Last summer, I got to attend my first RWA National Conference and CIMRWA mini-conference in Times Square.
It was an incredible experience: an opportunity to meet authors I admire, attend workshops, witness history at the RITAs and the final Golden Hearts and hang out with writer friends I only get to see online.
The whole trip was possible thanks to the first timer’s scholarship I received from RWA. To give back, I volunteered at the Literacy Autographing which was an enormous and amazing event that made me so happy to be part of the romance community.
Also, the humidity won the battle for my hair.
Pictured: Olivia Waite, Jennifer Armentrout, Marie Tremayne, Melissa Blue, Mia Sosa, and Rochelle Ayers.
It was the first time I’d been in New York since I was a kid, so it was fun experiencing it all through big kid eyes. I made a point to get out of the conference hotel and sneak glimpses at the city, walk central park, enjoy amazing dining, ride the subway, and make a midnight run for pizza.
This was long before the drama which embroiled RWA later that fall, and the feel in the air was palpably excited and optimistic. Looking back, I had no idea the year would end the way it did.
In the months since, RWA has been through a major overhaul, and it still remains to be seen what RWA 2.0 will be able to accomplish. I’m optimistic and I hope one day to be celebrating the recovery of the organization again with friends and authors I admire.