First Kiss 2017 placegetters

Congratulations to our 2017 First Kiss placegetters! As judged by Haylee Nash of The Nash Agency:

1st: Tamar Sloan
2nd: Sheridan Kent
3rd: Miranda Morgan
4th: Nicola Bernard
5th: Kym Wojtasik
6th: Emily Michel

Thanks to Haylee Nash for providing such generous feedback for our finalists. Big thanks to Heather Garside for her time and effort in running an efficient and timely contest, and to all our judges who volunteer their time and effort to help other writers. And well done to all who entered!


First Kiss finalists

First Kiss finalists

Congratulations to our 2017 First Kiss finalists:

Nicola Bernard
Sheridan Kent
Emily Michel
Miranda Morgan
Tamar Sloan
Kym Wojtasik

Their entries will be read by our final judge, Haylee Nash of The Nash Agency.

Congratulations to everyone who entered, and thanks as usual to all our volunteer judges and our new contest manager, Heather Garside, who’s doing a fantastic job.

First Kiss Finalists

Pucker up!  The RWA First Kiss competition has found six finalists who give great smooch – on the page, anyway…

Congratulations to our 2016 First Kiss finalists:

Marianne Bankovic

Kat Colmer

Antoinette Hodge

Sue Knight

Samara Parish

Michelle Skidmore.

The finalist entries will be read by our fabulous final judge, Meghan Farrell of Tule Publishing.

Congratulations to all our entrants, and thanks as always to our hardworking volunteer judges and the contest manager, Tricia Sargant.

First Kiss Results!

The results are in for our 2015 First Kiss competition!

As judged by editor Kate Byrne at Headline Eternal, our First Kiss placegetters are:


1st           Tamar Sloan

2nd          Rosie Miles

3rd           Emma Hoole

4th           Jo Harris

5th           Annabelle Rose

6th           Gayle Ash


Congratulations to all who entered!  Thanks to all our judges, and contest manager Deb Cox.

First Kiss Finalists

The finalists have been decided for this year’s RWA First Kiss contest!  Our congratulations to:

Gayle Ash

J.C. Harroway

Emma Hoole

Rosie Miles

Annabelle Rose

Tamar Sloan

We had a big increase in entry numbers this year for the First Kiss, so well done to all who entered – and thanks to all our volunteer judges and the contest manager, Deb Cox.

The finalist entries will be judged by Kate Byrne, Editor at Headline Eternal.  Best of luck to all!

First Kiss Finalists!

The smooches have been ranked and the best-written ones this year were judged to be written by (in alphabetical order):

Andra Ashe

Amy Rose Bennett

Katharina Colmer

Marnie Maclean

Helena Morrison

Cassandra O’Leary

The finalists’ entries are now off to Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency for final judging.  Congratulations and best of luck to all!

Thanks to Laura for judging, Deb Cox for co-ordinating and all the volunteers who make our competition season run.

Event Announcements

Hello and welcome back! With the excitement of RWA 2013 now a happy memory, it’s time to start planning for next year. A huge congratulations and thank you to the 2013 Conference team, volunteers, sponsors, presenters and delegates who made it possible to ride the waves of romance in the beautiful town of Fremantle. I hope you enjoyed the delights Western Australia has to offer.

RWA Conference 2014

Romance Rocks!

4 days. 30+ workshops. Over 300 writers, editors, agents and publishing industry professionals. One epic conference.  Join us in Sydney with guest speakers; thriller writer and writing craft author, James Scott Bell, along with award-winning, best-selling romantic adventure author, Cherry Adair.

When: August 7-10 2014
Where: Novotel Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush

Keep an eye out for updates on the blog and website for more information.


RWAus contest season is now open and we have a ripping new contest for our unpublished writers. Closing dates for the 2013-14 contest season:

Ripping Start 6 September 2013
Selling Synopsis 22 November 2013
Emerald Award 22 November 2013
Little Gems 31 January 2014
First Kiss 14 February 2014
Valerie Parv Award TBA April 2014


The EllaPrint

RWA is excited to launch a new contest for published novellas. To be known as The Ella, the romantic novella of the year award will be a reader-judged contest, and the winner will be announced at RWA’s national conference in August.

The RUBYPrint

The Romantic Book of the Year Award, affectionately known as The Ruby, is our premier award and the only one of its kind in Australia. Voted on by Australian readers, this contest is open each year to any Australian or New Zealand romance author who has published a long or short romance novel.

Keeping up Appearances

If you live in or near Melbourne, Anne Gracie is taking a short course in romance writing, to be held over 4 months — a full day workshop on the first Sunday of each month. The course is being run by Writers Victoria at the Wheeler Centre in the heart of Melbourne.

When: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Where: Writers VictoriaCost: M $325 NM $390

FMI + bookings:

When: Thursday 29th August

Time: 7pm – 8.30pm

Where: Eltham Library, Panther Place, Eltham

Cost: Free

Bookings through Eltham Library,

03 9439 9266 or via their website.

