Welcome to my blog, SCRIBBLING TO (IN)SANITY! First time here? I'm a romance writer who wants to believe most problems can be solved over coffee, a mixed drink or by anything covered in chocolate. I'm a believer in second chances and that it's always the right time to fall in love. As the saying goes, you're a guest in my house only once...then you're family. So I invite you to join the fun! I love comments but it's okay to lurk too - just know I'm glad you've found me and I hope you visit me again soon!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Monday Myth: A Bigger Conference is Better

This past weekend I attended the New Jersey Romance Writer's Conference. A small conference when compared to RWA Nationals, but it's a conference well worth the money every time I attend.

As a smaller conference the atmosphere is more intimate, yet still draws some pretty big names in the industry as keynote speakers and workshop leaders.

There was a workshop for every level of a writing career.

And best of all, it was casual!

As usual, I met up with old friends and made many new ones (which reminds me, I have to stalk some new people on Twitter and approve some new friend requests on Facebook as well!)

Inspiration was everywhere I turned - from people celebrating traditional book deals to toasting amazing indie sales. If anyone came away from this conference without a fire lit in their soul and the optimism that there is no longer only one path to publishing success...they were obviously NOT at the same conference I was!

So, for this week my top shattered myths are:

(1) The bigger the conference the better - MYTH
Sometimes a smaller, more intimate conference is just less overwhelming, leaving more room for absorbing the good vibes.

(2) The bigger conferences have better keynote speakers - MYTH
I've been to several smaller, regional conference and have never been disappointed. This year Sabrina Jeffries and Heather Graham gave the two keynote speeches and they were both awesome and inspiring.

(3) All conferences break the bank - MYTH
The NJ conference is always reasonably priced and have several meals included. In fact, my roommate (one of my wonderfully talented critique partners, Jennifer Shirk) and I determined at the end of the conference that even stopping at the bar each night, going out to dinner at a local sushi restaurant and having breakfast in the hotel restaurant we still came in under $75 for food and drinks the entire 3 days.

(4) New wardrobe needed - MYTH
A small, local conference is a more business casual affair than RWA National!

(5) You just don't get the same motivation at a small conference - MYTH
Actually it's more than a myth - it's bullshit.
For me (and your mileage may vary) a smaller conference is less harried, less overwhelming and little more friendly. There's less time standing in line for events and you're more likely to get a seat in a workshop. Being a little more relaxed leaves more time to schmooze and mingle and really take in all the good vibes pulsing through the event. And let's face facts here, romance writers are generous and giving people - ask them what's working for them and THEY WILL SHARE!

It was a great weekend and I'm so glad I decided to attend!

Have you been to a smaller regional conference lately?


  1. I'm glad you had fun and thanks for shattering the myths. I've never been to a conference yet, because I kept thinking I had to hit the 'big' ones for it to be worth while. I also worry about the cost.

    I'm glad I've been eyeing two smaller venues for this next year. Plan to break myself into the conference attending habit with them.

  2. It is a fantastic conference. Since NJ is next to NY it is easy for editors and agents to attend, too.

    I'm glad you enjoyed your time in NJ!

  3. I certainly agree with you, Deborah. I will never attend RWA nationals again unless it's in Dallas. I've found the smaller conferences much better. My local Dreamin' in Dallas conference at the end of March 2013 has big name speakers, is moderately priced, and one I always attend. This year Cheri Adair, Mark Coker, and other big names are speaking. I've also enjoyed the San Antonio and Houston conferences.

  4. Debora without the H. Met you for a brief conversation and didn't realize you were one of the blog buddies. Conference was great and I agree. At a small conference one doesn't get swallowed by the mob.

  5. Well said, Deb. I couldn't agree with you more!

  6. I wish we lived closer to you guys. *sigh* I would've loved to have gone with ya'll. :D I think the Dallas RWA chapter has a conference that I could look into. Our OKRWA chapter has one occasionally but it's mostly closed to members. I think they opened up the last conference a couple of years ago but it was pretty small. But glad it was a great conference for you!!

  7. I've been to the Emerald City conference in Seattle and the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference here in Alaska, and found them both to be very helpful. I don't like crowds, so have been avoiding the big conferences. Now I'm glad I did! :-)


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