Saturday, September 15, 2012

Music City's RWA Meetings: Even Non-Writers Belong

Set the stage...

It's mid-morning, I'm running late and make it to my first Music City Romance Writers meeting just in time to nab a seat front and center because, like most meeting-goers, these women prefer to sit as far back as possible.

Like I said, I was late.  I sat in front.

MCRW Member C.J. Redwine's debut YA Urban Fantasy novel 
published 8/28/2012 by Harper Collins

Enter several published, soon-to-be-published and so-amazing-I'll-definitely-get-published authors.  Everyone was exceedingly friendly (a romance industry trend all should be proud of), they handle some chapter business and get down to the visitor recognition.

...they saw me.  Still sitting front and center.  :)  But I introduced myself as an intern at Entangled (which makes me sound more important than I actually am) and owner of an anonymous romance blog.  

MCRW Member Jody Wallace's latest paranormal novel
published 7/31/2012

Then they start member announcements.  They actually had announcements. 

One member whips out a folder and proudly displays her new novel cover art. She writes sexy stories and she's elderly.  I think it's amazing and am confident her life is more interesting than mine.  

MCRW Member Angela Britnell's contemporary romance novel
released 7/21/2012 by Desert Breeze Publishing

Another member mentions she's number 24 on the USA Bestseller list. (Anyone know who that is?  Come on.  Two guesses.)  Another author's having her book published in different languages and I think one author was going to a book signing at Barnes & Noble once she left today.

I did well, my fangirl didn't really show until I shook author Jenna Bennett's hand.  And in my defense - she's Jenna Bennett.  I can only be exposed to so much awesomeness before combusting.  

MCRW Member Jenna Bennett's novel
published 7/20/2012 by Entangled Publishing
Impressive Bennett Fact #1: She wrote a novel in 13 days

Jenna Bennett took the floor and gave a very good talk on branding.  Authors, brand yourselves.  Brand your names or your faces, your series or your characters, but brand something so that when readers see it - they know what they're getting.  When you're recognizable you sell better.  

Julieanne, I'm talking to you.

It was great and I learned a lot while sitting in the midst of some serious writing talent.

Next month, Music City Writers is holding a Mini Annual Conference for its members.  

If you're a member of RWA and want to attend this conference (which you really should) you can join Music City Writers for $30 here.  

Pay the membership plus the attendance fee ($20, I think, but if you're interested email me and I'll find out for you) and you can attend workshops, pitch your manuscript and meet other writers, photographers and publicists.  

Here's a list of workshops:
Stacy Abrams: Senior Editor, EntangledQ&A session about Entangled Publishing  
JT Ellison From Research to Revision, How to Build a Book  
Trish Milburn Call Me Poseidon: My Three-Pronged Approach to Publishing  
Vania StoyanovaWhat Makes Effective and Awesome Book Trailers and Covers  
Maryglenn McCombsThe Dos and Don’ts of Successful Book Promotion

If you live near here or can travel, this seems like something worth attending. Heck I don't even write and I might do it.  

And for those of you attending Moonlight & Magnolias on October 5-7, Trish Milburn is giving her workshop Call Me Poseidon: My Three-Pronged Approach to Publishing there, too.   

Music City Writers is a chapter with vision, talent and most important of all - members who want to do something.  Joining this group can only bring good things.


  1. Sallie, great recap! Now I don't have to decipher my meeting notes. I usually sit in front (so I don't have to wear my glasses), but having coerced the dear husband into spending his rare Saturday off with me, I thought he'd feel less conspicuous with an aisle exit. It was good to meet you and hope you come often.

    1. It was wonderful to meet you, Debbie and I almost mentioned there was a man there. One, decent man who braved a room full of romance-loving women for his wife.

      He's a keeper.

  2. Oh wow, thank you for the terrific write up!! I wish I'd gotten a chance to chat with you today, but as usual, I tend to get pulled in too many directions during the meetings, and then come into lunch late. *sigh* I do hope you'll come back again (and even join the chapter!)

    Thanks again for the great post. Love seeing all this goodness about MCRW and our members!!

    1. Hey Kim!

      I completely understand about time constraints. I plan to join and will probably join this year. I'm still deciding on whether to attend the October mini-conference, but it's such a good (and affordable) opportunity I might just have to go.

      It was very informative and you did a great job!

    2. Thanks!

      I hope you can make October. It should be fun and laid back, but also packed full of goodness!

  3. Cool write-up, and it was nice to briefly meet you today. Like Kim said, hope you join the chapter. After all, the October programming looks great, and you really don't want to miss the crazy that is our Dirty Santa Book Exchange at the holiday party. It has taken on a life of its own. :)

    1. It was great to meet you, too, Trish!

      I'm going to M&M and was planning to attend your workshop there.

      But hearing in Nashville is even better.

  4. I meant to ask if you were going to M&M. It's always a great conference.

  5. What a great recap! It was a pleasure (briefly) meeting you today and I look forward to seeing you at future meetings. Hoopefully you can make October's meeting!

    1. It was great to meet (see) you, too!

      I may as well come in October. ;) I'll only be thinking about it the entire day if I'm not there.

  6. Definitely don't want to miss Dirty Santa. Don't worry--the sneaky guy is totally nondenominational ;)

    1. ha! I'll have to find some popular YA book...

  7. Thanks for the great write up on our meeting - MCRW is a great group of supportive writers. Hope you'll make it in October it should be an inspiring day.


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