October new releases

Whew! It’s October already. Competition season is upon us and there is no substitute for reading when it comes to improving your craft. It’s one of the myriad benefits of being a romance writer and reader – you can educate yourself and enjoy yourself at the same time!

htoct16-newreleases

#RWAus17 Workshop Submissions are open.

rwa17_banners-worksub

We hope you have all recovered from this year’s conference (August 2016), but it is time to be bold and set foot out into the wilderness again.  New territories are waiting to be discovered. Love Gone Wild is calling for you.

Workshop Submissions for #RWAus17 are NOW OPEN.

We will have a strong focus on accommodating all genres and all level of authors – aspiring, emerging and established. We want to use the amazing talent contained within our RWA tribe and will source external expertise when required.

If you are passionate and want to submit any ideas/suggestions for a workshop, or if you would like to head up a round table discussion, put together a panel etc, please register your interest now.

For full workshop details visit our website at http://www.romanceaustralia.com/p/279

Submit your workshop proposal via this form at: http://bit.ly/RWA17WSP

If you have any questions, please email Conference2017@romanceaustralia.com

 

Make Facebook Your Friend: Ask me how!

Actually, don’t ask me, ask Sara Hood.  Better still, sign up for her October OWL and learn it from her!  Social media is a fact of life for writers these days, but it can be mystifying and frustrating for the uninitiated.  So an online workshop with this title has to be a good idea!

Make Facebook your friend: six ways to make Facebook work for you as a writer, without mortgaging your home

Registration is now open and you can sign up here: http://www.romanceaustralia.com/new/showowls.asp

But now, over to Sara!

11-50am-sara-headshots-fb-1

Of all the articies I’ve written for Hearts Talk*, by far the one that generated the most response was earlier this year where I busted some of the most commonly believed Facebook myths.

Frequently (and sadly) those myths are based on a misunderstanding of what Facebook is and how it works. Or even a misunderstanding about why Facebook is there in the first place. (Clue: it’s not out to force you to advertise by wilfully restricting who gets to see your posts, but it’s also not a charity.)

When people ask me ‘is it worth being on Facebook?’ my reply is always ‘with 1.6 billion accounts what’s not to like?’.

Let’s get this straight: it is very easy to get Facebook wrong.  It doesn’t help that Facebook itself doesn’t communicate that well and there is a tsunami of ‘experts’ who fill the void, some of whom are little more than snakeoil salesmen, and directly contradict each other. Or have a ‘guaranteed’ strategy that costs a mere $50 per lead. All that does is confuse and bewilder and frustrate.

So the most critical challenge for a writer when trying to make Facebook work for you is working out who to listen to and how to succeed without wasting money and driving yourself nuts.

That’s where this OWL comes in. Six ways to make Facebook your friend. They’re not hard. They won’t require you to first complete a PhD in rocket science. Nor will they cost gargantuan amounts of money to implement.

The OWL also won’t suck up your precious time. It’s a series of PDFs, released each week from 3 October, which you can work through in your own time. There’s then a Facebook group where you can ask questions (and I promise to be there at least once a day) and at the end an online live webinar for you to ask the questions that couldn’t be answered in the Facebook group. We can share screens and look at the back end of Facebook, live.

I won’t over promise: Facebook is harder now that before because there are so many more people competing for screen time, it takes time and it takes commitment.  This OWL will also show you how to track if you’re making a difference.

It starts on 3 October and runs all month, with the webinar scheduled for the last week. It will be recorded and if you can’t make it you are invited send your questions in and I’ll answer them in the session.

If you’re an aspiring writer this is a great way to start to get your marketing foundations in place. For emerging and established writers it’s a great way to make sure you’re hitting all the right buttons.

As I said a few paragraphs ago, with 1.6 billion accounts what’s not to love about Facebook? You just have to learn how to make friends with it first.

So, if any of this sounds like you, see you next month for the October OWL.

It’s going to be fun!
Registration is now open.  http://www.romanceaustralia.com/new/owlrego.asp?id=23

$30 for RWA members and $40 for those who aren’t.

* In case you haven’t noticed, I write a book marketing article in each issue of Hearts Talk! Feel free to send in a question and I’ll do my best to answer it. (And for those who don’t know, Hearts Talk is the member journal for RWA.  You can join RWA here.)

Sara Hood has been a member of RWA for 8 years, is still thoroughly unpublished and knows all too well that finishing a manuscript might be a good idea. She’s also a longstanding member of the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild, and RWA-auspiced writing group, the Saturday Ladies Bridge Club.  She’s worked in marketing for more than thirty years and runs a consultancy providing marketing services for organisations in the wider music sector.  She spent half of July this year in Glasgow running the social media for an international conference of music educators.

Rip into the Ripping Start!

