Love Gone Wild – Dance as an expression of love.

Ever wanted to capture the essence of dance into your scenes? Come and experience this amazing session at this year’s conference.

In this DANCE AS AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE workshop, come and explore how the medium of dance can add impact to your writing, stories and characters.

Presented by Diane Demetre, this workshop will have live dancers, Pauline Thompson and Ian Watt (National and State Ballroom Champions), illustrate the triggers of love, show you how to escalate attraction, highlight the importance of breathing, and how you can turn up the heat with touch. The dancers will demonstrate the synchronicity needed to dance, and love, as one. This workshop will deliver a rare glimpse into one of storytelling’s oldest forms of communication…the dance.

dance

Love Gone Wild – Simply Synopsis

Another exciting session announcement for this year’s conference.

Simply Synopsis: A stress-free method for synopsis creation.

Most authors would rather compose an 80k+ word novel than summarise their story into 2-5 pages. Why? Because they’ve never learned an effective yet easy process for crafting a synopsis.

In the Simply Synopsis workshop, Michelle Somers will teach you a step-by-step strategy to pare a story down before building it back up, paragraph-by-paragraph, into synopsis form. The process is simple, systematic and straightforward, and is a fail-proof way to ensure all the vital elements that make a great story are present in the final product.

Michelle Somers is an award-winning romantic suspense author. She’s a professional killer and matchmaker, a storyteller and a romantic. Words are her power and her passion. Her heroes and heroines always get their happy ever after, but she’ll put them through one hell of a journey to get there.

synopsis

Love Gone Wild – They’re back!

Another exciting Love Gone Wild conference announcement.

So are you ready to duel? Duelling in the ages of romance was a hit last year in Adelaide and we are lucky enough to bring them again to this year’s conference.

Get to know the differences between a Longsword and a Side-sword, or the Rapier and the Sabre. When violence in your story is necessary, come and find out what your best options are.

Shay McAulay, founder of the Brisbane Duellist Society, and Nic Harrison will have you step back in time and demonstrate historical combat.

This interactive session is not to be missed.

weapons

Love Gone Wild Conference Announcement

Registrations for the 26th Annual RWA Conference will open at the end of the month (fingers-crossed), so in the meantime, we thought we’d give you a few teasers about what’s coming your way.

Our first major announcement…

We have been across the globe in search of something truly unique to present at the Love Gone Wild conference and we are excited to launch RWA’s very first Business Hub. The Business Hub will be restricted to authors (emerging and established) with published novels (self or traditional). The sessions will focus on marketing and expanding your reach across the globe.

To get you excited, let us drop the names who are coming to Love Gone Wild. (And there will be more surprises revealed at conference, but we can’t publish their name!)

Google | Draft2Digital | Bolinda | Neilson BookScan.

You can look forward to learning how to use Google Adwords and analytics effectively, self-publish and market globally with Draft2Digital, expand your reach with Bolinda, and gain industry knowledge and understand your sales data with Neilson-Bookscan (sales territories permitting).

 

FINAL CALL – #RWAus17 Workshop Submissions Closing

rwaus17bne

LOVE GONE WILD WORKSHOP SUBMISSIONS CLOSING

Submission for #RWAus17 close on December 31, 2016.

We have been mustering a diverse herd of talented professionals for the 26th RWA Annual Conference – Love Gone Wild.

But are you the stray runaway we’re waiting on to join the pack?

We are cracking the whip one last time.

Our team is planning #RWAus17 to be the best conference ever and want to utilise our community of talented authors and professionals. Stop grazing out in the pastures, frolicking in the ocean or flitting about in the skies – get your workshop, panel or roundtable submissions to us now.

This is the final call for submissions before we dust off our boots, shut the gate and finalise our tremendous program.

Jump in – hooves, feathers, scales and all … Don’t miss out. Because come December 31st the opportunity to submit will be GOING, GOING, GONE!

Submit Now at  http://bit.ly/RWA17WSP

Submissions close on Dec 31st, 2016.

LoveGoneWild #RWAus17

conference2017@romanceaustralia.com

August 11-13, 2017

Brisbane

#RWAus17 Workshop Submissions are open.

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We hope you have all recovered from this year’s conference (August 2016), but it is time to be bold and set foot out into the wilderness again.  New territories are waiting to be discovered. Love Gone Wild is calling for you.

