The Sydney Writers Festival (SWF) launched its 2015 program on Thursday, and we are thrilled to see that it features several panels of interest to romance readers and writers and some of our very own stars – catch Avril Tremayne and Victoria Purman in debate during BEYOND DUKES AND DAMSELS on Saturday 23 May. See list below (#8) for details.

Avril Tremayne and Victoria Purman

Talks of interest in date order include (please note: there are some scheduling conflicts if you were interested in all talks below):

  1. Gender, genre and literary prestige (21 May, 10:00 – 11:00, Roslyn Packer Theatre, $14pp) starring Aviva Tuffield, Kate Grenville, Ceridwen Dovey and the 2015 Stella Prize Winner.
  2. The Body, Sin, Sex, Denial (21 May, 11:30 – 12:30, Sydney Dance 1, Free, no bookings) starring Ashley Hay, Robyn Cadwallader, James Boyce, and mortician and memoirist Caitlin Doughty. Really, who can resist a mortician, especially one who is fabulous and funny?
  3. Marie le Moel, The Truth about French Women (21 May, 11:30 – 12:30, Richard Wherret Studio, $14). In conversation with Kirstie Clements
  4. Liane Moriarty: Big Little Lies (21 May, 1:30 – 2:30, Pier 2/3 The Loft, $14). In conversation with Meredith Jaffe. Liane Moriarty is also participating in two other panels, On Deception (21 May) and The Books That Exploded and Why We Fell in Love (24 May), and in another feature talk in Parramatta on 20 May.
  5. Quickies and Corsets: There’s more to the story of women and sex (21 May, 3:00 – 4:00, Sydney Dance 2, Free, no bookings) featuring Lee Kofman, Marie Le Moel, Krissy Kneen and Jane Caro.
  6. Co-Conspirators: Anne Buist and Graham Simsion (22 May, 10:00 – 11:00, Pier 2/3 The Loft, $14)
  7. Robert Dessaix: On How Enid Blyton Changed My Life (23 May, 11 – 11:40, Pier 2/3 Curiosity Stage, Free, no bookings). Okay, this has nothing to do with romance (probably) but how can you resist a literary writer who will stand up and admit to a love of Enid Blyton?
  8. Beyond Dukes and Damsels (23 May, 1:30 – 2:30, Sydney Dance 1, Free, no bookings), starring Jodi McAlister, the indomitable Kate Cuthbert from Escape Publishing, and RWA’s very own Victoria Purman and Avril Tremayne. Not to be missed!!
  9. The Rise and Rise of YA: A look at the fastest growing category in fiction (23 May, 1:30 – 2:30pm, Sydney Dance 2, Free, no bookings) featuring Laurie Halse Anderson, Sally Gardnery, Margo Lanagan and Garth Nix
  10. Keeping it Real: Realistic Issues in Teen Fiction (24 May, 1:30 – 2:30, Sydney Dance 2, Free, no bookings)
  11. Teencon 2015 (24 May, 4:00 – 5:30, Pier 2/3 Club Stage, Free but Bookings Essential Ph 02 9250 1988)

Of course, there are a multitude of other interesting authors and talks on offer including (but definitely not limited to) Julia Gillard, James Patterson, Kate Grenville, Richard Flanagan, Helen Garner, Evie Wyld, Jonathan Lethem and Michael Connolly as well as some powerhouse intellectuals such as Zia Haider Rahman, Norman Doidge, Atul Gawande and Mosin Hamad. Andy Griffiths and David Walliams head up a star children’s program. Explore the full program at There are booking links from each individual talk. Hint: it is often easier to search by writer than date.

There is also a workshop program running from 16 – 23 May. If you live in Sydney, programs will be available in this weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald.

* Comments in italics reflect blogger’s personal enthusiasms.


Romance Writers of America announced the finalists for this year’s RITA® awards yesterday and we were delighted to see four Australians on the awards shortlists. Congratulations to Beck Nicholas, Bec McMaster, Louisa George and Sarah Mayberry.   *Late correction*  Apparently, the lovely Louisa George is not actually Australian.  She’s English by origin and lives in NZ.  But since she IS a proud member of RWA, we will happily claim her as our own, for the purposes of congratulations!  Happily, they are all shortlisted in different categories. The winners will be announced at a black tie dinner on 25 July, so fingers crossed until then please everyone. (Oh, all right, if you have to edit or write your own book, you can use one hand!)