The Ripping Start contest is now open for entries!

The Ripping Start is, fittingly, the first in our annual contest season.  It is open to Romance Writers of Australia members in the Aspiring and Emerging categories.  If you’re not a member and would like to enter, you can always join!   You can find membership information and join on our website.

Why should YOU enter The Ripping Start?  Three awesome reasons:

1) It’s the first 1500 words of your unpublished manuscript, plus a 300-word summary of the whole story. Easy!

2) Get valuable anonymous feedback from your fellow RWA writers. Three scoresheets filled with comments. Who wouldn’t want that?

3) The top 6 entries will be read by our fabulous final judge: editor Lucy Bell,from Aussie publisher Pantera Press. Lucy is on the lookout for new and emerging romance writers, so don’t miss this amazing opportunity.

Contest is open until 26 September. Get your Ripping Start on 🙂

Check the website for details.

We’re on Instagram!

In our continuing campaign to spread love (see what I did there?) across the internet, we have expanded our social media presence to Instagram!

You can find us here, or search @rwaustralia on Instagram to find us.  If you are on Instagram, please share your handles in the comments so that we can follow you.

We’ve also created a searchable Instagram hashtag, #loveozromance, which we’d love you to use when posting about romance on Instagram, so that we can build our  community of lovers of Australian romance.

And just so you know, you can also find us on

Pinterest

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Instagram

We also have several private gathering spaces on social media for members only.  If you are a member and would like more info, contact Imelda at online@romanceaustralia.com

 

 

“The sun just touched the morning;
The morning, happy thing,
Supposed that he had come to dwell,
And life would be all spring.”
– Emily Dickinson

Happy 1 September everyone. I can certainly feel Spring in the air, taking the chill off mornings and extending daylight in the evenings. This means, of course, more light to read by🙂

HTSep-New-Releases

Awards Night Results 2016

Once again, our conference organisers hosted a wonderful conference dinner and glorious award presentation.

Thank you to our conference committee for organising and managing such a great event.  We must also thank our lovely president, Leisl Leighton, who MC’d the evening for us.

We started by congratulating the winners of the Cover Contest, the Ripping Start, Selling Synopsis, First Kiss, Little Gems and Little Gems Cover Awards, all of which were decided and announced during the year.  (If you would like to revisit the winners and finalists, there are links at the end of this post.)  Thank you to Michael Hauge, Erica Hayes, Joanne Grant, Pauline Johnston, Sarah E Younger, Tricia Sargant and Lis Hoorweg for presenting those awards.

Then we moved onto the awards that are saved for the big reveal at the conference, which this year included the ROMA, The Valerie Parv Award, The Emerald, The Emerald Pro, The Ruby (in all its various categories), the Lynne Wilding Meritorious Service Award and a Life Member Award. We also announced the covers from our members’ books that we voted as our favourites in several categories.  Thank you to Leisl Leighton, Valerie Parv, Jo McAllister, Esi Sogah, Erica Hayes, Kerri Lane, Michael Hauge, Annie Lynch, Nikoo McGoldrick, Jim McGoldrick, Amy Andrews and Anita Joy for presenting these awards.  Thanks too, to Anne Gracie for the famous and much-loved ‘stand ups’!

I must also take this opportunity to thank Erica Hayes and all the volunteer members of the contest team of RWA, without whom, our contest season could not happen.

And now, for the results, drumroll please…

The Cover Contest competition, judged by our members.  As authors, we often have very little control over our covers, so we are always grateful when the cover fairies (otherwise known as the artists and publishers who create the art) bless us.  This year, our most blessed books, as judged by our members, were: (if you’d like to see the covers in question, you can find them here.

Favourite Contemporary Romance Cover:

Operation White Christmas – Nicki Edwards – Pan MacMillan

Favourite Erotic/Sexy Romance Cover:

The Veiled Heart – Elsa Holland – Self Published: Artist, Hang Le

Favourite Historical Romance Cover:

The King’s Man – Alison Stuart – Escape Publishing

Favourite NA/YA Romance Cover:

The Finn Factor – Rachel Bailey – Entangled Embrace

Favourite Paranormal Romance Cover:

The Shattered Court – M J Scott – Penguin/ROC

Favourite Romantic Elements Cover:

Pretty Famous – Carla Caruso – Harper Impulse

Favourite Romantic Suspense Cover:

Storm Clouds – Bronwyn Parry – Hachette Australia

Favourite Rural Romance Cover:

Summer and the Groomsman – Cathryn Hein – Self-published. Artist Kellie Dennis, Book Cover by Design.

Congratulations to all these members for having great luck with the cover fairies and to the publishers who commissioned and artists who created these gorgeous covers.

