We’re on Instagram!

In our continuing campaign to spread love (see what I did there?) across the internet, we have expanded our social media presence to Instagram!

You can find us here, or search @rwaustralia on Instagram to find us.  If you are on Instagram, please share your handles in the comments so that we can follow you.

We’ve also created a searchable Instagram hashtag, #loveozromance, which we’d love you to use when posting about romance on Instagram, so that we can build our  community of lovers of Australian romance.

And just so you know, you can also find us on






We also have several private gathering spaces on social media for members only.  If you are a member and would like more info, contact Imelda at online@romanceaustralia.com




RWA 2013 Claytons BE THE BOOK Online Conference


Registrations are now open for RWA’s 2013 The Claytons


Online Conference!


Did you know that RWA has an online conference for members who for whatever reason are unable to attend the national conference?  The Claytons is the conference you go to when you can’t make the face-to-face event.

The Claytons 2013 committee has worked laboriously to bring you the best online conference ever (or at least we think so)!

For those that may not know, The Claytons is modeled on a one-day conference format.  The evening of Friday, 16 August we host the Clayton’s Cocktail party for delegates and speakers to meet and greet one another in a fun-filled online social atmosphere.  Then on Saturday, 17 August we get down to business with a full day of craft and industry presentations.  We have a line-up of award winners and romance gurus that you won’t want to miss!  As if this weren’t enough, the annual Claytons PJ Awards Party is held on Saturday night!  Come dressed in your most comfy or sultry attire—the choice is yours, but come ready to have a fun evening, wrapping up the day’s events with your fellow delegates, announcing the winners of the writing challenges, and awaiting the results of the Fremantle awards!

The conference is held through RWA’s Forum chat rooms.  If you’ve not checked out the forum or the forum chat rooms, make sure you contact the web-mistress for your personal login information and take a peek at this year’s The Claytons forum threads!  (Please note that to access the RWA Forum and to be part of Claytons, you need to be a current RWA member.  If aren’t, you can join RWA on our website.)

But…I know you’re all holding your breath to find out who this year’s speakers will be so without further ado…

The Claytons committee is proud to announce this year’s presenters.

Our keynote, Alexandra Sokoloff, is an award-winning author and screenwriter.  Don’t miss her presentation on the 3 Act 8 Scene Story Structure!

Sue Grimshaw from Random House’s Loveswept (adult) and Flirt (new adult) online imprints will take us through the finer points of the Quick Pitch.

2013 ARRA Nominated Mel Tescho will be work-shopping Sensual Tension Regardless of Genre.

Multi-published Zana Bell will discuss publication in her Grommet’s Guide to Publication.


Australia’s own Queen of Romance, Valerie Parv, will be walking us through The Revision Maze!

As you can see we’re blessed to have some amazing presenters, but the fun doesn’t stop there!  We’ve also got random prize giveaways throughout the conference for every delegate!  One lucky delegate will even win a Kindle eReader donated by the fabulous Breathless in the Bush writing group!

This is a Claytons you don’t want to miss!  Hurry and register now at http://www.romanceaustralia.com/claytons_rego.html to be a part of RWA’s 2013 The Claytons BE THE BOOK Online Conference!

Major donors include:  HelzKat Designs, Breathless in the Bush, RWA, Sourcebooks, Momentum, RT Book Reviews, Debra Dixon, and more!  And too, our RWAustralia and America members have been more than generous in donating books (both print and digital) for our random prize giveaways throughout the conference!  See our Donors Forum pages on the RWA Forum for more on donors to this year’s The Claytons Conference.

Do you have questions about The Claytons?  Let’s discuss them now.  I’m here and ready to help in any way I can. 

Or are you a past The Claytons delegate and want to share a memorable moment or learning experience with future delegates?  Post your thoughts and share your knowledge!  

I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

Until then…happy writing!

Dana Scully

RWA’s 2013 The Claytons BE THE BOOK Online Conference Coordinator

Email:  claytons@romanceaustralia.com

Twitter:  @Claytons2013

RWA – A Day in the Writing Life…Christina Phillips

Welcome everyone to another Day in the Writing Life post. Joining us today is Christina Phillips.

Warning : Some content may not suitable for under 18.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.Christina Tiara Girl copy

As Christina Phillips I write erotic historical romances about sexy warriors and magical heroines with a dash of strong-willed goddesses for good measure.

As Christina Ashcroft I write about bad ass archangels and the women who capture their hearts.

I always loved reading paranormal and fantasy stories as a child, although I never thought of them in that way – it all seemed very normal to me that a magical land could be found through the back of your wardrobe. So I’ve always enjoyed writing stories with a touch of magic or fantasy elements.

Where do you write? Do you have your own special place? Does the location vary?

Kitties on my desk 2012 I’m lucky enough to have one of the spare bedrooms as my very own office. I love it! So do the cats!!

What’s the first thing you do before you begin to write?

I have to check my emails. Now I have an iPad I tend to read through my emails and check Twitter and Facebook while I’m having breakfast, so once I get to the laptop in theory I can open my current wip without any other distractions. If only this tactic actually worked in practice!!

 Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work? Do you have a special system in place in order to begin writing or go with the flow?

I always read over the previous day’s work so I can get back into the mood and scene. Then I just hope the muse is going to behave and let the words flow! This doesn’t always work. I have tried thinking out the next scene in advance, when I’m in bed the night before, but so far my brain refuses to cooperate!

 Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?

