Another Romance Writers of America Chicago-North Spring Fling writing conference has come and gone. Three days has never passed so quickly. As usual. The Spring Fling team keeps us busy for a long weekend with fascinating speakers, best-selling authors, informative panels, manuscript critiques, appointments with agents and editors, and the wrap-up gala on Saturday night. Wow! Even just writing it all out has left me exhausted.
As usual, I attended the Chicago-area conference with my cousin Annmarie Ortega. We have attended this biennial conference together for years, but since I moved to Georgia three years ago, I have to fly in for the event. No problem. It gives me an excuse to visit with Illinois family and friends. This year, Annmarie and I also had the chance to celebrate the publication of our first co-written novel. Saucy Girl is a contemporary romantic suspense tale that was published by Highland Press. We're very excited to finally see it in print.
One of the highlights of the weekend was Friday's Hot Nights Critiques. Since this was a romance writers conference, many of the attendees write some pretty steamy scenes in their manuscripts. The problem is that sometimes their critique groups back home don't feel comfortable reading those sections out loud in the library or the Barnes & Noble that hosts the writing group. Spring Fling to the rescue with sponsor BDSMBookReviews.com.
Anyone who wanted to read a sexy section of her book was able to meet with other like-minded individuals to read and critique without judgement or embarrassment or censorship. It was a wonderful event. Somehow I ended up moderating the steamiest critique room even though I don't typically read or write such hot stuff. On the upside, it was fun and I learned a lot. Perhaps more than I wanted to learn, but there you go.
If you missed this year's conference, remember that they'll be doing it again in Spring 2018. Although you might want to avoid saying that out loud to the team that organized this one. They're probably still resting up and soaking tired feet in Epsom salts. For now, I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who was involved in this extraordinary weekend!