August Hearts Talk Wrap Up

The latest edition of Hearts Talk is out now.

Our monthly member-only magazine has the latest news and information for writers.

Here is a little peek….

Characterisation with Nicole Murphy

One of the most important – and fun – tasks of the writer is creating characters that jump off the page. Heroes to fall in love with. Heroines to root for. Villains to boo and hiss.

This is particularly important to us writing romance. In her fabulous book ‘The Art of Romance Writing’, Valerie Parv says ‘with a romance novel, so much of the plot is predetermined that you have more of a chance of writing an original story if you start with your characters.’

Understanding the internal motivations of your character, as well as their background, education and occupation, not only helps you provide the reader with a well-rounded person to read but also gives you the writer most of the information you need in terms of plotting.

For full article, go to our website. For members only.

#YA Saves: The Twitter Debate

Every so often, some misinformed ‘expert’ disses a popular genre in an up-market journal that considers itself superior to commercial fiction. The romance genre is regularly criticised both online and in print, and even on television, as journalists reinforce the stereotypes that have been created to dismiss the books and stories loved by women worldwide.

But when Meghan Cox Gurdon accused young adult literature of being too dark in an article published in the Wall Street Journal on June 4, young adult authors and readers banded together on Twitter using the hashtag #YASaves to refute her argument. YA author Maureen Johnson created the hashtag and within thirty minutes it was the third top trending topic worldwide: authors and readers worldwide were tweeting about how YA ‘saved’ them. In 140 characters or less they told how reading a young adult book had changed their life. By that evening, 15,000 tweets had been sent using the hashtag.

For full article, go to our website. For members only.

Recognising Your Volunteers: Lynne Wilding Award Nominees 2011

As I list the names of the nominees of the Lynne Wilding Meritorious Award for 2011, I’m envisioning a giant Mexican Wave rippling through the suburbs, towns and states of this country. And as my own arms soar high, I hope you’ll join in to pay tribute to these amazing women who have given of their time, energy and expertise to our association so that it may continue to grow, flourish and remain relevant.

However, before I actually list these names, please allow me the self-indulgence of reminiscence. We are about to turn 20; I remember rocking this baby association in my arms, and like any good godmother bestowing blessings on it for a long and productive life. I’d love to think it was my blessings that had the power to propel us forward those twenty years, but the truth is, this association would not have survived even one year – let alone twenty – if not for the volunteers who tirelessly give of their time.

This year, the membership nominated six such women. In alphabetical order they are:

Keri Arthur, Deb Bennetto, Diane Curran, Sandie Hudson, Louise Reynolds and Kylie Short.

For full article, go to our website. For members only.

One Year On: 2010 5DI with Jo McAlister

Last July, 24 romance writers gathered at the Mt Gravatt campus of Griffith University in Brisbane, ready to begin the Romance Writers of Australia’s inaugural 5 Day Intensive workshop. We were curious. A little nervous. Very excited. And over the course of five days we took those manuscripts and slashed/ revised/ tore them to pieces.

Was it hard? Oh yes. Emotional? You better believe it. Valuable? I’ll let some of the participants who attended the workshop tell it in their own words…

For full article, go to our website. For members only.

From Here to Eternity Conference Update

Registrations for the 20th anniversary conference closed in mid-July at an unprecedented 350. With little more than a week to go, we bring you these final tips.

For the full conference update, go to our website. For members only.

For news and updates, follow us on Twitter: and the RWA group page on Facebook.

Twitter: if you’re not attending, you can follow the action by searching the hashtag #RWAus11

RWA Noticeboard

Have you logged in lately?

Our new membership database is up and running and attached to the Romance Writers of Australia website. The new system puts you in control: you can change your password, view the expiry date of your membership, update your contact details and change whether you receive Hearts Talk by mail or email.

You are invited to enjoy a new experience – Romance Writers of Australia Forum

RWA is continually improving and updating our members’ online experience, and now we’re pleased to bring you our latest innovation: the RWA forum. Over the past month we’ve had rigorous trialing and testing of our new online forum by selected groups in preparation for our launch. So, come on over now and join in the fun!

What can a forum offer you? You will have the freedom to select which topics interest you most, and you will be able to promote your blog, your blog tour and your reviews in the Promo & Social section. Chat to other members about the genre you write and get the latest news.

ROMA Award Short List 2010-2011

 The Winner of the ROMA will be announced at the Awards Dinner at the Conference in Melbourne.

For full notices, go to our website. For members only.

Life on the flip-side with Kylie Griffin

With conference fast approaching, part of the fun of attending one is meeting the authors and listening to their stories of ‘life after getting the CALL’. I took it all in with keen anticipation, dreaming of the day I walked in their shoes, but it wasn’t until I stepped over the threshold that I really understood what they were talking about.

Simple fact is getting the call really does change your life in many, many ways. Some good, some unexpected.

What initially caught me by surprise after getting that email was the speed with which everything happened. I had a week to accept the offer. Having done the research yonks ago I was already in the process of submitting queries, so contacting my top list of I’d-kill-to-berepresented- by-these-agents was a matter of whipping off a few emails alerting them to the book deal on offer.

I can’t stress enough if you’re submitting work to editors, and intend being represented by an agent then make the time to find out about whom you’d like to represent you. Leaving it to the last minute is stress you don’t need.

Why? Well, that seven days will be manic (particularly if you’re working across time zones). Let me repeat that.


For full article, go to our website. For members only.

Of course don’t forget our regular columns:

  • From the Prez with Alison Ahearn
  • Events Calendar with Doreen Sullivan
  • Contest Page with Elisabeth Rose > Contest Wrap of 2011; Contest Formatting
  • Market Watch with Sami Lee
  • The Last Word with Jo McAlister
  • The Writer’s Life  > This month with Kylie Griffin (see above)
  • Ask Auntie Fi with Fiona Lowe

Dear Auntie Fi, My friend has been my crit partner for just over 6 months and although I spend hours reading her work and writing up careful critiques she never seems to get around to reading my chapters. Even if I remind her to do it, any feedback she gives me is really vague and dismissive. But we’re friends and I don’t know how to tell her it isn’t working for me. I’d be so grateful for any advice you could offer.Anonymous

Dear Auntie Fi, Do you think I should read other romance books while I’m writing? ~Book addict from Balnaring

Hi there, wise Auntie! My query concerns use of material from the internet. In my current story, I want to quote a poem I found anonymously posted on a blog spot. Can I legally do that? ~ Tentative in Toowoomba XXX

For full columns, go to our website. For members only.


Not a member? Please view our sample issue from January 2011.

To receive our wonderful monthly newsletter, we invite you to Join RWA for all the details.

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