A rainy Sunday afternoon at Starbucks

I was not sure it would be worth my time or money to attend RWA this year; I wanted to attend the last time RWA was held in Orlando, Florida, many years ago, when the conference got relocated to Florida due to the flooding at Opryland.

At the time, my kids were very young, and we had a choice as a family: either attend RWA or take the family on a much needed vacation to Florida, to a condo a friend was willing to rent to me for a week’s vacation.

My mother finally told me to go be with my family. We had a wonderful vacation, I got to spend a lot of time with my husband and my children, and we returned to Ohio rejuvenated and refreshed.

I didn’t regret my decision then, but many years have passed since then; this year, in the middle of July, my husband and I–sans the kids–drove down to Florida along the east coast, and spent a blissful and hot and humid week at Disneyworld, and I got to attend my first-ever RWA conference. My husband took this photo of the entrance to the smaller pool at the hotel where we stayed, the All-Star Sports Resort, and spent a lot less money for our accommodation, instead of at the two-hundred-dollar a night hotel at the Dolphin Springs Resort, where the conference was based.


Everything at the All-Star Sports Resort was sports-themed, natch, with all kinds of sports icons and memorabilia attached to the motel walls, in addition to sports images and huge Coca Cola cups.

RWA has completely re-invented itself and transformed in the years since the time I wanted to attend the conference, and when I finally did get to attend the conference. For one thing, I’ve noticed, it’s a lot easier for independent writers to enter the Ritas. Back in the day, if you had an independently published book, you could enter the Ritas, but you had to send in five copies of your print-on-demand novel, and at the time when I wanted to enter a novel in the Ritas, it was prohibitively expensive to do so.

As you can also see, I did get to take part in all things Disney, and there are nice discount tickets available to the theme parks, if you visit them after a certain time in the afternoon. On the day that we visited the Magic Kingdom, there was a discount available to visit it after two o’clock in the afternoon.

Getting back to RWA, it’s lovely to see how it’s much easier to enter an independently published novel in the Ritas, and as a matter of fact, all entries are now submitted entirely through the internet. Which is really cool, if you ask me!

So, as a writer, I am hiring an independent editor to edit the manuscript I’d like to enter, and this afternoon, I spent my time sending out submissions for a new writer of mine, Yvette Geer, who hasn’t yet made a sale, but in whom I have tremendous confidence that she will soon be entering the list of clients to the Barone Literary Agency.

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Rita J. Gobb
Rita J. Gobb
6 years ago

Reading your blog, the word karma popped into my head. My name is Rita, I attended a week long writer’s conference at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Fl, over the years I took children and grand children to Disney and my residence is in Pittsburgh,an Ohio neighbor. I winter in Ponce Inlet FL. I’ll send a query after the holidays.