The Mega-Huge Ultimate RWA Packing List

by Jami Gold on July 21, 2010

in Over-Achieving Perfectionist


I’m leaving in a couple of days to attend my first ever writers’ conference—the RWA National Conference, the mother of all big genre conferences.  So, how does a control-freak perfectionist prepare for this overwhelming experience?  With color-coded, prioritized spreadsheets to keep track of all the hundreds of workshops (last weekend’s project) and lots (and lots!) of lists.  Of course.

Thanks to the RWA Yahoo loops and picking up tips from blogs near and far (like AnimeJune’s RWA Links and The Romance Dish), here is the ultimate packing list for RWA Nationals:

  • Clothes (casual business most of the time, dressier business for pitches or editor/agent meetings, dressy for Awards Ceremony)
  • Comfortable shoes & gel inserts
  • Snacks for between workshops when you can’t stop for lunch
  • Medications (no hangovers allowed) & prescriptions
  • Your schedule
  • Laptop/cellphone/camera (& chargers/power cords)
  • Paper/pen/highlighter
  • Business cards
  • Small toiletry case for purse or bag
  • Some way to ship back or carry your goodies
  • Some way to personalize your RWA tote bag to make it easier to find among the 2000 identical bags
  • Small sewing kit for wardrobe malfunctions
  • Bandaids for blisters
  • Mints/candies to suck on for energy and fresh breath
  • Swimsuit/coverup/workout clothes (for all that *ahem* unscheduled time you don’t have)
  • Cardigan for chilly conference rooms
  • Dress purse for Awards Dinner
  • Earplugs, white noise app on phone
  • Umbrella for the daily mini-showers in FL
  • Cash for tips, Moonlight Madness Bazaar, dining with friends, vending machines
  • Extension cord for hotel room (2-4 women, 1 sink—do the math)
  • Extra hangers for hanging all your nice clothes in the closet
  • Pins for lanyard (PRO, chapter, etc.)
  • Sharpie marker, tape
  • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, stain stick or wipes, moisturizer

Other things to prepare and do:

  • Print out of hotel reservation, and email all important documents to yourself to ensure you have copies
  • Attach business card to phone/camera in case it gets misplaced
  • Make sure you drink plenty of water

*whew*  All right, what am I forgetting?  Oh yeah…  And a really big chill pill so I don’t drive my roomie crazy.  Do you have anything else to add to this list?

10 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Murphy July 22, 2010 at 7:39 am

Gee, if you’re bringing all that stuff – do I need to? LOL! And, thanks for the heads-up. I’ll be packing another batch of big chill pills – so I can be sure you don’t drive me nuts. 🙂


Jami Gold July 22, 2010 at 7:55 am

Gosh, you’re so helpful…


Murphy July 22, 2010 at 8:05 am

Yep, hurtful…er, Freudian slip there 🙂 HELPFUL is my middle name.

Murphy 😉


Tory July 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

M. was right. You do have a lovely website. Congratulations and all the best. Have fun at the conference. 🙂


Jami Gold July 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Thank you, Tory! It’s a nice place for me to call “home”.


Murphy July 24, 2010 at 7:35 am

It is a nice place!
Murphy 🙂


Buffy Armstrong July 16, 2012 at 8:49 am

Love this list. Spent some time in the past few weeks making a list myself. Wish I had found this sooner!


Jami Gold July 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Hi Buffy,

I’ll be reposting this list tomorrow, so you beat me to it! 🙂 Thanks for the comment!


What do you think?

10 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Previous post:

Next post: