So over the weekend I attended my local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter meeting. I've been a member for about 5 years, though I attend meetings with sporadic attendance. This year I've vowed to be better - because really, it's both comforting and inspiring to be in the company of fellow romance writers.
So how does a meeting shape up for us? Well, we spend about the first 1/2 hour or so socializing & catching up, since most of us don't see each other, or sometimes even talk online, in between meetings. You know, who's recovering from a cold, who adopted new kittens, whose dishwasher is on the fritz...that sort of thing.
Then we discuss Old Business (this time, it was the items we donated to the Brenda Novak Auction) and New Business (Wendy Felter of Red Rose Publishing will be coming to our July meeting and taking pitches!).
Next comes the "Round Up" - who's working on what, who's submitted what, who's sold what. A lot of us are actively revising stories, or in the middle of projects, so there wasn't a lot of sales news this time around, but that's OK. I will proudly say that we have quite a prolific chapter, with a good number of our members published in various genres and with various publishers, so like I said, it's inspiring to be around :)
And finally, we wrap up with people reading 5 pages of their current WIP. This is optional, though I've always found it quite valuable (once you get past the initial awkwardness of reading your writing out loud). We go around the table and everyone gives feedback. It's interesting to hear what certain people pick up on.
Every June we go to lunch together after the meeting, so this time we enjoyed some yummy food along with some non-writing related conversation. Among the topics discussed: domestic vs. foreign cars; the pros and cons of owning an iguana; naming cats; single motherhood; and the price of tattoos. I kid you not.