RWA 2019: A Michigander in Times Square

Wow, friends, what a month it’s been. I take that back–what a year it’s been so far! Now that I’m home from my adventure to New York City for the Romance Writers of America® national conference, I figured it’s time to share some of the excitement with you.

This conference was both my first RWA national and the largest writers’ event I’ve ever attended. Going as a Golden Heart® finalist and a debut author made the week even more wild, but I am so glad I coughed up the big bucks to make this trip happen. (And a huge thank you to my husband and parents for keeping the kids alive!!)

Everybody questions whether huge national writers’ conferences are worth the money. In this case at least, the answer for me was a resounding yes. Not only did I savor being one of the “belles of the ball” as a finalist in the last year of the Golden Heart, but more importantly, I connected with so many amazing writers and industry professionals.

Alas, there’s too much to share all in one post, so let’s start off with New York City and a bit about the conference experience. Next time, I’ll share about being a finalist and some of the people I met, and then the third post will wrap up with food and fashion.

And now, on to the pictures!

Here’s the conference hotel, the Marriott Marquis, towering above some of the many screens lighting up Times Square. The location was amazing, but some of the conference rooms were a bit small. I came home hoarse from straining to talk in crowded spaces.
The requisite selfie in Times Square. I spent my first afternoon exploring on my own, and ended up getting drenched by a massive thunderstorm.
Pouring rain forced me to duck inside the Hershey’s Chocolate store. What a horrible place to wait out a storm… 🙂
The lovely architecture of the New York Public Library against the greenery of Bryant Park.
View of Times Square at night from my hotel room.
Some of the many goodies I collected, and this is only the first day. They’re not kidding when they tell you to ship books home.
At the Harlequin book signing where, yes, all the books are FREE. So many lovely authors waiting to sign them for you. No wonder people leave with cases of books. I was pretty proud of myself for only bringing home two tote bags full.
“Good Morning America” was filmed just down the street from my hotel, and I caught it in progress during an early walk to fetch a bagel for breakfast.
My hubs (and fellow writer) Jason was able to join me for a couple of days, so we spent an afternoon touring some of the sights.
Inside the breathtaking St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The poignant and moving World Trade Center memorial. The last time I visited this part of NYC was in 2002, when the area was still surrounded by chain link fencing and the beautifully human, touching impromptu memorial of letters and flowers stuck through the holes.
The new One World Trade Center tower. I can’t imagine living up there!
A few ladies from my local chapter, Mid-Michigan RWA. Not only are they great writers, but they’re also avid walkers who dragged me out of bed early in the morning to walk to Central Park, which helped ease the pre-awards-luncheon jitters.
The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel as seen on our walk in Central Park.
Carnegie Hall. I wish I could’ve gone to a classical music performance!

As you can see, Manhattan was an amazing place to visit, and I wish I could’ve seen more. If I’d had time, I would’ve squeezed in a Broadway show and a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guess I’ll just have to go back some day!

Have you been to NYC? What were your favorite sights? Please share in the comments below!

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