Valerie Parv Award Closing Date extended!

If you’ve been dithering about entering the 2017 VPA, this is the sign you’ve been waiting for!  Entries were slated to close today, but you have an extra week to get your entry in!

All the details are below.  So get your skates on and enter!

If you are an Aspiring, or Emerging RWA member, or non-member with no works 40K+ contracted or commercially available, then you can enter. You will be in the running for a year-long mentorship with Valerie Parv. Valerie has sold 60 novels since 1982, and had over 25 million copies of her books sold internationally.

1,000 word synopsis, and
10,000 words of your unpublished work

More information about conditions and how to enter here:

Contest Opened:  7 April 2016
Contest Closes: Monday 1 May 2017, Monday, AEST 12 midnight

For those of you in the non-Eastern states/territories (or overseas) I will be using this time and date counter (set to Brisbane time) on the day the contest closes:

Once the counter tells me it’s midnight, I’ll flick back over to the VPA inbox, refresh the browser and then close the contest.

Please note: you cannot ‘reserve’ a place by paying your entry fee. The only way to claim a place in the contest is to submit your entry.

If you’re concerned about formatting, then:

a)      Download a template from the website and copy and paste your entry into it:

b)       Contact me ASAP  – we can work on the formatting quickly and then you can get back to finishing your entry off

Please be aware:

–          If your word count is over the 1000 word synopsis, or 10,000 word entry limit and there’s no time to send it back to you, I will trim it at 1000 or 10,000 words exactly.

–          If there are formatting issues and there’s no time to send it back to you, the issues will stand and there is the possibility of a 5-point deduction. This deduction can mean the difference between going through to the final, or not.

There’s still time to enter, you’ve got until Monday!

Good luck with your entry and if you want to know anything, just ask me.

Jo McAlister
Joint 2017 VPA Contest Manager
on behalf of Romance Writers of Australia



Spicy Bites placegetters

Congratulations to our inaugural Spicy Bites prizewinners:

Equal First prize: Kristine Charles and Kerrie Starbuck

Second prize: Wren St Claire

Third prize: Josephine Brierley

In addition, the following authors will be invited to participate in the 2017 Spicy Bites – Tattoos anthology:

Amy Rose Bennett
Dina Bridges
Audrey Fraser
Caitlyn Lynch
Annabelle McInnes
Wren St Claire (second entry)
Nardia Sheriff
Lee-Ann Wallace

Congratulations to all our entrants – the cut-off score for the anthology is difficult to achieve and all the stories were read with pleasure by our volunteer judges. Thanks as usual to all our judges, and the contest manager Trysh Nickles.

Little Gems contest placegetters

Congratulations to our Little Gems prizewinners:

Equal First prize: Courtney Clark Michaels and Imelda Evans

Second prize: Shannon McEwan

Equal Third prize: J. Keneally and Rose Pearse.

In addition, the following authors have been invited to participate in the 2017 Little Gems Onyx anthology:

Heidi Catherine
Kat Colmer
Frances Dall’Alba
Fiona Greene
Jillian Jones
Caitlyn Lynch
Fiona Marsden
Jane Newton
Stella Quinn.

Congratulations to all our entrants – the score required to reach the anthology list was high and as you can see, it was very difficult to separate the stories! Thanks as usual to all our volunteer judges, and the contest manager Lis Hoorweg.

Emerald and Emerald Pro second round

Congratulations to our Emerald and Emerald Pro second round entrants!


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.

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!

First Kiss Results are in!

Congratulations to the winner and placegetters in our First Kiss contest, as judged by Meghan Farrell of Tule Publishing:

1st   Michelle Skidmore

2nd   Sue Knight

3rd   Marianne Bankovic

Thanks again to Meghan, to all our volunteer judges for their time and effort, and to the contest manager, Tricia Sargant, who is new to the role this year and did a fantastic job. And congratulations to all our members who entered their fabulous stories.

