Monday, October 10, 2011

RWA Conference Wrap Up and Break Down

Baby let me break it down...(sung with Usher's beat)...there's so many ways to love ya'.

Yes, I am speaking (singing) about RWA Heart of the West Conference. 

It was rad for so many reasons. I'm actually having a bit of a conference hangover because my brain is so jam-packed full of awesomeness. But I feel the need to bullet point this one out. So, here's what I learned in Park City this weekend:
  • Pitch sessions. I wasn't 100% ready to pitch this weekend, but I did it anyway, and it was so worth it. Not only was I given the opportunity to discuss my project, but ask the agents other questions about the market and where I would fit in it. I couldn't be any more stoked about my chat with the agents.
  • Social Networking. I hung out with a bunch of my closest writing friends. We ate M&M's together, brainstormed with each other, embarrassed ourselves ad nauseum, and of course...hot tubbed it out. Not only that, but the actual class entitled "Building Your Social Platform" was also helpful. Tips like 1) make your name your brand; 2) use a current professional headshot for your profile; 3) use the same professional name for all social forums (if I am Jessie Humphries on my blog, I better not be Jessie Coon-Humphries on Facebook). 
  • Craft classes. Not scrapbooking or quilts! I mean the craft of writing. My favorite class was Rachelle J. Christensen's on Suspense. Oh man, was this good. If I had to pick out one thing that seemed the most valuable to me was that suspense is what keeps the readers turning pages. It has to exist on some level in every single scene in your book. Every single scene! 
  • Great speakers. One of the most interesting speakers was Lani Diane Rich from Storywonk.com. My favorite part was when she talked about different kinds of heroes and heroines. There's the Alpha Hero (tough, smart, take charge), Beta Hero (sensitive, emotional, cerebral), Alpha Heroine (strong, capable, dominant), and Beta Heroine (reliable, loyal, sweet). You can't have two Alphas or two Betas, otherwise they wont seem like a compatible, believable pair. Both have to possess vulnerabilities and strengths that compliment one another. I guess I knew that, but not so clearly. Not so charted out.
I could go on and on with those bullet points, but I'll spare you (and myself). I still have the hangover.

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like it was a blast! So sad I couldn't go :(

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  2. OMG! I'm so impressed. You had M&M's!
    Oh, and learnt a great deal as well.
    What a great post. It all seems so obvious once it's pointed out, doesn't it?

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  3. Sounds like such an awesome conference! I think it's awesome that you still spent time with the agents. I plan on doing that at my next conference for the same reasons. Can't wait to go check out these people's websites too.

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  4. I'm glad you had a fun time. Good for you for pitching and putting yourself out there. The experience is well worth the effort!

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  5. I loved it. Next year we should totally be matchy-matchy the whole time!

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  6. Awesome! Thanks for sharing your pointers. I'm glad you had fun. ;)

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  7. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. Wow, it's cool that you got to pitch. I'm afraid I would look like an idiot. Great stuff.

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  8. Glad you were able to speak with agents one-on-one because that is worth its weight in gold!

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  9. Sounds like it was awesome. I haven't been to a conference where there were pitch sessions yet.

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  10. Sounds like you had an amazing time! I'm glad you had the opportunity to pitch!

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  11. Oh! B is for BULLET lists! Am I the last to get this?

    You totally rocked your pitch. I'm just saying. You know... B is for BAG. As in you have this IN THE BAG.

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  12. HOW AWESOME!

    What a great experience.
    I learned a LOT from my last conference. And just to get to hang with other people as neurotic as I am was a huge deal.

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  13. I'm kicking myself for not knowing this was going on just over the mountain :) I LOVE the alpha ans beta info. I never thought of it like that.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm now a new follower on yours.

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  14. I'm planning on going to my first conference soon, and this post has me all excited and jittery! It sounds like you had an awesome time! :D

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  15. he he a conference hangover :))) Are you sure writers meetings were the only things you did there? :P

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  16. How fun! I wish I could have gone. And yes, I do live in Utah. ;) I'll be at LTUE in February!! :D And probably Storymakers again. Please say you're going to one! I'd love to meet you!

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  17. Sounds like an awesome conference!! And you got to hot tub it! ;-)) Thanks so much for sharing with us!

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  18. Wait. A romance writer's conference with hot tubs? Am I the only one who thinks that's an excellent combination?

    Thanks for sharing your stay in Park City with us. :)

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  19. @David- strangely, you were the only one to point out this killer combination! It does sound ridiculous the way you said it though. I am totally laughing out loud.

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  20. So glad you had fun. And hot tubs - wow. I love writers' conferences but never been to one where hot tubs were involved.

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