Tomorrow night, I’ll head to New Jersey for NJRWA’s annual Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. For me,this conference is like coming home. After another year of workshops, booksignings, and reader/author get-togethers, my hectic schedule tends to end in October – and usually, at my home chapter, New Jersey. While there, I’ll catch up with friends, host writing sessions in my hotel room (complete with wine), attend workshops, cheer on winners of their annual Golden Leaf (an honor I received last year for REUNION IN OCTOBER) and Put Your Heart in a Book contests, and host my workshop, Sole Deep: Using Actors’ Exercises to Strengthen Characterization and Deepen Point-of-View.
I love conference season.
Put a hundred (or more) creative minds in a hotel, and you can’t help but absorb a ton of energy. I often wind up carrying my laptop or a notebook to restaurants, lobbies, and empty ballrooms so I can jot down the ideas zipping through my brain at any given moment.
There are so many friends I only get to see at conferences, writers and readers alike. We catch up on books, other friends, our lives. We hug a lot, laugh too loudly, drink a little too much, eat a lot of chocolate, and squeeze every minute we can together because we know it will have to last us another year.
We connect with writing professionals. Agents, editors, cover artists, and marketers will all be around to offer services and contracts to authors. In fact, NJRWA will host their first Trade Expo at this event, where the professionals can meet one-on-one with authors seeking their type of service.
And the workshops! No matter where you are in your writing career, an author can always glean a new bit of information at one of the many workshops provided at a conference. Conferences are exciting, rejuvenating, exhausting, and I love every one of them.
Once I come home from New Jersey, conference season for 2016 is ended. What’s a writer to do? Start planning next year’s conference schedule, of course! Keep your eyes open; I could be coming to a city near you.