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Featured Speakers

We're so excited to announce our featured speakers for the RWA2022 conference, July 28 - 30!

Opening Session Speaker: Alex Lidell

Alex Lidell

Map Your Route to Success in Romance Writing

It is about the destination. What writing successes are you shooting for? Critical acclaim? Financial stability? The book of your heart out in the world? Many summits are worth climbing, but the waypoints en route differ greatly. Depending on where you are heading, you have different skills to master. Different risks to take. Different pitfalls to avoid. Join Alex Lidell as she discusses her travels and helps you map yours. Bring paper. Leave with a plan. Then put it into action this weekend at RWA.

Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of The Cadet of Tildor (Penguin) and several Amazon Top 100 Kindle Bestsellers, including the Power of Five and Trident Rescue romance series. She is an avid horseback rider who believes in eating dessert first. Alex is easily bribed into a writing craft / writing business conversation with a lure of coffee and a quiet place to chat.

She writes as both Alex Lidell and A.L. Lidell.

Industry Networking Mixer Host: Shay (Shay Baby) Bohannon

Shay Baby Excitement, energy and versatility are just a few of the characteristics you can anticipate from Shay (Shay Baby) Bohannon; a well-known Atlanta, Georgia entertainment personality, whose professional career attributes consist of affiliations with many of the top radio shows throughout the greater Metropolitan Georgia area. Shay Baby began her career as a crew member and board operator on the popular Si-Man Morning Show (Classic Soul 102.5-Radio One of Atlanta). Thriving in popularity within the industry and a natural talent for production, Shay Baby’s growth and career progression was instantly propelled to the next level. Audience demand, a vivacious personality, poise and charm, earned Shay Baby the reputation of one of Atlanta’s most accomplished radio producers.

Shay Baby’s radio persona eventually parlayed to greater ventures, which included television, acting (stage plays and commercials) and hosting. Shay Baby’s list of credits includes numerous concerts, comedy, gospel and country music shows, all of which demonstrate the diversity of her professional achievements. Dubbed the first lady of Xtreme entertainment (one of the most recognized entertainment company in the LGBT community) Shay Baby has hosted multi-city Gay Pride Parades, Sizzle Miami, Tempted to Touch Las Vegas.

The overall success of her career, notoriety, and community sponsorship was formally acknowledged during a commendation ceremony sponsored by the NAACP, where Shay Baby received the prestigious Humanitarian Award for Broadcasting. Shay Baby embarked on a new adventure by mixing her experience in broadcast radio and special event hosting with her love for romance books, and The Brown Book Series was born. The Brown Book Series features high energy interviews and events with award-winning USA Today and New York Times best-selling authors.

Saturday Featured Speaker: LaQuette


Which Way to Romance?

Discussion on the various paths to publishing and how to use your RWA membership as a roadmap to career success.

2021 VIVIAN Award finalist and DEIA activist in the romance industry, LaQuette writes sexy, stylish, and sensational romance. She crafts dramatic, emotionally epic tales that are deeply pigmented by reality's paintbrush. This Brooklyn native writes unapologetically bold, character-driven stories. Her novels feature diverse ensemble casts who are confident in their right to appear on the page.

She is the 2016 Author of the Year Golden Apple Award winner & the 2016 Write Touch Readers Award winner. Writing—her escape from everyday madness— has always been a friend and source of comfort. At the age of sixteen, she read her first romance novel and realized the genre was missing something: people that looked and lived like her. As a result, her characters and settings are always designed to provide positive representations of people of color and various marginalized communities.
She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. Contact her on her website,, via email at, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.