Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight – Survivor: Submission Island!




Outwit, Outplay, Outlast

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Prepared to pit your skills against other participants in a battle for literary survival? Spear boars with your sharpened dialogue, bind your feet with brilliant prose, and trap wild fish with your interwoven plotlines?

By signing-up for Submission Island you’ll put your work directly in front of six industry professionals all wanting to hunt down an author with the guts and determination to make a go of it in our cut-throat industry!

Perfect your submission skills and join the challenge to be crowned the SURVIVOR: SUBMISSION ISLAND.

The Panel:

• Abby Zidle – editor for Simon & Schuster, USA

• Laura Bradford – literary agent with Bradford Literary Agency

• Nina Bruhns – editor with Entangled Publishing

• Margaret Marbury – editor with Harlequin HQN, Mira and Luna

• Joel Naoum – editor with Momentum (Pan Macmillan)

• Alex Adsett – literary agent

 See judge biographies on the Riding the Waves web site

How It Works:

An independent reader will read anonymous manuscript pages aloud for the panel and conference delegates. During the reading, the panel will indicate where they would have stopped and, afterwards, explain why. The whole audience can benefit from understanding the submission’s strengths and weaknesses.

What happens on Submission Island doesn’t stay on Submission Island

Any requests made on Submission Island are real. The conference team will get back to you with the contact details of the editor/agent who requested your work. Any rejections made on Submission Island… shouldn’t stop you from submitting in the future, but hopefully you’ll learn from the panel’s feedback.

How To Enter:

Send your opening three pages to freo2013@romanceaustralia.com by Friday 2nd of August.


  • Put SURVIVOR SUBMISSION ISLAND in the email subject line.
  • Send your opening three pages (double-spaced, 1 inch margins)
  • Put your title in the header of each page but not your name.
  • Save all documents as [Your Name Survivor Submission Island] in RTF format and attach to the email.
  • In the body of the email, please include your name, full contact details (including mobile phone number) and the title of your manuscript.

Who Is Eligible:

Anyone registered (published or unpublished) to attend the core conference (Saturday & Sunday) may sign-up for SURVIVOR: SUBMISSION ISLAND. Your submission does not need to be from a completed manuscript (from a completed partial is fine). Please note, pages will be chosen randomly and not all entries may be chosen. As selection is random, we will not be contacting authors prior to the panel – you will need to attend the session to find out if you’re part of SURVIVOR SUBMISSION ISLAND!

Good luck from the Riding the Waves team!

Any questions? Please check out the Riding the Waves site, or email freo2013@romanceaustralia.com


Riding The Waves Conference Spotlight ~ Fremantle

Today, we take a break from the spotlights on our workshops to bring you an article about Fremantle. I’ve never been, so I asked Claire Boston to tell us about it.


It’s a beautiful autumn day, sunny but not too hot, blue skies with the occasional puff of cloud and I’m sitting outside one of the many cafes on the Fremantle strip. As I sit here I think about the RWA conference which will be held in Freo in just a few months’ time and I can’t wait for other people to discover the wonders of this vibrant city.

Let me paint a picture for you. I’m sitting at a small table under a big umbrella so I’m nicely shaded. I have a fresh cappuccino and some French pastry that smells delicious but whose name I can’t remember. I have my notebook out so I can fill my writer’s well full of the characters and ideas that just flood over me as I survey my surroundings.

There are a couple of young hippies walking towards me complete with full dreadlocks, hemp clothing and sandals, debating something as one waves his hands to emphasise a point. I jot down a few notes in my notebook before a young girl catches my eye. She’s a toddler, no more than two wearing a pretty pink dress and pink shoes. She’s stopped and is bending over almost in half to stare at something that’s captured her attention on the pavement. I check to see where her parents are and they’ve stopped a metre or so away and are watching her with an expression of love and delight. When she finally straightens up, her dad holds out his hand and she toddles over to clutch it and walk on beside him. I notice a young couple watching her as well and they say something to each other and kiss. Maybe there’s a baby on the way, or one in the planning.

To one side, where the buildings give way to expose a hidden alleyway there is a busker playing his guitar. His case is set up in front of him to catch the coins of passers-by. Today he’s playing the blues but on other days it could be flamenco, or jazz, or folk songs. Next to him a woman has set up a rug and she’s selling homemade, beaded jewellery.

I know if I walk past them both I’ll enter a hidden treasure of shops such as The Pickled Fairy and Joan of Arc which sell fabulous fantasy and medieval items. I might go for a browse when I’m finished.

But I’ve been distracted. I was supposed to be telling you about Freo but I guess part of what makes Freo the city it is are the people. It’s such an eclectic mash of young and old, rich and student, hippy and yuppie that there’s always something to see.


If I walk north up South Terrace I’ll pass the mall and then further to the train station and the maritime museum. If I don’t feel like the walk I can just jump on the free CAT bus which passes most of the main tourist attractions in Fremantle.