Rip into the Ripping Start!

Do you have a great opening?  Are your first pages polished to perfection?  Are you an unpublished Romance Writers of Australia member?

Then we have a competition for you!

The Ripping Start competition is a new RWA competition which is all about giving your novel (or novella, more on that below) an unputdownable start.

To enter you will need the first 1,500 words of your novel or novella and a 300 word synopsis of your story.  (For the purposes of this competition, novel or novella is defined as a work of fiction 10,000 words or more.)

The final judge will be agent Clare Forster from Curtis Brown Australia.  (Thank you Clare!)

The Ripping Start competition is now open for entries.  The window for entering closes at midnight, EST September 6, 2013, but there is also a cap of 90 entries, so if you would like to be in it, don’t delay!  Shine up those words and enter!

For full entry details, including links to the entry form and sample score sheet, visit the Ripping Start page on our sparkling, new RWA website.  If you are not yet a member, but would like to be, you can also join on the website.  (Or if you would just like to have a look around and see what we get up to, you can do that from our home page.)

Good luck and get entering!

Emerald ST finalists

Sadly, the winner does NOT receive one of these. It's just a pretty pic from free digital

Sadly, the winner does NOT receive one of these.
It’s just a pretty picture from free digital

We would like to congratulate the following entrants who have made the cut for Round 2 of the Single Title section of the RWA Emerald.

For those who don’t know, the Emerald is Romance Writers of Australia’s reader-judged competition for full manuscripts from unpublished authors.  We have two sections, the ST (single title) and Category sections.  The entrants below are in the ST section and now have 5 working days to get their full manuscripts in the post for the next round of judging.  Those entered in the Category section can expect news soon!

Congratulations and best of luck for the next round to:

Sarah Belle

EE Carter

Jennifer Ensor

Iona Jones

Annie Lynch

Erin Moira O’Hara

Kerrie Paterson

Chris Taylor

Amber Quinne

Belinda Williams

Cruisin’ with RWA

Hello and welcome to Cruisin’. We can start counting the sleeps until the RWA Diamonds 2012 Gold Coast Conference. Are you packed and ready to go? Share your good news and blogs with us at


Claytons Conference 2012

Registrations for Claytons are now open.

Please visit the Claytons page on the RWAustralia website for more information (including the program)

If you have any questions, you can contact Julia and Jenny at ClaytonsConf12 [at] gmail [dot] com.

We look forward to “seeing” you there!


Cruisin’ the News

Share your good news with us each week and we’ll join you in your happy dance. Congratulations to all our members this week. Share your new release, new cover, contest win, new contract, new website and more good news with us at

Contest News

New Zealand Clendon Award 2012

  • Finalists:


MARY JONES – Historical


ADRIENNE SMITH – HMB Sweet romance

The final placings for these four manuscripts will be announced at the Awards Dinner at the conference in August

  • Highly Commended:

MICHELLE DE ROOY – Romantic Suspense

ERIN KUHNE – Romantic Suspense

KRISTIN MEAGHER – Contemporary


  • Commended:

TONI KENYON – Superromance#



  • It was announced at RWA12 (America) that Alison Stuart won the 2012 Romance Through the Ages Contest run by the Hearts through History Chapter of the Romance Writers of America for her unpublished Regency LORD SOMERTON’S HEIR.
  • Erin Kuhne writing as Erin Moira O’Hara received Honorary Mention in the East Texas Southern Heat Contest, contemporary single title.
  •  Suzanne Hamilton writing as SE Gilchrist received Honorary Mention in the East Texas Southern Heat Contest, paranormal section.
  • Suzanne also finalled in Music City Romance Writers, Minuet of Love, novella contest with BOUND BY LOVE.

New Contests

The Shooting Star Award Contest over at The Book Boost Blog are sponsoring prizes for the top three winners in FIVE genre categories benefiting The Epilepsy Foundation! Get the accolades you want, the promotion you need, and help cure epilepsy all in one writing contest!

