Jul 21, 2011
Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, July 21, 2011
There are so many fabulous memories of that weekend (I don't think you ever forget your first *grin*) but one experience in particular stands out for me. I'd entered my first RWA contests in the lead up to the conference, and while not a finalist, was eagerly anticipating the announcements of those who were.
That night opened my eyes. There was a writer who not only placed - but placed with multiple manuscripts in multiple contests. Kylie Griffin managed 3rd and 4th in First Kiss, 2nd, 3rd, 4th in the Emerald and 1st and 3rd in the Valerie Parv award. With only 1 manuscript behind me, and little experience, I was amazed and determined.
The next day Kylie walked past me between workshop sessions. I gathered up all my courage, tried to hide my awe and said congratulations. As everyone says before you go to your first conference, don't worry, everyone is friendly. Absolutely true for Kylie. She stopped, smiled and said thanks. After that I have no recollection of a word of our conversation, lol.
Of course since then Kylie has continued to move onwards and upwards in the world of writing. Last year she came to conference with a new necklace - her prize for taking out a Golden Heart at RWAm's conference. This year she will be receiving her first sale ribbon (the cover of her first book with Berkley is pictured). Kylie still leaves me amazed and determined, but at least now I'm not terrified about saying congratulations.
Nearly two years on and I am no longer a newbie. I can't wait for the next conference in a few weeks time - I know what to expect and can't wait to catch up with everyone, including Kylie.