Here’s a quick look at the four fabulous finalists and their books:

Her Kind of Trouble Louisa George Enemies with Benefits 

Finalist: Contemporary Romance (Short)

Publisher: HMB Modern Tempted/ KISS

Poppy Spencer has discovered that there’s one thing worse than Christmas alone in her flat – and that’s spending it with Isaac Blair, her sworn-enemy-turned-reluctant-flatmate! And it is not just because he knows all her secrets – his sexy-as-sin smile and taut physique are making her all hot and flustered despite the icy cold outside!

Unless a casual hook-up is just the thing she needs…? It’ll certainly break the simmering tension between them. The trouble is, with their history, it will be anything but casual!

Her-Kind-Of-TroubleSarah Mayberry Her Kind of Trouble

Finalist: Contemporary Romance (mid-length)

Publisher: Harlequin Superromance

It takes one to know one … the moment Vivian Walker spies Seth Anderson she knows they are a match made in hedonistic pleasure. And they both agree their one night together is all about fun, not forever. Now, years later, Seth remains a favourite memory. Surely the sizzling chemistry has faded, though, right? Apparently not. Because he’s still sinfully attractive, and she likes the man he is. When he suddenly becomes a full-time dad to his newborn daughter, Vivian falls hard. Yet despite the responsibilities, he’s not a good bet for commitment. And she needs to guard her heart before she gets into trouble!

ForgedByDesireBec McMaster Forged by Desire

Finalist: Paranormal Romance

Publishers: Sourcebooks, Casablanca

Captain Garrett Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner Perry in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.

Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped…

FakeBec Nicholas Fake 

Finalist: Best First Book

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Seventeen-year-old Kath McKenny has a date to the end-of-term party with her since-forever crush. He publicly messaged her to confirm, but there’s been a recent status update: he’s taking the new girl — giggly, pretty, well-developed Lana Elliot — instead.

After being thoroughly humiliated in front of half the school, best friend Chay talks Kath into revenge: a scheme to create the perfect — and very fake — online guy for Lana. Once she falls for him, they’ll show her what it’s like to get brutally dumped.

Everything is going to plan until Kath starts spending more-than-just-friends time with the other new kid in town — Lana’s dreamy older brother, Sebastian. Kath finds herself getting in deep — in love and drowning in guilt, she tries to put an end to her prank, but it’s taken on an unstoppable momentum of its own, with very real consequences.

You can read the full list of finalists here – it makes a great reading list.

Melbourne Sights and Experiences – Get Fresh – RWA Melbourne Conference 2015


Handy Information for 2015 Conference Delegates

Your conference bag should include ‘Melbourne in Winter: Official Visitor Guide’ and two fold out self-guided walks: Arcades and Lanes, and Secret Gardens. The first lists many tourist attractions and has discount vouchers. The self-guided walks take you along some of Melbourne’s prettiest, funkiest arcades and lanes and gardens. For further information, see visitor services:

And Melbourne and surrounds

Guided walking tours:

Themes include unsolved crimes, subterranean tours, & literature, and vary in cost

Melbourne Museum has wonderful display of historical Melbourne, and Bunjilaka covers the history and culture of our Aboriginal people.

Koorie Heritage Trust offers a range of programs and services including the only public collection in Victoria dedicated solely to Koorie art and culture comprising artefacts, pictures and photographs as well as an Oral History Program and a Reference Library; cross cultural awareness training and tours; exhibitions; a Koorie Family History Service; and a retail shop.


Art and Culture

Our thriving Arts precinct (by public transport or walking down St. Kilda Rd) is worth a visit. The Arts Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Ian Potter Gallery in Federation Square, and ACMI have quirky and interesting exhibitions. The Melbourne Recital Centre also has some great musical events. .

See live shows at beautiful restored Victorian theatres such as:

The Regent Theatre 191-197 Collins Street, Melbourne .

The Athenaeum 188 Collins St.


Royal Botanic Gardens Birdwood Avenue. Approx. two kilometres from the city centre but easy to get to by No. 8 (Toorak) tram down St. Kilda Rd or by the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle (hop on hop off bus described below). Beautiful Victorian era gardens with lake full of black swans and other waterbirds. Nice café by lake for lunch or tea.