To the south I hear cheers and look towards the Fremantle markets to where a magician has set up and has drawn a crowd. The Freo Markets is one of my favourite places to visit. It’s an old brick building with bull nosed verandas and inside it’s a delightful warren of shops and stalls. One section is the farmers’ market where fresh produce is plentiful and cheap. I’ll definitely head here on the conference weekend to stock my room with fresh fruit so I can have a snack or in case I oversleep and don’t have time for breakfast.

If I head east I’ll reach the Fremantle Prison. It’s the only World Heritage listed building in Western Australia. It was only decommissioned as a maximum-security gaol in 1991 and I’ve done tours before. It’s a fascinating place to visit but one tour I’ve not done is the Tunnel Tour. In this tour you descend 20 metres below the ground through the labyrinth of tunnels and I think it would be a great adventure. Actually I’ll make a note of it. Perhaps I’ll treat myself to the tour on Thursday before Penguin’s ‘welcome’ ice-breaker.


Photo: Esplanade Hotel Rydges

Since my thoughts are full of the conference I let my mind wander west, just a few hundred metres  down Essex Street to the Esplanade Hotel Rydges where the conference will be held. The street is lined with trees before the distinctive white veranda posts of the Esplanade Hotel appear. The hotel has been on this site for over 100 years and though it’s been renovated multiple times, it still has the historical feel of an old hotel. The first floor has a veranda running along two sides and the room where the cocktail party is being held will step out on to this veranda. If the evening is nice, we can spill out and enjoy the view over the park to the fishing boat harbour.


In my head I cross the street into the lush green park with its huge Norfolk pines and playgrounds and then keep going across to the fishing boat harbour where the smells of fish and chips and salty water hit me. I walk along the docks, breathe in the aromas and smile at the lap of the water against the jetty and the occasional squawk of a sea gull.

PP_DSC6610 (1)

I might head over here on Friday night after the cocktail party for a small bite to eat, but then again when it comes to food in Freo I’m spoilt for choice. Here on the fishing boat harbour are the two  Freo institutions of Kailis and Cicerello’s. At their simplest there are fish and chips but there’s really a whole lot more. The fresh seafood selection is incredible – prawns, crabs, oysters, mussels and several varieties of fish.

In and around The Esplanade (all within a five minute walk) you’ve got Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Thai, Steakhouse or pub food. I don’t know how I’ll decide. I’ll definitely have to start organising a table and maybe even book because on Friday and Saturday nights Freo bustles with restaurant goers.

I could go on and on about the wonders of Freo but the best thing would be to come and experience it for yourself. It is the perfect place to for an author’s date and to fill your well full of ideas and characters. I’d love to see you here in August and if you do come, feel free to stop me and tell me if you agree with my assessment of this vibrant city.

Unless otherwise specified, the photos by Nikki Logan. 


Thank you, Claire. I don’t know about all of you, but I definitely felt as if I was there. I can’t wait to visit Freo and explore all it has to offer.

REMEMBER: Early bird conference registration closes 30th April (just over a week away)!

If you haven’t booked yet, you can do so at the Fremantle Conference pages on the RWA site.

Cruisin’ with RWA

Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break. Enrico, Clint and I are back to entertain you with good news, great blogs and upcoming events. Have you got a new release, cover, contract, website or blog to share? Send us the link to cruisin@romanceaustralia.com.

Riding the Waves: Writing Romance in Tempestuous Times

Riding the Waves

Riding the Waves

Things are heating up here in the west with the 22nd annual RWA  conference approaching fast. So do keep an eye out for blogs and information here on the blog, on Facebook and on the Romance Writers of Australia website. If you’re planning on Riding the Waves in Freo this year, why not keep up to date and subscribe to the newsletter via email.

August 16 – 18 2013 –The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia

In August 2013, for the first time, our annual national conference is heading to Western Australia. With a gorgeous heritage hotel, sunshine, sea-breezes, alfresco dining and history – Fremantle has it all. And now it has romance!


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 cruisin@romanceaustralia.com

New Releases

  • Bronwen Evans is excited to announce the release of THE RELUCTANT WIFE from Entangled publishing (Indulgence)
  • Susanne Bellamy‘s debut contemporary novel, WHITE GINGER, released through Lyrical Press on January 7
  • Paula Roe and Deborah Tait have a novella out in an anthology published by the author-led co-op, TWC Press. MOONLIT ENCOUNTERS is their debut book.
  • Madeline Ash is thrilled to announce the debut release of UNCOVERED BY LOVE from Destiny Romance
  • Anne E Summers has her first fantasy book THE SINGING MOUNTAIN released by Solstice Publishing
  • Shona Husk’s FOR THE LOVE OF A GOBLIN WARRIOR, the last of the Shadowlands books, is out now
  • Rachael Johns has two new releases in January. MAN DROUGHT released on New Years Day from Harlequin Australia. They currently have a contest going to win a $500 Red Balloon package simply by reading the first chapter and answering a question. STAND-IN STAR released from Carina Press.
  • Alissa Callen’s WHAT LOVE SOUNDS LIKE is out with Escape PublishingBoundByLove3
  • S E Gilchrist has e-published a novella set in Dark Ages Britain called BOUND BY LOVE available from Smashwords and Amazon. S E is running a contest to celebrate the release on her site with a free giveaway to one commenter during the month of January. S E also has LEGEND BEYOND THE STARS scheduled for release from Escape Publishing on January 10

