Love Gone Wild – Last call from the Wild!

Love Gone Wild Registrations Close July 21st, 2017

With the exciting announcement that Bolinda, Google and our surprise industry professionals, are going to be taking one-on-one meetings at this year’s conference we have extended the cut-off date until July 21st, 2017.

This gives you only ONE WEEK left to register. We encourage you not to miss out!

REGISTER NOW at: http://bit.ly/RWA17Events

All authors

 We have other industry professionals coming onsite, but we cannot reveal who they are just yet. (That means they’re BIG!) You’ll have to have registered and must have ticked YES to participate in surveys. They WILL be taking one-on-one meetings. This will be an opportunity not to be missed.

Emails and surveys from our industry professionals will be sent out in the next week or so. Keep an eye on your inbox!  Email conference_registrar@romanceaustralia.com, to update your registration information.

Emerging / Established Authors

Bolinda – Cristina Lee will also be taking appointments for your published books to be considered for audio, large-print formatting and library distribution.

Google – Naomi Gaskell and her colleagues are wanting to meet with you in one-one-one meetings to help you increase your digital presence and community engagement by utilising their services.

Appointments will be made available soon only to those who have registered for core conference.

Pitching and Manuscript Assessments

Manuscript Assessment opportunities close JULY 24th, 2017. This close date cannot be extended as the editors need time to pre-read and assess your work. Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to get your work in front of someone who can help launch your writing career. Spots are still available, but are limited.

We also have a number of pitching opportunities still available.

For information Visit: http://bit.ly/RWA17PitchAssess

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LOVE GONE WILD – Early Bird Closing

The Early Bird discount rate for tickets to the Love Gone Wild conference closes tomorrow Sunday 4th June at 12.00am (midnight).  So register now!

Don’t forget you need your Core Conference ticket to register and participate in Pitching and Manuscript Assessments. Getting your work in front of an Agent, Editor and Publisher can be life changing…so don’t miss out.

To register for the Love Gone Wild conference, visit: https://bit.ly/RWA17Events

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September OWL: Selling your book!

It’s nearly conference time here in RWA-land, but when our lives go back to normal, many of us will need to submit our books – a process that is about as popular among writers as getting a root canal.

But don’t despair!  Because riding to the rescue in the nick of time is our September OWL!  And here’s the presenter, Samantha Bond, to tell you how… (for more info, and to book, click here)

Samantha BondYou’ve written a stand-out story and now it’s time for (gasp) submission. Eek! You know if you don’t get this part right, the agent or publisher won’t even get to that manuscript you’ve just spent the last year (or ten) slaving over. Oh, the pressure!

Relax. Breathe. It’s OK.

Most writers know they need to provide a “book package” that varies slightly from publisher to publisher, but will inevitably contain a synopsis, cover letter, author bio and perhaps blurb. The good news is you can prepare a kick-arse package that’s ready to go, and tweak it to suit the individual specifications of your intended submittee.

When I was starting out some years ago, I thought whoever devised the concept of the synopsis must be a complete sadist. I mean, what kind of cruel and unusual torture involves reducing 400 pages of novel to two 1.5 spaced standard A4s?! This task necessarily means you have to leave stuff out. Lots of stuff. So what parts do you leave out, what bits do you leave in, and how should you write the darned thing? Just what makes a good synopsis that will hook your ideal agent or publisher and MAKE them pick up your amazing manuscript?

I asked all these questions and more of the many mentors I’ve had and I can thankfully report that, with some examples, an explanation of the theory behind the synopsis and other tools, it’s not the hand-wringing task it at first appears. Which brings me to the OWL I’m teaching in September called “Synopsis, blurb, cover letter, bio — your book selling tools”. I work best when I understand the purpose of a thing, and have good examples to work from, so that’s the approach I’ve taken with this OWL. I’ve included lots of theory and I’ve called upon my network of writer pals to provide me with examples of their materials. You’ll get to see what different types of synopses, cover letters, author bio’s and blurbs have worked for a variety of published authors. I’ve also strong-armed my longstanding mentor and editor, Robb Grindstaff (http://robbgrindstaff.com/writing/) into providing a bit of assistance, and he’s going to be available on our forum to answer your questions — many of Robb’s clients have landed agent and publishing deals, so make good use of him!

