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General Discussion > Conferences / Conventions / Tradeshows

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message 1: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 165 comments Someone mentioned the Romantic Times annual conference on this list serve, and I was curious so I looked it up. This year it's in Pittsburg April 16-20, 2008 (registration is sold out). Next year, it's in Orlando, FL. I noticed that J.R. Ward, Feenan, and MaryJanice Davidson are speaking this year. Has anyone ever been to one of these conventions? What are they like? Are they fun for readers as well as writers? Are there other conventions that draw paranormal romance authors - maybe a sci fi/fantasy convention?

message 2: by Summer (new)

Summer (summerbp) | 59 comments I went to Dragon*Con last year (I'm from Georgia) and there were a good many writers there, including Carrie Vaughn (I can't remember who else). This year, Laurell K. Hamilton is schedule to appear at Dragon*Con, so I'm sure that will be a big hit. It was pretty neat to see some of the authors whose books I've read, and if you're lucky you can get autographs!

message 3: by Rena (new)

Rena (allthingsrena) There is a convention called Conestooga Con held in July of every year. I just found this out on the blog fangs, fur, and fey:

There's a link to the convention on that site. It's in Tulsa, Oklahoma from the 25-27 of July. It sounded really good. I believe when I looked on there before that a lot of the authors are paranormal/supernatural romance authors. It looks fun and I hope to be able to make it there, seeing that I live in OKC.

message 4: by Stella (new)

Stella (stellaprice) | 36 comments I did RT last year and while theres a bunch of Authors there you will wanna meet.... its really not worth the money. for the 465$ registration fee, you get nothing. They dont feed you unless your one of the first people in for the evening parties, and get into the mixers early. And that Registration pays for nothing. The Authors and sponsors pick up the tab on the "freebies" like the bags, badges and party dinners... and you STILL have to pay for your room. Between my sister and I last year, we spent over 3k and that wasn't with her flight to the US, or our promo.

As an author let me say that a lot of the larger ones have their cliques that they have around, Sort of like a princess holding court. They are receptive to meeting new people, but 9 times out of 10 their "entourage" of loyal RFG's *rabid fan girl* are very weird with interlopers. Its all very personal.

You would do much better at the smaller cons that cost less and give you a hell of a lot more. Celebrate Romance, ConText *its a Speculative fiction con *para/Horror/Scifi/Fantasy* that a LOT of the romance authors are doing now as its more reader intensive*, MarsCon, BaltiCon, The Lori Foster Reader Writer get together... you would do SO much better monetarily doing the smaller ones.

Im part of a committee thats working on something close to what RT does, but smaller and more geared towards Readers called Romance Unlimited. the website will be live in August, but this year the con will be in the tristate area *ny, nj, ct*


message 5: by Stella (new)

Stella (stellaprice) | 36 comments Hey If you guys know of any cons and such... i think putting them in the events section is a good idea!

that way we have a running tally!

message 6: by Linnea (new)

Linnea (linneasinclair) | 96 comments I have to respectfully disagree with the lovely and talented Stella on RT--other than the price, which yes, is high. But so are RWA National and a lot of other cons.

I've been going to RT since 2001 and it's one of my favorite cons. The conference fee does include food--not every night but there is always a luncheon and at least one sit-down dinner, if not two. Then yes, there are lots of smaller mixers with apps and snacks and such. I believe there's also a sponsored breakfast. Do they feed you every night? No. I don't know of a con that does. But I've never seen anyone denied food at an event that offered food.

I found RT a terrific way to meet readers, as it travels around the country each year. I don't know about author cliques. I will admit to sitting in large groups at the hotel bar where anyone is encouraged to come and join. If you're really shy, yes, that could be a problem because it's a large con and there are lots of people. You do have to have the ability to walk up to a stranger, read the name tag, and say hello with a smile. That's one of the reasons, I think, RT has some of the silliness and costumes (strictly optional). Those things are icebreakers.

I try to spend time talking to every reader who comes up to me, and I introduce myself to everyone I can, just in case someone's shy (I find elevators are great places to say hi, how's it going?). But there are times when I'm sched'd for back-to-back panels, and if you grab me on my way out of one workshop and I'm due in the next one in three minutes, I'm not going to have time to really chat. I'll tell readers to catch me later in the bar (I'm always in the bar) and I hope that doesn't offend people, thinking I'm brushing them off. But if I'm supposed to be 'on stage' at 230 then I gotta be there to be on stage, so to speak. ;-)

There's also the Club RT/Dealers' room, where authors are available are prearranged times. If you haven't been able to locate a certain author wandering around, check the Club RT schedule, which is posted at the doorway.

The bookfair is probably the worst place to meet an author because yes, there are lines, and the author's job is to keep them moving. Sherrilyn's line, like Nora's and JR's and others, can get quite long. But Sherrilyn's hugely approachable at the con at other times.

