RWA Annual Conference - 1981 Houston
In 1981, the first-ever Romance Writers of America Annual Conference was held in Houston. Nearly 700 writers, editors, and agents attended this first event. The attendance for the conference exceeded all expectations, as reported in the New York Times:
Dream conference. Speaking of the Romance Writers of America conference, how did it go? It far exceeded the fondest dreams of its founders, Rita Estrada, a Houston woman who writes romances under the name of Rita Clay, and Vivian Stephens, a former Houstonian who now edits Dell's Candlelight Romances in New York. The turn-out was three times as great as they hoped for when they projected it three years ago. Sixty percent of the registrants were published authors. Almost all of these were women in their middle years. A half-dozen were men. Nearly all the writers, men and women, use pseudonyms. Every major paperback house had an editor present, several had small delegations. So many conferees told Mrs. Estrada that they were pleased with the information they exchanged that she's planning another get-together next year, somewhere in California.