Also, because I teach in the Professional Writing stream at TAFE, I’ve seen first-hand that one-on-one feedback is often the most useful part of a course. So I’m also offering all participants the opportunity to submit their synopsis to me in week four (after we’ve covered the theory, done some exercises, and seen examples, of course) for individual feedback about your strengths and weaknesses. Feedback can pickpocket Dear Writer of their blind spots which is always helpful, not necessarily painless, but I do promise to be gentle! For this reason, I’ve capped the number of participants or I may drown under a sea of synopses — yet another reason they are instruments of torture — so book in quick!

If you want to know more about me and my creds to teach you this stuff, head over to my website: www.samanthastaceybond.com. Hope to see you in September!

For a full course outline and to book, see the RWA website: http://www.romanceaustralia.com/owl/24

From Pitch to Publication (Pt 4): Diane Hester

Welcome to the fourth and final post in a series of special guest interviews with authors who received a publishing contract after pitching their manuscript at an RWA conference. I hope these interviews motivate and inspire you with the knowledge that pitching appointments can and do lead to publication!

Please welcome Diane Hester…

1. Congratulations on receiving a publishing contract! Which conference did you pitch at and had you ever pitched before?

I pitched to Beverley Cousins of Random House Australia at RWA’s 2011 conference. In 2010 I had attended the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon and pitched to twelve editors and agents in the space of two days – the first time I’d ever pitched at a conference. (Talk about jumping in at the deep end!)

2. What was going through your mind before the pitch, and afterwards did you feel it had been a success?

Before the pitch I tried to focus on my story. By keeping in mind what I loved about it I felt more excitement than fear going into the session. And Bev was so nice she put me totally at ease, so by the time I came out I was feeling much more relaxed.

3. How long did it take to hear back after your submission? What was the next step?

I sent Bev my first fifty pages the week after the conference and on the first of November she emailed me requesting the full. On 14 Dec she emailed again to say she had enjoyed the story and wanted to take things to the next step of showing it to some colleagues. In that email she asked how amenable I was to plot adjustments and mentioned one she felt I should make. I told her I had no problem with changing it. I then heard back on 20 December that my book had been accepted.

4. After submitting your full manuscript, did you get a call with an offer of publication, or did you have to make changes to your manuscript first?

I think because the change Bev wanted me to make in the ms wasn’t major she was okay offering me a contract before I’d actually done the revisions.

5. How did it feel when you received an offer of publication?

Like I’d won the lottery. After ten years of trying and being rejected, to finally have that success is one of the high points of my life.

6. Do you have any advice for writers who are thinking of pitching at the next conference, or for writers who have already pitched and are anxiously awaiting the results after sending in their submissions?

Pitching at a conference gives a writer a real advantage over submitting via query letter. Many editors only accept submissions through agents, so if you don’t have one the only way to get your work to those editors is to pitch it in person. Second, many editors see an author’s attendance at conferences as proof of their commitment and professionalism. Plus they know that when an author attends a conference run by an organization as respected as RWA, they’ve been thoroughly informed not only on the craft of writing, but on the workings of the publishing industry in general.

7. Which book got (or is getting) published as a result of your conference pitch? Can you give us a brief blurb?

RUN TO ME is a chase thriller.  It’s set in the woods of northern Maine where a woman suffering post traumatic stress protects a homeless boy from killers and in the process comes to believe he’s the son she lost two years earlier. Aided by the local doctor, they flee into the New England wilds to escape their pursuers, and there come to love and trust one another in order to survive.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us today, Diane, and all the best with your book! 🙂

From Pitch To Publication (Pt 3): Jennifer Scoullar

Welcome to the third in a series of special guest interviews with authors who received a publishing contract after pitching their manuscript at an RWA conference. I hope these interviews motivate and inspire you with the knowledge that pitching appointments can and do lead to publication!

