FF: RWA® Nationals 2010 Recap

It’s Friday! But not just any Friday. This is the day I introduce my new feature: Frabjous Friday!

OK, I suspect you might be wondering where I got that title. I borrowed it, part of it anyway, from a famous author: Lewis Carroll.

The word frabjous was created by Carroll in his famous poem “Jabberwocky,” in which he coined many fun, nonsensical words. When the hero of the piece slays the menacing beast with his “vorpal sword,” his father congratulates him, saying, “O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

All week long, writers deal with delays and dashed hopes. We do our best to slay discouragement, disappointment, and doubt.

Along the way, some of us celebrate contest finals and placements, agent signings, and sales.

On Fridays, I want RWotJ to be a place where we can celebrate our successes as well as salute our perseverance. A place where we can have fun!

I don’t know about you, but I can take myself far too seriously. (Want proof? Ask my dear friend, Ruth Logan Herne. Ruthy’s been working on getting stuffy me to lighten up for two years. :))

What can you expect to see on Frabjous Fridays? Posts that are lighthearted, uplifting, encouraging, or just plain fun. I’ll write a few of them, but I’m inviting some of my wonderful writer pals to join me. The topics will vary, so prepare to be surprised.

One thing you’ll see at the end of every Frabjous Friday post is an invitation to share your good news. This is a time and place for happy dancing, so join in.

And good news doesn’t have to be huge. Did you complete a manuscript, submit your first contest entry, get your first request for a partial? Tell us about it, so we can celebrate with you.

• • • • •

Frabjous Friday: RWA® Nationals 2010 Recap

I had a blast at Nationals. I enjoyed the workshops, the Literacy Autographing, and the Awards Ceremony. But what I enjoyed most of all was reconnecting with friends I’d met at the 2008 conference in San Francisco and meeting online friends for the first time.

The highlight was spending time with my awesome critique partner, Anne Barton

She’s not just my CP. She’s a treasured friend.

(Love you, Anne!)


Me with Anne Barton


Coming in close second was saying hi to many of my friends who’ve been guests here at Romance Writers on the Journey. Since a picture is worth the proverbial 1,000 words, I’m going to let those below tell the story.


Anne, Lavinia Kent, and Me

Anne, Lavinia, and I met when we were Golden Heart Finalists in 2008. We’re proud to be part of the Pixies.


Anne, Christine Johnson, Me, and Amy Atwell

Christine and Amy are Pixies, too. We’re all part of the GIAM writers group founded by Amy.


Carla Capshaw and Keli

Carla was the 2007 Golden Heart winner in the inspirational category.


Caroline Fyffe, Anne, and Pamela

Caroline is a member of the Sacramento Valley Rose RWA chapter along with me.

Pamela is a Pixie and one of the 2008 GH winners.


Me with Christine Trent

Christine and I met when she judged one of my stories in a contest


CJ Eernisse Chase, Kristin Wallace, and Me

We were the three inspirational finalists in the 2010 GH and are part of the Unsinkables.

CJ and I are are also Pixies. CJ won the inspirational GH this year, and I’m thrilled for her!


Me with Courtney Milan and Anne

Courtney is one of the Pixies. She stooped so Anne and I don’t look as short.


Elisabeth Naughton

Elisabeth is a generous author who interviewed many of the Unsinkables (2010 GH finalists).


Elizabeth Pina

Elizabeth and I are online pals.


Me with Jessica Nelson

Jessica and I are blogging buddies. She lives in FL and came just for the Literacy Autographing.

I made a point to meet her in person. She’s also and stooped so 5’2″ me wouldn’t feel short.


Me with Kelly Ann Riley

Kelly is a Pixie. She won the inspirational GH last year and presented the award to CJ this year.


Lizbeth Selvig and Me

Lizbeth is an Unsinkable and one of the 2010 GH winners.


Lynn Raye Harris

Lynn is a Pixie, the first one of our group to be able to use the title Bestselling Author.

She’s made the USA Today Bestseller’s List twice so far!


Paisley Kirkpatrick and Me

Paisley is another member of the Sacramento Valley Rose RWA chapter.

She was the first RWA member I met in person.



Ruth Logan Herne and Me

Ruthy’s teaching Let’s Lighten Keli Up 101. She’s tonz of fun! I loved meeting her in person.

She’s such a kick. I was having such fun with her that Anne captured my toothiest grin ever. 😀


Susan Gee Heino

Susan is a Pixie and another of the 2008 GH winners.


