Conference Spotlight ~ Valerie Parv

While the workshops for our DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER conference on the Gold  Coast (16-19 August, 2012) have not been announced yet, we do have a sneak peak into one of the sessions.

International best-selling author Valerie Parv has sold more than twenty-nine million copies of her books which have been widely translated. Many of her backlist are now out as ebooks. She holds a master of arts from Queensland University of Technology and is the first Australian author to receive a Pioneer of Romance Award for her contributions to the field of romance writing, presented by RT Book Reviews Magazine New York in 2011. The State Library of NSW archives Valerie’s literary papers and she mentors new writers through the Valerie Parv Award created in her honour by Romance Writers of Australia.

At Diamonds Are Forever, Valerie is presenting a workshop aimed at Beginnner to intermediate writers called IN IT TO WIN IT: HOW TO SHINE IN WRITING CONTESTS & SUBMISSIONS.


Writing contests are a great way to short-cut the lengthy submission process and have your work read by senior editors, agents and established authors. This workshop shows how to recognise and overcome these challenges in your own work so it stands out in any writing contest or when submitted to an agent or editor. What you put in – or leave out – makes a difference.

Learn how to read your writing like a contest judge and never look back.


Valerie, tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.              

I’m passionate about writing and exploring new aspects of craft.


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

Quite a few times. I love the enthusiasm each group brings to a workshop.


What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Diamonds are Forever”?

My experience of judging for the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award last year. We expected 100 entries and received over 400 full-length manuscripts from which to choose one winner. This plus the experience of judging the finalists in the Valerie Parv Award for the last dozen years suggests there are ways a writer can improve their chances of winning a writing contest and getting their work noticed by key industry players. This is the message I want attendees to take away from my session.


Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

Always.  It’s the very best way to absorb information  and it’s also great fun.


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

Networking with other writers and industry professionals.


Anything you’re particularly looking forward to at the 21st RWA conference?

If Hugh Jackman was a surprise guest I wouldn’t mind. I live in hope.


Any advice for conference first-timers?

Attend the newbie sessions to help you find your feet, and talk to as many people as you can. Romance Writers of Australia conference speakers and attendees  – including me – are known for being friendly and approachable.

Where can members find out more about you? has all the news.

My blog at is my guide to the writing life from the inside.

Thank you, Valerie.


Please keep an eye out for more conference spotlights in the coming weeks.

Leave a comment


  1. I was so fortunate to do Valerie’s course she then had for writers back in the early 1990’s which included a critique of a manuscript. Anyone going to this workshop will receive wonderful help for not only entering contests bu how to make that manuscript not just good but great!
    I’ve thanked you personally so many times over the years, Valerie, and do so here once again! I very much doubt I would have been published without your assistance then and over the years at conferences also.

    • Thanks yourself Mary, you were one of my more memorable students (in a good way LOL). Look forward to meeting you again at conference.

  2. Hey VP, If I receive a conference registration form from Hugh, you will be the first one to know 🙂

  3. Here’s some more information to hand:

    Valerie will be the Established Writer in Residence for 2012 at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in Western Australia. More information can be found at

    Fantastic, Valerie!

    Looking forward to seeing you at conference.

    • Shaping up as a superb program, Eleni. I’m looking forward to going to the KSP Centre in Perth as their Writer in Residence, another new experience at the oldest writing centre in Australia. Thanks for hosting this spotlight, too.

  4. Valerie, I’m looking forward to doing your workshop again this year. I do have to warn you, that I may have to fight you for Hugh if he turns up. LOL.

  5. Imelda

     /  February 22, 2012

    You know, I reckon he’s a good sport. If he knew how many of us were inspired by him, he might just come. So who’s going to ask? Valerie?


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