 

The Roma Award for Media

The finalists for the ROMA Award 2016 were:

Danielle Binks; 

It takes a village to write a romance: the surprising rise of collaborative fiction.”

and

By any other name: the secret lives of romance authors.

 The Wheeler Centre

“The F word: A live podcast, featuring Kate Bell, Kat Mayo and Beth Driscoll”

The ROMA is an award to recognise professional, positive media coverage of the romance industry. It was launched by Romance Writers of Australia (Inc) (RWA) to help recognise and acknowledge those members of the media who reach beyond the cliché in their reporting on romance writers, releases or industry. In determining the winner, the award selection panel look at the angle of the article, the quality of research, the representation of romance and the ‘reach’ of the piece.  Any RWA member can nominate a media piece that they feel stands out as particularly worthy.

And the ROMA was awarded to:

Danielle Binks, for BOTH her pieces – they tied!

Slide47

 

The Valerie Parv Award (VPA) 

Highly Commended:

Bloodlines – Jess Langhorne

By Love Undone – Samara Kelly

His Bargained-for Bride – Jodie Morphett

3rd Place: Starborn – Samantha Wicks

2nd Place: Demon Curse – Raewyn Bright

And the winner and the new minion is…

1st Place, VPA – Fighting Spirit – Chris Weston

Slide63

 

The Emerald Award

3rd Place: The Shooting Star – Frances Dall’Alba

2nd Place: Alpine Kisses – Laura Boon

1st Place: Island Redemption – Suzanne Cass

Slide72

 

Emerald Pro

1st Place: A Suitcase, a Smile and a Lie – Katy Scott

Slide77

 

The Lyn Wilding Meritorious Service Award.

The LWA is named in honour of RWA’s first president, Lyn Wilding, and honours our wonderful volunteers.  In this sense, it is not won, but awarded, as all our volunteers and all the nominees are winners in our eyes.  This year, those nominated included Linda Brown, Daniel DeLorne, Imelda Evans, Erica Hayes, Delwyn Jenkins, Jillian Jones and Vicki Vuat.  We would like to thank all of them for their service, and the members who took to the trouble to nominate them.  We appreciate all your efforts.  But the award can only go to one and this year the recipient is:

Daniel DeLorne

Slide81

 

New Life Member

In honour of her long history of sharing her expertise and experience with RWA, we are delighted to announce our newest Life Member:

Valerie Parv

Slide83

 

Ruby Award for Romantic Book of the Year

Ruby Novella Finalists:

Misletoe Maverick – Shannon Curtis – self-published

Silk and Scars – Cassandra Dean – Decadent Publishing

What a Bachelor Needs – Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing

Pursued by a Rogue – Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing

And the Ruby goes to:

What a Bachelor Needs – Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing

Slide95

 

Ruby Short Sweet Finalists:

The Secret Son (Retitled as The Montana Son) – Joan Kilby – Tule Publishing

You for Christmas – Madeline Ash – Tule Publishing

Still Married to her Ex – Lucy Clark – HM&B Medical

Home to Bindara Creek – Juanita Kees – Self Published

Reach for the Stars – Kerrie Patterson – Self Published

And the Ruby goes to:

The Secret Son (Retitled as The Montana Son) – Joan Kilby – Tule Publishing

Slide104

 

Ruby Short Sexy finalists:

Tribal Law – Shannon Curtis – Australian Romance Readers Association

The Wedding Bargain – Yvonne Lindsay – Harlequin Desire

Pretend It’s Love – Stephanie London – Entangled Lovestruck

Never Surrender – Rosie Miles – Entangled Ignite

Seducing His Enemy’s Daughter – Annie West – HM&B Sexy

And the Ruby goes to:

Never Surrender – Rosie Miles – Entangled Ignite

Slide113

 

Ruby Long Romance finalists:

Rise – Karina Bliss – Self Published

The Spring Bride – Anne Gracie – Berkley/Penguin Random House

Kakadu Sunset – Annie Seaton – Pan MacMillan Australia

Lethal in Love – Michelle Somers – Random House Australia

And the Ruby goes to:

Lethal in Love – Michelle Somers – Random House Australia

Slide121

 

Ruby Romantic Elements finalists:

A Dangerous Arrangement – Lee Christine – Escape Publishing

The Patterson Girls – Rachel Johns – Harlequin MIRA

Pay the Piper – Mary Brock Jones – Self Published

Between the Vines – Tricia Stringer – Harlequin MIRA

And the Ruby goes to:

The Patterson Girls – Rachel Johns – Harlequin MIRA

Slide129

 

Finally, here are the links for the previously announced competitions:

Ripping Start Results 2016

Selling Synopsis Results 2016

First Kiss Results 2016

Little Gems and Little Gems Cover Results 2016

 

And then we all boogied our celebrations at the Escape after-party till they kicked us out!

