TWO Magnificent OWLS in March

Whether it’s your manuscript or your writing business that needs work, we have you covered with our next two OWLS.  They start next Monday, so don’t delay or dither – decide!

lanaBuilding Your WordPress Author Website
From the Ground Up

with Lana Pecherczyk

Take control of your career and learn how to manage a simple WordPress website and blog then turn it into a successful self-managed powerhouse for your author business. Learn via easy walkthrough videos as Lana builds an author website before your eyes, and talks about content creation, e-commerce, traffic acquirement and more. Downloadable PDFs and worksheets will be available so you can revise at your leisure. Whether you’re a digital immigrant or an author just wanting the latest hot tips on WordPress, you can get the author targeted advice from the current RWA Webmistress Lana Pecherczyk. Each student must be prepared to either set up a free WordPress.org account, or purchase a domain and hosting (explained how to inside the course).

Register and get more details here

workshop_show-don

Bring your story into focus:
why ‘show don’t tell’ is a layer cake

with Sandy Vaile

Bring your story into focus

Why ‘show don’t tell’ is like a layer cake.

‘Show don’t tell’ is the lynch-pin of great writing. I’m sure you’ve all heard the term, but are you applying it effectively? Delve into the vivid realm of showing, and realise a balance between description and brevity that will captivate readers and not let them go.

This course best suits modern fiction writers.

Register and get more details here

Emerald and Emerald Pro second round

Congratulations to our Emerald and Emerald Pro second round entrants!

Emerald

Rose Celeste
Karina Coldrick
Frances dall’Alba
Wendy Lee Davies
Leanne Francis
Lexi Greene
Georgia Henry
Jillian Jones
Janis Linford
Stella Quinn
Jennifer Raines
Joanne Robertson
Deborah Shattuck
Laura Simpson

Emerald Pro

P.A. Crake
Louise Cusack
Diane Demetre
Darry Fraser
JC Harroway

These second round entrants are submitting their full manuscripts to be judged by our reader judges.

Well done to all who entered – as usual, competition for second round places was tough and the 85% score required to proceed was not easily achieved.

A special mention to the following entrants, who made the cut for the second round but were unable to proceed:
Tanya Kean
Pamela Hancock
Lauren James
Sonia Stanizzo
Sarma Burdeau (Emerald Pro)

All entrants will receive their first round scoresheets shortly. Thanks to our volunteer judges and to the contest manager, Marnie St Clair.

Selling Synopsis results

Congratulations to our Selling Synopsis placegetters! As judged by Joanne Grant and Megan Broderick, editors at Harlequin:

1st        Tanya Kean
2nd      Tanya Kean
3rd       Bree Verity
4th       Kay Lobegeiger
5th       Denise Ogilvie
6th       Stella Quinn

Thanks to Joanne and Megan for donating their time and expertise to our contest, and for offering their constructive feedback to our finalists. As always, thanks also to all our volunteer judges; our judge coordinator, Margaret Midwood; and our hardworking contest manager, Pauline Johnston.

Ripping Start results

Congratulations to our Ripping Start placegetters! As judged by Lucy Bell, Editor, Pantera Press:

1st: Miranda Morgan
2nd: Tamar Sloan
3rd: Tania Holland
4th: Bree Verity
5th: Bernice Greenham
6th: Elizabeth Squire

Thanks to Lucy Bell for providing such generous feedback for our finalists, and for inviting them to submit to Pantera Press. Thanks to Cat Whelan for her time and effort in running an efficient and timely contest. And well done to all who entered!

Ruby update

As you may have seen in the December issue of Hearts Talk, some exciting developments are happening for the 2017 Ruby, our contest for books published in 2016.

New sections! This year, we’ll be reducing the number of sections to four. Entry numbers in the Short Sexy and Short Sweet sections have reduced enough for these to be combined, to make four roughly even sections.

The 2017 sections will be: Long Romance, Short Romance, Romance Novella and Romantic Elements.

If you’re unsure where your book should go, check the Ruby rules/conditions on the website for descriptions. If your book fits more than one section, it’s your choice where it goes.

