Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who can attend the RWA conference?
Anyone can attend the RWA conference, although non-RWA members pay a higher registration fee than members.
2. Is there a partial fee if I want to attend only part of the conference? Or is there a special guest fee if I want to bring my spouse or a friend who’s coming just to keep me company?
There are no "partial" conference fees—attendees must pay the full conference fee in order to attend any part of the conference. There are guest packages available for meals only and for attendance to the awards ceremony only. These are available to non-RWA member guests. The Literacy Autographing is open to the public, and conference registration is not required to attend the signing.
3. Should I attend the conference if I am unpublished?
Of course! There are workshops geared to authors at every stage of their writing careers. It is also a wonderful opportunity to network with other writers — chat about writing, share writing woes, exchange information.
4. Is this conference geared toward readers as well as writers?
RWA’s primary goal is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy, and the conference is developed with that in mind. If meeting your favorite authors is your biggest interest, you are most welcome to attend the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing, which features hundreds of authors and is open to the public. You will not have to pay the conference fee to attend the book signing (though conference registration is required for a signing author).
5. What if at the last minute I find I can’t make the conference? Can I get a refund of my registration fee?
Requests for refunds made by the posted dates will be granted, minus a cancellation fee. Visit our Cancellations Page for more information.
1. When does registration open?
Registration will open in February 2019.
2. Can I make installment payments on my registration?
No, payment in full must be made to confirm your conference registration.
3. Can I purchase a day pass to the conference?
No, RWA does not offer day passes.
4. When will the pricing for the conference be posted?
The pricing for the conference is voted on by the Board at the November board meeting.
1. How can I find a roommate?
RWA provides a roommate forum so you can connect with other attendees who are in need of a roommate.
2. How do I reserve a suite/room at the conference hotel?
To reserve a room in the conference hotel at the special conference price, you must first be registered for the conference. The conference registration confirmation email will contain a link that you will use to make your hotel reservation. You will not be able to make a reservation without first registering for the conference. The conference hotel will only accept reservations made online.
3. If I’m going to be sharing a room, how can we split the bill?
One of you will need to make the reservation, and roommates must be listed. When you check in, you can each give a credit card to the reception desk, and they will be able to split the bill accordingly.
4. How will I know that my reservation is all set?
You will receive a confirmation email from Experient, RWA's official housing provider, to let you know that your reservation is made If you don’t receive a confirmation email or if you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-967-8852 (US Only). Your hotel reservation is not confirmed if you do not receive a confirmation email.
5. If there is a problem with my hotel accommodation when I arrive, will RWA help me?
All accommodation issues are handled directly by the hotel staff. Aside from reserving a block of rooms big enough for the projected number of attendees, unfortunately, RWA does not have the authority to do anything about correcting errors made in the type, size, or location of your room. If the desk clerk is unable to help you, ask to speak to a manager. With so many people arriving at the same time, there may be an occasional mix-up, but the staff at the hotel is there to serve its customers.
6. My roommate got sick/canceled at the last minute! What do I do?
If you get into this unfortunate situation, your best options are to find some friends who might be able to squeeze you into their room, thus reducing their per-night hotel cost. Or check out the roommate forum to see if there is anyone else who might have had the same problem, or who decided to go at the last minute, who will share the room with you.
1. I have a food allergy. What do I need to do?
The only food allergies that can be catered to are the ones that you can select during the registration process (vegetarian, vegan, or diabetic). All RWA-sponsored meals will have gluten-free options.
1. When is the Goody Room open?
Please check the schedule for Goody Room times.
2. What is allowed in the Goody Room?
RWA allows publishers and attendees to provide promotional items and/or books for conference attendees in the Goody Room. The rules for the Goody Room are:
Books must have a 2018 or 2019 copyright date and be romance novels.
All items must be in a container no larger than 8.5” w x 12” l x 6” h.
Excess items are not allowed to be stored in the Goody Room.
Any items not in a container will be discarded.
Signs or displays that do not fit within the container will not be allowed.
Items left over at the end of conference will be discarded.
If you have questions regarding the Goody Room, please email email@example.com.
3. Who can place items in the Goody Room?
Any registered attendee can place promotional items in the Goody Room.
4. What happens to items that are left in the Goody Room at the end of conference?
Items that are leftover at the end of conference are disposed of. Please pick up your remaining items at the end of conference to keep them from being disposed of.
1. Is there a fee to attend the Literacy Autographing?
No, there is not a fee to attend the Literacy Autographing.
2. Can I bring books from home to get signed by my favorite authors?
No, books from home are not allowed into the event as the autographing is a fundraiser for literacy organizations.
3. How early should I arrive?
We suggest arriving ahead of that time if you are planning to see several high-demand authors.
4. Will there be long lines at the author tables?
Yes, there will be long lines for high-demand authors.
