posted on August 4, 2015 by Jeanne Devlin

Romance in the Big Apple

Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Kristan Higgins, Robyn Carr, and Jayne Ann Krentz at RWA 2015

The week of July 20th saw a who’s who of authors descend on New York City for the 35th Annual Romance Writers of America Conference. The annual gathering draws thousands of readers and authors. It also travels the country (it’ll be in San Diego next year); still, there is always something a little extra special when it plays NYC.

Maybe, it’s because NYC is home to the big publishing houses (Avon, St. Martin’s, Simon & Schuster, Random House Penguin), trades like Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and across the river, Kathryn Falk’s Brooklyn-based fan magazine RT Book Reviews.

Scenes from the Writerspace Gals NYC experience 2015

Maybe, it’s just the chance to take in a Broadway show with fellow book-lovers (Kim Miller of NBPR took in An American in Paris and had her photo taken with the Playbill to prove it).

Whatever Manhattan’s allure, the only downside to RWA in NYC is that most of us don’t get to go. So to ease the pain, we’ve assembled a little montage of the conference compiled from what authors and industry pros have been posting this week on their respective Facebook pages.

The fun begins before the planes land and usually with skyline photos, airport tweets, and tongue-in-cheek posts from the likes of Nora Roberts on the new high heels she plans to wear.  2015 was no different (a particularly fetching pair was apple red), but in a colorful twist one of the world’s most successful authors also posted some pretty fancy sneakers headed with her to the Big Apple.

Julie James at RWA Literacy Signing 2015

Upon arrival, it is all about the meet cute. As much as fans love getting to meet their favorite authors in person, the authors also like seeing and meeting each other—some are mentors, some are old friends, some are rivals, and some, strangers. Their respective publishing houses also pull out the stops with lavish cocktail parties, fancy private dinners, and one-of-a-kind off-site events (USA Today buzzed about a panel talk with authors the likes of Robyn Carr and Susan Elizabeth Phillips held in Bryant Park behind the New York Public Library).

2015 Rita Awards goodies

The conference is also a time to honor those who have left their mark on the industry, and this year that included a party feting Nancy Berland of Nancy Berland Public Relations, whose firm celebrated 20 years of publicity work with such authors as #1 New York Times bestselling authors Linda Lael Miller and Robyn Carr and bestselling authors Sabrina Jeffries and Sherryl Woods.

Truth be told, author talks and parties aside, the only thing that rivals having so many beloved authors in one place could be the swag: the authors and their publicists and publishing houses — and even RWA itself — pride themselves on finding the newest and most unusual goodies to giveaway: Chocolates in the shape of a RITA.  Umbrellas in the color of Lifesaver candies.  Bookmarks.  Coloring Books (Avon).  Notebooks.  Cell-phone battery chargers (Courtney Milan). Book bags. The list of freebies to tote home was limited only by the space in an attendee’s luggage.

Sabrina Jeffries at the RWA literary signing 2015

That said, I suspect most readers say the highlight of the week was the annual Readers for Life Literacy Signing, which fills a room the size of a football field with authors from A to Z signing their latest books. Since 1990, RWA has raised more than $900,000 for literacy programs through the signing.

Which just goes to show you:  it is possible to have fun and do good all at the same time.

One person who comments will win a swag bag FULL of books and goodies!

– Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin is editor of The RoadRunner Press, an award-winning traditional publishing house based in the American West. An editor of newspapers, magazines, and books for more than thirty years, she has also worked on national marketing and publicity campaigns with such publishers as Simon and Schuster and St. Martin's and for a number of New York Times bestselling authors, including Robyn Carr, Sabrina Jeffries, Debbie Macomber, Linda Lael Miller, and Wendy Corsi Staub. A graduate of the Stanford University Publishing Course, Jeanne is a member of the Children's Book Council, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Oklahoma Center for the Book of the Library of Congress. She also consults with boutique publishers.

