Selling Synopsis results

Congratulations to our Selling Synopsis placegetters! As judged by Joanne Grant and Megan Broderick, editors at Harlequin:

1st        Tanya Kean
2nd      Tanya Kean
3rd       Bree Verity
4th       Kay Lobegeiger
5th       Denise Ogilvie
6th       Stella Quinn

Thanks to Joanne and Megan for donating their time and expertise to our contest, and for offering their constructive feedback to our finalists. As always, thanks also to all our volunteer judges; our judge coordinator, Margaret Midwood; and our hardworking contest manager, Pauline Johnston.


Do you have a Selling Synopsis?

RWA’s contest season is steaming ahead, and the Selling Synopsis is now open for entries!

Writing a synopsis is many writers least favourite activity, but it is one of the most important skills to master if you want to get an editor or agent interested enough to request your full manuscript. First impressions count – and impressing an editor or agent depends on it.

This competition lets you try out your skills, get feedback and, if you make it to the final, get your synopsis seen by Joanne Grant, Senior Executive Editor, Harlequin UK.

The competition is open to all members of RWA now and closes on the 31st of October, so get writing that synopsis!  If you aren’t a member, and would like to be, you can join here.

For more details and to enter, visit our website.



Selling Synopsis Results

Drumroll please!

The 2016 RWA Selling Synopsis competition results are in!  This competition asks entrants to produce a synopsis of their story as if you were submitting it to an agent or publisher.  It’s a much-dreaded task among writers, so entering alone is brave, but the people below have been judged to be not just brave, but skilled!

The 2016 Selling Synopsis placegetters, as judged by agent Courtney Miller-Callihan, are:

1st – Jo McAlister

2nd – Elizabeth King

3rd – Carla Ashburn

4th – Kat Colmer

5th – Sandra Hayward

6th – Carla Ashburn

7th – Bridie Smith

Congratulations to all our finalists, and to everyone who entered! Thanks to Courtney and all our judges and the new contest manager, Pauline Johnson, who’s done a fabulous job.

Selling Synopsis Finalists

The first set of results from the new contest season are in!  The Selling Synopsis tests entrants on the much-dreaded, but very useful, synopsis.  Congratulations to all those who entered on taking the plunge and especially to our finalists, who are (in alphabetical order):

Carla Ashburn (x2)

Kat Colmer

Sandra Hayward

Elizabeth King

Jo McAlister

Bridie Smith

Thanks, as always, to all the volunteers who make our contest season happen: judges, coordinators and managers.  And good luck to all the finalists!


Selling Synopsis competition opens soon

All RWA members are invited to enter the Selling Synopsis competition which opens on 19 October. More information at

Selling Synopsis announcement

Selling Synopsis Results

The 2014-15 Selling Synopsis contest has wrapped for the year, with great thanks to Anna Valdinger at HarperCollins Australia, the final judge.

The placings are as follows:

1.      Bronwen Evans

2.      Samantha West

3.      Fiona Walker

4.      Louise Wilson

5.      Rebecca Raine

6.      Elizabeth Squire

There were 23 entries in all, with 12 single title and 11 category entries.

Big thanks to the Critters team, and Erica in particular, for all the tips and advice, (and her endless patience)  and a special nod to Leisl, Diane and Margaret who also helped me with questions and, as ever to our wonderful volunteer judges and judge co-ordinator ,Margaret.


Jo McAlister


Selling Synopsis Finalists!

Congratulations to this year’s Selling Synopsis finalists:

Bronwen Evans

Rebecca Raine

Elizabeth Squire

Fiona Walker

Samantha West

Louise Wilson

Well done to all who entered, and thanks to the contest manager, Jo McAlister, for a great job.

The finalist entries are now with the final judge, Anna Valdinger of HarperCollins Australia. Good luck!

Selling Synopsis Results

The results are in for our Selling Synopsis competition!

Congratulations to our three place-getters and to all who entered.  Synopses aren’t easy for most writers, but a very handy skill.  Good on you for having a go, those who did!

Thanks, as always, to all our volunteers who make our contests happen and to Joel Naoum of Momentum for being our final judge for this one.

And now, a drumroll please for….

