What is Writers on the River?

If you’ve been following me on social media, chances are you’ve heard me talking about book events, and Writers on the River is one of my favorites!

This annual event in Peoria, Illinois is designed to connect romance readers and authors for a fun-filled day of relaxing, talking about books, buying books, reading books, winning raffles, and dancing at the after party! (Note: if you are not a big dancer, there are lots of non-dancy things to do at the WOTR after party!)

It’s hard to believe, but this will be my fourth year at WOTR. When I first attended in 2021, I wasn’t sure what to expect. If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry! I’m going to fill you in on everything you need to know.

JULY 20th, 2024

First things first, though: book early! If you are planning to stay at the event hotel or you’re a reader who wants to claim a VIP ticket or attend the party that takes place after the signing, keep in mind that these tickets sell out every year. If you didn’t get one for 2024, be on the lookout when tickets go on sale for Writers on the River 2025, so you can get one!

That said, here’s what you should know about Writers on the River.

It’s carefully organized.

While no two book events are completely alike, WOTR is one of my favorites because of how detailed and organized it is. The creators of the event know that every detail matters, so you’re going to know what to expect every step of the way.

As an author, I appreciate knowing far in advance what time different things are happening at (breakfast, set up, break down, etc.).

The money goes to a great cause.

You can read all about Healing With Words and Thistle Farms on the Writers on the River website. Last year, we raised over $20,000 to donate. We’re all hoping that this year brings in even more! Personally, I think we can hit $25,000 in donations. Easy.

Everyone wants to have fun.

Book events are supposed to be fun, relaxing, and enjoyable. They’re a great chance to meet authors you’ve never experienced before and to reconnect with old friends. Make sure you come to the event with the attitude of having fun, and you will!

Preordering is important.

If you plan to buy specific books from authors you like, make sure you order your books in advance. (Note: You can find my preorder form here.)

Authors travel from all over the United States to attend Writers on the River in Peoria, Illinois, and many times, we travel with limited stock. When you preorder your books, it ensures you’re able to get the ones you want at the event.

You can come even if you’re on a budget.

Being a reader is a hard role because we want to buy every single book! Sometimes that’s not always financially possible. Authors understand this and won’t give you a hard time about it. Please remember that even if you’re on a budget, you can still come to the event! Come talk to authors, find out who we are, and learn more about our stories.

If you do plan to shop, you have lots of options for purchasing.

Almost every author will accept credit or debit cards at their table, as well as cash. Some also offer additional purchasing options, such as Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App. If you aren’t sure what your favorite author will accept at their table, it’s okay to reach out in advance to find out!

Bring questions!

If you’re the type of person who gets nervous talking to authors, you definitely aren’t alone. One thing that helps me is to bring a few questions in advance. I like to ask people what book they just finished reading, what genres they like, and what they plan to read next. Remember: the one thing we all have in common at this event is a love of books.

Raffle baskets are fantastic!

When you attend WOTR, make sure you check out the raffle basket room. There will be a lot of great ones to try to win! This year, I’m bringing extra cash for the raffles and I hope you will, too. Bidding on raffle baskets is optional and the money does go to support Thistle Farms. Last year’s baskets included wine, food, dolls, BOOKS, blankets, movies, and more!

Will I see you at Writers on the River this year? I hope so! Be sure to drop by and see me at my table! I’d love the chance to talk more with you about vampires, pirates, aliens, shifters, and everything in-between.

Writers on the River