Monday, July 29, 2019

RWA 2019

It was a historic year. It was a step towards the progress of who we want to be. RWA went back to New York this year. New York is a fun, if expensive locale. 
Being there as a steering committee member, a chapter board member, and a chapter contest chair, meant I felt like many people. There were storms on Monday so Day of YA had a more leisurely start as one of our guests had their flight cancelled. Lisa Cron and Jennifer E. Smith spoke. There was an agent panel and a debut author panel. And we have out awards. 
Wednesday I went to the RWA AGM and a lot of people had concerns about chapter requirements. I also went to marketing things and the Diversity Listening session. Some great points were made about things RWA could work on, direction that chapters could use, and additions that could be made. Obviously sessions like that are self selecting, no one not interested in fixing things was there, but it is helpful. 
Thursday we had the PRO retreat and with the help of my committee (seriously, you guys, you don't want to know what I would have named our theme) we had a great list of topics and guests. We had the luncheon for the final Golden Heart crew. 
In addition to the chance to see some friends at new signings, or their first signings, and a few more workshops, and a lot of hanging in the bar, I also went to see "Moulin Rouge" which I will talk about separately. 
I spent a lot of time internally debating going to the RITAs. It's a flawed system, but since a few folks had gotten nominated, it was also potentially the year we might see history. And so I decided to go. They brought in trailblazers like Sandra Kitt and Radclyffe to talk. And we got to see two Black winners, and a South Asian winner. It was progress. We still have work to do. I still wouldn't point anyone to the list of finalists as representative of the past year in fiction and that means there is more to do. 
On the final day I helped at the registration desk, which I knew would mostly be answering questions. I heard the new plan for the Literacy signing meant it didn't feel like a madhouse, which thank goodness. 
Of course, now that I am back home, I can only think of all the people I didn't quite get a chance to chat with. But as I often try to remind myself, it is the best problem to have not getting to hang with all your faves. 
I ran into one friend right by the bathrooms on the final day and she kindly diverted right to a couch so we could chat. 
I want this for everyone. I want RWA to be a place where we all find more people than we can reasonably cram into a week. So that's what I'll keep working towards.