Oh, the things you’ll do!

When I graduated from high school, one of my relatives gave me the Dr Seuss book Oh, The Places You’ll Go! The title became my mantra in the seven years or so afterward, as I grasped every exciting opportunity that came my way. I moved from San Diego to Chicago to L.A. to Prague to London by the time I was 26. I took interesting jobs, got two degrees and a teaching certificate, and made a fantastically diverse group of friends.

This year feels like I’m on the cusp of huge changes in my personal life, my writing career life, and my day-job life. I wanted to share with you some of the things I’m most excited about, and the goals I’ve set for 2011.

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When you can’t afford to go to RWA Nationals

One of the bummers (cue naughty giggles from my British friends) of living in London is that I can’t afford to fly to the US in summer. It costs approximately $Ridiculous and I’m on a charity salary.

So color me thrilled to find Savvy Authors is having a Summer Symposium from today through Sunday. They’ve got loads of online workshops covering topics relevant to new and published writers, everything from craft to promotion, as well as giveaways and pitch appointments.

And it’s only $30 if you’re not a member (though membership costs $30 a year and gets you access to discounted courses, tools, and a community of writers).

So that’s where you’ll find me for the rest of the week. Talking about dirty words in the Language of Erotica course (not that I write erotica; I just want to read the dirty words) and going deep in the POV workshop.

For those of you baking and sweating in Orlando, yes I’m jealous. Seething with jealousy. But with the money I save this year, I may be able to join you next year.

Have fun!

Get free romance novels!

If you love to read romance, there’s a contest with your name all over it. The lovely folks at RomCon are looking for more judges for their Readers’ Crown contest.

Judges get at least five free romance novels (more if you choose to judge more than one panel). You can choose to have all your books from one category (they’ve got 11 categories, including long contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and short historical romance), or from a mix of categories.

You get to keep the books and just need to fill out a judging sheet online.

Here’s the application to be a judge. Fill it out quick – they’re sending the books out at the beginning of February.

Published authors, you have until 31 January to enter (I’m pretty sure that means they have to have your books in their hot little hands by then).

Winners will be announced at the RomCon Convention in Denver  9-11, which looks like it’ll be attended by some of the genre’s best and brightest.

While we’re on the subject of RomCon, you should check out their blogs, too. Good stuff.

Conference season

I don’t know if it’s the time of year, or if these things happen year round, but I’ve noticed several agents talking about conferences and workshops lately.

The problem is, they almost never seem to name which ones they’ve been to. I’d love to see an agent write a post with a round-up of the biggest and best conferences around. I know about RWA’s annual conference, but how do you find out about others? Through RWA networks? Writers’ groups? Google searches (tried this one and wasn’t very successful). And how do you know whether a conference is right for you and worth spending money on if you don’t have an inside source saying whether a certain conference has been well run/helpful/a complete shambles?

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