New judging! For the first time, we’ll be presenting an overall Romantic Book of the Year award, judged by a panel of industry experts. Here’s how it’ll work:

  • First round judging will run as usual
  • Finalists and winners for each section will be decided and announced in the usual way
  • All finalists will be read by our industry panel, who will select one overall winner (in addition to the section winners).

Who are the industry judges? For 2017, our panel will comprise:

  • Kat Mayo, writer, reviewer and host of the romance podcast Heart to Heart
  • Danielle Binks, writer, reviewer and chair of LoveOzYA
  • Hayley Shephard, Marketing Assistant and Promotions Coordinator at Booktopia

Many thanks to these three outstanding romance advocates for their involvement.

New finalists! Our final judges are hardworking professionals who are donating their time and effort to RWA. They will read all the finalist books in their own time. In order to keep their workload manageable, and ensure the judging is fair and timely, we’re reducing the number of finalists per section to three.

More new judging! We’ll also be introducing writer judges to the Ruby.

Our reader judges do a wonderful job and keep the contest market-relevant, but we believe RWA members have a lot to offer as judges too—and we’re keen to keep judge demographics as diverse and inclusive as we can, to ensure all subgenres and styles are catered for.

To this end, every entrant will be judging one or two books, taken from a section they haven’t entered. Information about the judging procedure will be provided when you enter. It’s easy and fun, and you’ll be given plenty of time—you might discover a new favourite!

New entry formats! Digital entries make the contest process faster, more cost-effective and easier for judges, which results in better judging for us. So if your book has a DRM-free digital edition (.pdf, .epub or .mobi), you’ll be entering that.

Print entries will be accepted only from those authors who don’t have access to a usable digital edition.

Usable means you need to be able to upload your ebook to our entry system, and we need to be able to email your ebook to judges. For instance, if your ebook edition has DRM—and hence can’t be shared—you’ll need to enter print.

Also, if your only ebook edition is unsatisfactory for some reason—for instance, it’s an advance copy that’s significantly different from the published book, or it has a watermark that makes it hard for judges to read—you can still enter print. That’s okay. We won’t insist on digital if there are real problems. We’re just trying to keep as many entries digital as we can.

As for last year, you’ll be entering online. There’s a limit of 3 entries per person (that’s per human being, not per pseudonym) and your entries can go in any section/s you like.

New dates! In order to accommodate the extra judging round, we’re opening and closing for entries earlier than before. Remember—if you’re entering print copies (see above) your books must be postmarked by the closing date.

Opening: 16 December 2016

Closing: 16 January 2017

Full rules/conditions will be available soon on the RWA website—please read them carefully—but as always, contact the contest managers with any queries regarding the contest rules or entry process. If you have special difficulties, we can make arrangements —don’t be afraid to ask!

Ripping Start finalists

Congratulations to our 2017 Ripping Start finalists:

Bernice Greenham
Tania Holland
Miranda Morgan
Tamar Sloan
Elizabeth Squire
Bree Verity

Finalist entries will be evaluated by our final judge: Lucy Bell, Editor, Pantera Press. A wonderful opportunity!

Well done to all who entered—with 79 entries, the competition was tough, and we hope you find your judging feedback valuable.

Thanks as always to all our hardworking volunteer judges, and a special shout-out to our new contest manager, Cat Whelan, who’s done a fantastic job with a big contest. Entrants will start receiving their scoresheets soon.

Contest News! Changes to the Emerald…

Emerald Award

The next big contest of the year for our Aspiring and Emerging members is the Emerald, which is open 31 October – 21 November. This special reader-judged contest offers the chance to have your full manuscript evaluated by your target audience.

Our judges are keen romance readers, found in libraries, bookstores, reader organisations like ARRA, trains, offices, couches and bedrooms all over the country—and we’d all love to know what they think of our books!

The first round of the Emerald is for the first 10,000 words (increased from 5,000 for last year) of your unpublished romantic manuscript (10K+). The top 15 entries will progress to the second round, where the full manuscript is judged by our readers.

