Jul 21, 2011

My Virgin RWAus Conference

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, July 21, 2011
I attended my first RWAus conference in Brisbane in 2009. I'd only been a member of RWA for a year and was both nervous and excited.

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.

3 comments:

Rachael Johns on July 21, 2011 at 12:33 PM said...

What an inspiring post! I think you've hit the nail on the head about the people of RWA. Everyone (well almost everyone) I've met have been friendly and welcoming. And in my five and a bit years of a member, I've seen many hard workers achieve their dream of publication. THAT is always inspiring.

Anita Joy on July 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM said...

RWA is very welcoming, Rach. And I sould mention I can add you to that list of inspiring .

When I started with RWA your name came up regularly at the top of the contest pile - and now you too will be receiving your first sale ribbon at conference!!!

Rachael Johns on July 21, 2011 at 9:12 PM said...

Aw thanks Anita!!!

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