Chapter meetings

Since I've been a member of SARA, we've met in restaurants. The first place was a restaurant that had Mexican and Chinese food. I know, weird combination. Still, the service was good, the food was good and they had a nice room away from everyone else.

When their quality declined, we tried a steak house, which moved us to a different room every time. I loved it, though, because it was a stone's throw from my then-new house.

We moved back to the first restaurant.

Then we moved to an Italian restaurant that gave us our own room, but the service and check-out were nightmares. Then we didn't meet our contract on how many meals we bought a month, so they charged us for the use of the room.

We moved to a Mexican restaurant near the Medical Center, a nightmare for traffic. Last meeting, they put us in the bar. When we weren't in the bar, we were in a joint party room, usually with a group of people on the other side of the accordian doors who were actually having a party, not trying to listen to a speaker.

Now we're going to try a buffet place in the same general area. I don't know how it will work, since people will be getting their own food, but at least you pay as you go in, and you won't have wait staff disturbing you.

I've heard Austin meets at Mr. Gatti's Pizza, and other places meet in libraries. Where does your chapter meet?

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13 comments:

Dana Pollard said...

Our OKRWA meets in a meeting room at the local mall. It's quiet and nice, but getting small. We're moving to another meeting room mall. You might also want to check out meeting rooms at your local library. They might not charge if the author's in the group do something for the library?

Michele said...

*sigh*, it sounds wonderful! Just to meet with other people about writing. I've talked to my library about getting something going for adults..they have tons of programs for kids to learn how to write, practice and grow and the local paper fosters enthusiasm by always printing a story/poem, whatever, from an aspiring young writer every week!
Nada for adults. The "local" RWA chapter is on the other side of the state. *sigh*
I read your posts like a sponge.
Maybe someday.......

Tess Harrison said...

When I first joined GRW we met at a buffet style resturant then moved to an Outback rest. Now we meet in one of the conference rooms at a hotel. So far I like the conference much better of everyone they've met. The resturant was to confining and limiting and I didn't go to that many meetings at the other to really know how felt about it.

Peggy said...

I don't belong to a chapter. Not because I don't want to, but because the closest is about a three hour commute. I really wish I could though. It would be fun to mingle with other romance writers.

Paula said...

We meet at a local library, in one of their meeting rooms in the basement. Everybody either eats before the meeting or sack lunches it, which is easy because the library has several restaurants and fast food places in the vicinity. We used to go the restaurant route, but the library has worked out for us for the past few years.

Peggy--do you know other writers in your area? Maybe you could look into creating your own local chapter. My first local chapter was out of Huntsville, which is a couple of hours north of where I live. The long round trip commute to meetings could be prohibitive to some members.

But when several writers from my neck of the woods realized we had enough of us to start a new chapter, that's what we did. Now both the Huntsville and the Birmingham chapters are thriving, and several of us belong to both chapters.

Paula

Stacy Dawn said...

When I can get to the Toronto meetings, they do meet in a library with our own room. It's nice but quite a bit of a drive for me

Jaye said...

Stacey, I'm a TRW member too!

The Library we normally meet at has several rooms of various sizes, very convenient, and is adjacent to an underground mall. So most folks grab something to eat in the food court, before the meeting or during the break. I know after a number of ladies hop across the street to restaurant/bar to gab some more.

When we don't meet at our usual library branch, the alternative is *usually* another branch. I never thought anything of it, till reading this post. Much more appreciative now. :-P

Toni Anderson said...

Like Peggy, my closest is somewhere south of the borfer, too many miles to even contemplate!! Thank God for the internet!

MaryF said...

You guys without local chapters make me realize I should appreciate my chapter more. And I definitely shouldn't complain about the commute. During rush hour traffic. And construction.

I think the problem with the libraries is that none but the downtown branch have large meeting rooms and no one wants to go downtown. Plus, our meetings are on Wednesday nights, which means dinner is pretty necessary.

Interesting about the mall meeting room. We only have a couple of malls anymore - everything else is outdoor shopping.

Peggy said...

Toronto or Detroit are my closest. Either direction, I'm looking at a long commute.

Paula, I did look into starting up a Chapter myself. Not sure if there is enough romance writer's in my tiny community though, but there is a larger city about an hours drive away. The main problem is, I would need to have been a RWA member for a year---I've only just celebrated my 6 month anniversary.

April said...

My chapter used to meet at the local library, but the people there started getting catty. Who would've guessed that librarians wouldn't want a writer's group meeting at their library?

So, we moved to a local restaurant too. It serves all sorts of food, including BBQ. They have a room for us and go out of their way to doo a good job for us. It's nice to feel wanted

Trish Milburn said...

We also meet at a meeting room at a local mall. It's back down a service corridor, so it's quiet and has plenty of room. We've probably been in the same place for 8 years or so.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

RWA/NYC meets at a place called TRS suites which also houses alternative therapies, massage, rolfing etc. We'd love to meet in a restaurant but New York is expensive and asking members to cough up for a meal as well just wouldnt' work.

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