Three well-deserving finalists will win a reading by our final judge: Rebecca Saunders, Fiction Publisher, Hachette Australia. So get your entries ready!

You’ll be able to enter via a link on the temporary RWA website.

FAQ: Does your manuscript need to be finished to enter the Emerald? Well, we recommend that it is finished, or very close to – because if you make the second round (which is typically announced early in the new year) you’ll be asked to submit the full with only a few days notice.

 

CHANGES TO THE EMERALD PRO for published authors

The Emerald Pro is also open 31 October – 21 November. This is our “Emerald for published authors”, available to our Emerging and Established members who already have works commercially available.

In response to feedback from members, we’re making a few changes for this year.

Originally the Pro was designed to give entrants reader feedback without the stress and risk of publishing – but members also want publishing pathways, as well as prize money, along with the kudos of winning a hard-fought contest. So for this year:

  •  We’re having a third round of judging, by an editor/agent final judge, just like the ‘unpublished’ Emerald. So in addition to getting valuable anonymous feedback from readers, our three finalists will have their full manuscript read by our final judge – Esi Sogah, Senior Editor, Kensington Books.
  • To that end, we’ve removed the requirement that your entry be in a subgenre that you’re not published in. We know you’ll want to put your best work in front of the final judge. So enter whatever subgenre you like – as long as your entry remains unpublished and uncontracted for the duration of the contest.
  • Prize money! We’ve included prize money for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, the same as for the ‘unpublished’ Emerald.

Your first round entry is the first 10,000 words of your unpublished/uncontracted manuscript. The top 15 who make the second round will submit their full manuscript.

As for the Emerald, you’ll be able to enter the Pro via a link on the temporary RWA website.

Do you have a Selling Synopsis?

RWA’s contest season is steaming ahead, and the Selling Synopsis is now open for entries!

Writing a synopsis is many writers least favourite activity, but it is one of the most important skills to master if you want to get an editor or agent interested enough to request your full manuscript. First impressions count – and impressing an editor or agent depends on it.

This competition lets you try out your skills, get feedback and, if you make it to the final, get your synopsis seen by Joanne Grant, Senior Executive Editor, Harlequin UK.

The competition is open to all members of RWA now and closes on the 31st of October, so get writing that synopsis!  If you aren’t a member, and would like to be, you can join here.

For more details and to enter, visit our website.

 

 

Rip into the Ripping Start!

The Ripping Start contest is now open for entries!

The Ripping Start is, fittingly, the first in our annual contest season.  It is open to Romance Writers of Australia members in the Aspiring and Emerging categories.  If you’re not a member and would like to enter, you can always join!   You can find membership information and join on our website.

Why should YOU enter The Ripping Start?  Three awesome reasons:

1) It’s the first 1500 words of your unpublished manuscript, plus a 300-word summary of the whole story. Easy!

2) Get valuable anonymous feedback from your fellow RWA writers. Three scoresheets filled with comments. Who wouldn’t want that?

3) The top 6 entries will be read by our fabulous final judge: editor Lucy Bell,from Aussie publisher Pantera Press. Lucy is on the lookout for new and emerging romance writers, so don’t miss this amazing opportunity.

Contest is open until 26 September. Get your Ripping Start on 🙂

Check the website for details.

Awards Night Results 2016

Once again, our conference organisers hosted a wonderful conference dinner and glorious award presentation.

Thank you to our conference committee for organising and managing such a great event.  We must also thank our lovely president, Leisl Leighton, who MC’d the evening for us.

We started by congratulating the winners of the Cover Contest, the Ripping Start, Selling Synopsis, First Kiss, Little Gems and Little Gems Cover Awards, all of which were decided and announced during the year.  (If you would like to revisit the winners and finalists, there are links at the end of this post.)  Thank you to Michael Hauge, Erica Hayes, Joanne Grant, Pauline Johnston, Sarah E Younger, Tricia Sargant and Lis Hoorweg for presenting those awards.

