I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

CONFERENCE TIME: Memorable Moments with...Cath Evans

With the conference season just around the corner, I begin counting down the days until I meet up with friends I usually only see once a year.
So much gets packed into 3-4 days and everyone's experiences are different. We go away with a variety of highlights or "a-ha" moments.

I thought I'd poll some of my RWAustralia & RW New Zealand friends and ask them to recall their most memorable moments of the conferences they've been to.

Over the coming weeks I'll be featuring these as snippets and as you'll read, you'll see just how special coming to conference can be. For any first timers out there, don't be nervous or afraid of going to conference. More often than not you're going to find yourself welcomed VERY warmly and will probably go away with a host of friends whom you can't wait to meet next year at conference.


Cath's Memories: My first face-to-face conference was Brisbane 2009. Thank goodness I’d done Clayton’s in 2008 so I had an inkling of how full my brain would become. I knew no one to look at, but had lots of email friends and acquaintances. Meeting them was incredible. What I’d picked up about their personality via email, was usually right. Firm friendships were forged.

The noise is the thing that left me speechless. I’d never heard so much noise. Walking into the Cocktail Party was like standing under a tree with a billion lorikeets screeching at once. I was with my newly-met critique partner and we made a few forays into the room but the waves of noise sent us out again. As we were about to leave, Anne Gracie (who was the RWA President) and Mary Jo Putney (the keynote speaker) stopped to talk to us. We almost swooned. Why would such famous people talk to us?!

We talked about books, writing, conferences, people, the attitudes of others to romance, the noise. They shared themselves with us - two nobodies. We were caught up in the spell of famous authors speaking to us. Then others arrived, the group expanded, people left. We made it to the end of the Cocktail Party and had forgotten about the noise, our discomfort, and our newness.

We walked around the rest of the conference on a high that just got higher. No matter how high a pedestal we’d put authors/editors/agents on, they came down and talked to us.

I’ve been to lots of work conferences and although I’ve enjoyed every single one, I’ve never felt the buzz or the high that RWA conferences give. It’s like a shot of creativity, mixed with confidence, mixed with hope and dreams. It’s the best feeling in the world - except for that noise! :-)


  1. Fabulous outfits, Cath! My first conference was 2010 and it seemed no question or comment I made was ever considered silly. I picked up a roomie in Sydney, we shared in Melbourne and are about to again on the Coast. I've made a few more friends on the e-loops this year and look forward to meeting them in the flesh.

    See you there! :)

  2. Hi Sandy,
    They weren't my outfits. We didn't get dressed up, which kind of added to our awkwardness!

    So glad you found your first conference a good time too - and met a roomie. It's awesome to have someone to de-brief to each night, isn't it?

    See you on the Gold Coast!


  3. I'm the same. My mother and I met a wonderful lady in Brisbane. Roomed at Sydney now rooming together at GC. We all adore each other.

    Kelly Ethan

  4. Hi Kelly,
    Isn't it fantastic to meet people almost at random and hit it off so well. So glad you've also got a great roomie :)

  5. I had to small at your sense of awe of "famous" authors, Cath. I too remember feeling like that only too well way, way back in 1991 when I first met Emma Darcy and others. Actually discovered famous authors still have to wash clothes and do housework - even hate it like I do! LOL.

  6. Oops, time I got off the computer and did some housework. Somehow "smile" became "small".

  7. Hi Mary,
    And now you're in that "famous author" category yourself :) I bet people at the Tassie Roadshow went home saying, "We met this lovely famous author, Mary Hawkins."

    One of the nice things about RWA is finding other people who groan about housework!!

    Thanks for stopping by.


  8. Cath, I think I babbled the first time I met Barbara Hannay (in my head I was making sense, but apparently not so much), lol.

    It is one of the wonderful things about our members, though, they are all so friendly (and I agree about the noise - pack panadol!).

  9. Yes, Anita, I'll totally agree about how friendly RWA people are - even if you get overwhelmed and babble! :)


  10. It's just been announced our lovely Cath Evans is a Lynne Wilding Meritorious Service Award nominee!!! Go, Cath! Well deserved.