Visiting RWA Chapters

Barbara Vey -- February 10th, 2014


Unknowingly, I seem to have started a journey to visit every RWA chapter around the country.  They invite me and I go, that easy.  This past weekend I spent with the talented writers of the Florida Romance Writers located in Ft. Lauderdale.  They are the group who’s known for their great winter conference held on a cruise ship.  You can get the details for next year’s Fun in the Sun cruise here.


There’s so much more to visiting these places than taking about the workshop I do.  I get to be up close and personal with lots of individual authors I might not have met otherwise.  Special props to Victoria Pinter and Demi Alex for putting up with me on the long ride to Ft. Lauderdale and Debby Grahl and her husband, Dave, for the ride back.  Let me tell you, you really get to know a lot about a person on a road trip.  Unfortunately, much of it is under a cone of silence, but from there strong bonds grow.

The bathroom sinks at Ford's Restaurant where we stopped for lunch.  Love it!

The bathroom sinks at Ford’s Restaurant where we stopped for lunch. Love it!

Friday night a large part of the group took me to dinner where we celebrated the news of new books being sold, writing accomplishments and Victoria’s upcoming wedding in June (not only does she have 5 books coming out this year, she’s also getting married).  She even brought her handsome fiance along.



The officers and committee heads of FRW

The officers and committee heads of FRW.


I love this group because they always start off their meetings with a hearty breakfast at a local hotel.  No excuses for anyone to be sluggish this morning.  While most business meetings aren’t all that exciting, I especially enjoyed this one because the group voted to donate a spot on their conference cruise, January 2015, to the Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction.  So, if you are even considering going, here’s your chance to bid on it.  A wonderful gesture that I’d love to see more chapters follow by offering registration to their conferences on the Auction site.



Ahh...a captive audience

Ahh…a captive audience

I don’t mind sharing a little of myself with everyone so they can see I’m just a regular person and though it’s not easy to talk about agoraphobia, depression and anxiety, it warms my heart to receive quite a few emails after events when writers can confidentially admit that they suffer the same.  Many express the relief in knowing there are others out there, like them, and they are not alone.  Some tell me about friends and relatives they want to do more for.



Author Zelda Benjamin passed out this adorable swag at the meeting. Inside is the makings of a s'more with heart shaped marshmallows.

Author Zelda Benjamin passed out this adorable swag at the meeting. Inside is the makings of a s’more with heart shaped marshmallows.

I find the workshops I attend are not only about the craft, but a lot of times about the people.  We can learn so much from each other and with that understanding create wonderful things.  So I raise my glass to the wonderful writing groups I’ve talked with and many more I plan to meet in the future.  Keep the conversations going and you’ll all be successful.


Bottom Line:  “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” ~ Henry Ford

Giveaways this WeekfreeStuff

From Connie Mann Sharon Sala is going to be a guest on my blog, Busy Women, Big Dreams on Thursday, and we’ll be giving away a copy of her new book, The Curl Up & Dye.  Stop by to win.

From Susan Hanniford Crowley:  Nights of Passion Blog will celebrate its birthday with a Birthday Bash on Friday, February 14th. Romance Authors Gerri Brousseau, Toni Kelly, Marian Lanouette, Susan Hanniford Crowley, Leia Shaw, and Jenna Jaxon will all be having contests on Friday to celebrate.  Visit Nights of Passion Blog for details.
From Dianna Love: Six bestselling and award-winning Keeper Book Tour Authors (Nancy Naigle, Tonya Kappes, Adrienne Giordano, Tracey Devlyn, Mary Buckham, Dianna Love) are chatting from 10am to 10 pm (CST) on Goodreads Tues, Feb 11th and giving away a free (incl shipping) Keeper Kase® starter set of 12 signed cover cards to all attendees and donating a Kindle Paperwhite plus books and more for drawings.


14 thoughts on “Visiting RWA Chapters

  1. Victoria Pinder

    Barbara, Can’t wait to see you again next week at the SouthWest Writers Conference and I can’t wait to show my fiance your kind words. He’ll blush. And I’ve told everyone about those chocolate high heels we discovered.

  2. Mary Buckham

    Always fun catching up on where you are, what you’re doing and your perspective on all the lovely folks you meet in your travels. Keep it up! Love your sharing of the Free Stuff too. A font of greatness!

  3. Mary Ricksen

    I never would have imagined you struggled with agoraphobia, you are amazing at hiding it, well–better said, working your way past it. Sitting next to you was a pleasure at lunch after the meeting. To know someone else understands goes a long way toward conquering those fears. Your a sweetheart and all of us at FRW love you tons! Thanks for being so down to earth, heck, thanks for being you!
    Mary Ricksen

  4. Demi Alex

    What a blast it was to spend some time with you!
    Enjoyed it all, especially the inspiration and research that came out of our off-road amorous chocolates.
    Thanks so much for coming across the Alley and sharing your marketing wisdom :-) It really helps to hear it directly from you.
    Hope to make it up for your luncheon.

  5. Stephanie Scott

    You are one of the people who talked up RWA enough that I checked it out! I’ve now been a member of Windy City RWA for almost two years. When I started to get serious about writing a book, I bought a book about how to get published. One of the first things it suggested was to subscribe to publisher’s weekly emails and that’s how I found your blog.

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