Back in April, I attended my first RT Booklovers' Convention at the behest of my editor at AMP. It was a great idea, too, since it provided me with a large-scale opportunity to get to know the industry more. As part of the convention, I also attended the two-day pre-con writing workshop sponsored by author Bobbi Smith (if you're ever at a conference and you have the chance, stop and say hello. She's a really nice person). As part of the workshop, participants had the opportunity to submit a chapter for her annual Creative Writing Challenge for a chance at representation and possible publication, and since I was going all in this week, I submitted the first chapter of But I Never Said I Didn't Love You.
As much as I had to soak in during the workshop, I (barely) thought about it. During the final 15 minutes of the second day, Bobbi announced the three finalists who got to wear a special tag on their name badges to show off. Outside, I was all "oh, is it that time already?" and inside I was all "JUST ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS ALREADY!"
I was the first of the three finalists she announced.
Total shock. I hadn't expected to be published, I hadn't expected to be at the convention in a semi-professional capacity, and I certainly hadn't expected to be named a finalist my first time there.
Alas and alack, I didn't win but you know what they say at these things: THAT SHOULDA BEEN ME! THAT SHOULDA BEEN MY NAME SHE ANNOUNCED! I WUZ ROBBED!
Sorry. Wrong "you know what they say at these things". This isn't the year Kate Winslet was up against a real actress for an Oscar.
Later that evening, Bobbi provided some feedback and I told her that's what I was at the convention for: to hear these things, pick stuff up (besides the free books and other swag?), and hone my craft. Otherwise, it would have been a waste of everybody's time.
Plus, it's kinda fun to flip the recent issues of RT Book Reviews and the pictures on their website and say, "Oh, yeah! I was there! You can kinda sorta see my back and my ponytail! Hey! There's a picture where you can see my actual FACE!", or go "Hey, she was at the convention! So was she! So was he!"