Fitzroy Gardens Behind the Park Hyatt and can be entered from Landsdowne Street. Like Hyde Park, London, it’s mostly lovely old trees, particularly elms, grass and some flowerbeds. Has nice Victorian conservatory, the ‘fairy tree’, and Captain Cook’s cottage. Cook may or may not have lived here, but it’s a genuine 1755 English cottage and the kitchen garden is delightful.


Walking down Collins Street towards Swanston Street, look for:

  • Paperback Bookshop
  • Hill of Content
  • Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller (divine shop for that weird book you need for research) .
  • Readers Feast (drool at Manolo Blahnik shoes as you go in)
  • Dymocks (currently the best bookshop for romance in Melbourne, though they hide it down the back)
  • For SF, fantasy, graphic novels, comics & weird stuff: Minotaur Bookshop, 121 Elizabeth St.

Chocolate shops

Haigh’s Chocolates – are everywhere in Collins St, starting at no. 20. Prettiest location is in Block Arcade.

Chokolait – Shop 8, Hub Arcade, 318 Lt Collins St. In my opinion the best hot chocolate in Melbourne.

Koko Black – Elegant Collins St. shop, but loveliest location is in Royal Arcade.

Fashion .

  • High end shops in Collins St (Hermes, Cosi, etc)
  • Funky shops in Flinders Lane between about Swanston Street and Elizabeth Street
  • DFO


Polly Woodside

1885 three-masted sailing ship Usually weekends only. Combo pass $30 for both Old Melbourne Gaol and Polly Woodside.

Old Melbourne Gaol 

‘the heart of crime, law and order in Melbourne since the 1840s’.  They hanged notorious bushranger Ned Kelly here.

State Library of Victoria   

Australia’s oldest public library (est. 1846) and one of the first free public libraries in the world. Gorgeous space. Interesting exhibitions.

Queen Victoria Market

Est. 1878. The largest open air market in the southern hemisphere. Good for gourmet food & souvenirs.

Como House

1847 grand colonial mansion described as ‘a mix of Australian Regency and classic Italianate architecture’, with pleasant restored gardens Cnr Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra. The House is open only 2nd & 4th weekends of the month. 15-20 min. walk from South Yarra Station or via Tram No. 8, stop no. 34 (10 min walk)

Rippon Lea

192 Hotham St. Elsternwick. Gorgeous 1868 mansion used in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. The ‘last of Australia’s grand suburban estates’. 5 minute walk from Rippon Lea Station. Or Tram Route 67, Stop 42. Or 216 or 219 Bus from Queen Street in the City on corner of Queen and Collins Streets. (30 – 45 minutes) There is a stop directly outside Rippon Lea Estate. Ask the driver to set you down at the first stop after Glen Eira Road. Hours 10 – 5, 7 days per week.

RWCon_01_HiResi300_PRINT_White Um Red on Green


RWCon_01_HiResi300_PRINT_White Um Red on Green

Registration opens 1st JUNE 2015

The Get Fresh in ’15 team is thrilled to announce a return of our favourite shining star: the RWA conference PITCH PROGRAM! A quality line-up of local and international editors and agents look forward to hearing your story, but let’s not waste your time or theirs, or (horrors!) annoy the people you’re pitching to with a manuscript they can’t or won’t publish. So first, consider these tips:

Has your manuscript been read by someone other than you?

Is your manuscript polished and ready to submit?

Are you interested in being published by the publisher you’re pitching to?

Does your manuscript fit with the parameters set forth by the publisher you’re pitching to?

Length (short story, novella, novel, etc)

Genre (romance, romantic elements, YA, etc)

Style (first person, heat level, etc)

Does your plan for this manuscript fit with the publisher you’re pitching it to?

Format – print, digital or digital-first?

Market – Australia only or international?

Location – Is it important to you that your publisher has an Australian office??

Finally, you MUST have a completed manuscript to pitch.

Registration for the Pitch Program opens on 1st June 2015. Applicants MUST be registered for the core conference to qualify and MUST have a completed manuscript to pitch. Are you NERVOUS about pitching? Come to our core conference bonus session on Friday 21 August at 4pm: “Pitch Perfect – Polish your pitch with top tips from the pros” with Kate Cuthbert and Sue Brockhoff of Escape Publishing. This session is recommended to all pitching delegates.

WATCH THIS SPACE for editor and agent announcements.


Struck coverIn breaking news, Struck by Joss Stirling (Oxford University Press) has become the first YA novel to win Romantic Novel of the Year in the UK. Stirling was presented with the £5000 (A$9676) prize at the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) ceremony in London on 16 March. Struck also won the award for Young Adult Romantic Novel of the Year.