RWA National is as pricey as RT and yes, you need to pay for your hotel room and whatever meals aren't provided. I just came back from CR and while the conference fee was low, I could have flown my husband and myself BOTH to Europe and back for what it cost me to fly myself to SC from FL. The hotel prices at CR were comparable to RT and RWA National.

I also did ARCHON last year, which was the NASFIC con as well. That was probably the least expensive con I've done but nothing was provided other than the con itself. I had to pay my hotel (and choices were pretty sparse). (All meals were on your dime and given the location of the con (on the interstate outside Collinsivlle IL), meals weren't easy to come by. Fast food burgers were. Meals (what I call a meal) were not. Sadly, I'm not a fast food burger kind of gal. I learned the hard way that when I do cons, I need sleep and I need energy and I need food. If I do five days of fast food burgers and tacos, I invariably end up ill. You youngsters can survive that. I used to be able to. No can do anymore. ;-)

Other smaller cons you might watch out for are the local/regional RWA chapter cons. I did the local RWA chapter con in Denver last year (and I live in FL) and it was a blast. They're more like CR in that they're only two days so the overall cost is less.

But I really enjoy RT--I'm hosting the second annual Intergalactic Bar & Grille Party on Wednesday this year, along with authors Isabo Kelly, Colby Hodge, Catherine Asaro, Liddy Midnight, Janet Miller, Stacey Klemstein, Robin Owens and Ann Aguirre. Free peach bellinis and bar snacks (because it's pre-dinner) plus goody bags and prize baskets.

All that, by the way, comes out of each author's pocket. We pay the same room rates and same air fare and same conference fees readers do. We supply our bookmarks and prizes for baskets. (Okay, I get a $75 dollar break on some cons when I teach multiple workshops. It's not a huge amount. Like I said, my airfare to CR was almost $700. All comes out of my pocket.)

If cost is an option, consider the local RWA cons. If someone needs links to the local RWA cons, let me know.

Hope this helps! ~Linnea

message 7: by Stella (new)

Stella (stellaprice) | 36 comments Im glad you had a good time for RT... And i do agree they are very expensive... like RWA *though i have found RWA to be a business con more so then a reader con, but the smaller regional ones are better for readers in general if they are looking to get the intimate setting kinda signings *which i believe are the best*

the bottom line is that RT is extremely expensive, and while I did enjoy myself last year that wasn't a justification to how much you have to pay for the amount you get. Even if the Hotel charges 500k for them to hold the con there, registrants shouldn't be paying more then 250$ per person for it *as RT boasts between 2000-2500 people that attend* So what does that registration give you? Nothing. Dragon Con is cheaper *i believe its at 150$* and you do reach a lot more people *not to mention theres a lot more to do*

As a small press authors its insane to send that much money on a con, then getting promo that sets you apart from the pack so people remember you because your NOT stocked nationally... its a stretch to justify that kinda spending. I do know Authors and Readers that cant go to RT because its so expensive, but gladly do the smaller cons that are more reader intensive.

While the dealers room (club rt) and goodies room at RT are good... you have to really wonder how good. So many good books to get in the goodie room, but shipping them costs you an arm and a leg, and if you don't have the foresight to bring a flat rate box, and your luggage is already heavy you'll be leaving it there... I know about 20 people last year that left the majority of the books they got and promo they collected in Houston because they couldnt carry it back *though Im sure its like that with a lot of cons*

Linnea... The cons that care will give you from about 100 discount to free registration if your running a workshop or speaking on several panels. Though for the amount that RT charges they could give a BIGGER discount for workshop teachers *because they ARE providing a service* but they don't. I know of several cons that outright wave registration, because they really do appreciate the person coming in and taking the time.

Airfare is a pain no matter where you go so theres no way around that. After this last year though, Ill stick to the smaller cons.. the cost is far too great still.

message 8: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 165 comments I took the suggestions from this discussion, added a few of my favorite author's appearances calendars and came up with this list. Please add to it!

MarsCon, March 6-8, 2009 Bloomington, MN

Celebrate Romance (CR) Spring season, 2009 TBD

March 28-30 2008: Northampton, MA Patricia Briggs will be attending Conbust

April 15-20, 2008 Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention, The Hilton Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA, Mary Janice Davidson appearing (lots of others too!)
2009, it's in Orlando, FL.

April 4-6, 2008 Chandler, AZ, Desert Rose Conference Sherilyn Kenyon

April 11-13, 2008 Pensacola Beach, FL Silken Sands Conference Sherilyn Kenyon

April 18-20, 2008 New York City, NY NY Comic-Con Sherilyn Kenyon

April 4-6, 2008: I-Con, Stony Brook University, New York - A science fiction convention with media emphasis; Charlaine Harris

April 25-27, 2008: Malice Domestic, Washington, D.C. - A great mystery convention for lovers of conventional mysteries.; Charlaine Harris

STARFEST: Denver's Media SF convention. Carrie Vaughn will be there Saturday, April 19, 2008.

BaltiCon, May 23-26, 2008 Marriott Hunt Valley Inn

May 15-18, 2008 Burns, TN PUF Sherilyn Kenyon

May 23-26 2008: Missoula MT Miscon. Patricia Briggs

The Lori Foster Reader Writer Get Together June 6-8, 2008 Cincinnati, OH

June 14, 2008 Albany, NY Capital Region Conference Sherilyn Kenyon

June 27-29, 2008 Nashville, TN Hypericon Sherilyn Kenyon

Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference
July 30-Aug 2, 2008 San Francisco, CA
July 15-18, 2009 Washington, DC
July 28-31, 2010 Nashville, TN
July 27-30, 2011 New York City
July 11-15, 2012 San Diego, CA
July 17-21, 2013 Atlanta, GA

July 24-27, 2008 San Diego, CA Comic Con International Sherilyn Kenyon

July 30-31, 2008 RWA National Conference Sherilyn Kenyon

July 17-20, 2008: NECON, Bristol, Rhode Island - This revered horror convention is held on the campus of Roger Williams University; Charlaine Harris

Conestoga 12 — July 25-27, 2008 - Tulsa, Oklahoma
RSVP’d at this time:
Jen Barnes
Marie Brennan
Sarah Rees Brennan
Rachel Caine
Kristin Cast
PC Cast
Mark Del Franco
Jeaniene Frost
Justin Gustainis
Bev Hale
Mark Henry
Carrie Jones
Caitlin Kittredge
Dean Lorey
Melissa Marr
Chey McCray
Patrice Michelle
Devon Monk
Justine Musk
Jeanne Stein
Shanna Swendson
Tiffany Trent
Rachel Vater
Rachel Vincent
Steve Wedel
Jaye Wells

WORLDCON: August 6-10, 2008 Denver, CO Carrie Vaughn

Aug 29-Sept 1, 2008
Atlanta, GA
Bill Fawcett
Katherine Kurtz
Rebecca Moesta
Harry Turtledove
Laurell K. Hamilton
Todd McCaffrey
Jody Lynn Nye
Margaret Weis
Kevin J. Anderson
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Ann MCCaffrey
Mike Resnick
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

ConText *its a Speculative fiction con *para/Horror/Scifi/Fantasy* that a LOT of the romance authors are doing now as its more reader intensive*,
Sept 26-28, 2008 Columbus, OH
What is Context? Context is a friendly convention focused on speculative fiction literature and related games, comics and films. If you enjoy manga, anime, science fiction, fantasy, or horror, you'll find plenty to entertain you at this convention.
Who Will Be There? Tanya Huff and Brian Keene are our author GoHs

ARCHON, also know as TuckerCon, the 9th NASFiC
Guest Of Honor - Laurell K Hamilton
October 3 - 5, 2008, Saint Louis, MO

Oct 11-12, 2008 Richardson, TX Buns N Roses Literacy Tea Sherilyn Kenyon

October 24-26 2008: Denver CO MileHiCon 40 Patricia Briggs, Carrie Vaughn

November 28-30, 2008: Timoniom MD DarkoverCon, Patricia Briggs

Romance Unlimited- Can’t find info/website…smaller and more geared towards Readers

local/regional RWA chapter cons

TBD, 2008 New Orleans, LA K-Con Sherilyn Kenyon

message 9: by Stella (new)

Stella (stellaprice) | 36 comments I believe Romance Unlimited will have a website up this fall, but I do know its in the North East of the country,either in NJ, NY or CT.

Im doing ConText this year, along with about 20 other authors who write in the Scifi/Fantasy/Paranormal and Horror genres. Im really looking forward to it, One of my publishers is doing a party and giving away some sweet stuff.

message 10: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 3 comments Hi Stella, would love to go to any one of the conventions. I have been wanting to for years. do you know of any con's that are out here on the west coast? (California area)

message 11: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 165 comments This is about the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference (Since it's coming to DC in 2009, I was interested in it, but I'm definately not a writer. I'll probably go to the book signing night, though.):

The national conference is really geared towards writers and how to improve their craft. However, there is an event that non-writers enjoy attending. Every year on the first night of conference we host a literacy signing event where hundreds of authors are on hand to meet their fans and sign books for anyone who wishes to purchase them. The proceeds from this event are donated to PROliteracy Worldwide and to a PROliteracy organization in the conference host city. This event is free and open to the public.

message 12: by Stella (new)

Stella (stellaprice) | 36 comments As far as i know RWA is a Business con... You can go as a reader and hangout in the bar and meet authors, or just walk around the hotel. thats what I did before i was an author.