Please welcome Jennifer Scoullar…

1. Congratulations on receiving a publishing contract! Which conference did you pitch at and had you ever pitched before?

Thank You. I pitched Brumby’s Run at the 2011 RWA Conference in Melbourne, and no, I had never pitched before.

 

2. What was going through your mind before the pitch, and afterwards did you feel it had been a success?

I was absolutely terrified, much more nervous than I expected to be. But I had learned my pitch ad nauseum, so I didn’t really have to think about it too much. I pitched to Belinda Byrne of Penguin. She was so lovely, and did all she could to put me at my ease. Best of all, she asked for my full manuscript, so I felt the pitch had gone well.

 

3. How long did it take to hear back after your submission? What was the next step?

Belinda Byrne contacted me via email even before she’d finished reading, about three weeks after the August conference. Her comments were encouraging. Belinda rang to organise a meeting halfway through September, and by October I had a contract to publish Brumby’s Run.

 

4. After submitting your full manuscript, did you get a call with an offer of publication, or did you have to make changes to your manuscript first?

In October 2011 I received an email titled Penguin Letter of Offer for Brumby’s Run.  This was based on the original manuscript that I’d pitched at the August RWA Conference. During my earlier meeting with Belinda Byrne however, she’d asked me how I felt about editing. She’d explained that she had some problems with the ending, feeling it had been rushed (which was true!) I told her that I would look forward to working with an experienced editor to improve my manuscript.

 

5. How did it feel when you received an offer of publication?

I literally couldn’t believe it. I printed the letter of offer and carried it around with me for weeks, checking occasionally to see if it was real. Brumby’s Run was published in July, in time for the 2012 RWA Conference, but sometimes I still think it was all a dream.

 

6. Do you have any advice for writers who are thinking of pitching at the next conference, or for writers who have already pitched and are anxiously awaiting the results after sending in their submissions?

Firstly, make it easy for the publisher or agent by categorising your book for them.

– i.e. Brumby’s Run is a 90,000 word contemporary rural romance set in Victoria’s beautiful upper Murray region.

Then tell them briefly what your story is about.

– i.e. Samantha Carmichael is a spoilt city girl who wants to build a new future high in the Victorian alps, even if it means stealing her sister’s life.

Only then should you give the longer version, no more than a few hundred words. Remember that you might be asked questions. My other tip is to practice your pitch, until it becomes automatic. Then if your nerves fail, you are more likely to remember it, and not ramble on describing your whole plot. There’s no time for that. If you’ve already pitched and haven’t heard, I think it’s fine to send an email reminder after a few weeks. If a publisher or agent shows interest, indicate that you welcome editing, and will be easy to work with.

 

7. Which book got published as a result of your conference pitch? Can you give us a brief blurb?

As a result of last year’s pitch, Brumby’s Run was published in July 2012. My new novel, Firewater, will be out with Penguin in July 2013

A blissful carefree summer beckons for Samantha Carmichael. But her world is turned on its head when she learns she’s adopted – and that she has a twin sister, Charlie, who is critically ill.

While Charlie recovers in hospital, Sam offers to look after Brumby’s Run, her sister’s home high in the Victorian Alps. Within days city girl Sam finds herself breaking brumbies and running cattle with the help of handsome neighbour Drew Chandler, her sister’s erstwhile boyfriend.

A daunting challenge soon becomes a wholehearted tree change as Sam begins to fall in love with Brumby’s Run – and with Drew. But what will happen when Charlie comes back to claim what is rightfully hers?

Set among the hauntingly beautiful ghost gums and wild horses of the high country, Brumby’s Run is a heartfelt, romantic novel about families and secrets, love and envy and, most especially, the bonds of sisterhood.

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with us today!

You can visit Jennifer online at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

From Pitch to Publication (pt 2): Helene Young

Welcome to the second in a series of special guest interviews with authors who received a publishing contract after pitching their manuscript at an RWA conference. I hope these interviews motivate and inspire you with the knowledge that pitching appointments can and do lead to publication!