Then we moved onto the awards that are saved for the big reveal at the conference, which this year included the ROMA, The Valerie Parv Award, The Emerald, The Emerald Pro, The Ruby (in all its various categories), the Lynne Wilding Meritorious Service Award and a Life Member Award. We also announced the covers from our members’ books that we voted as our favourites in several categories.  Thank you to Leisl Leighton, Valerie Parv, Jo McAllister, Esi Sogah, Erica Hayes, Kerri Lane, Michael Hauge, Annie Lynch, Nikoo McGoldrick, Jim McGoldrick, Amy Andrews and Anita Joy for presenting these awards.  Thanks too, to Anne Gracie for the famous and much-loved ‘stand ups’!

I must also take this opportunity to thank Erica Hayes and all the volunteer members of the contest team of RWA, without whom, our contest season could not happen.

And now, for the results, drumroll please…

The Cover Contest competition, judged by our members.  As authors, we often have very little control over our covers, so we are always grateful when the cover fairies (otherwise known as the artists and publishers who create the art) bless us.  This year, our most blessed books, as judged by our members, were: (if you’d like to see the covers in question, you can find them here.

Favourite Contemporary Romance Cover:

Operation White Christmas – Nicki Edwards – Pan MacMillan

Favourite Erotic/Sexy Romance Cover:

The Veiled Heart – Elsa Holland – Self Published: Artist, Hang Le

Favourite Historical Romance Cover:

The King’s Man – Alison Stuart – Escape Publishing

Favourite NA/YA Romance Cover:

The Finn Factor – Rachel Bailey – Entangled Embrace

Favourite Paranormal Romance Cover:

The Shattered Court – M J Scott – Penguin/ROC

Favourite Romantic Elements Cover:

Pretty Famous – Carla Caruso – Harper Impulse

Favourite Romantic Suspense Cover:

Storm Clouds – Bronwyn Parry – Hachette Australia

Favourite Rural Romance Cover:

Summer and the Groomsman – Cathryn Hein – Self-published. Artist Kellie Dennis, Book Cover by Design.

Congratulations to all these members for having great luck with the cover fairies and to the publishers who commissioned and artists who created these gorgeous covers.

 

The Roma Award for Media

The finalists for the ROMA Award 2016 were:

Danielle Binks; 

It takes a village to write a romance: the surprising rise of collaborative fiction.”

and

By any other name: the secret lives of romance authors.

 The Wheeler Centre

“The F word: A live podcast, featuring Kate Bell, Kat Mayo and Beth Driscoll”

The ROMA is an award to recognise professional, positive media coverage of the romance industry. It was launched by Romance Writers of Australia (Inc) (RWA) to help recognise and acknowledge those members of the media who reach beyond the cliché in their reporting on romance writers, releases or industry. In determining the winner, the award selection panel look at the angle of the article, the quality of research, the representation of romance and the ‘reach’ of the piece.  Any RWA member can nominate a media piece that they feel stands out as particularly worthy.

And the ROMA was awarded to:

Danielle Binks, for BOTH her pieces – they tied!

Slide47

 

The Valerie Parv Award (VPA) 

Highly Commended:

Bloodlines – Jess Langhorne

By Love Undone – Samara Kelly

His Bargained-for Bride – Jodie Morphett

3rd Place: Starborn – Samantha Wicks

2nd Place: Demon Curse – Raewyn Bright

And the winner and the new minion is…

1st Place, VPA – Fighting Spirit – Chris Weston

Slide63

 

The Emerald Award

3rd Place: The Shooting Star – Frances Dall’Alba

2nd Place: Alpine Kisses – Laura Boon

1st Place: Island Redemption – Suzanne Cass

Slide72

 

Emerald Pro

1st Place: A Suitcase, a Smile and a Lie – Katy Scott

Slide77

 

The Lyn Wilding Meritorious Service Award.