First Place: Margaret Swan

Second Place: Nicole Grant

Third Place: Enisa Haines

Applause and Kermit flails to you all!

Selling Synopsis Finalists

We are pleased to announce the finalists in RWA’s Selling Synopsis contest.  Congratulations to (in alphabetical order):

Nicole Grant

Enisa Haines

Morag Hutton

Erin Moira O’Hara

Tricia Sargant

Margaret Swan

The final entries will now go to Joel Naoum from Momentum for judging.

Best of luck to all the finalists and thanks as always to all the RWA volunteers who make our contest season possible, particularly Leisl Leighton, Margaret Midwood and all our volunteer judges.

Cruisin’ with RWA

Welcome back for another edition of Cruisin with RWA. More good news and great blogs for you again this week.


Cruisin’ the News

We love celebrating success. Our members are encouraged to send in their New Release news for publishing in Hearts Talk and the New Releases blog. Don’t miss the deadline! Send in your new releases by the 8th of every month to:

Of course, the Cruisin’ Crew don’t want to miss out on the celebrations, so drop Clint and Enrico an email with your blogs, new contract, first sale, new cover or release news at Don’t forget to come back on Sunday for a list of exciting writing-related events delivered by our members.

Good News

Has set up an author page on Facebook. The new page will have all sorts of information about her books and activities.

Annie had a great new cover for her new release OUTBACK AFFAIR

Has a new release, THE LADY’S CHOICE, out on the October 14.

CATCH OF THE DAY is Carla’s new release coming out in December in paperback with Destiny Romance. It’s a little inspired by her first stint as a journalist in the South Australian lobster fishing capital of Kingston SE.

When up-and-coming fashion editor Winnie Cherry is ‘banished’ to coastal South Australia to set up a beach lifestyle magazine, she doesn’t count on being drawn into the close-knit community – or for sparks to fly with the freelance photographer!

ROSAMANTI out on December 6 is a Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense published by Etopia Press.  

Fate draws her to a faraway villa – her heart makes her stay.

Out on November 1, ALL FIRED UP is an Erotic Romance novella published by Etopia Press

Cindy rocks the male-dominated boat when she arrives at Hillwood Fire Station as their first female firefighter. Surrounded by men, she has to earn their respect as a brave and capable professional.

A Romagic comedy with a touch of time travel, a few laughs and a lot of love, HINDSIGHT by Sarah Belle is available now.

Entangled is arranging a double cover reveal later in the week for IN THE BLOOD and WILL THE REAL ABI SAUNDERS PLEASE STAND UP. There’s a gift card giveaway to be won.


Cruisin’ Member Blogs

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

October 13 – Debut author, E E Carter calls in to chat about MOONSTONE OBSESSION, releasing on October 17. Historical figures play quite a role in her first novel and–well, in history! Please drop by and make her welcome!

October 20 – A little different this week. How to tell when you’re missing someone. Think it’s self-explanatory? How many of these signs would you have named?

Read more about Bernadette’s upcoming new release THE LADY’S CHOICE and the excitement that goes with the ‘birth’ of a new book.

Looking to add to your bucket list? Then Friday Feast has the place for you! Come join Karly Lane as she reveals all the foodie adventures from her recent trip to the US. And while you’re there, take your heart on an emotional journey with her new release BURNT. Travel, food and romance. You can’t go wrong!

And this blog post has been gathering a bit of attention: Fiona Palmer, Rachael Johns, Karly Lane, Mandy Magro and I discuss heat levels and how we how we write about sex in our rural romances.

October 10 – MAGIC THURSDAY – Jenny Schwartz on reviewing.

October 12 – DARKLIGHT ON… Maggie Mundy

October 15 – GOOD NEWS DAY with Kylie Griffin

October 17 – MAGIC THURSDAY with Astrid Cooper

October 3 – fantabulous Friday : Musa publishing turns two!

