ImageIf you’re like me… you might have just looked at the calendar and realized that in one week, you’d be in Atlanta at RWA Nationals.

Yikes! Time to get ready!

I did at least already book my flight/hotel and arranged for babysitters for the kids… 

I really love going to Nationals. I missed it last year because of attending several other conferences, but this year, despite my conf load, I decided I had to go. There are many reasons I love nationals–networking, workshops, immersing myself in the world of romance, and seeing many of my friends who for the rest of the year are too far for visiting. Its five whirlwind days of excitement. I always leave pumped and ready to write and take the world by storm.

If this will be the first year you go, get ready for an awesome, inspiring time. The friends you make will be friends for life. My very first roommates at Nationals are still my friends–and I just went to Scotland with one of them too!

Sooo…I’m going to put up a daily posts until the morning that I leave, regarding preparing for Nationals–and I will give daily updates while I’m there via Twitter/Facebook, and I will try to post here as well at least once or twice.

Today’s post is about what to bring and what not to bring…

DO Bring:

  • Comfortable but nice clothes–business casual–for workshops and panels. A nice dress (or suit) for the RITA awards. If you’re attending any publisher/agent/chapter gatherings, make sure you find out what the attire is, so you can have the appropriate outfit.
  • Shoes. Its a right of passage. Hot shoes are a must.
  • Flip-flops or sneakers for when the hot shoes kill your feet 🙂
  • Travel sized toiletries. If you have roommates…the bathroom might get crazy.
  • Hangars. With 2-4 women in a room, I guarantee the hangars will disappear.
  • A sweater. Conf rooms are cold.
  • Advil/Tylenol/Allergy meds, etc… 
  • Mini-pack of tissues, chapstick, gum
  • Notepad/pen
  • Laptop — if you plan on blogging, writing, etc…
  • Cash. It is easier to pay a bar tab with cash. Remember to keep your receipts for meals, because you can write them off. (Alcohol can not be written off.)
  • Your agenda (will post about how to make one tomorrow).
  • Reservation print-outs
  • ID cards 
  • A credit card (for hotel, purchases, emergencies)
  • A budget (will talk more about this as well in a later post!)
  • Cellphone numbers (and your cell!) of those you plan to meet up with.
  • Snacks — I always pack granola bars and nuts, sometimes it gets too crazy to grab a meal.

DON’T Bring:

  • A printed out copy of your manuscript — too cumbersome, and if an agent/editor requests your manuscript, you can always email it to them. They won’t want the printout on site.
  • Books to read — there will be so many books to read that are given away for free… so so many…
  • A bad attitude. This is a fun place with lots of camaraderie. Enjoy it!

So, tell me, are you going? Are you excited? 

Stay tuned! Daily posts on your agenda, budgeting at Nationals, pitching, networking, etc…