New Contracts

  • Allison Butler is thrilled to announce her Scottish medieval,  is to be published by Destiny Romance and is due for release mid-February 2013.
  • Janet Woods has signed contracts for two more books with Severn House.Magna has offered for large print rights to her Belgrave House ebook BENEDICT’S BRIDE. Audio Rights  to her February hardcover release with Severn House, I’LL GET BY, have been picked up by Soundings
  • Juanita Kees has signed a contract with Escape Publishing for the March release of TAMING THE TIGER


Cruisin’ Member BlogsClint

Clint had another busy week cruisin’ the web and inbox. Hope you enjoy his scoop. Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at: cruisin@romanceaustralia.com

For anyone who thinks they know their historical romance heroes, Anne hosted a quiz on Word Wenches

will be back soon!

January 10 – MAGIC THURSDAY – Shona Husk with giveaway of FOR THE LOVE OF THE GOBLIN WARRIOR

January 11 – REAL LIFE PARANORMAL compiled by Mel Teshco

January 12 – DARKLIGHT ON…with Kathrine Leannan

January 14 – Winner of Shona’s giveaway announced

January 15 – GOOD NEWS DAY compiled by Kylie Griffin

January 16 – A BITE OF… FISHERPRIEST with CM Simpson

January 17 – MAGIC THURSDAY – Jenny Schwartz

Super Sunday

Musa Monday – Clarissa Johal

Writing Buddy Wednesday – DarkSider, Mel Teshco

While you were snoozin’, missing out on Cruisin’, Author Harvest ‘baled up’ Karly Lane and Rachael Johns

Jenn wrote an open letter to Tony Park – “I am NOT reading this book, Mr Park”

January 10 Author Harvest presents Juanita Kees with a giveaway of a signed copy of FLY AWAY PETA and

Jenn recently baled up the whacky, witty Lisa Walker to talk Sex, Lies & Bonsai.

January 2 – Cat-urday: Funnies – more madcap mayhem with LOL cats
January 8 – INDUSTRY: Interview with…Riverina Romantics – new series on book bloggers!
January 12 – SATURDAY SEVEN: Seven paragraphs of a favourite book off my shelves – KISS OF STEEL Bec McMaster
January 15 – INDUSTRY: Interview with…My Book Chatter – New Zealand book blogger

Serena is pleased to announce her special guest blogger, Valerie Parv. This is Valerie’s first stop on her Blog Tour for her wonderful book, BIRTHRIGHT. It continues her series set on the fictional island kingdom of Carramer. Valerie will be blogging about using holidays in your writing and offers suggestions.

January 8 – Review of IN FALLING SNOW  by Mary-Rose MacColl

January 10 – Review of QUEEN OF THE ROAD by Tricia Stringer

January 11 – Celebrating two new releases  with Rachael Johns and a post on titles and how they come to life for her.

In order to give our wonderful home grown and unique rural fiction a global voice a face book page called Books for Country Girls and Guys has been created. Such a page will promote and celebrate rural as well as small town fiction. Would love people to drop by:)

Just a shout-out about my new blog series called Fan Girl Friday, where me and a bunch of author guests will be raving about stuff we love every Friday. I took the first spot, and Keziah Hill will be up on the 11th, so mark Friday in your diary to drop by and check it out. Love to see you there!

To celebrate the release of BOUND BY LOVE I’m posting a blog on January 10 (US time)  and I will be running a giveaway for the remainder of January. Anyone who subscribes to my blog and leaves a comment will go in the draw for a $10 Amazon gift voucher.

Is over at the Book Junkie celebrating the release of WHITE GINGER with a give away and here is the line up for her new blog, ALL THE WORLD’S A PAGE every Sunday:

January 23 – First guest this week is Annie Seaton who offers some insights into what inspires her writing across multiple genres

January 30 – Visit with Efthalia Pegios talking about her paranormal WIP

February 6 – Hosting Jenn J McLeod on the blog


Enrico’s Pick SixPortrait of a handsome male chauffeur sitting in a car saluting a passanger

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

Enrico’s Pick Six this week:

  1. Annie Seaton
  2. Coleen Kwan
  3. Jenn J McLeod
  4. Magical Gains
  5. Neomi Quinn
  6. Jenna Anastasi


RWA Contests

Closing dates for the 2012-13 RWA contest season

Little Gems 1 February 2013
First Kiss 15 February 2013
Valerie Parv Award TBA April 2013


Regards Juanita

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