Please welcome multi award-winning author, Helene Young:

1. Congratulations on receiving a publishing contract! Which conference did you pitch at and had you ever pitched before?

I pitched at the 2008 RWA conference. I had pitched before in 2007 and also at the RWAmerica conference in 2008.

2. What was going through your mind before the pitch, and afterwards did you feel it had been a success?

I’d made sure I’d met Bernadette Foley before I pitched to her so I felt more relaxed. I was conscious I needed to sell her me as a marketable writer as well as my manuscript. When she asked for a full manuscript I floated out of the room on a high.

3. How long did it take to hear back after your submission? What was the next step?

It took two months for a response and it went something like this. ‘I think the novel could be on the way to something, but it’s not there yet.’ Bernadette then set out some very clear suggestions, which I took on board.

4. After submitting your full manuscript, did you get a call with an offer of publication, or did you have to make changes to your manuscript first?

It took me five months to rework the manuscript, chew my nails off, procrastinate and eventually hit send. Two months and one week after that Bernadette called me with an offer to publish.

5. How did it feel when you received an offer of publication?

I was elated. We were on holidays in the Whitsundays on a yacht and I know the smile lines ended up tanned into my face because I didn’t stop smiling for ten days!

6. Do you have any advice for writers who are thinking of pitching at the next conference, or for writers who have already pitched and are anxiously awaiting the results after sending in their submissions?

For those that are thinking of pitching – remember you are selling yourself as well as your story. Be friendly, engaging and remember to breathe!

For those who are waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, I say get writing! Once you’ve been accepted for publication editing will take a large slice of your time. That means the waiting time is the best chance to get on with your new project – and it will stop you obsessively checking emails and/or the letterbox!! And also remember to decode the reply carefully. A rejection may in fact be an invite to work more on the manuscript using their directions 🙂

7. Which book got published as a result of your conference pitch? Can you give us a brief blurb?

Wings of Fear (Border Watch).

High above the crystal-blue waters of North Queensland, Captain Morgan Pentland patrols the vast Australian coastline. When Customs Agent Rafe Daniels joins her crew, she is immediately suspicious. Why is he boarding her plane when she isn’t there? And why is he asking so many questions?

What Morgan doesn’t know is that Rafe has her under surveillance. Critical information about their Border Watch operations is being leaked and she is the main suspect but when Morgan and Rafe are shot down in a tragic midair attack, they realise they have to start working together – and quickly. One of Australia’s most loved icons is the next target and they have only nine days to stop it.

Will they uncover details of the plot in time, or will the tension that is growing between them jeopardise everything?

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with us today!

Thanks for asking me 🙂

You can visit Helene at her website, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Feverpitch

With the countdown to the Romance Writers Australia Conference comes the countdown to the “Pitch”.

There are opportunities to pitch to both agent and editor this year, and earlier in the year, many members had the opportunity to offer on-line pitches. Many of our members, especially the ones who have not pitched before, will be quelling their nerves, psyching themselves up, memorising an all-encapsulating sparkling sentence that sums up the whole manuscript, or just in a constant mild state of panic.

I pitched last year. I was very nervous, even though the editor was lovely, but I knew that I was gabbling. Too much. Too long. Too unsure of myself. The editor asked for a partial, but I guess it was a sympathy request because she told me to take my time in sending it to her. In other words, from my unpreparedness for the pitch, she though the ms wasn’t ready. She was right.

I polished the ms and sent it off six weeks later. The writing was confident, apparently, but not right for their list. It’s like going on a blind date really. Something just didn’t click.

I was a pitch virgin last conference. I will do better next time.

But there was at least one success story from last year’s conference. Helene Young recently sold to Hachette Australia after a long process which ‘started with a Pitch’.

Paula Roe has some pitching tips on her website and there is a lot of information available online from both editors and writers.

Tell us about your pitching tips, do’s and don’ts, successes, failures or nerves.

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