Final Look at RWA

Barbara Vey -- July 5th, 2011


The day the publishers give away free books is always special.  Attendees start lining up early to get books signed by their favorite authors.  Many come prepared with cardboard boxes and even pulling suitcases in which to store all the goodies they’ll be taking home.  I’ll be posting videos all this week, so be sure to check back.



Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon


The Awards Luncheon honored Kaori Suzuki Fisher, Bookseller of the Year and Wendy Crutcher, Librarian of the Year.  Also recognized were RWA Service Award winners, Linda Howard, Stephanie Feagan, Amy Atwell and Nikki Enlow.  Sherrilyn Kenyon was the Keynote Speaker and spoke of her journey through publishing.  Most notable were places 12 books at number one on the New York Times Bestseller List in the past two years.


Lisa Kleypas, Barbara Vey, Christina Dodd

Lisa Kleypas, Barbara Vey, Christina Dodd

Party night started early with Grand Central Publishing who held theirs at their offices.  Luckily, there was a large open room where you could eat, drink and mingle without being crushed.  A big plus was the seating area.  Not so lucky were those who attended the St. Martin’s Party.  I was excited to go into the historic Flatiron Building, but the office space there was not congruent with lots of party people.  My heart went out to the wait staff who had to try to serve food to a group smashed together like sardines.  The air conditioner couldn’t keep up and although the view and air was nice on the balcony, the tiny area that looked like it could accommodate five was overflowed with about ten.  It didn’t look safe.


St. Martin Party

Leigh Evans, Kristen Painter and Amanda Brice

Signing in at the Harlequin Party

Signing in at the Harlequin Party


Andrew and I tearing up the dance floor

Andrew and I tearing up the dance floor







Final stop was the famous Harlequin Party.  This invitation only event was Black and White this year and held at the Waldorf Astoria.  By the end of every party, there is a mountain of shoes as the dancers kick off their stilettos to dance in bare feet.  To help out, Harlequin offered off black footie socks with their logo on them to all guests.  There were build your own ice cream and cupcake stations.  I left before the end, but Andrew loved the dancing and company, so he was there to the end.

Overheard at the Harlequin signing:  Deanna Raybourn hit the New York Times Bestseller list for the first time.  Congratulations Deanna!

Check out the video to see a little of the chaos that is the Harlequin Party.






Sheila English, Matt Schwartz, me, Dan Blank, Nancy Berland

Sheila English, Matt Schwartz, me, Dan Blank, Nancy Berland

Friday came early after party night.  I participated in a panel, Transmedia, with Sheila Clover English (CEO of Circle of Seven Productions), Matt Schwartz (VP of Random House digital), Dan Blank (We Grow Media) and Nancy Berland (Nancy Berland Associates).  We talked about all things digital and where that may take us.  I talked about QR codes in a previous blog, but it looks like that will get a lot more use in the future.  Fascinating stuff.

I spent the afternoon doing video interviews.  Authors have interesting home lives.

Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot

Soon it was time for the Rita Awards Ceremony.  Meg Cabot served as host and was delightful.  There were intermittent video segments that honored heroes, but the night belonged to romance.  First the Golden Heart Awards were given out.  Golden Hearts are given unpublished authors for the best manuscript in various categories.  Then the published authors get their turn with the Rita Awards and finally the lifetime achievement award is given and this year’s recipient was Sharon Sala.  Sharon talked about her Native American background and coming from a long line of storytellers.  She dreams her stories in colors and then shares them with us.  I, for one, am glad she does.

Enjoy seeing and hearing from some of the winners at the Rita’s in the video.



Bottom Line: Next year Anaheim…yay, Disneyland!!

48 thoughts on “Final Look at RWA

  1. Delaney Diamond

    Meg Cabot did a fabulous job at the awards. She was witty and funny, and her crack about Tina Fey is true–she really does look like Tina Fey! Lol.

    This was my first RWA conference, but next time I’ll be better prepared for the free books giveaways. Thanks to all the authors and publishers and their generosity.

    I hope to see everyone again next year!

  2. Jessica Scott

    Thanks so much for capturing some of the special moments at RWA. It was wonderful meeting you and thank you for making my very first interview such a breeze! i’m already looking forward to Anaheim next year!

  3. Blurbette Heidi

    Looks like it was a party of a lifetime!! Congratulations to all the winners!! Thanks Barbara and Andrew for the great video!! Feels like we were there!

  4. Pingback: A link to Barbara Vey’s Beyond her Book column | Author Leigh Evans

  5. Toni

    Now that looked like a great time! All the returning authors are just raving about that wonderful time they had. Thank you for sharing your trip with us Barbara!!

  6. Kecia Adams

    Thanks for moderating the Transmedia panel discussion. I really got a lot of great information out of that workshop, and it confirmed what my gut keeps telling me–an excellent understanding of digital strategy is essential to publishing success. Thanks, too, for your unwavering support of romance and women’s fiction. You’re awesome!

  7. liz talley

    Wonderful review of all the happenings, Barbara! I so enjoyed meeting you at the Harlequin party. You are charming. And my highlight was my dance with the fabulous Sharon Sala. Okay, I forced her to dance with me, but I still loved it. She’s awesome. Thanks again :)

    Liz Talley

  8. Nancy Naigle

    I love the videos. Looks like you and Andrew had great fun. What a wonderful recap. Looking forward to more updates and videos.

    (pouting) I can’t believe I missed out on Harelequin booties…..shucks!!!

  9. Loni Emmert

    Barbara, thanks so much for letting those of us that could not make the NYC RWA’s this year live through you! The Harlequin B&W party looked awesome! Can’t wait until next year when it’s in my backyard!

  10. Pingback: Final Look at RWA « Beyond Her Book - Free Reading Books Online

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