Greetings from the city by the bay. The 28th annual conference of Romance Writers of America is well underway.
Wednesday night, the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing event raised over $58,000. The proceeds are divided between national literacy programs and services in the host city’s state. I volunteered at this event, selling raffle tickets for baskets of books. I have never been in sales and this is a bit outside of my comfort zone to walk down the very long lines of people waiting to get into the signing and ask them if they want to buy tickets. But it is great to help raise money for literacy and people are usually very excited to be at the event.
Thursday kicked off with a new addition to the conference, an opening session by a motivational speaker and professional pianist, Theresa Behenna. As a pianist, I am in awe of anyone who can play like Theresa. You can tell she practices a lot.
The conference keynote address was delivered by author, Victoria Alexander, an entertaining and inspiring speaker. The address is held during the first luncheon of the conference. I like the luncheons for several reasons. First, it’s a time to sit with friends and catch up and also meet other writers for the first time. When you arrive at your seat, books written by the luncheon speaker and dessert are waiting for you. What more could a writer want? I also got the opportunity to sit with a blogging buddy, Kit Wilkinson, that I met for the first time in person.
After lunch, I attended the PRO Retreat. This is one of my favorite workshop times at the conference. I am in a room with a bunch of writers like me, writers with completed manuscripts who are still trying to sell. At the beginning of the retreat, they had people wearing First Sale ribbons stand. There were four people present this year and there are more who were not there in person. It gives me hope that I’ll be wearing a First Sale ribbon one day.
I haven’t had much sleep, but to give a little twist on a popular country song (I am a member of Music City Romance Writers), I can sleep when I get home.