Workshop Submissions for #RWAus17 are NOW OPEN.

We will have a strong focus on accommodating all genres and all level of authors – aspiring, emerging and established. We want to use the amazing talent contained within our RWA tribe and will source external expertise when required.

If you are passionate and want to submit any ideas/suggestions for a workshop, or if you would like to head up a round table discussion, put together a panel etc, please register your interest now.

For full workshop details visit our website at http://www.romanceaustralia.com/p/279

Submit your workshop proposal via this form at: http://bit.ly/RWA17WSP

If you have any questions, please email Conference2017@romanceaustralia.com

 

From The Big Apple to Adelaide – and the RWA conference!

From New York to Adelaide

Some big names will head to South Australia for RWA’s annual conference in August, including Esi Sogah and Sarah Younger, coming all the way from the Big Apple. We interviewed the pair in the lead-up to our annual gathering.

Sogah RWAEsi Sogah, senior editor at Kensington Publishing

Have you been to Australia before? If not, what are you expecting?

I haven’t! I’ve wanted to go to Australia for years and years, so I’m incredibly excited (as is my father. He’s been giving me tips pretty much non-stop.) I’m definitely looking forward to exploring some of the cultural institutions. I love art, dance, and theatre, and I hear Adelaide is just bursting with culture. I’d also like to learn more about the history of Australia, so I guess all this means is I’ll be heading to a lot of museums. And if anyone has tips on avoiding the legendary insects I’ve heard about, please let me know!

What will you be doing at the conference?

I’ll be participating in panels as well as holding a workshop. The main thrust will be our changing roles in this new ‘digital age’ of publishing and how everything old is new again. I’m also looking forward to what are sure to be delightful parties. I love getting dressed up!

Will you be taking pitches? And tell us the kind of stories you’re currently looking for.

I will be taking pitches! I’m definitely looking for romantic suspense, as well as romantic mysteries (so, like suspense, but less violence, more fun). I’d also like to see more historical romance in ‘unusual’ settings, as we say. For general fiction, I really like ‘book club’ books—novels that tackle big issues in interesting ways and leave you thinking about your life in a new way.

Are there any romance fiction trends you’re predicting for 2016 and beyond?

I’m seeing a lot more romance with a lighter tone and I think we may see a return of the romantic comedy—though it might not be called that. But I think the pendulum is starting to swing away from the dark, angsty days of paranormal romance and New Adult. I think this is what drove the explosion of contemporary romance over the past few years, and as editors look for different types of stories within that genre, light-hearted plots and witty voices begin to break through.

Tell us about some of the projects and authors that have currently got you excited.

I’ve got so many that I love! One that I’m especially excited about is a series with [Aussie] Alli Sinclair. She’s already published two books in Australia, and the first one, Midnight Serenade, came out in the US in July. The series is three women’s fiction novels, each featuring a different kind of dance and a generational family story. It’s exactly the kind of fiction I love.

I’m also really excited about a series launching in April 2017 by Alyssa Cole. Set during the American Civil War, the first, An Extraordinary Union, tells the story of Elle, a freedwoman who goes back into slavery to serve as a spy for the Union, and the Scottish agent who becomes her partner in espionage and love. Each book in the series takes place during one year of the war and they’re just fantastically written while bringing to light stories that don’t often get told. As you can see, when it comes to my historical fiction, I love rich detail and big themes.

I’ve also got a really delightful erotica series, set at a kinky dude ranch! The first book, [Delphine Dryden’s] Ride ‘Em, is on sale now. So my list really runs the gamut 🙂

New York is the pinnacle of the publishing world. What’s it like to be a part of that scene? An average week?

Ooh, boy. It can get pretty crazy. I’m lucky to be at Kensington, where editors are really encouraged to spend their time editing manuscripts and reading submissions. But that doesn’t mean we don’t also have meetings with the art, marketing and sales departments; plenty of emails; copy to review; contracts to negotiate; and the myriad other things that go along with being an editor.

The strangest part of being based in NYC is that few authors are, so most editor/author relationships are digital or over the phone. I had an author I’d worked with for almost eight years before we met in person! So you have to get pretty good at understanding your writing tone, and I spend a lot of time making sure what I’m trying to communicate to my authors comes across. And, yes, we do get to have fun lunches with literary agents and attend fancy parties every once in a while, too.

What can you be found doing when you’re not working? We hear you’re partial to theatre!