Struck takes place at an exclusive British boarding school and follows an investigation into the school’s affairs by US student Raven Stone and the ‘enigmatic’ Kieran Storm. Joss Stirling is a multi-award winning writer for children and young adults who also writes under the pen names Julia Goulding and Eve Edwards.

RNA chair Pia Fenton said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled that a Young Adult book has won the overall award of Romantic Novel of the Year. It’s such an exciting sub-genre which has been embraced by both teenage and adult readers during the last few years.’

Struck is available worldwide from Amazon and other booksellers.

The week’s quirkiest news story also came out of the UK. Dr Brooke Magnanti, aka Belle du Jour, is suing her ex-boyfriend for saying she was not a prostitute. No, that is not a typo. You can read the full story about this London call girl’s umbrage at having her honour defended on the Booktopia Blog. There has to be a novel in that somewhere … just not sure it will be romance.

In other news, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) announced that a survey of 1209 publishers found that net revenue increased in 2014 by 4.9% to US$15.72 billion. Overall revenue for ebooks also increased, by 4.7% to US$1.58 billion. LONG LIVE THE BOOK in all its formats! Catch all the stats at Publisher’s Weekly.


The Australian Romance Readers Conference

This past weekend in Canberra was my first attendance at ARRA’s biennial conference. I was starry-eyed with the joy of being amidst romance readers and writers – ALMOST as starry-eyed as I was attending my first RWA conference in Sydney last August! Congratulations to all the winners, including Kylie Scott who was voted Australia’s favourite romance author. Click here for the complete list of winners.

Event highlights for me included:

  • Listening to the keynote addresses by Helene Young, Victoria Dahl, Sylivia Day and Kerry Armstrong.
  • Attending all the historical romance panels featuring Anne Gracie, Anna Campbell, Christina Brooke, Beverley Eikli, Ann Stuart, Suzi Love and Alyssa James (I confess to an ongoing love affair with all romances historical, but the panels on contemporary romance and rural romance were just as amazing).
  • Viewing the beautiful dresses and bling on display as the Roaring Twenties took over the Awards dinner (as well as those paraded earlier in the day).
  • Discovering and meeting new authors including the opportunity to spend the Gala Awards dinner in the company of Jennie Jones, Alissa Callen and Alison Butler.
  • Catching up with RWA member Eleni Konstantine who held the fort at the RWA stand with grace all weekend, with help from fellow committee members Diane Curran, Leisl Leighton and Imelda Evans.
  • Witnessing the generosity of RWA members including Nikki Logan (who sponsored the real coffee kiosk) and Imogene Nix (who sponsored the Romantic Suspense Award).
  • Hearing Tony Nash, CEO of Booktopia, say that they three sold three million books last year, of which 400,00 were romance titles. Doesn’t that make your heart sing?

However, the play of the weekend goes to Rachael Johns. At the awards dinner, Janette Radevski stabbed the chocolate biscuit casing of her desert with her fork, only to watch in horror as it flew up and off her plate at great speed. No worries if your dining companions include Rachael. She shot out a hand, caught the pudding deftly and placed it gently back down on Janette’s plate. Where, oh where, is a video camera when you need one?! It would seem the winning awards (Sexiest Hero) and saving deserts are all in a night’s work for this multi-tasker :)

Photo Gallery

Fashion Parade

Panellistsgala dinner

RWA stand and Nikki Logan coffee kiosk

Get Fresh in ’15 Presents…

Session Spotlight: Going All the Way: Romance and Sex in YA

Ellie Marney will present this session on Saturday 22nd of August at 12:00PM.

Writing romance for teenagers involves a number of extra considerations including content, language choice, and ‘gatekeeper’ issues that are well worth exploring. This workshop offers a number of key ideas for tackling romance within the YA category.


Your Presenter – Ellie Marney

Ellie Marney was born in Brisbane, and lived overseas for many years before finally settling on ten acres near Castlemaine, north central Victoria.  Ellie’s YA romantic crime novel, Every Breath, was shortlisted for the 2014 Ned Kelly Award (Best Debut), the Centre for Youth Literature 2014 Gold Inky, and the 2014 Davitt Award (Best Debut; Best YA Crime).  Follow-ups Every Word and Every Move have been released to critical acclaim, and the series is being published in North America and the Philippines. Ellie’s partner and four sons still love her, even though she often forgets things and lets the housework go.

Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

Tall, gorgeous, stylish…  Hang on, sorry, got carried away.  Let’s try that again.

Short, tenacious, mother-of-four, YA-writer with a wicked pen! (that’s more like it)

What prompted you to put together this workshop for Get Fresh in 15 conference?

I guess my first interest in putting together ‘Going All the Way’ was finding out how much people knew about Young Adult lit, and the type of romantic content that’s available or acceptable.  If you’re considering writing YA romance, it’s good to know what’s out there, who’s doing it well, and what publishers (and teachers, and parents…and teenagers themselves!) are interested in.  YA lit is gaining strength (and sales) every time I look around, and more writers are hoping to break into the category.  I thought some RWA participants might be keen to check it out!

Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations?

I’ve presented on panels at Melbourne Writers Festival, and for the Centre for Youth Literature and the Emerging Writers Festival.  I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime (Aus), and have had a lot of opportunities to talk about YA literature, teenaged detectives and all things dastardly mystery on panels and at conferences like Death in July (Ballarat).

What will participants take away from this session?

Writing romance for teenagers involves a number of extra considerations about content and language choice, in addition to ‘gatekeeper’ issues, that are well worth exploring.  I’m hoping that participants will go away from the workshop with a better idea of the nuts and bolts of YA lit, and with a number of key suggestions for tackling romance writing within the category.  I’m also hoping to point people in the direction of some fantastic YA romance!

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

Yes!  I’m planning a session that allows the audience to provide answers, take notes, brainstorm, ask questions galore, and hopefully contribute in a hands-on way. (That’s my old classroom-teacher roots showing ☺)

Do you use examples (from your own books, other books, movies etc)?

I’ll be including examples from my own books – the YA romantic crime Every series – but I’m also planning to highlight some of the best YA romance I can find.  In fact, I’ll probably arrive at the session with a huge load of books in my arms to show around…

What is your latest book release and where can members find out more about you?

Every Move was released in March this year.  It’s the final follow-on from Every Breath and Every Word, the first two books in my Melbourne-set, Sherlock-inspired YA rom-crime series.  In Every Move, our two teenaged sleuths, Rachel Watts and James Mycroft, find themselves in deep trouble back in Rachel’s old country hometown with Mycroft’s personal Moriarty, Mr Wild, hot on their heels.  You can find out more about me and the books at, or at the Allen & Unwin website.


Social media links –



Twitter: @elliemarney


Instagram: @elliemarney

Get Fresh in ’15 Presents…

Session Spotlight: Not Another Sex Scene

This session will run on Saturday 22nd of August at 2:00PM as part of the Emerging/Established Stream.

Like any other scene a sex scene must serve the story, contain elements of conflict and enhance our understanding of character. This workshop offers a range of approaches to help make it easier to write fabulous sex scenes and expand your repertoire of writing skills.

Your Presenters – Anne Gracie and Kelly Hunter


Anne Gracie:

Anne Gracie started writing her first story while backpacking solo around the world. Hooked on historicals from an early age by reading the novels of Georgette Heyer, she now writes full-time. Published by Berkley USA and Penguin Australia, Anne is a nationally bestselling author in the USA, a five-time RITA finalist and twice winner of the R*BY. Her books have been translated into more than sixteen languages, and include Japanese manga editions, which she thinks is very cool. She is a former president and lifetime member of RWA.

Kelly Hunter Headshot small

Kelly Hunter:

Accidentally educated in the sciences, Kelly Hunter didn’t think to start writing romances until she was surrounded by the jungles of Malaysia for a year and didn’t have anything to read. Eventually she decided that writing romance suited her far better than throwing sterile screw-worm flies out of airplane windows, and changed careers. Kelly is a USA Today bestselling author, a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist, won a R*BY this year and loves writing to the short contemporary romance form. Publishers Weekly lists one of her novellas in their Top 20 books of 2014.

Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

Kelly Hunter: Romance writer, mother of boys, cows optional, laughter essential.

Anne Gracie: Reader. Writer. Procrastinator. Messy. Frivolous. Dreamer.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for Get Fresh in 15 conference? 

We gave a similar workshop in 2011 at the Romance writers of America conference and had a lot of fun with it. And since collectively we’ve written another 40 or so sex scenes since then, and the urge to knit instead has not lessened, we figured we’d revisit the topic. More dread! More tips and trickery when it comes to getting on with it.