108 thoughts on “Romance in the Big Apple”

  1. Chris Noe says:

    I am not an author, but an AVID reader, so I am totally jealous of the attendees. I cannot imagine a more fun way to spend a week.

  2. Louise Risser says:

    One of these days, I’m going to go to one of these writer conferences.

  3. Margot Howard says:


  4. T says:

    Sounds like it was a blast. I wish I had your talent.

  5. Dollie says:

    Oh one day I will get to go to this! They look like so much fun!!

  6. Margaret FRIEWER says:

    Any gathering of like minded people is always a lot of fun. Oh, to be that talented. But I do share the love of reading.

  7. My dream week!! I hope to be able to come one year

  8. Marie Enstrom says:

    RWA always looks like so much fun. I’d love to go one day.

  9. Gary Bronstein says:

    Have a good time!

  10. Kimberly Kenner says:

    What an exciting week that must have been for both the writers and the avid readers! for book oholics like me…I would have had a hard time saying so long. I am in awe of what an amazing gift it is, to be a writer that people want to read. To be able to tell your story, with so many details, so much everything!

  11. Heidi L. says:

    I would’ve loved being there! As a fan of course! I’ve read so many of these Authors books that I’d be like a kid in a candy shop!

  12. lscarchuk says:

    I always wished I could go to a conference like this. As a reader it would be so much fun….although I still don’t understand how you guys get anything done with all the different conferences that you need to attend to stay in touch with the times….I would love to win!!!! thanks

  13. Suniya James says:

    This sounds amazing!!! And your presence at this event is worth all the efforts you put in your writing…

  14. Pauline Kelly says:

    Great way to spend a week. x

  15. Donna _A says:

    Never been to RWA but I love going to reader cons and meeting my heroes/heroines the authors of my escape.

  16. This does look like a great conference. Meeting other writers, sharing in what you love to do, must make a good way to make friends.

  17. Aemelia says:

    SOME day I’m going to make it to a conference! Everyone looks like they have so much fun and I would love to meet some of my ONLINE reading & writing friends. 😀

  18. Kim Starck says:

    I am a reader and would have so loved to come to the signing in the big apple.

  19. Kim Henidis says:

    One year I will make it to RWA! I just know I would be so excited that I would probably just stand there for five minutes with my mouth open 🙂

  20. I am so excited about next year. My book will be released and I’ll see you in San Francisco!

  21. Olivia Andem says:

    Enjoyed RWA in NYC many years ago. RWA conventions provide tools for an unknown writer and also inspire!

  22. Elinda says:

    Avid reader of all kinds of books. Enjoy all the authors at the RWA

  23. Linda says:

    I love books!!

  24. johnnabooks says:

    Sure wish I could have gone this year!

  25. thesassilit says:

    SO jealous, I would have loved to be there!

  26. April Kirkland says:

    OH I wish I could’ve been there. A swag pack would be a great consolation prize 🙂

  27. Looks like such fun! What a great way to spend a day with family and friends

  28. Caprice says:

    I am a reader and enjoy all books. My goal is to get to an RWA show someday.

  29. Kate Sparks says:

    Always a reader since a little girl.. when my grades dropped too low, my mom limited my recreational reading!!

  30. Sandie W says:

    Love seeing and reading about all of the fun at these events…one day I hope to be able to be there and enjoy it first hand!!

  31. Anna Metcalf says:

    I am an avid reader and wish I could write sometimes.

  32. Melissa I says:

    I am so jealous I didn’t get to RWA. It is on my bucket list of events! As an avid reader and blogger RWA is like Disney Land for our kind! 🙂

  33. Joanne says:

    I wish I was there to see all of the writers of books I love.

  34. Lisa Kostoff says:

    Wish I could have been there! It is on my list of events but never seem to get off work at the right time.

  35. Jennifer H says:

    Great pictures! Pick me!

  36. Lisa Stevens says:

    One of these days I will be there! The booksigning looked so awesome 🙂

  37. Karen Baker says:

    Wow, a lot of talent there!