It’s true. You’ll most likely find me in a theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway, converted church, outdoors—I love it all. If not there, then honestly, I’m probably on my couch. Netflix gets quite the workout in my apartment! Also Acorn.tv. Basically, if it’s a mystery, British, or historical—or even better, all three—I’m watching.

Sarah E. Younger, agent at Nancy Yost Literary Agency

Hello, have you ever been to Oz before?

Sarah YoungerI have not been to Australia before and I’m thrilled to be headed down later this year. I’m expecting lots of friendly faces and great conversations. (Along with some fabulous wine!) I’m also looking forward to checking out traditional tourist-y sights, because why not?

What will you be doing at this year’s conference?

I expect that I will be quite busy! But the mini list that I can rattle off the top of my head includes, of course, meeting with my clients, and with some of Nancy’s/NYLA’s local clients, taking pitches, doing a workshop, and participating in a panel. And if that doesn’t fill up my time, whatever Amy Matthews and Linda Brown (the organisers who I met at our Romance Writers of America national conference last year in NYC), ask of me…as long as I get to sleep at some point.

Will you be taking pitches? And tell us the kinds of stories you’re looking for right now.

Yes, I will be taking pitches. I quite enjoy taking pitches because you never know what exciting new project will come along. I’m looking for all kinds of romance projects. I’m not sure what’s at the top of my romance wish list at the moment, so I hate to say ‘I’ll know it when I find it’, but again I’m open to all varieties.

I’m also looking to add more women’s fiction to my list, in particular cross-generational stories that highlight relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren. I think that there is something special about that bond, and would love to read something that makes me laugh…and cry. But to find out even more about my tastes and what I represent, feel free to check out my page on our agency’s website, http://www.nyliterary.com.

Are there any romance fiction trends you’re predicting for the future?

This is a hard one, but I think that for a while some were saying historicals were down. I have always loved historicals—in fact, they were my first romance love and they got me my job with NYLA—but I think that they are, and will be, making a resurgence of sorts in the next few years. Also, I think that there is going to be a shift away from straight-up contemporaries to contemporary with something else to hook readers, so the subgenres are going to come into play. And then, I think, and hope, that the diverse aspects that colour our own lives will make themselves even more present in the fiction works we read.

Please tell us about some of the projects and authors you’re most excited about currently.

This might be the hardest question you’ve asked and it’s not because I’m lacking in excitement. It’s because I have too many options, and to be quite frank, I’m a little superstitious and I don’t want to jinx any projects that I’m getting ready to go out on submission with. However, I will say that I’m very excited to be working with my ladies from Australia and New Zealand, Ms Bronwen Evans, Ms Angela Bissell and Ms Bronwyn Stuart (all of whom I’m hoping to see when I head down later this year). And if that doesn’t satiate your curiosity on what I’m excited about, feel free to check out my Twitter feed @seyitsme.

What’s it like being part of the New York literary scene?

I hate to pull back the curtain on Oz with this answer, but I find my week to be consumed with emails from authors and editors, the sorting royalty statements and reviewing contracts, and in general, working out ways to solve any problems that arose over the previous week/weekend. We all work long hours, and most of us are doing it because it’s an industry that we’re passionate about.

However, I will say that yes, we do have exciting moments when a book launches or hits a list. And you really can’t quite compare the feeling one gets when I get to call a debut author to tell them that a publisher has offered on their work. And the work lunches are usually quite fun and enlightening, though I will say those lunches do not happen every day. But, all in all, it’s really not how they depict it in the movies, or even on cable TV—at least as far my experience goes. There are no cigars and very rarely does one find themselves with a tumbler half-full of whiskey or other strong spirits.

What can you be found doing when you’re not working?

Well, I grew up on a horse farm, so once upon a time my answer would have been out riding or at least in the barn. But now that I’m in the city, if I’m not working and/or work-reading, I’m usually enjoying a stroll through Central Park, walking my way down the halls of museums that are becoming more and more familiar, going to movies or concerts, reading for pleasure, and last but not least, enjoying a nice meal with friends and family.

If you haven’t booked for the conference but would like to, there’s still time, but it’s running out fast.  Hie thee to the RWA Website and book now!

Conference dithers? We have a Maggie for that!

Heading to Your First RWA Conference? Meet Maggie!