I’m a bit of a hybrid. I don’t plan everything out in advance but I do like to have a few major plot turns in place before I start writing. Although I have no idea how to get to any of those points until the words appear on the laptop screen, which can be a bit unnerving!

I have to edit as I go along. I send my fabulous CPs anything between one to four chapters at a time and then work on any questions or suggestions they might have. If at any point I think of something that should be either added or deleted earlier in the book then I’ll usually go back and either thread it through or pull it out, otherwise it bugs me.

When I finish the book I go back and read it through with an eye to continuity and to double check I haven’t left any plot threads hanging.

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between? Are you prepared to show evidence of your claim with a desk photo?

Organized? What’s that?! My desk is covered in… stuff. I sometimes think I need a bigger desk, but know it doesn’t matter how huge it is, it would still be overflowing. I also invariably have a cat or two sprawled across my diary or story notes. Sometimes they lend a paw on the keyboard despite my best efforts to discourage this 🙂

Thank you for being our guest Christina. For more information of Christina’s wonderful books please visit her websites.

Christina Ashcroft’s Website

Christina Phillips Website

As Christina Ashcroft the first book in my hot Archangel series has just been released, ARCHANGEL OF MERCY. I’m delighted that this book finalled in the 2012 Australian Romance Readers Award for Favourite Paranormal Romance!Archangel of Mercy


When Aurora Robinson attempts to open a rift between dimensions to embrace her true heritage, an arrogant Archangel is the only one who can save her from the jaws of hell. And while she owes Gabriel her life, she’s determined not to fall at his feet-despite the desire she feels whenever they’re together.

After his wings were brutally destroyed millennia ago, Gabriel has no compassion for humans like those who ruined him and betrayed the ones he loved. But when he inexplicably finds himself defying ancient protocols to rescue a woman from a fate worse than death, he is shocked by the searing attraction he feels for a mortal.

As the ancient forces that seek to punish Aurora for her actions close in, Gabriel offers the tempting woman protection at his private sanctuary. But as they both succumb to their desires, they discover an even deeper connection-one that threatens to consume them.

Twitter – why Tweet?

Following on from Kiki’s informative article in Hearts Talk about How to Twitter, here comes a blog post for writers about why you would want to Twitter.

I’m on Twitter tonight and there’s a conversation going back and forwards between several RWA members suggesting concepts for reality TV shows featuring writers. It started when Nicola Marsh described a dish that she had made tonight, someone suggested she should be on Celebrity Masterchef, then a couple of us tweeted ‘Writer Masterchef.’  It has snowballed from there.

So far we have:

Writer Island (funny, I’m in an e-group called that)  (@chickollage)

Australian Writer (Idol)  (@traceyohara)

Writer’s Got Talent (@traceyohara)

The Amazing Writing Race (@chickollage)

Writer House  (they all have to live together!)  (@chickollage)

Big Book Brother  (@eleniskafe)

Write Your Ass Off (if only we could)  (@chickollage)

So You Think you Can Write? (LOL)  (@meltescho)

Writing with the Stars  (where illiterate celebrities are coached by stars to write a chapter a week) (@SueBT)

Ready Steady Write  (@meltescho)

With Twitter’s limit of 140 characters, we’re having an instant brainstorm, connecting in real time,  and having fun. It’s not as big an effort as writing a blog, and the reaction is far more immediate.

Some further suggestions have just tweeted in – this time from @TezMillerOz

MasterScribe, Talkin’ Bout Your Imagination, Spicks & STET

There’s a common perception for those not on Twitter, that’s it consists of one long status update about what you had for breakfast. When you log on, Twitter asks “What are you doing?’ but you don’t have to take the question literally. The 140 characters are only limited by your imagination.

There are writers who are tweeting whole novels, 140 characters at a time. Definitely a social media experiment in serialisation.

Others have characters on Twitter. I am guilty of this one. In fact, I had so many characters on Twitter that I ran out of email accounts. (Unfortunately, it is only one Twitter account per email account). My most outspoken character is @kirstymcinnes, who often berates me for writing any other story that doesn’t involve her. It is an interesting exercise to tweet in character, and occasionally my characters will have conversations between themselves.

Hashtags have been invented to group conversations under one topic and to make tweets on the topic easy to find. One popular hashtag is #iamwriting when you want to declare your writing goals. You can then search ‘#iamwriting’ and find everyone making writing declarations, including the people that you don’t normally follow. In the right hand menu of Twitter, there is a list of the most popular trending topics at any time. A glance at this list may tell you what’s showing on television right at the time, hot topics from the States or even which celebrity has recently passed away.

There are a lot of writing industy people on Twitter: writers, editors, agents. Sometimes it can be like walking into a party where a dozen conversations are going on all at the same time, and you just catch snippets of them, and work out who you want to tune into.

I heard someone describe the various social media applications as follows: Facebook is for the people you used to know, and Twitter is for the people you would like to know.

There have been pitching competitions on Twitter (pitch you novel in 140 characters or less) and @RWAus may well run such a competition in the near future.

The main thing to remember on Twitter is that it’s not just an opportunity to promote yourself. People will quickly unfollow you if it seems that you’re there just to broadcast ads for your book or whatever it is you’re selling.  You need to engage, converse and interact. Tweet links to interesting stuff you’ve found on the net, congratulate people on their successes, ‘retweet’ other people’s tweets.

Inkygirl covers this very well in  her  Writers Guide to Twitter

If you’re on Twitter, please leave a comment and tell us about some of the Twitter features that you enjoy.

And of course, you can follow @RWAus on twitter, right here .

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