July 21, 2010

The Mega-Huge Ultimate RWA Packing List


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?

Comments — What do you think?

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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. 🙂


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

Murphy 😉


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


It is a nice place!
Murphy 🙂

Buffy Armstrong

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


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