October – 5 – Super Sunday : free cookbook with every Musa purchase in October

October 8 – Tuesday Tales – This week’s prompt: EVERGREEN

October 10 – May I introduce: Aussie Author Rachael Johns OUTBACK DREAMS (And don’t miss out on Rachael telling us about how she got to meet Grant Denyer)

October 17 – This Week’s Book Choice: Charlene Wilson THE TRANSFORMATION OF ANNA

Calingarry Crossing pub is open and Jenn J McLeod is having a bar yarn with Gracie Macgregor and giving away a copy of HEARTS ON HOLD.

October 12 – CAT-URDAY! – Grumpy Cat 2 – More favourite one liners from GC!

October 15 – DARK SIDE DOWNUNDER SERIES: Shona Husk – come meet our Aussie & New Zealander Dark Siders!

October 19 – SATURDAY SEVEN (Lick) – Seven paragraphs from a favourite book from my shelves.

Some of our members are sharing their favourite first lines with M A Grant.

October 1 – Jane Godman

October 2 – Elsa Winckler

October 3 – Juanita Kees

October 4 – Magen McMinimy

October 5 – Susanne Matthews

October 6 – Ros Baxter

October 7 – Sarah Daltry

October 8 – Melinda Lane

October 9 – Sofia Gabel

October 10 – Stefanie London

October 11 – J.M. Bray

October 11 – Jenny Brigalow talking about her latest release from Escape Publishing on Romance Reader

October 13 – Jenny Brigalow on her YA Paranormal on Fresh Fiction

Come on over and comment on my blog – share your best beach memory – for a chance to win a copy of NOBODY BUT HIM by the fab Victoria Purman!!

October 7 – SARA news with Emmeline Lock

October 11 – UP CLOSE with Victoria Purman

October 13 – Spotlight on Writers with Carly Drake

Joanna Lloyd visiting my blog on October 7 continuing the celebration of her latest release, SHADOW BENEATH THE SEA. I’m having a rafflecopter giveaway where guests just need to like her FB page or tweet her release to win a copy of her book. SHADOW BENEATH THE SEA is an historical romance published by Crimson Romance.

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. Monique McDonnell
  2. Sarah Belle
  3. The Journeyman Writer
  4. Wendy Leslie
  5. Eleni’s Tavern
  6. Sue Moorcroft


RWA Competitions

Selling Synopsis 2014

Opens: 1 November 2013
Closes: 22 November 2013, midnight Sydney time
 (entries sent outside these dates cannot be accepted)

Enter – via email only
Short manuscript (10K to 65K): maximum 2 pages single spaced
Long manuscript (65K and over): maximum 3 pages single spaced
Check the formatting guidelines on the entry form

Entry fee – per entry
$22 (entries within Australia. GST incl.)
$20 (entries outside Australia)

Two entries per member are permitted. RWAustralia members only.

Final judge – Joel Naoum, Publisher, Momentum, Pan Macmillan Australia

Prizes – 1st – $200, 2nd – $100 , 3rd – $ 75 (plus certificates)

Entry form/conditions
Sample scoresheet
Formatting sample

Queries – Selling Synopsis Contest Manager, Leisl Leighton

The Emerald Award 2014

The Emerald Award has two major points of difference from the other RWA contests.

Firstly, it is judged by keen romance readers, not writers. This gives an indication of the marketability of your story but won’t necessarily provide the sort of feedback that helps improve your writing technique.

Secondly, you must have a completed manuscript should your story make it to round 2. The turnaround time between rounds 1 and 2 is one week (5 working days) so there is no time to finish your book then.

Opens: 1 November 2013
Closes: Midnight Sydney time, 22 November 2013

Enter: The first 10,000 words of your unpublished romance or romantic elements manuscript (10K+). Entries are by email. Entrants who reach the second round will need to submit their full manuscript.

Entry fee: $38.50 incl GST per entry.

Final judges
 Joanne Grant, Executive Editor, Harlequin UK
Long: Charlotte Ledger, Editor and Content Developer, Harper Impulse

Prizes: 1st prize in each section – $500, 2nd – $250 3rd prize – $150.

Entry criteria: unpublished RWA members only.

Questions? Contact the applicable contest manager:
Long: Gemma McBride
Short: Marnie McLane

Formatting sample

Sample score sheets:
First round (short – long)
Second round (short – long)

Have a great week from the Cruisin’ Chauffeurs.

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