September 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….

Conference Wrap Up

From Here to Eternity – The Best 20 years

The 20th annual RWA conference was held at Hilton on the Park in Melbourne from Thursday 11th August through to Sunday 14th August, and was a resounding success. Various RWA members and regular HeartsTalk contributors took photos flamboyantly, eavesdropped unabashedly, interviewed brazenly and reported back with candour and panache…

The 2011 conference kicked off on Thursday with the A-Day for published authors, “Staying published in a changing world”. Thursday afternoon saw the first of the bonus workshops, an innovative new addition to the conference program: “Taking the terror out of pitching” with Jaye Ford & Christine Stinson, and “Panic-free pitching” with Anna Sugden.

The Friday workshop this year was Bob Mayer’s “Write it Forward” (formerly known as “Warrior Writer”) followed by more bonus workshops, “An agent reads the slush-pile” with Kristin Nelson, & ‘Now we’re talking” chats with a stellar line-up of authors.

The Friday night cocktail party, sponsored by Harlequin, was themed “Roaring Twenties” and was a spectacular icebreaker.

Saturday and Sunday Conference featured a jam-packed program of workshops, panels and sufficient breaks to grab a coffee and get networking…

Behind the Scenes with Cath Evans (& conference team)

Bronwyn Jameson and Louise Reynolds were appointed in March 2010 and began conference preparations – 18 months before the conference! First job was choosing a venue. Through a series of proposals, quotes and visits, a long-list of nine hotels was whittled to four, then three, before Hilton on the Park was contracted. Then to find Speakers. They drew up a (long) wish-list and 18 invitations were sent to build their “dream-team”. And what a dream team!

For 18 months, Bron and Lou lived and breathed the conference – some days more than others. It was a pleasure to work with such professional people. They had a vision and everything was linked to this vision.

A-Day in Brief

Some points from Stephanie Laurens, Marion Lennox, Susan Wiggs, Bob Mayer, Kelly Armstrong

Friday Workshop with Bob Mayer

“Most bad writing is based on fear” ~Stephen King

This quote from one of the most famous writers on the planet appeared early in Bob Mayer’s Friday workshop, Write it Forward (formerly known as Warrior Writer), and it was a theme Bob returned to often.

Conference Newbies

Bec Sampson talked to first time conference goers Carla Caruso, Raewyn Bright, Rowena Holloway and Heather Davis about their experience.

Tweet About it

#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.

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

Award Dinner Winners

R*BY Winners

  • Winner of the RBY – Short Sexy
  • Lindsay Armstrong for The Socialite and the Cattle King
  • Winner of the RBY – Short Sweet
  • Melanie Milburne for The Doctor’s Rebel Knight
  • Winner of the RBY – Long Romance
  • Sophia James for One Unashamed Night
  • Winner of the RBY – Romantic Elements
  • Helene Young for Wings of Fear (formerly Border Watch)

For lists of the following awards, see Hearts Talk.

The Emerald Category, The Emerald Single Title, Valerie Parv Award, First Kiss, STALI, High Five, Little Gems, Selling Synopsis

Lynne Wilding Award
Louise Reynolds

20 Years of Covers contests

  • Category – Bronwyn Jameson
  • Contemporary – Christine Stinson
  • Paranormal – Ebony McKenna
  • Historical – (tie) – Christina Phillips & Tamara Gill
  • Most Popular Overall: Ondine by Ebony McKenna

ROMA Award

Winner: ABC South Australia – Simon Royal reporter

The Changing Face of Romance – August 28th 2010


A Special Award for 20 years of support to romance and romance authors was awarded to Julie Redlich, former Fiction Editor of Woman’s Day.

A 20th Anniversary Appreciation Award was presented to Harlequin.

Honorary Life Membership was awarded to Anne Gracie.

From the Coordinators

Our 20th Anniversary Conference is over and, according to the feedback survey and the many emails from happy delegates, it appears to have been a success. For this we must offer effusive thanks and praise for our fabulous conference team, the larger team of volunteers who pitched in to help when conference week looked overwhelming, the session moderators and MCs, our brilliant presenters, and the sponsors whose contribution allowed us to create many memorable additions.

Thank you to everyone who made “From Here to Eternity” a conference to remember.

The final numbers: A total of 360 writers and industry professionals attended this year’s conference. An additional 54 partners, friends and readers attended the evening events. ADay attracted 71 authors. 176 writers attended Bob Mayer’s Friday workshop and a record 266 at the Awards Dinner.

RWA Noticeboard

Hearts Talk Editor – Job Vacancy

We’re looking for a new editor for our monthly newsletter. If you’re organised, have an eye for detail, can manage a team and have a desire to  lead Hearts Talk forward, then we want to hear from you!

Group Grants Scheme

Congratulations to Writers not Waiters and the Marlborough Romance Writers Group on the success of their grant applications.

Little Gems 2011 Garnet Anthology: Second Print Run

Due to overwhelming demand we have done a second printing of the Little Gems 2011 Garnet Anthology. Don’t miss out on your copy. Go to the Little Gems page on the RWA website for the order form and payment details.

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

Slam-Dunk that Synopsis by Erica Hayes 

What’s a synopsis, and why do I need one?

A synopsis is a short written summary of your story, and its sole purpose is to convince an editor to buy (or an agent to represent) your work, or at least to request the full manuscript. They can gauge the saleability of your writing from a partial – but they need a full synopsis to gauge the saleability of your story. And make no mistake – it’s saleability, not necessarily quality or talent, that will get you that elusive contract.

So it’s not the same as a pitch or a query letter, then?

No. That’s more like a back cover blurb: a short teaser to hook the reader. The synopsis must contain your full plot, including the ending. The editor wants to know how the romance resolves.

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

Of course don’t forget our regular columns

  • From the Prez with Alison Ahearn. >Alison says bye as president
  • Events with Doreen Sullivan
  • Contest Page with Lis Hoorweg> Info on the The High Five, The Selling Synopsis, and The Single (Title) & Loving it contests. 2010 Valerie Parv Award Report by Erica Hayes
  • Market Watch with Sami Lee
  • Ask Auntie Fi with Fiona Lowe

Dear Auntie Fi, During one of the conference sessions an editor said any of us at the conference workshop could submit to her. Does she really mean this and if yes, how do I know my stuff would be suitable? And how should I send it? ~ Confused from Kew.

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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