New Releases

  • September 11, 2012 THE DARK ROSE by Denise Rosetti, released by Berkley Intermix

Even beautiful things cast dark shadows…

Rosarina of the Garden is the most desired courtesan of her time. She is also a spy, sent on a deadly mission to Green IV. She cannot afford to trust anyone, least of all the Quintus, a Technomage with his own agenda – and the unnerving ability to crack her cool composure.
Rose is a challenge Quin can’t resist, but he’s a threat she’s been ordered to…eliminate. Duty and passion are a dangerous combination in the paranormal world of the Four-Sided Pentacle.

New Cover

Has  received the cover for her debut Ellora’s Cave release, BLOODLUST DENIED. You can view the cover and a blurb over on her website.


RWA Merry Webber Blogs

August 3 – A Day in the Writing Life of Helen Lacey – Suzanne Hamilton

August 4 – Hearts Talk Wrap – Kristin Meagher

August 5 – Event Announcements – Juanita Kees

August 6 – Conference Spotlight – Harlequin – Eleni Konstantine

August 7 – Author Spotlight – Juliet Madison

August 8 – Conference Spotlight – Eleni Konstantine

August 9 – Cruisin’ with RWA – Juanita Kees


Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at:

 August 3 – This week on Friday Feast:

This week on Friday Feast we’re talking rural romance with award-winning Australian author Barbara Hannay whose gorgeous novel ZOE’S MUSTER releases this month from Penguin. Barbara reveals not only her passion for cooking and growing her own produce, but also what her husband gets up to when she’s away at the Romance Writers of Australia conference.

There’s a wonderful Greek cake recipe on offer plus reveal your favourite TV cooking program or what you’d most like to grow yourself and you could win a signed copy of ZOE’S MUSTER!

August 2 – MAGIC THURSDAY: Nicole Sheridan

August 4 – Weekly Overview

August 6 – GOOD NEWS DAY

We will be on hiatus from August 7th to September 1st. Conferences are a-calling and we are heeding the call!

Mission Romance has gone over to the Other Side at the new Kees2Create site.

August 1 – Review of BOOMERANG BRIDE by Fiona Lowe with a giveaway courtesy of Harlequin and DMCPR Media

August 2 – Review of Juanita’s debut release FLY AWAY PETA by romance reader Carol Dean

August 3 – Review of SUMMER AT WILLOW LAKE by Susan Wiggs with a giveaway courtesy of Harlequin and DMCPR Media

August 4 – On Location with FLY AWAY PETA

August 5 – The Story of EGYPTIAN HEART by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

August  4 – SERIES: The Paranormal DownUnder – Maree Anderson – Aussie/ NZ authors who live the paranormal life and love it!

August 7 – CONFERENCE TIME: Memorable Moments with…Jenn McLeod – – members of RWAustralia & New Zealand fill you on what to look forward to at the annual conferences.

*Ed’s Note: Post updated

Theory on Thursday with Juanita Kees

High school teacher, archaeologist and ancient historian Tima indulges in her love of writing with her debut novel BLOODGIFTED the
result. Visit her blog for more.

Provides bytes of inspiration for writers on her new blog.

So You Write Romance… Can You Write Anything Else? Whitney K-E talks about why she writes romance and addresses the one question you should never ask any writer.


Enrico’s Pick Six

Submit your blog site link to to share with our readers. Enrico hand picks six blogs to showcase every week.

Enrico’s Pick Six this week:

  1. Magical Gains
  2. Nicola Marsh
  3. Phillipa Fioretti
  4. Rhian Cahill
  5. Sami Lee
  6. Teen Fiction Cafe


Enrico’s quote of the week

A good speech has a beginning, a middle and an end, the best example being, “I love you.”

~Robert Brault,

Have a great week!

Regards Juanita

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