The LWA is named in honour of RWA’s first president, Lyn Wilding, and honours our wonderful volunteers.  In this sense, it is not won, but awarded, as all our volunteers and all the nominees are winners in our eyes.  This year, those nominated included Linda Brown, Daniel DeLorne, Imelda Evans, Erica Hayes, Delwyn Jenkins, Jillian Jones and Vicki Vuat.  We would like to thank all of them for their service, and the members who took to the trouble to nominate them.  We appreciate all your efforts.  But the award can only go to one and this year the recipient is:

Daniel DeLorne

Slide81

 

New Life Member

In honour of her long history of sharing her expertise and experience with RWA, we are delighted to announce our newest Life Member:

Valerie Parv

Slide83

 

Ruby Award for Romantic Book of the Year

Ruby Novella Finalists:

Misletoe Maverick – Shannon Curtis – self-published

Silk and Scars – Cassandra Dean – Decadent Publishing

What a Bachelor Needs – Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing

Pursued by a Rogue – Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing

And the Ruby goes to:

What a Bachelor Needs – Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing

Slide95

 

Ruby Short Sweet Finalists:

The Secret Son (Retitled as The Montana Son) – Joan Kilby – Tule Publishing

You for Christmas – Madeline Ash – Tule Publishing

Still Married to her Ex – Lucy Clark – HM&B Medical

Home to Bindara Creek – Juanita Kees – Self Published

Reach for the Stars – Kerrie Patterson – Self Published

And the Ruby goes to:

The Secret Son (Retitled as The Montana Son) – Joan Kilby – Tule Publishing

Slide104

 

Ruby Short Sexy finalists:

Tribal Law – Shannon Curtis – Australian Romance Readers Association

The Wedding Bargain – Yvonne Lindsay – Harlequin Desire

Pretend It’s Love – Stephanie London – Entangled Lovestruck

Never Surrender – Rosie Miles – Entangled Ignite

Seducing His Enemy’s Daughter – Annie West – HM&B Sexy

And the Ruby goes to:

Never Surrender – Rosie Miles – Entangled Ignite

Slide113

 

Ruby Long Romance finalists:

Rise – Karina Bliss – Self Published

The Spring Bride – Anne Gracie – Berkley/Penguin Random House

Kakadu Sunset – Annie Seaton – Pan MacMillan Australia

Lethal in Love – Michelle Somers – Random House Australia

And the Ruby goes to:

Lethal in Love – Michelle Somers – Random House Australia

Slide121

 

Ruby Romantic Elements finalists:

A Dangerous Arrangement – Lee Christine – Escape Publishing

The Patterson Girls – Rachel Johns – Harlequin MIRA

Pay the Piper – Mary Brock Jones – Self Published

Between the Vines – Tricia Stringer – Harlequin MIRA

And the Ruby goes to:

The Patterson Girls – Rachel Johns – Harlequin MIRA

Slide129

 

Finally, here are the links for the previously announced competitions:

Ripping Start Results 2016

Selling Synopsis Results 2016

First Kiss Results 2016

Little Gems and Little Gems Cover Results 2016

 

And then we all boogied our celebrations at the Escape after-party till they kicked us out!

Congratulations to all the winners and recipients and to all those admiring them from afar, make sure you enter next year.  You have to be in it to win it!

 

 

  • Subscribe by email

  • Subscribe by Feeder

  • Recent News

  • Blog Posts by Category

  • Archives

  • Our Team

    Blogmistress: Imelda Evans

    Blog Editor: Juanita Kees

    A Day in the Writing Life of... Keziah Hill

    Author Spotlights: Sarah Belle

    Cruisin' the Blogs: Juanita Kees

    New Releases: Laura Boon

    Blog Bites: Thea George

    Hearts Talk Wrap: Ainslie Paton

    Cover Contest: Eleni Konstantine

  • Your say:

    louisecusack on Emerald and Emerald Pro second…
    Emerald and Emerald… on Emerald and Emerald Pro second…
    SE Gilchrist on Emerald and Emerald Pro second…
    Cath Evans on Emerald and Emerald Pro second…
    Rhyll Biest on New Releases February 201…
  • RWAus Tweets

  • Pages