Susan is a Pixie and yet another of the 2008 GH winners.


Although it took me an extra day to get home due to a Florida thunderstorm that delayed my first flight and made me miss my second, when I did reach California, I was tired but happy. For me, the conference was a 12 on the 1-10 scale.

If you attended Nationals, I’d love to hear how things went for you.

If you have good news, please shout it out, so I can join in your happy dance.

I wish you a Frabjous Friday!


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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22 Responses to FF: RWA® Nationals 2010 Recap

  1. T. Anne says:

    Oh I love, love, love this! Wish I was there!

  2. Great pics, Keli! You look lovely as ever, and it’s great to see so many of our frabjous Pixies! We writers really do need to take time to celebrate, don’t we? Despite deadlines and rejection and frustration, we are truly blessed with some amazing friends. Glad to have you as one of them!

  3. As always, I enjoy your posts. This is especially encouraging for someone still waiting on the day.

    I love your personal journey and I love more that you are making mine so much easier to live with.

    So on this frabjous Friday, I would like to share some good news of my own. I entered a RWA Chapter contest for the first 25 pages of my second romantic comedy. Entered as Mainstream with romantic elements which is what I write.

    I must thank you for the 2Lisas and their referral to RWA-Women’s Fiction Chapter. I have sent in my application and look forward to working with gals who understand what I write.

    Because of Christi Corbett I found you, becuase of you I found so many others. The ripples on the pond reach out in an endless circle of friends, communication and support.

    Thanks for being you, Keli.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Ramblings, congratulations on submitting that contest entry! That takes courage. I hope you receive great feedback and return to share some more good news.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the Lisas’ visit. They are such fun. How wonderful that they were able to point you to the new Women’s Fiction chapter of RWA. I hope you make some great connections there.

  4. Anne Barton says:

    One more reason to love Fridays!

    Thanks for the great recap and wonderful photos. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Anne, thanks for taking many of those pictures. I loved visiting the authors at the Literacy Autographing with you. Isn’t it thrilling to see how many of our friends were signing? One day you’ll be there, and I’ll make a beeline for your table. 🙂

  5. Great pics! Reminds me I need to take mine out of my camera and get them posted. I also agree with your rating the RWA conference a 12. To date, I’m a non-pub, but got two requests for a partial and one for a full at the conference, so hope to change my status soon. Happy Friday!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      BonSue, congrats on those requests! How exciting. I hope they lead to great things.

      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who hadn’t gotten her Nationals pics posted.

  6. Elisa Beatty says:

    So fun to relive all this! Great pictures…and what great groups you belong to! So glad I’m an Unsinkable with you!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Elisa, I am, indeed, a member of some awesome groups. How cool that we’re Unsinkable pals.

      Major league congrats on your Golden Heart win. My it lead to even greater things in the near future.

  7. Mary Strand says:

    A frabjous Friday indeed! Keli, I was SO sorry I never ran into you in Orlando! I had my eye out but was on the go nonstop – as were you, I bet! Great pics. Two of your Pixies are from my (local) MN chapter: Liz Selvig and Susan Sey. I agree on the conference being a 12 out of 10, and that’s despite the heat and humidity! I got four requests for partials or fulls, two of them on two separate manuscripts, and came away very happy. I’m now knocking on wood and every other surface available! 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Mary, I’m sorry we didn’t find each other. I guess it’s not surprising considering how many people were there.

      You and your chapter must be happy dancing with Liz. I was thrilled to hear her name called at the Awards Ceremony in Orlando just as I was when Susan’s was called two years ago.

      Congrats on your requests! I hope they lead to great things.

  8. Jody Hedlund says:

    Loved seeing all your pictures, Keli! You look like you had a wonderful time and are quite the social butterfly! 🙂

  9. Pamela Fryer says:

    What a great recap! Thanks for posting a picture of me where I look fabulous 🙂

  10. Keli Gwyn says:

    Pamela, you always look great. I enjoyed talking with your several times throughout the conference and greatly appreciate your words of encouragement.

  11. patti says:

    Keli, great site! I cannot WAIT to read soulmate writer Jillian’s first book! And I hope you and I can become bloggites–when your romancing business slows down!!


  12. Jessica says:

    It was wonderful to meet you! I wish we could’ve sat somewhere for a chat and chocolate. 🙂 Thanks for posting a pic that makes me look like I have muscles in my noodle arms. LOL
    I hope your appointments were fruitful!

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