RWA: Swag, Panels, Parties

Barbara Vey -- July 31st, 2012

One thing I’ve learned from going to RWA conferences throughout the year is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  The official schedule is filled with workshops, panels, publisher spotlights, lunches, breakfasts and book signings.  The unofficial schedule includes meetings, coffees, meals, parties, promotions, greetings in hallways, visits to the goody room, chatting with friends (old and new) and my favorite, naps.  I never seem to get everything in that I want to do or see everyone that I know is there somewhere.

Kimberly Lang, Kira Sinclair, Andrea Lange, Sharon Sala, Marilyn Puett and Barbara Vey

Kimberly Lang, Kira Sinclair, Andrea Laurence, Sharon Sala, Marilyn Puett and Barbara Vey




Every year since my first RWA, I have breakfast with my friends from The Writing Playground.  When I first met them, none were published but now three of them are.  We were joined by Sharon Sala who is my favorite person to follow on Facebook.  If you don’t follow her, go do it.  She writes the most amazing little stories of her life every day.  It’s like following a mini-series and I don’t want to miss an episode.



Some swag I collected

Some swag I collected


One of the things I always get asked about is the swag that is given out.  The goody room was a treasure chest this year.  I got a Zombie Survival Kit, bandaids, gum, audio books, cookies, candy, pens, jar openers, magnets, calendars, a massager, tattoos, lip balm, popcorn and grits.  And don’t even get me started on the books.  The tote bag at registration was filled with books, there were books at the luncheons, books in the goody room, all the free books at the publisher signings and you could even purchase books at the Barnes and Noble store in addition to the Literacy signing.  People were shipping home boxes of books like there was no tomorrow.




I did a workshop with James Rollins, Sheila English, Nancy Berland and Rebecca York on Building Reader Loyalty.  I’ve got to say that I could listen to James Rollins talk all day.  He is incredibly funny in that laid back way by just telling stories.  He’s got a ton of them from book signings to posting on Facebook to meeting with fans.  James had the room eating out of his hands.  The rest of us had our say and it was a lively group, but when Jim talked it was like when E. F. Hutton spoke (if you don’t get the reference you’re too young).

Barbara Vey, Sheila English, Nancy Berland, Rebecca York, James Rollins

Barbara Vey, Sheila English, Nancy Berland, Rebecca York, James Rollins (Picture by David)


Harlequin had their annual pajama party and I heard it was a blast as usual.  I also missed St. Martin’s party, but Sheila sent me a couple of pictures.  I was off to the ocean with the Sourcebook authors for dinner.  There was a terrific party bus, but since I get motion sickness, I can only sit facing forward.  The wonderful food and company made up for it.

Harlequin PJ party

Harlequin PJ party


Sourcebook dinner

Sourcebook dinner


Carol Fitzgerald, Christina's daughter, Christina Dodd at St. Martin Party

Carol Fitzgerald, Christina's daughter, Christina Dodd at St. Martin Party


Tomorrow is picture day.  I’ll be posting pics from many signings, so stop back to see who you may know.


Bottom Line:  Time is the one thing we can’t buy, but we should value the most.

56 thoughts on “RWA: Swag, Panels, Parties

  1. pjpuppymom

    Thanks, Barbara! Seeing all the smiling faces in your photos and reading about this year’s conference help make up a bit for the disappointment of not being able to go. Getting my 2012 conference fix at Moonlight & Magnolias in October and planning for RWA Atlanta in 2013!

  2. Marilyn Baron

    I didn’t get to go to RWA this year but I can experience it vicariously through your blog. Thanks for the updates and photos and yes, I am old enough to get the EF Hutton reference. (Everybody listens!)

    You always manage to have fun and spread fun wherever you go. PJ, can’t wait till Moonlight & Magnolias so I’ll see you there. And I will definitely be going to the next RWA conference because it’s in my hometown– Atlanta.
    I always like your panels so again, sorry I missed this one.

  3. Marilyn Puett

    Breakfast with Barbara is a must at conference. You believed in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves. It was great to see you again and congratulations one more time on your service award. It is very much deserved. You are romance’s best fan and advocate.
    And thanks for asking Sharon to join us. I too love reading her Facebook posts. She’s just a doll and she and I saw each other several more times during the conference.


  4. Angel AKA Dani Wade

    I’m so sad that I missed breakfast this year! :( Can’t wait until Atlanta because I’m FINALLY gonna get to be there. And I missed Sharon Sala too?!?! Oh, the tragedy! Love Barbara and Sharon!

    I love all the pictures, and am so proud of you for your service award, Barbara! I haven’t gotten to attend conferences in a few years, but I always enjoy catching the highlights on your blog. So glad you had a good time!

  5. Sharon Sala

    Barbara… this was the first Breakfast Party I’ve ever crashed but it was unforgettable. You guys rock!! And the ladies were darlings and even some of them already my FaceBook friends, so it was more than cool. Thanks again for the invitation to join you and the most fun breakfast ever!!!

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