RWA’s 25th anniversary conference, themed Ain’t Love Grand, is being held in Adelaide from 19 – 21 August – and SA contemporary and paranormal romance author Maggie Mundy is in charge of showing the ropes to all the conference ‘newbies’. We chatted to her.

Maggie Mundy Maggie, tell us about yourself as a writer and your role helping newbies. I came to writing later in life after doing a degree in drama and creative writing. I found joining RWA was one of the best moves I made in my journey to publication. I write paranormal romance and have been published by Soul Mate Publishing in the US.

My role will be to help the newbies before conference with any questions they have. I will be available on the weekend of the conference as well. Many writers chat on the Facebook group leading up to conference, so this means they’ll already know each other come conference time.

How can newbies connect up pre-conference? We have a closed, newbies-only Facebook group, where you can sign up to meet new people, develop pre-conference friendships, and ask heaps of questions in a safe, private environment. If you have not received an invite, then contact me on maggiemundy@bigpond.com.

scarredPROTECTOR_805x1275 (2)Are there any newbie events held at the actual conference? We will be having a get-together for a pre-cocktail chat with the president, Leisl Leighton, who’ll take the opportunity to welcome people to their first romance conference. I’m sure it will not be their last! I will give details of the time and place nearer to the conference.

In the past, what have been the experiences of newbies getting together? Many of the newbies from last year, when I also helped out, have kept in contact through Facebook. And I am sure many of them will be catching up with each other again this year!

Being a conference ‘virgin’ can feel a little daunting. Your top tips?

  • Wear layered clothing. The venue is climate-controlled but we all have different temperature thresholds.
  • Be polite and be engaged. When someone takes an interest and opens a conversation, share the talking.
  • RWA members are a friendly lot and most of the time they’ll be happy to chat. But if they don’t engage with you, don’t take it personally—it may be they’re talking to their editor about their book, or they’ve just caught up with a friend they haven’t seen in 12 months and in their excitement to see each other, they accidentally leave you out. Just smile and move on to the next person/conversation.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • If you’re pitching, be professional. Do your homework on the agent/editor you’re pitching to, dress appropriately, have your pitch polished to a gleam, and be on time.

I’m so looking forward to meeting everyone in person at the conference. See you in August!

To book for RWA’s annual conference—which is all set to razzle-dazzle in marking 25 years—or for more information, visit http://www.romanceaustralia.com/p/229/Adelaide-16.

Contest Results from the Gala Dinner, Get Fresh Conference 2015

Once again, our conference organisers hosted a wonderful conference dinner and glorious award presentation.  Ask someone who was there about our lovely ‘butlers’ (who were present entirely to support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, honest), the almost impossibly limber ‘Gene Kelly’ (Matt Mitchell) who opened proceedings and Paul Fennel and partner from You Can Dance Studio with the swing dancing.

Thank you to our conference committee, and especial thanks to Frano Graco, Patsy Poppenbeek, Leisl Leighton and Helen Katsinis for organising and managing such a great event.  We must also thank the very lovely Jane Porter, who MC’d the evening for us, very beautifully (and with the admirable crowd control skills of someone who used to teach 13-year-old boys).

We started by congratulating the winners of 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, they are listed at the end of this post.)  Thank you to Anita Heiss, Claire Boston, Kate Cuthbert, Jo McAlister, Ali Wattas, Margaret Midwood, 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 Valerie Parv Award, The Emerald, The Emerald Pro, the ROMA, The Ella, The Ruby, 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 Sarah Fairhall, Valerie Parv, Erica Hayes, Pippa Roscoe, Marnie St Clair, Kerri Lane, Leisl Leighton, Raewyn McGill, Courtney Miller-Callihan, Margie Lawson, Michelle Laforest, Annie Lynch, Graeme Simsion, and Angela Ackerman for presenting these awards.

(Please note that I may have left a couple of presenters off this thank-you list – I will update as I confirm that, but if anyone knows one I’ve missed, let me know!)

