kinds of my books–my Alpha Force miniseries about covert military shapeshifters, for Harlequin Nocturne, as well as my Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. The Literacy Signing was huge, and I also sold both genres of my books to benefit literacy.

There is a lot going on in our industry, as you undoubtedly know. Smaller publishers and e-publishing are on the rise. Traditional publishers recognize that and seem to be adapting, or at least trying to.

What will the publishing industry be like in one year? Five? No one really knows, although a lot of opinions are being expressed.

Meantime, I’ll keep on writing and try to make sure my career continues to adapt, too! Attending conferences like this one should give me some insights about how to keep it fresh.

As you probably know, the RWA National Conference will be in Anaheim next year–much easier for those of us who live in Southern California to get to. I’ll be there. Will you?

Linda’s Alpha Force miniseries from Harlequin Nocturne continues with GUARDIAN WOLF, an August 2011 release. The Pet Rescue Mysteries spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne Pet-Sitter mystery series will continue in October 2011 with THE MORE THE TERRIER. And of course, BEAGLEMANIA is still available.   Visit Linda at Linda O Johnston 


  • Anonymous
    on July 6, 2011

    Thanks, Kathy. I enjoy networking here in LA, too–definitely including with you!

  • Anonymous
    on July 6, 2011

    I remember chatting with you, Anita! Sorry you missed it. It was fun. Will you be coming to Anaheim?

  • Anonymous
    on July 6, 2011

    Hi Linda!

    My critique group and I were talking about networking and how valuable it is. Sounds like you made good use of your time.

    Yes, please keep writing all those books we love!

  • Anonymous
    on July 6, 2011

    Hi Linda. I wasn't at RWA this year. I remember my CP and I chatting with you on the bus ride from the airport to the hotel at RWA in Orlando last year. Guardian Wolf sounds like a great read. I'll have to add it to my TBR list.

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