West coast cons are hard to come by. Why because the cost of living is so high there, and the cost of setting a con up there is equally as high. Theres a few book fests like the WEHO book festival, and theres the Comic Con in SanDiego... but RWA is in San Fransisco this year... you should hit up the signing. Lots of great authors there!

message 13: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 36 comments There's Ravencon 2009-April 24-26, 2009.

There'll be more that you will see after january 2009.
Author Guest of Honor: Jack McDevitt
Artist Guest of Honor: Alan F. Beck
To be at the Crowne Plaza West, 6531 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23230

Weekend Rates

Adults (18 and up):$25 by 9-30-08, $30 by 12-31-08, $35 by 4-17-08, $40 at the door
Young Adults (12-17): $15
Children (11 and under): FREE
10% discount with Military ID and Student/College ID

Day Rates

Friday: $15, Saturday: $25, Sunday: $15

This year we had Catherine Asaro, Jean Marie Ward, and other paranormal roamnce and urban fantasy authors besides those in SF, fantasy and horror.

Pamela K. Kinney aka Sapphire Phelan
Publicity Director for Ravencon 2009

message 14: by Ranata (new)

Ranata Clark (thatchicknata) I hope this wasn't already posted but I was talking to Kathryn Smith on Livejournal and she gave me this info:

Event: Romance Writers of America's annual National conference
Date: Wednesday July 30th @ 5:30-7:30 pm
Where:San Francisco Marriott on 4th, in the Yerba Buena ballroom. (authors that will be signing)

message 15: by Natale (new)

Natale (natalestenzel) | 32 comments RWA is indeed a business con, but that signing is open to the public. I'll be signing and I know I speak for everybody when I say we'd love nothing more than to see readers there!! Please come if you can!

message 16: by Ranata (new)

Ranata Clark (thatchicknata) I am literally right around the corner from the hotel so I know I'll be there. I can even get on the bus across the street when I'm ready to go!

Hope to see you there!

message 17: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nlojeda) | 24 comments Book Expo America is a book lovers dream. Its expensive if you're simply a book loving attendee, but you get your money back in free books and swag.

I live in DC and plan on going to the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference next year.

message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Hendrix (lisahendrix) | 57 comments About the RWA Literacy signing: I think it's important for everyone to know that the publishers donate all the books for this event, so that all the proceeds -- that's 100% of every penny you spend -- goes to literacy organizations.

It's truly an amazing thing to see all those thousands and thousands of books and know that the romance publishers are that generous. Afterward, any books that are left over are first offered to the authors at a slight discount (we carry them home to use as giveaways, and those proceeds are added to the pot), and then those still left are collected and donated to an area women's shelter. It's win-win-win, all the way around. So when the conference is in your area, please go and support

message 19: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 165 comments Hi Nicole! I too live in DC (technically Silver Spring) and also plan to go the the RWA convention next year. I even put it on my electronic calendar so I wouldn't forget! I did write to RWA, and they said that the conference itself is really just for writers and industry (which I'm not). They suggested that a fan wouldn't really enjoy the sessions, but that the autograph night is perfect for fans, so that's what I'm planning to attend.

message 20: by Pamela (last edited Jul 23, 2008 08:11AM) (new)

Pamela | 36 comments I will be at RWA next year in DC since I live in Virginia. I am a writer, so it will be for business for me. :D
Pamela K. Kinney, aka Sapphire Phelan

message 21: by Natale (last edited Jul 24, 2008 07:37AM) (new)

Natale (natalestenzel) | 32 comments Great -- hope to see you there, Ranata! This will be my first time in San Francisco and I understand we will all freeze*g*.

Yes, next year will be easier for me, too. DC is driving distance, so I can overpack to my heart's content. (I always overpack. Always.)

The RWA literacy signing is really cool, though. The number of people in that one room is overwhelming, but when you start looking around, recognizing author names . . . I always have fangirl moments.

message 22: by Ranata (new)

Ranata Clark (thatchicknata) LOL. It's not that bad weather wise out here, Natale. But that's this week. I can't tell you what it'll be like next week.

message 23: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (trishwilsonelizabethblack) | 42 comments I go to Balticon, ICON, Arisia, and Boskone. All four include erotica and erotic romance panels. Those cons are lots of fun, too.

message 24: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 165 comments RT Booklovers Convention(May 1-5, 2013)will be held in Kansas City, MO this year.

message 25: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 2659 comments Mod
Balticon is May 24-27 in Timinum (hope I spelled that right) Maryland. I'll be attending again this year. Interesting mix of subjects, altho it IS primarily a "readers" con, so things are slanted at us readers and at writers. And there are usually a LOT of writers that attend, as well as a few publishers and editors. (Both indie publishers and a few reps from the "bigger" publishing houses.)

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