Hey, friends! Anybody else feel like August is a complete whirlwind? In my case, it probably comes from having four kids and too many things to do before school starts. But for a few minutes, I’m taking a break from all those boring real life details to reminisce about my trip to New York City. Hard to believe it’s been a whole month already!
For today’s post, I’m going to give you all a sneak peek into both what it was like being a Golden Heart finalist, and attending my first glamorous Harlequin party.
The Golden Heart Experience
I seriously had no idea what it meant to be a finalist when I received that phone call back in March. I was expecting what usually happens in a contest–a friendly e-mail asking for my author headshot, several months of stalking the other finalists to learn more about them, and then one day the pain of waiting would be over when the winners were announced.
Come to find out, I was SO wrong. In fact, what made the Golden Heart so unique is the fact that you really win just by finaling, because you’re inducted into a sort of sisterhood that can last your whole career. Mind you, I was never in a sorority, but I can imagine this is a bit what it would’ve been like. Sadly, our group was the last–no more Golden Heart–but RWA assures us they’re working on a plan for an equally amazing program to help unpublished authors.
The Harlequin Party
With the GH awards luncheon over, I could finally relax…by attending my first ever Harlequin party the same night. Whew, what a day! This year’s party celebrated Harlequin’s 70th anniversary, and it was held across the street from the conference at the Edison Ballroom. The retro, glamorous vibe made me feel like a movie star! On the downside, being a new author, I hardly knew anyone. Introvert + room full of people who know each other = personal nightmare, lol. Thankfully I ran into a lovely lady I’d met earlier in the day, who is also new to Harlequin, and we were able to enjoy the party together.
More Conference Pictures
Wow, you guys, what an amazing week! I’m so thankful I got to be part of both the final GH class (go Omegas!) and attend my first RWA National conference. As you might be able to guess from the pictures, I only made it to one or two actual workshops. I did get to attend a couple of add-on retreats, though, so it wasn’t a total waste in the learning department.
As much as I enjoy workshops, I’d have to agree with the many other writers out there who say that one of the biggest reasons to attend a huge conference like this one is for the networking. Opportunities abound to meet agents, editors, and other professionals who can help you on your writing journey, including for those interested in self-publishing. And being with so many other people trying to do the same crazy thing is just plain fun.
Thanks for hanging with me on this walk down memory lane, and next time I’ll be back with pictures of food, as I eat my way through NYC. 😉