Sunday, August 31, 2008

Spellbound on Southbank

Last weekend, critique partner Lisa and I attended the annual Romance Writers of Australia Conference, which was hosted here in Melbourne in Southbank.

I haven't written about it sooner because the minute I arrived home on Sunday night, I hit the ground running at the computer, not due to a burning desire to write romance fiction, but to finish off the powerpoint presentation I was due to give at work the next day. Since then, I've worked a long and demanding week, with no time to draw breath until this weekend, when I finally had a chance to put my feet up and relax and catch up with friends.

As usual, the conference was absolutely filled with wonderful things, some expected, and others surprising. To write about it all and do it justice would fill the length of a category romance novel, so I thought I'd summarise the highlights in point form:

  • One Enchanted Century cocktail party on Friday night - excellent finger food and lovely bubbly... met some new friends from Brisbane. Three fun ladies with whom we shared some lively conversation and a few laughs throughout the weekend. Hope to see more of them - in person and in print - in the future.

  • Words of wisdom from Barbara Samuel, Margie Lawson, Anna Campbell, Anne Gracie and Jenny Hutton, amongst many others.

  • Informal conversations with a few HM&B authors... very encouraging, down-to-earth people. Inspirational.

  • Lisa's fantastic 'High Five' win!!!! She looked every inch the glamorous romance author as she collected her award - see her blog for the pictures.

  • Tips on how to read the rejection letter! I have quite a collection of these, so this workshop was very pertinent - more about this in my next post!!!

  • Fabulous frocks on some fabulous women.

  • Excellent accomodation and yummy breakfasts at the Travelodge.

  • Endless cups of tea in our room, processing each day's events.

  • Preparing for 'The Pitch' with Jenny Hutton - write, re-write, un-write....

  • Attending 'The Pitch'. A bit nerve-wracking, but generally a very positive experience.

  • Met an incredibly humble, inspiring, aspiring author who works as a pilot, whose manuscript finalled in the Golden Heart this year.

  • Met many other aspiring authors... the future of romance writing.

All in all, a wonderful experience. Thank you RWA for providing such an inspiring conference for published as well as unpublished writers.

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