In September, and again in November, CAE is running Beverly Eikli’s Short Course, Write Romance and Sell it:

Do you want to write a romance novel? Do you have a manuscript or two gathering dust? Multi-published and award-winning romance author Beverley Eikli will help you develop that kernel of an idea that sells a romance. Learn practical devices to improve plot, pacing and presentation, as well as how to pitch to traditional publishers, e-publishers, independents and small press. Beverley will also discuss self-publishing, changing markets and what editors are looking for.

When: 10.00am-1.00pm

Cost: 4 sessions Full Fee: $320.00 | Concession: $310.00 Find out more on their website.


Friday 30 August – SYDNEY

Throbbing Hearts Trivia Night – 6.30 to 11.00 pm

Cost: $8.50

To book: website

WORKSHOP EVENT – with Jenn J McLeod & others incl. Kate Cuthbert – Escape Publishing. A one-day symposium focusing on how writers promote themselves and their work in the constantly changing world of publishing.

When: 10am – 4pm

Where: NSW Writers’ Centre

Cost: Full Price: $90; Member (NSW WC): $65; Conc Member: $55

For writers and publishers, the challenge is always how to get a book into the hands of readers. Whether you self-publish or go with a mainstream publisher, whether it’s an ebook, print or both, the challenge of promoting yourself and launching your book into the world remains. Open Access will bring together authors, publishers, a bookseller, digital expert, and industry professionals to talk about how they do this – their hits and their misses.

FMI + Bookings:

Writer’s Classes, Groups and Library Events


Fiction Fundamentals – a one-day writing intensive workshop. Inform. Excite. Ignite. Register for Fiction Fundamentals

Are you committed to writing, but not sure how to get started? You have a story idea, and are overwhelmed by the complexity of the header narrowtask? Or you’ve started, maybe even published, and you want to explore and improve your craft? Perhaps you’re considering the path of self-publishing?

The Write Chicks are multi-published romance fiction authors, Shannon Curtis and Paula Roe. Together, they have over 12 years’ writing experience. They will be joined by Jennifer Brassel, published author and creative writing instructor and for one day these professional authors will share their experience and techniques for writing and publishing in an intensive seminar designed to boost your own skills and knowledge.

Whether you’re looking to learn something new, or wanting to hone your craft, this writing boot camp will deliver value for money. Three authors. Intense, comprehensive sessions. One event.

Special Events

  • Brisbane Writers Festival: 4-8 September 2013

Brisbane Writers Festival brings a page-turning experience to Brisbane from 4-8 September.

Romance Writers of Australia will launch the 2013 Little Gems Sapphire Anthology at the Brisbane Writers Festival. Enjoy readings from this annual publication that celebrates the best romantic short stories.

When: 10-11AM.Print

Date: Sunday, 8 September.

Venue: Red Box, State Library of QLD.

Tickets: Free.

Romance Writers of Australia will present popular romance blogger and critic Sarah Wendell in discussion with New York Times best-selling author, Nalini Singh at the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Time: 1-2pm, Date: Sunday, 8 September.

Venue: Auditorium 1, State Library of QLD.

Tickets: $12-$16.

  • Melbourne Writers Festival 22 August – 1 September 2013

The Melbourne Writers Festival is the City of Literature’s annual, two-week celebration for writers, readers and thinkers. The Festival runs from Thursday 22 August 2013 to Sunday 1 September 2013. Our Schools’ Program takes place from Monday 26 August 2013 to Thursday 29 August 2013.

  • Random House Events

Keep up to date with Random House Australia’s calendar of events including upcoming author appearances, tour dates and special events.

  • Penguin House Events May – October 2013

Penguin have a list of author appearances up on their website – including Cathryn Hein and Kylie Griffin.

  • Literary Festivals and Events May 2013

For more festival and writing fun, Literary Festivals has a calender packed full of workshops and events.

Online Events

Classes are run from Margie Lawson’s website using on-line teaching software used by universities. Take a cyber tour before you start your class and introduce yourself.

Affordable forum-style writing classes

A double Golden Heart finalist in 2006, Julie Rowe has been writing for over ten years. Julie  teaches a variety of workshops and is the moderator of the Announce Online Classes email loop, which promotes online classes for writers.

To subscribe to the Announce online Classes email loop, send an email to:

First Kiss Results!

Congratulations to our First Kiss Winners chosen by Editor Kate Cuthbert of Escape Publishing.

1.     Ella Audrey

2.     Jess Langhorne

3.     Delwyn Jenkins

Thanks to Kate, for judging, our own Deb Cox, for managing the contest, our contest and judge co-ordinators, our judges, and all the volunteers who make the activities of RWA possible.


Cruisin’ with RWA

Welcome to another lap of the Blogging Highway. Enrico and Clint are suited up and ready to take you Cruisin’…


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 on their achievements this week. Have you got news or a blog to share? Send us the link to

Good News

signed a contract with Escape Publishing for her magical romantic comedy novella, I DREAM OF JOHNNY, due for release September 1st.