  38. Teresa Wilson says:

    I love books! Wish I was there! Unfortunately home sick on bed rest for awhile. Would love to win!

  39. Debbie Haston says:

    I am a reader and would so love to go to meet all the authors! Congrats to the ones who won!

  40. That’s so nice, I hope I will join it one day :/

  41. corkrose says:

    I love the literacy charitable part – love the books & one day will go & meet all of the writers. Nice

  42. Kelli Jo Calvert says:

    I would love, just once, to go to RWA….

  43. Denise says:

    RWA looks like a magical time.

  44. I would love mingling with favorite authors. The events sound incredible.

  45. Giselle Lumas says:

    I would love to go to at least one RWA conferences. I agree with Melissa above… It would be my version of Disneyland as well.

  46. Elaine Pavlu says:

    Looked like so much fun.Wish I could have been there. Maybe one of these days I will be able to go.

  47. Dawn Walters says:

    I am not a writer but you guys look like you had a blast!! Good for you.

  48. Marguerite Guinn says:

    I LOVED reading all the posts from my favorite authors during the conference! From their outfits, to the places (and food) they ate, and their own pics with other writers! Sounds like it is the most fun ever!

  49. Sounds like a grand time!

  50. Becki says:

    Everyone looks they are having fun!!!!!

  51. Stefani says:

    Would be a dream come true to meet so many great authors!

  52. Dawn Holmes says:

    I love books of all genres. Going to one of these is on my bucket list.

  53. Sue P. says:

    Would have loved to have made it there! Would have been dumb founded to be in that room with all the fabulous authors. All that talent, the room must have been pulsating with electric energy!

  54. candyyork says:

    Wow, what a great post. I’m a future writer, I want to be THERE with them one day – looks like fantastic fun!

  55. Marianne W says:

    So jealous! Watched the Ritas live webcast. Loved every minute.

    1. Susan Simpson says:

      Hi Marianne, the response was so overwhelming that we decided to give away two swag bags and you are one of the winners! Please forward your contact info to susan(at)writerspacemail(dot)com and I will mail out your goodies! Thanks so much for participating.

      1. Marianne W says:

        You guys are the BEST! Thanks so much!

        1. Susan Simpson says:

          Looking forward to sending you the swag bag. Please forward your info to me via email!

          1. Marianne W says:

            Hi Susan –

            I’ve answered each e-mail you’ve sent. Sorry you haven’t received my replies. I’ve also sent you an e-mail from my work address just in case it’s a problem with yahoo. Thanks for your patience and the goodies!


  56. Linda Shaffer says:

    Whoa, that’s a big prize!

  57. Kayla Lapensee says:

    Wish I could go to something like this. It looks like fun. 🙂

  58. Denise says:

    These authors have brought me hours of entertaining reading! Thank you!

  59. Emily Stemp says:

    that a amazing giveaway

  60. Holly says:

    It’s my dream to attend one of these conventions/conferences in my life. There never seems to be a good time! Looks like fun.

  61. Carol says:

    Looks like a ton of fun!

  62. Crista Lea says:

    I would love to attend ! Sounds fun!

  63. Mary Guidry says:


  64. Grace F. says:

    I went to the book signing last Wednesday. It was my first time and, as Heidi L. said, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. So many authors, so little time. I didn’t know where to start. Thank you to all the authors I met. Everyone was so gracious to this fan.

  65. Jennifer Essad says:

    I would so love to be with you all at this convention, thanks for thinking of us fans and offering us this amazing contest

  66. Debra Simning-Chapman says:

    Doing good AND having tremendous fun. Best thing in life for you and others.

  67. Nikki Collier says:

    Thanks for an awesome blog about a cool week. Even though many of us were working and only dreamed of attending, it was super to hear all the perspectives of our favorite authors

  68. Dorothy B says:

    Sounds like a fun week!

  69. Lori b says:

    Would love to win. Awesome giveaway.

  70. Brandy bowers says:

    Oh to be able to go to a convention and meet authors would be fantastic experience.