5. What type of payment do you accept?
We accept credit/debit cards, cash and checks.
6. How will I know what books my favorite author will be signing?
A list of signing authors is posted on our website a month in advance of the signing.
1. How will I know what workshops apply to me and which I should attend?
A listing of workshops will be posted on the RWA site several months prior to the conference. RWA also provides attendees with a conference app that can be downloaded; the app lists all workshops and descriptions.
2. What do I do if there are two workshops at the same time that I want to attend?
This happens to everyone. The good news is that there are recordings of many of the workshops available, in case there was one you just loved, or there are two that you’d like to attend being given at the same time. If you have to make a choice, you might want to examine the descriptions to see if one sounds as though it might be more "hands-on," in which case you could attend that one and buy the tape of the other. Or, you can attend one and ask a friend to attend the other, and exchange notes. Or, you can ask to see if anyone has ever attended a workshop by either of those speakers and can help you decide which would be more valuable to you.
3. What if I go to a workshop that I think is less than helpful or downright bad?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and give them that information. They always want to know what topics and speakers are effective and which are not, for future planning.
4. Can you give me a list of speakers who applied to give workshops, so that I can contact them for my chapter conference?
The best way to get this kind of information would be to put out a call on the RWA links for speaker volunteers or to reach out to the speaker through their website.
1. If I speak on a panel, do I get fully comped on the registration fee?
The speakers do not get a completely comped registration. They receive a waiver toward the cost of their registration fee.
2. Why do the applications have to be in so early?
Because there are many steps to be completed so the Workshop Committee can put together a well-rounded schedule for the conference.
3. Can unpublished authors give workshops?
4. Will I be overlooked to present a workshop if a board member (who attends RWA conferences fully comped) submits one on the same subject?
No. Just because the submitting person is a board member does not automatically guarantee them a workshop slot. Partisanship is not a part of this process. The committee wants to present the best speakers and offer the most informative workshops possible. Who the speaker is, how many books they’ve sold, or if they sit on the RWA Board does not play into the selection process. The ability to give a workshop that will benefit the attendees is considered first and foremost.
1. What should I wear to the conference?
The first thing to think about is being comfortable. Comfortable shoes are a must; the hotel is big and the function space is spread out over a rather large area to provide enough room for upwards of 2,000 people.
During conference hours, the common phrase for attire is "business casual." The summer air conditioning can seem a little cool to some people, so layering with a sweater or jacket might be a good idea. You will also have time after hours for leisure or sight-seeing, so you might want to bring jeans, tees, and sneakers or sandals, etc., for fun time.
I’ve heard a lot of people talking about volunteering at the conference, but I’ve never done anything like that before. What can I do?
Running a conference like this is an enormous task and involves a lot of work by a lot of people. Even if you’ve never volunteered for anything, your help is requested and welcomed. There are many, many jobs where a willingness to help is all that is required. Complete the volunteer opportunities section of the conference registration form; volunteers will be contacted before the conference with their duties.
2. How do I sign up to volunteer?
You can sign up to volunteer online when you register for conference or email email@example.com.
3. What if I sign up to volunteer, and I find out I have a schedule conflict?
If this happens, you should check in with the staff member in charge of the area you were assigned as soon as possible, so they can reschedule or replace you.
4. Will I get a reduced conference fee if I volunteer?
No; however, volunteers are given the opportunity to be entered into daily drawings for free conference registrations.
5. Do I need business cards, even if I’m not published?
Of course you don’t need them, but you will find a business card is a handy way to exchange information with people. They’re not very expensive to buy; even cheaper to make.
If you exchange business cards with someone else, jot a few notes on the back of theirs to remind you of meeting them. Two weeks after the conference, it might be hard to remember the specifics on the thirty cards in your purse or wallet.
6. What are some other things that I should think about bringing with me?
A sweater or jacket, as the hotel and function rooms can be a little cool for some people
Safety pins, needle and thread for clothing emergencies
Comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking a lot; don’t let vanity overrule good sense.
Lambs wool pads and bandages for blisters (if you ignore the above)
Casual clothes for hanging around the room chatting after activities are over or sightseeing
A soft-sided/fold-up suit-case for all the souvenirs, goodies, giveaways, and books you bought that will not fit in the suitcase that was already packed to the rim when you left home. (The hotel may also have a shipping office or know of one near-by, in case you don’t want to lug all that stuff onto a plane.)
1. What amenities are available at the conference hotel?
Visit the conference hotel's to see what's available.
2. What airport is closest to the conference site?
Three airports service the NYC area: Newark, La Guardia, and JFK.
3. Is there a shuttle service available between the airport and the hotel?
No. You will need to arrange your own transportation to/from the airport/hotel.
4. I'm driving to the conference. Does the hotel have parking and how much does it cost?
For more information, please visit the hotel's website