RWAus 2011 Conference Round-up

Wow, what an amazing RWAus conference we had last weekend. It was a fantastic celebration for our 20th anniversary – all thanks to the hard work of this amazing team of women: The Red Berets:

L to R: Bronwyn Jameson, Louise Reynolds, Jennifer St. George, Alli Sinclair, Cath Evans, Melinda Seed and Linda Jones.

The theme of the conference was ‘From Here to Eternity’ and I’m sure many of us will be remembering the conference for that long.


Each year, the conference includes a fundraising day. This year we partnered with the Firefighters Charity Fund to raise money for The Otis Foundation which provides retreats for women with breast cancer and their families. Maybe it was the smouldering firemen enticing us to buy raffle tickets and bid in the silent auction, or maybe it was the poignant testimony from Tracey Anderson,  but we raised a fantastic $15,000 which included a $5000 donation from Harlequin Mills and Boon Australia. Below is the newly-appointed RWA President Rachel Bailey with some of the brave firemen.

More info and photos at Firefighters Charity Fund.

Little Gems

This year  Little Gems sold out so we’re having another print run.

To order a copy, visit the Romance Writers of Australia website.


#RWAus11 was this year’s hashtag for twitter, and the tweets were flying. As of 19 August, 2739 tweets had been sent using the hashtag. Top tweeters (apart from the official RWA accounts) were @ReadNikkiLogan, @RachaelJohns, @sarazon, @HeleneYoung, @Bookthingo, @kikilon, @NicolaMarsh and @KeziahHill.

The second top hashtag was #Mayer.

Here are some selected tweets:

@Bob_Mayer Was in fitness center working out at 5 am. Where were all the attendees for my workshop today at #rwaus11 ? Didn’t they read schedule?

@ReadNikkiLogan The only person holding you back is you. But that’s good news because you have control over you. #Mayer #RWAus11

@RWAus 90% of people don’t follow up on pitch requests – don’t reject yourself. #rwaus11 #bobmayer

@ReadNikkiLogan #Mayer on Marion Lennox’s ‘Girls in the basement’? “If I had girls in the basement I’d get arrested.” Heh. #RWAus11

@RWAus expand your comfort zone into your courage zone #Mayer #rwaus11

@RWAusConf2011 Be curious about your fear….it’s a cave but there could be treasure inside #rwaus11 #Mayer

@RachaelJohns #rwaus11 #Mayer says do something everyday that you dislike but need to do! Does he mean housework?

@Sarazon .@Bob_Mayer says expecting your publisher to promote your book is like expecting your OB-Gyn to raise your child #RWAus11

@lisaheidke Social media is only a time suck if you do it badly. Have a purpose. Inform and entertain. #bobmayer #rwaus11

@Sarazon How you organize your life is how you will write your novel: @Bob_Mayer says #RWAus11

@kikilon Don’t forget: Succeeding in self-publishing is just as hard as in traditional publishing. @bob_mayer #rwaus11

@lisaheidke It’s the best time to be an author…not a great time to be an agent or publisher. Educate yourself! @Bob_Mayer #rwaus11

@Sarazon @Bob_Mayer says readers are the gatekeepers, not publishers. #RWAus11

@kezarthur Quote: people who are here this weekend may be confused, but those who aren’t are ignorant #rwaus11

@kikilon Unless you’re a brand author, you have to do your own marketing anyway, no matter what kind of pub platform you’re after @bob_mayer #rwaus11

@ReadNikkiLogan You *must* educate yourself. Make your choices based on business decisions. Step outside comfort zones or you’ll be left behind. #RWAus11

@RWAus #rwaus11 – plan your day, learn to say no. Examine what isn’t adding value to your life #Heidke

@Sarazon #ModernHeroines heroine rescues the hero emotionally, while he rescues her physically. #RWAus11

@RWAus #rwaus11 you don’t have to get it right in a first draft, you just have to get it written #Heidke

@melscott Write, write, write to hone/find your voice #writingasingletitlethatsells #rwaus11

@ReadNikkiLogan The most valuable assett you have is time. It’s the one thing you can’t get back. #RWAus11 #Mayer

@danieldelorne “Don’t run screaming from this session.” – Kristen Nelsen. Will try to refrain. #rwaus11

@kikilon REVENGE! In romance, that is. Make sure it’s more than just a misunderstanding. Clearly, romance needs evil feline overlords. #rwaus11

@ReadNikkiLogan Gorgeous fireman looks like he’d rather be running into burning building than speaking to us. Love him. #RWAus11

@danieldelorne (I really don’t have a shoe fetish) #rwaus11

@valerieparv My inner child is saying “do I hafta dress up tonight.” Yes, dear, you do. Can NOT turn up at #RWAus11 awards in tracky daks.