What is the best part/aspect of conference for you (Kelly)?

I love catching up with people I see only once a year but am often in contact with online. There’s writing craft to learn, industry news to collect, celebration of achievements and so many get-together opportunities. I’m not hugely gregarious, but come conference time I make an exception.

What will participants take away from this session?

We discuss ways to approach writing sex scenes so that no matter how many you might write in a month/year/decade they stay fresh, compelling and relevant to the story you’re telling.

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

Yes. The mind boggles. Though we’ll not be asking you to write a sex scene during the session.  Or acting one out. Probably.

What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?

Kelly: I’ve a Harlequin Sexy story coming out in April called The Spy Who Tamed Me. Jared West has finally come home – body bruised and soul weary but never defeated. And then he meets the woman sent to break him. Good times.

Anne: My most recent book, The Spring Bride, is out in June 2015.  Beautiful Jane Chance is set on a safe, sensible marriage, until she meets the ugliest dog in London and a rogue who, though devastatingly attractive, is all kinds of unsuitable. I also have a Christmas novella coming out in an anthology in December with Mary Jo Putney and others. More info can be found on my website:

Social media links – Anne Gracie



Twitter:  @annegracie

Social media links – Kelly Hunter


Facebook https:

Twitter: @kellyhunterova

Get Fresh in ’15 Presents…


Session Spotlight: Cover Story

This session will run on Friday 21st of August at 3:00pm as part of the Self Publishing Stream.

Your book cover is the key to getting new readers, telling your story, and selling your book, all in a few seconds. This session outlines the trends, challenges and wins of book cover design.

Y1our Presenter – Scarlet Rugers

Scarlett Rugers is an award winning book designer and director of the Scarlett Rugers Book Design Agency, based in Melbourne, Australia. She works with both traditional publishing houses and self-published authors, and has been recognized for providing the best website for self-published authors, as well as won awards for her book design work. Her goal is to help authors, through service and design, be the best they can be, and to drive the self-publishing industry to grow into one of great quality and demand. Empowerment, support, and creativity are her tools to connecting with writers, and helping them reach the heights of success they have dreamed of.

What is the best part/aspect of conference for you?

The community. The incredible support and encouragement of the author network is second to none.

What will participants take away from this session? 

To understand what book design is really about, how it applies to you in publishing, and having the knowledge to make the best choices.

Do you use examples (from your own books, other books, movies etc)?

There will be many examples of published romance books to help guide you through what works, and what doesn’t, in book design.

Which members will benefit most from this session?

Authors and writers who are interested in self-publishing, but have yet to take the plunge.

Anything you’re particularly looking forward to at the 2015 Get Fresh conference in Melbourne?

Cocktails with some fabulous authors! I’m a sucker for talking over heroes and heroines with a Toblerone cocktail in my hand.


Social media links:



Twitter: @thebookdesignr



Little Gems set for 2015

The Little Gems competition for short stories of love has been decided for another year.  This year, we have four official placegetters, and a further 11 stories which ranked highly enough with our judges to make it into the anthology.

First:                    Kat Colmer—For the Love Of Gnomes

Second:               Rowena Candlish—How You Love Me

Equal Third:       Lisa Barry—Peridot Silk

and                       Anne Prince—The Rules Of the Game.


Anthology placegetters (in alphabetical order):

Elizabeth Ellen Carter—The Tin Bear

Heidi Catherine—Peridot Eyes

Kat Colmer—Sweet Bombe Alaska

Stella Frances—Fragments

Nicole Grant—Lost and Found

Fiona Greene—Secrets Of the Past

Harriet Jarvis—The Enemy Next Door

Kerrie Paterson—Lost Love

Anne Prince—The Greening of Love

Ute Rozenbilds—Time Heals

Michelle Skidmore—The Peridot Package


Little Gems Manager, Lis Hoorweg, says:

The standard was very high once again. The 15 successful entries scored above 94%, and all of the 63 entries received scored 70% or above. As usual, the anthology will be available in a lovely print edition by conference time. Thanks to all our judges, and congratulations everyone!


Also decided is the winner of the Little Gems Cover Contest.  This year, the winner is (once again) Sheridan Kent, with this fabulous cover.

Competition was fierce, with 4 covers making a hotly contested short list. Thank you to all entrants for their fabulous artwork, and to our final judging panel, including our expert judge, graphic designer David Whitbread.

LG Peridot Cover 2015FC



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