  71. Julie says:

    I would love to attend someday but we don’t have things like that around here

  72. phyllisc7 says:

    Thanks so much for the giveaway and for sharing with those of us who could not attend! The convention always looks like so much fun. I love seeing all the reports from everyone attending. Would love to get to go one year. 🙂

  73. beverly Joseph says:

    I am a writer and I think this is awesome

  74. Lisa Hutson says:

    One of these days……
    Going to one of these kind of event is on my bucket list. High on my bucket list. Looks like so much fun!

  75. Rebecca Kramer says:

    great giveaway-the convention sounds like it was alot of fun

  76. Mary Ann says:

    wanted to go but forgot to ask for day off thanks for chance to win

  77. Poopak says:

    Like Chris I am totally jeal­ous of the atten­dees as well.

  78. Kate M says:

    Sounds like an amazing time! I would love to go–maybe next year!

  79. Elaine Moreau says:

    I would have been worse than a kid in a candy store at the convention. What an incredible gathering that must have been!

  80. Kelly Thompson says:

    I would absolutely LOVE to go to an event like that!! I enjoy FB events with authors, but meeting them in person would be amazing!

  81. Teena Baker says:

    I’ve been to conventions before and they are a blast!!! Being with you FAVORITE Authors would be just out of this world. AWESOME!!!!!!

  82. Martha Hawkins says:

    Looks like so much fun. Wish I could go.

  83. Rochelle Pelachick says:

    Sure would love to come to the signings. I promise I won’t bring all my books!

  84. Emile Horne says:

    What fun! I hope to be at the next one!

  85. Melissa Morr says:

    I swear one of these days I am going to a convention some of my favorites all in one room I would do a happy dance!!

  86. Marti says:

    Wow…so much talent in one place!

  87. Sue Denice says:

    I’m in Maine on vacation, whipping thru my summer reading. Fun reading and seeing so many of my favorite authors posting notes of the recent NYC awards trip! Congratulations to all the winners! As much as we all enjoy barrelling thru the novels, I understand how much hard work goes into writing them. Bravo to you all!

  88. Judy Zerbe says:

    Wish I could have been there!

  89. Ann M says:

    Sounds like it was a great time. Probably the closest I will ever get is reading about &/or winning swag. 😉

  90. Shelly Garnett says:

    Great contest

  91. Donna says:

    To win Swag from the big apple,oh how sweet, what a treat!

  92. Charlotte Litton says:

    I hope I’ll be able to attend an event some day. To be able to meet and talk to my favorite authors would be fabulous.

  93. Candice Banks says:

    I keep telling myself I’m going to go one of these years, but I always forget until the last minute or something comes up at the last minute *sigh*

  94. Debbie Rice says:

    Thank you for the chance

  95. Glenda Hefty says:

    Everyone looks as though they had a lot of fun. I love to just be able to attend a book signing someday. A big convention would likely be out of my reach but wonderful that they have them.

  96. Dawn wagner says:

    I would love to win this. Thank you for the chance!

  97. Marguerite B. says:

    What a great opportunity and lots of fun!

  98. RWA this year looked like the absolute best time! I adored seeing everyone’s photos. All of the smiles, hugs and hijinks! 🙂 Wonderful post and equally fabulous giveaway! Thanks for the chance!

  99. Linda L Picl says:

    Really wish I could have attended.

  100. Kathleen B says:

    Sounds like it was tons of fun!! Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win. 🙂

  101. I am an artistic person and I would really love to win this prize! I would put it to good use! Thanks!!

  102. Terry Trahan says:

    Although I have never been to an author signing YET, I love seeing all the pics, and reading the tweets and FB posts of those attending! Thank you for the chance to win such an awesome prize!

  103. Katy says:

    Staggering thought to have so many beloved authors in one place. I hope to make it to San diego next year.

  104. I love seeing all the wonderful stuff that came of this event–inspired authors, excited readers. All kinds of positive in my social media feed! <3

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