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Jax Cassidy  | The First Time 

Art Of Sensuality
Jax Cassidy



Barnes & Noble

Powell's Books


Indie BookShop

November 2008
On Sale: November 17, 2008
Featuring: Machiko Barrett; Caleb Holden
250 pages
ISBN: 1600430449
EAN: 9781600430442
Add to Wish List

Also by Jax Cassidy:
Art Of Sensuality, November 2008

Well, this isn't about ‘the first time’, naughty people! This is about my first time at conference.

Four years ago I attended my first Romance Writers of America conference in Reno, Nevada. I had just started writing romance not long before and I wasn't sure what to expect. Being the new kid on the block, I was so impressed by the people I met, the professionalism of the event, and especially the friendly reception from other aspiring and published writers. There is no describing the sort of excitement that assaults you when you're immersed in one place that holds so much creativity. I'm not exaggerating when I say it’s overwhelming yet inspiring. The energy just bounces off the walls, surging through you, and making you enjoy every second of the event. When you're finally on the plane that takes you back home, you will feel saddened that the conference is over.

I'm certain everyone will have a different experience at her first conference but I can truly say that I felt like a writer that week. Our writing journey is a long and solitary one and when the opportunity to share our experiences with other writers comes along, we can't afford to miss it.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the conference experience; especially if it’s your first. Here, then, are some tips I've learned in the four years I've attended:

  1. Don’t try to do too much. You have so many choices to make— workshops, pitches, chapter events and dinner invitations— that you can feel overextended. You only have so many hours in the conference week. Make the most of them!
  1. Be professional. Don't get drunk, even if you're caught up in the moment with friends or with industry professionals. No one wants to remember you as the loud and obnoxious person crying out for attention. Dress appropriately because it’s still a business conference so you must always put your best foot forward. By wearing sweats or not paying attention to your appearance, it’s sloppy and editors and agents will notice. Be organized by keeping a calendar or binder so you will have all the information you need at your fingertips.
  1. Network! Don't be afraid to meet new people. After all, that’s the whole point. Be friendly. Don't be tempted to spend all your time with your local chapter mates. There are so many new and wonderful people to get to know. Don't go with the only objective of pushing your manuscript or else you'll run the risk of annoying the editors and agents you meet. These industry professionals are regular people too. They may connect with you better when you are being yourself and will be more apt to want to know about your writing. Do be friendly and courteous. Contribute to the conversation without hogging every sentence or allowing others to speak. This opportunity is about meeting others and forging friendships.
  1. Promo. It’s good to be prepared so bring your business cards, postcards, bookmarks, and pens to pass out. People will ask about you and what you write so the best way to share information is by providing a web site that they can visit on their own time.
  1. Relax and have fun. Enjoy the time you're there. Before you know it, you're on the plane home.

Conference is a memorable experience and what you put into it, you will get back ten-fold. Every time I've attended, I feel rejuvenated and ready to write!





9 comments posted.

Re: Jax Cassidy  | The First Time 

The first time I rubbed shoulders with Romance writers was at an indie bookstore and they thought I was one of them. I did become a writer after picking up more on how to structure daily pages. I learned that research backs up writing and anchors it to keep the pages turning.
(Alyson Widen 11:23am July 10, 2009)

I'd love to someday have the opportunity to attend a writers conference.
(LuAnn Morgan 11:59am July 10, 2009)

What a wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing it with us. The title of your book sounds quite compelling. I look forward to reading it.
(Robin McKay 4:29pm July 10, 2009)

A web site? I need to get busy. Thanks for all the info.
(Margie Whitten 5:04pm July 10, 2009)

I have attended many conferences for my work and found that one of the worst things to do is stilck with the other people from my place. I went for several years and didn't meet new people until I broke away for a few sessions. After that it was much easier.
(Karin Tillotson 8:00pm July 10, 2009)

yo, Jax! Can't wait to see you and just be amongst my people! I love National.
(Karin Tabke 8:19pm July 10, 2009)

I've never been to a conference except work related and I must say I found those long and boring
(Diane Sadler 8:20pm July 10, 2009)

I can't wait to see you Karin! :)

Thanks everyone for commenting. I love going to conferences. You get such a rush and being around so many talented people, you can't help but be inspired!
(Jax Cassidy 10:58pm July 10, 2009)

I so wish I could be attending the RWA
Conference in DC. It is only 7 hours
away. I work as a children's librarian
in a small county library and this is not
the time of year to take off. One day
I'll get there.
(Patricia Barraclough 11:16pm July 10, 2009)

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