November 19, 2012

The Case for Conventions

by Missy Jane

Last weekend I attended a convention in Allen, TX called Readers & ‘ritas. Yes, it’s very much what it sounds like. There were authors, readers, books…and drinks. It was a blast. This was my second year to attend and I will be back next year. When it comes to conventions I have to be kind of picky. I attend RnR because it’s close to home. I live in the Houston area and Allen is only a few hours away so I can drive. For some that might sound horrible, but in Texas a couple of hours drive is par for the course. Since I live in Houston, it usually takes an hour to get anywhere anyway.
There are many other conventions all throughout the year, a couple I’d kill to go to. Unfortunately the travel and lodging expense often prevents me from going. So, why go? Whether you’re an avid reader or not I highly recommend attending at least one reader’s conference in your lifetime. The highlight is, of course, meeting authors you admire. But there is so much more. There are LOTS of free books and other goodies given out by the convention and the attending authors. There are usually parties, including a costume ball in some form. There are people you may have met already online and now you can see that they really exist. There are BOOKS, BOOKS, and more BOOKS!
The convention I attended is a small one in comparison to most and that means the attendees were many familiar faces. I heard one say it’s like seeing family again that you haven’t seen in a year. There’s a sense of camaraderie and excitement when you first walk into the hotel and start to see everyone. It’s a fabulous experience.
So, since I came home with so many new books I’ve decided to share. Leave a comment on what your convention experiences have been like, or if you haven’t been to one which is your dream conference? Mine is Dragon Con and it’s on my bucket list. The prize (open to International readers) is a copy of Jade Lee’s Dragon Bound. Be warned, her inscription is about how awesome I am, lol. Please include your email in your comment and I will draw a winner on Monday. Good luck!

-Missy Jane
*Make reading a guilty pleasure…*



Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Missy. Thanks for being my guest today. I couldn't agree more with your post. As writers, our job is pretty much an isolated one. Getting out to writer's meetings and conventions/conferences is a great way to connect with others and to hone your craft. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Roz Lee said...

Hi, Missy! I couldn't agree with you more about the awesomeness of Readers and 'ritas. A great time was had by all, and of course, even though I vowed not too, I came home with more books! LOL See you there next year - yes, I'm a convert! Please, give Jade's book to someone else since I already have a copy.

Missy Jane said...

Anna, thanks again for having me. Roz, it was great meeting you! See you next year. :-)

Debra St. John said...

I am generally picky about conventions as well. Once you throw in travel expense and hotel along with the conference fee, they can definitely squirm right out of my price range.

My RWA chapter hosts a conference every year here in the Chicago suburbs called Spring Fling. I'm pretty partial to that one, I have to say. We usually get a great panel of editors and agents to pitch to, and our headliners have been tops the last couple of years! Better yet, I learn something new every year to help improve my writing.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Missy, I hope you'll consider attending the Dallas Area Romance Author's Dreamin' in Dallas conference at the end of March 2013. This is one of my favorite conventions and I never miss it. Just drive right back up here, as it's in Richardson. See, not quite as far as Allen. ☺

Missy Jane said...

Debra, I'm glad you got something out of the conference, That definitely makes a difference.
Caroline, I'll definitely think about it! March is hard because of spring break, but I'll look into the dates.
Thanks for stopping by with your comments, Ladies. :-)

HankLover said...

I haven't been to any conventions as of yet, but I'm sure they all give excellent writing tips!

Thanks for the chance to win!

Missy Jane said...

Ladies, thanks again for stopping by to read my post and leave your comments. Now it's time to draw the winner of Jade Lee's fabulous book!
And the winner is...
...Debra St. John!!
Congratulations Debra! I'll be sending you an email shortly. :-D