What Happens When You Bring 20+ Writers Together?

Posted by in Calgary, romance, writing | 14 comments


The Calgary Chapter of RWA (www.calgaryrwa.com) is a small but active group of romance writers who have the stated purpose of helping its members establish and build careers as romance writers.  They are the most supportive group of women and one man that I’ve ever met.

We meet monthly on the third Tuesday of the month and annually sponsor two all day events.  The spring event usually features a professional in the field who can deepen our understanding of craft.  May 12, we are hosting Michael Hague for the day.  And then in the fall we bring in an editor and an agent who are willing to share industry information and then take pitches.  These two events combined with our regular meetings ensure we grow as authors, have contact with people in the industry and can continue to work toward the chapter’s goal.

We have a Christmas party on the first Tuesday of December.   About twenty of our fifty plus members were able to party.  Since it was a potluck, there was a wide variety of foods – from salads to potato chips; homemade gluten free cookies to Baklava.  We drank lots of water, a bit of wine and a fair bit of soda and coffee.  We exchanged Secret Santa gifts and talked and talked and talked.  A good time was had by all – especially me.

But the evening also has a more serious intent:  we review our accomplishments over the last year and set goals for the coming year.  We also track our submissions.

Last year, our group had 150 submissions to agents, authors, and editors.  This year, we tallied more than 1000 submissions!  Yes you read that right – we are over a thousand submissions over the past twelve months.  And we discussed and agreed that we will shoot for more than 2000 in the upcoming year.

It was an amazing feat.  And the plan for the upcoming year has each of us energized and motivated.

What have you done either individually or as a group to set goals for 2012?  Or do you set so many you run yourself ragged?  Are you good at setting goals?  Do you keep them?  Please share what you’ve learned about yourself and your success from writing and using goals.


  1. Louise, that’s awesome!

    I find that I do set goals, but sometimes they are forced to change because of circumstances. Life happens and things change. I would drive myself crazy if I didn’t learn to roll with it.

    You’re doing great Louise! 🙂

    • You are very wise to allow life to dictate changes to your goals, Karen. I think we all have to learn to let life happen to our plans.

      thanks for the support. it’s much appreciated as I learn my way thru the blogosphere

  2. How very cool! I can’t believe how many submissions your group had. Awesome1

    • Susie, when a small group are focused on the same goal and cheering each of us on, it’s amazing what happens.

  3. It was an excellent party, and a very motivating session of goal setting.
    Here’s to many more!

    • I agree – it was so motivating. I love these social gatherings and the goal check in we do — helps me keep my focus. and it’s always good to see friends, new and old.

  4. It was an awesome party! 🙂
    I don’t know if I said it on Tuesday night, but I am SO glad to have found CaRWA!

    • Alyssa, we’re glad you found us as well. Personally I’m glad to have such a nice woman and another celiac in the group.

  5. Louise, you should convince CaRWA to hire a bus next year and move the party north to my house. 🙂 Right now, I’m finishing rewrites on a book that’s due Dec 15th, then I’m going to sit down and work on my 2012 goals.

    Thanks for sharing all the wonderful group accomplishments!

    • Sheila, I think we should rent a bus and bring you here…LOL Be sure to post your goals to the group. and good luck on the rewrites. I’m still editing.

  6. Louise, I was jealous BEFORE I saw the picture of the food! lol Wish I could have gone, maybe next year. As far as goals go, I don’t set minimums. Because some days all I can get is a page after sitting there 6 hours. So I sit down to write every day and as long as I get some done, I’m okay with that. My goal for 2012 however is to write Pirates 4 and put out my novella for Bandit Creek.

    • Michelle, send these two goals into the CARWA loop and get them recorded. that’s what most of us do – big grand totals. For example, one of mine is to write 26 reviews this year. Definitely doable and will help me clarify what I like and don’t like about books I read.

  7. Louise,
    CARWA has the best parties. I am inspired just thinking of them. Goals for 2012? Mostly keep up with my writing obligations.

    Merry Christmas to you and everyone at CARWA.

    • Merry Christmas to you as well, Linda. Our chapter has the best parties. we are an enthusiastic group, for certain. Congrats on all the writing obligations. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

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