Monday, July 20, 2015

Ready. Set. Write! Update July 20

Ready. Set. Write! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and Katy Upperman. All the details are HEREAlso check out #RSWrite on twitter.  

Now it's time for GOALS and CHECK IN!

1.  How I did on last week’s goals:
  • Make it at least 2/3 of the way through my edit checklist. Ideally, I'd like to finish edits, but I want to be realistic! YES! I hit every bullet point on my list, though there's still work to do and loose ends to tie up. Saturday afternoon and evening I blocked off for edits and it was sloowww going. But progress. 
  • Submit my critique chapter, read critiques prior to meeting Wednesday YES. We had a spirited and very productive critique meeting.
  • Submit Spring Fling proposal YES! This required more work than I expected. I literally made myself get everything together--panelist bios, pics, wrote up an agenda, clicked submit. Whew!
  • Get a jump on packing for RWA National Conference next week in NYC! Sort of. I had one of those nothing is going right experiences. I realized my RWA conference awards dress is a mislabeled petite gown (I'm 5'8"). I managed to track down a returned dress with my size at Macy's (none of the stores carry it, it's online only for some reason). It's now being altered for me by the tailor at my cleaners. That same day a purple pen leaked in my purse which is still spreading purple love.... I bought the wrong prepaid shipping box to take with me to the RWA conference. I've never returned anything to the post office before, but here goes. Also we just got a letter from our homeowner's association that we need to replace the wood frame around our door basically immediately or we're fined. Ughh. But today is a new day!
  • Gym 3 days, other exercise 1-2 days. YES to gym, no to other exercise on off days. 
2.  My goals for this week:
  • My goals are all focused on the Romance Writers of America's national conference in NYC! Ya'll should see my schedule--the conference app is one giant conflict because there's so much to do. I don't like to limit my options. Pilates at 6:30 a.m.? Sure! Add it to the schedule! So, here are my conference goals:
    • Successfully meet up with roomies Brenda Drake and J.Leigh Bailey at LaGuardia so we can cab it into Manhattan!
    • Make new connections at the Bradford Literary agency dinner (including getting to hang out with my agent Sarah!)
    • Celebrate and support #WeNeedDiverseRomance with my custom tee & search out new-to-me authors at all the signings.
    • Determine workshops I'll benefit from most, including PRO retreat, Leadership retreat.
    • I get to be a moderator for a workshop! Let's hope I don't flub the panelist's names.
    • Help the YARWA Evening of YA event go off without calamity!* 
    • Meet other Pitch Wars mentors for lunch
    • Eat amazing NYC food 
    • See at least one NYC site either on my first day in or before I leave for my flight
    • Ship books to my high school bestie who loves romance fiction
    • Celebrate the Rita award nominations with Chicago chapter members Sonali Dev and Clara Kensie
*there's that word again!

If you're curious on the world of RWA and its mega-awesome Rita and Golden Heart award ceremony, the awards will be Live Streamed this year! Check it out Saturday July 25. We clean up good. 

That's it for me this week! Let me know how you're doing in the comments. Don't forget to visit a few other RSW blogs.


  1. Sounds like this week will be a whirlwind!! But an awesome whirlwind! Hopefully you'll come away feeling inspired and buoyed up by new friends and deeper relationships with the people you already know. Sorry that it's been a bit rough in the planning, but I'm sure once you get there, you'll forget all about last week's stress. Have fun!!

  2. Awesome job with your edit checklist! I'm so impressed by everything you got done this week. But that door frame thing and the purple ink splotch sound pretty crappy. :-/ Can't wait to hear all about your RSW experience. Hope it's a great time! :D

  3. Oooh, I hope you blog all about the conference when you come back! I am so curious about RWA vs. SCBWI vs. local writing groups. Like, I do write romance, but it's YA romance, so... ??? Are they all super different or is it redundant to join more than one group? I've only gone to a couple SCBWI meetings, so I'm still a writing association newbie.

    Anyway, good luck with the conference and I hope you mange to squeeze in some NYC between all the awesome publishing stuff! :)

    1. I write YA with romance in it and no other forms of adult market romance. I'm also part of the online YA chapter YARWA which has info more tailored to YA. I was a part of SCBWI for a year, but locally they met sporadically and I wanted a regular group to meet with. I found a critique group an hour's drive away, but once I joined my local RWA chapter I stopped going to that due to time conflicts.

      The conferences from what I hear are very different. RWA is workshop-focused with 5-8 workshops going on at the same time for 3 straight days, so lots to choose from. The regional conferences have less going on than national but still focus on writing craft and workshops. SCBWI tends to focus on keynote speakers with fewer workshops. They also offer intensives for portfolio review and a bunch of add ons like that (and overall it costs more). Much of RWA applies to any writer, though obviously it's romance focused, so if you only write horror there's going to be a lot that might not apply. Usually RWA has a handful of YA-focused workshops and their national level awards include YA.

      I've been wondering if it's worth re-joining SCBWI. Maybe when I have published books and want to network for speaking engagements their forums and resources may be helpful. The school visit stuff is what SCBWI has an edge on--you won't find those resources with RWA.

      Let me know if you ever have more Qs, we can email :)

  4. Have a great time at RWA this year. I hope you get to cross out everything on your list.

  5. Have a wonderful time at RWA! Sorry for the stress you had this week, but maybe it's all out the way now before the conference :)

  6. Have the most wonderful time at RWA!!! And let's look at all the pre-craziness where everything seems to be going wrong like a dress rehearsal for a show. A bad rehearsal is a sign of a good performance so... :) Have fun!

  7. Have so much fun in NYC! So exciting that you get to hang out with your agent AND go to RWA! Hope it's a great week :)

  8. Congrats on accomplishing your editing goals this week, Stephanie! Sounds like you were a total champ! And hope you have fun at RWA. <3


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