Congratulations to all the winners and recipients and to all those admiring them from afar, make sure you enter next year.  You have to be in it to win it!

 

 

September OWL: Selling your book!

It’s nearly conference time here in RWA-land, but when our lives go back to normal, many of us will need to submit our books – a process that is about as popular among writers as getting a root canal.

But don’t despair!  Because riding to the rescue in the nick of time is our September OWL!  And here’s the presenter, Samantha Bond, to tell you how… (for more info, and to book, click here)

Samantha BondYou’ve written a stand-out story and now it’s time for (gasp) submission. Eek! You know if you don’t get this part right, the agent or publisher won’t even get to that manuscript you’ve just spent the last year (or ten) slaving over. Oh, the pressure!

Relax. Breathe. It’s OK.

Most writers know they need to provide a “book package” that varies slightly from publisher to publisher, but will inevitably contain a synopsis, cover letter, author bio and perhaps blurb. The good news is you can prepare a kick-arse package that’s ready to go, and tweak it to suit the individual specifications of your intended submittee.

When I was starting out some years ago, I thought whoever devised the concept of the synopsis must be a complete sadist. I mean, what kind of cruel and unusual torture involves reducing 400 pages of novel to two 1.5 spaced standard A4s?! This task necessarily means you have to leave stuff out. Lots of stuff. So what parts do you leave out, what bits do you leave in, and how should you write the darned thing? Just what makes a good synopsis that will hook your ideal agent or publisher and MAKE them pick up your amazing manuscript?

I asked all these questions and more of the many mentors I’ve had and I can thankfully report that, with some examples, an explanation of the theory behind the synopsis and other tools, it’s not the hand-wringing task it at first appears. Which brings me to the OWL I’m teaching in September called “Synopsis, blurb, cover letter, bio — your book selling tools”. I work best when I understand the purpose of a thing, and have good examples to work from, so that’s the approach I’ve taken with this OWL. I’ve included lots of theory and I’ve called upon my network of writer pals to provide me with examples of their materials. You’ll get to see what different types of synopses, cover letters, author bio’s and blurbs have worked for a variety of published authors. I’ve also strong-armed my longstanding mentor and editor, Robb Grindstaff (http://robbgrindstaff.com/writing/) into providing a bit of assistance, and he’s going to be available on our forum to answer your questions — many of Robb’s clients have landed agent and publishing deals, so make good use of him!

Also, because I teach in the Professional Writing stream at TAFE, I’ve seen first-hand that one-on-one feedback is often the most useful part of a course. So I’m also offering all participants the opportunity to submit their synopsis to me in week four (after we’ve covered the theory, done some exercises, and seen examples, of course) for individual feedback about your strengths and weaknesses. Feedback can pickpocket Dear Writer of their blind spots which is always helpful, not necessarily painless, but I do promise to be gentle! For this reason, I’ve capped the number of participants or I may drown under a sea of synopses — yet another reason they are instruments of torture — so book in quick!

If you want to know more about me and my creds to teach you this stuff, head over to my website: www.samanthastaceybond.com. Hope to see you in September!

For a full course outline and to book, see the RWA website: http://www.romanceaustralia.com/owl/24

August new releases

It’s conference month but even amidst all the bling, chatter and learning, a girl must have a book to read. Try one of these new titles from our members.

HTAug16-New Releases

ROMA finalists!

I’m delighted to announce the finalists for the 2015/16 ROMA Award (below). The ROMA (Romance Media Award) began in 2006 to recognise outstanding reportage of romance. It is open to Australian print/broadcast/online media for coverage focusing on some aspect of romance publishing or writing (or reading as we discovered last year!) The contest is judged independently by a panel with communications, journalism and/or media experience and final scores averaged to determine the winner (thank you judges!).

In no particular order, those finalists are:

Huge thanks to those RWA members who nominated a piece in the ROMA this year, please do keep them coming (accepting entries for 2016/17 NOW!)—without you guys we might easily miss a true romance reportage gem.  If you have a piece in the coming year that you believe will be competitive, please do send me a link or a scanned copy at ROMA@romanceaustralia.com or hardcopies can be forwarded to RWA via ROMA Award | PO Box H120 | Hurlstone Park  NSW   2193

See you all next month!

Nikki Logan

ROMA Award Coordinator

  • Subscribe by email

  • Subscribe by Feeder

  • Recent News

  • Blog Posts by Category

  • Archives

  • Your say:

    teleswordbites on October new releases
    Imelda Evans on Make Facebook Your Friend: Ask…
    Amy Andrews on Make Facebook Your Friend: Ask…
    Author Interview ~ 1… on Ruby Finalists!
    Author Interview ~ 1… on Emerald Finalists
  • RWAus Tweets

  • Pages