  • First Kiss Finalists

Ella Audrey
Delwyn Jenkins
Jess Langhorne
Jennifer Rae
Ruth Sutcliffe
Alison Van Vreumingen

  • Emerald Single Title Finalists

Amy Rose Bennett

Erin Moira O’Hara

Chris Taylor

New sweet contemporary romance, REAL MEN DON’T QUIT, is out now. Serial bachelor. Celebrity author. Her perfect forever?

Releasing June 15 2013 from SteamEReads LOVING MEMORIES: An erotic Romantic Suspense.

Kylie Griffin (VENGEANCE BORN) – Alternate Reality section

Fiona Lowe (BOOMERANG BRIDE) – Contemporary section

Nikki Logan (WILD ENCOUNTER) – Series section

Leah Ashton (SECRETS & SPEED DATING) – Series section



The Lynne Wilding Meritorious Service Award is a member-nominated award (for our volunteers). If no-one tells us how great they are, they may never be nominated. So if there is someone who you know who is a brilliant ambassador for romance and for RWA and who gives much of their time to the organisation we all love, please take a moment to sing their praises to the official nominations committee this month.

Here’s what you do:

1.  By 1 June 2013

2.  In a letter or email, write your nominee’s full name and why you believe they should be considered for this very special award. Also include your own name and address details (you must be a current, financial member of RWAustralia to make a nomination). Feel free to wax lyrical to communicate exactly what it is that makes their contribution so special.

3.Post your nomination to:

Lynne Wilding Service Award,
PO Box 1236 Neutral Bay NSW
2089 Australia



It’s that easy.



Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Clint fueled up the limo and went cruisin’ the Blogging Highway for great blogs to keep you entertained. Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at:

  • RWA Blog

May 12 – Event Announcements by Juanita Kees

May 13 – Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight on Laura Bradford by Eleni Konstantine

May 14 – Author Spotlight on Frances Burke by Sarah Belle

May 16 – Cruisin’ with RWA by Juanita Kees

May 12 – Iris Blobel explains some of the challenges facing a “non-English” writer and more this Sunday.

May 19SE Gilchrist joins me to take her star turn

This week on Friday Feast: Lovely Harlequin author Rachel Bailey has a husband who loves to cook her breakfast. Delicious, cheffy breakfasts to make you drool. But Rachel has a secret. She doesn’t appreciate eggs as much as hubby and is on the hunt for ways to disguise the taste. Feasters, your help is required!

The Yearning hit the bookshelves on 1 May and Kate Belle has been hitting the blogosphere to talk about it.

Boiled the Billy with Margareta Osborn and got brown stuff on my boots

Dropped in on Dawn at her reading nook with 7 reasons why I love my fictional boyfriend

My call story with Kylie Griffin

Behind the scenes look at The Yearning with Book’d Out

Confessions of obsessions at Elenis Taverna

How reading commercial fiction helped my writing at Manic Readers 

May 9 – MAGIC THURSDAY – with Kylie Griffin

For Mothers’ Day – Jenn J McLeod has something for mums who might need to drop the family a BIG hint!

Jenn’s Author Harvest ‘bales up’ Christine Stinson and Rosanne Dingli – who has a giveaway

Alissa Callen came knocking on my country manor door!

May 12 –  I will be hosting Mel Teshco on Spotlight on Writers.

did her first romance relevant blog on her new site -with many more to come!

May 11 -SATURDAY SEVEN (Skin – Kylie Scott) – Seven paragraphs of a favourite book off my shelves.

May 14 – NEW AUTHOR SERIES: Vanessa Stark – our RWA/NZ newly published authors from Destiny, Escape & Momentum!

What was the most important promotional idea you learned as a debut author?

Petite, passionate, inspirational and wise beyond her years, my guest today is the youngest member of the Romance Writers of Australia, Whitney K-E. Whitney is celebrating the release of her debut novel What Happens in Ireland. Who could resist a hero with a beautiful Irish lilt, naked torsos and dysfunctional umbrellas? I’m hooked!


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. Alicia Honsa
  2. Bronwen Evans
  3. Cassandra Cornell
  4. Denise Rossetti
  5. Elisabeth Rose
  6. Fiona Lowe


Have a great week,

from the Cruisin’ Chauffeurs

First Kiss Finalists

The finalists are in for RWA’s First Kiss competition for this year.

Congratulations to:

Ella Audrey

Delwyn Jenkins

Jess Langhorne

Jennifer Rae

Ruth Sutcliffe

Alison Van Vreumingen

And best of luck with the final judge!

Many thanks to Deb Cox, Contest Manager. The entries will be ranked by Final Judge, Editor Kate Cuthbert, Escape Publishing.

Thanks also to our contest co-ordinator Lis Hoorweg and our judges co-ordinator Margaret Midwood.  If you would like to be a judge in our contests (training and guidance is provided and it’s very illuminating for your own writing!) Margaret can always do with more people on her list.  You can email her at

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