@kikilon How many points of view can you handle? How schizophrenic are you? @bobmayer #rwaus11

@DeniseRossetti Prettiest conference bookstore evah! >>> RT @RWAusConf2011: The Dymocks corner at @MelbourneHilton #rwaus11

@2BShannonCurtis One thing all publishers are looking for -a really engaging story, so fortunately some things never change.#rwaus11

@RWAus put the manuscript away before editing – you only get one chance with an editor #rwaus11 #bernadettefoley

@EmmieDark Still gazing at my first sale ribbon with awe. Still don’t quite believe it is actually happening…. #rwaus11

@kikilon You need to know everything about your characters. Your reader doesn’t. Give them info they need only. @bobmayer #rwaus11

@Sarazon #ModernHeroines #MarionLennox: if a scene isn’t working, try writing it from the other POV #RWAus11

@valerieparv I feel like Juan Antonio at the Olympic closing, declaring 2011 the best romance writing conference ever! #RWAus11

@__Nevermore__ @RWAusConf2011 An awesome 3 days! I take away a wealth of knowledge, @AnnaCampbellOz’s infectious laugh & way too many Hilton pens #rwaus11

Post conference reality:

@NicolaMarsh Awesome #rwaus11 but back to reality: kids chanting ‘I’m hungry’, UNO & Trouble games, trakkie daks & Ugg boots. Glam author face shelved!

@ReadNikkiLogan Got on lift, pressed 4. Got off lift, went to room, key didnt work, was on 5. Back on lift, pressed 4, got off, was on 3..(more).. #RWAus11

@ReadNikkiLogan Took stair one floor up…was like the 4th floor had VANISHED. Was I coming from bar? (maybe) Was I drunk (no). Was it freaky?YES! #RWAus11

@SueBT #RWAus11 Home again. Such a great conference! Inspired and ready to write!

@JJSomerville Home Cleaned loungeroom/writing space, emptied conference bags, collapsed on couch. That’s it I give up. #rwaus11


Several members (and some non-members) have covered the conference on their blog. Check out the links below.

Anne Gracie – Word Wenches

Barbara Hannay

Daniel de Lorne

Jackie Ashenden

Fiona Palmer


Kez’s Blog

Fiona Macarthur

Nicola Marsh – several conference posts

Phillipa Borland – several posts

Rachael Johns – several posts

In the News

The AGE ran a fabulous photo and article  – A Weekend of Fine Romance

You Tube

Marie took a heap of photos and has created a slideshow of the Roarin’ Twenties cocktail party:

So that’s the 2011 Conference Round-up. Thank you to all our tweeters, bloggers, and photographers for providing a treasure trove of conference jewels for this post.Thank you to all the workshop presenters, keynote speakers for providing many lightbulb moments, moments of enlightement (thanks Bob Mayer), and duh! why didn’t I think of that moments. And thank you all for your camaraderie, friendship and support from my fellow RWA members.

PS If there are any 2011 Conference Virgins out there who would like to share their first conference experience in a guest post, please email me at

Leave a comment


  1. Oh wow, that was our 550th post on the blog.

  2. Thanks for the link! And what a fabulous blog post to follow-up and awesome and brilliant conf. I’ll hopefully be doing a couple more blog posts to conclude my conf coverage 🙂

  3. Love the selection of tweets, Diane, and the blog recaps. Thanks for gathering them together. Love LOVE the slideshow from the cocktail party. Beautifully done, Marie.


  4. Sorry I’m so late with a comment…have been busy frittering my time away doing NOTHING. Clearly can’t follow my own advice!
    Loved the conf round up, all the great tweets. It was an outstanding conference and I actually remember most of it…at least all that happened before 10pm every night! Bring on RWAus 20121

  5. Great post, Lisa! Do you mind if I copy the firefighter picture to show the guys?

    • Hi Alison, sure you can copy the firefighter picture. I probably should have cropped it first but still adapting to my new camera and software.

  1. RWAus 2011 Conference Round-up « Romance Writers of Australia | Suzi Love
  2. The Countdown is on! «

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