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:

Favourite Contemporary Romance Cover:

Luna Tango – Alli Sinclair – Harlequin MIRA

Favourite Historical Romance Cover:

Road to Ruin – Bronwyn Stuart – Harlequin MIRA

Favourite Paranormal Romance Cover:

Circus Escape – Lilliana Rose – Less Than Three Press

Favourite Romantic Elements Cover:

Shooting Butterflies – TM Clark – Harlequin MIRA

Favourite Rural Romance Cover:

Red Dirt Duchess – Louise Reynolds – Destiny Romance, e-Penguin

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 Valerie Parv Award (VPA) 

Highly Commended:

Believe in Fairy Tales – Dee Scully

Reciprocal Chemistry – Kat Colmer

Alpine Kisses – Laura Boon

3rd Place: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades – Dave Sinclair

2nd Place: The Norman Bride – Anna Romaine

And the winner and the new minion is…

1st Place, VPA – Momento Mori – Carly Main

 

The Emerald Award

3rd Place: Polly’s Patisserie – Kerrie Paterson

2nd Place: At First Fight – Joanne Robertson

1st Place: The Hermit Next Door – PJ Vye

 

Emerald Pro

3rd Place: Twined – Morgan Cole

2nd Place: Bound for Eden – Tess LeSue

1st Place: The Soul Weaver – Heidi Catherine

 

 

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, as all our volunteers and all the nominees are winners in our eyes.  It is awarded and this year it was awarded to a very deserving recipient, namely:

Diane Curran

 

The Roma Award for Media

The finalists for the ROMA Award 2015 were:

Danielle Binks  “Things No-one Tells you About Romance Readers”   (Dailylife.com.au)

Evana Ho “Interviews at the 2015 ARRA Convention” (ArtSound FM / EvanaHo.com)

Stephanie Pegler Romance Novel Explores FIFO Love  (The West Australian Newspaper/News.Yahoo.com)

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  “Things No-one Tells you About Romance Readers”   (Dailylife.com.au)

 

New Life Member

In honour of her work as a volunteer, but especially for her part in the committee that saved RWA during a very dark time for our organisation, we are delighted to announce our newest Life Member:

Jennifer Brassel

 

Ella Contest for Published Novellas

The Finalists Were:

Her Christmas Earl by Anna Campbell

Home for Christmas by Fiona Greene

Beneath a Trojan Moon by Anna Hackett

Sympathy for the Devil by Kelly Hunter

In a very exciting result, we had an equal first, so the Ella was awarded to both:

Her Christmas Earl by Anna Campbell

AND

Beneath a Trojan Moon by Anna Hackett

 

 

Ruby Award for Romantic Book of the Year

Short Sweet Finalists:

Dr. Perfect On Her Doorstep – Lucy Clark

Waves of Temptation – Marion Lennox

A Little Christmas Magic – Alison Roberts

The Maverick Millionaire – Alison Roberts

The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner – Kandy Shepherd

And the Ruby goes to:

Waves of Temptation – Marion Lennox

 

Short Sexy:

Wanting What She Can’t Have – Yvonne Lindsay

Romance For Cynics – Nicola Marsh

Tycoon’s Temptation – Trish Morey

Damaso Claims His Heir – Annie West

And the Ruby goes to:

Damaso Claims His Heir – Annie West

 

Long Romance:

Risky Business – Amy Andrews

Deadly Secrets – Sarah Barrie

Moonlight Plains – Barbara Hannay

Attraction – KM Golland

And the Ruby goes to:

Risky Business – Amy Andrews

 

Romantic Elements:

Flight to Coorah Creek – Janet Gover

The Trader’s Reward – Anna Jacobs

Outback Ghost – Rachael Johns

The Lace Balcony – Johanna Nicholls

Riverboat Point – Tricia Stringer

And the Ruby goes to:

The Lace Balcony – Johanna Nicholls

 

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

Ripping Start Results

Selling Synopsis Results

First Kiss Results 2015

Little Gems and Little Gems Cover Results 2015

 

And then we all boogied and photo-boothed 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!

 

 

 

 

RWA Melbourne Conference Car Parking Information

The Park Hyatt has generously agreed to provide DISCOUNTED valet parking at the venue (I know! Great huh?!)

  • They are offering a reduced price of $40.00 per night for all attendees of the RWA event who use valet parking. They can accept a maximum of approximately 180 cars in the valet car park (subject to availability), so you may like to consider this option if you are staying for the whole weekend.
  • Alternatively day parking is available at Wilson Car Park @$22/per day for Friday, $24/day for Saturday & Sunday.

Please be advised that street parking is extremely limited and usually only two hour limits. Melbourne parking inspectors are extremely efficient and you will most likely be fined if you overstay in a two hour spot.

Not long to go now delegates! We can’t wait to see you all there!

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