Hello my friends, and welcome.
It’s been a while, but I’ve been so busy writing, I haven’t really had time for anything else. So, here’s some news.
Last weekend I attended the Romance Writers of Australia conference at Queensland glorious Gold Coast. It was the first conference I’ve attended in a lot of years, and to be honest, I felt wary. And I’m not sure why. Maybe because it was the first in a long time, or because it was the first time, I attended a conference alone.
In previous years, I’ve attended with a group of friends, from various writing groups I belonged to. Not this time. This time, I felt like a complete newbie. I almost signed up as a newbie, so I wouldn’t have to face the throng alone. But in the end, I pulled up my big girl knickers and stepped out of my comfort zone and launched myself into the mix. You know what? It wasn’t so bad. In the end, I was so glad I did. I met some lovely writers and presenters. There was warmth and friendliness at every turn. I smiled at people; they smiled back.
“Can I sit with you?” I asked and the young woman, promptly pulled out a seat and gestured for me to sit. So, every break I met a new person, discussed their writing journey, shared mine. I felt liberated.
I’d signed up for the conference in May this year. Conference is usually in August but had been rescheduled to December hoping the borders would be open, didn’t quite work out that way. Deciding to step right out of my comfort zone, I chose workshops different from my normal style options. And thoroughly enjoyed each one of them
So, I entered my first workshop with the interesting Charlotte Nash multi published author. Her workshop titled, The Mid-Career Crisis. Her thoughts and philosophies re how to manage yourself as a writer really made me think. I took heaps of notes. I’m still going over them and using her ideas. Her thought-provoking insight has helped clear my mind and refocus my career.
I also attended the following workshops.
How to Turn your Novel into a Page Turner. The presenter was J A Henderson. Not what I expected, but the information he forwarded ticked much needed boxes.
Dual Timelines with Christine Wells. This talented author knows her stuff. She generously shared her knowledge, along with slides to enhance the presentation. She assured us it’s easier to do than it looks. Mind boggling.
Angela Ackerman did a pre-recorded workshop Raising the Stakes, without having to kill people. An outstanding presenter. This woman is amazing. Her knowledge, her subject presentation, contained so much value.
Belinda Williams did a live Zoom on How to Write Book Blurbs that Sell. My mind is still reeling. She advised, just to have a go, you write books, you can write a blurb. After doing this workshop and using the tools she presented, I’m sure I will conquer my fear of writing blurbs and have a red hot go at crafting a beauty.
RWA always put on a great conference. This year was no different. The venue was Mantra on View. All conference rooms were comfortable, and you had no trouble seeing or hearing the presenter. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea were provided. Honestly, I stuffed my face. Couldn’t help it. The food was delish. The conference committee did a fantastic job. Every session there was water and lollies on each table. I discovered the mentos chewy caramel. I’m looking for them in every shop I enter to find my own stash.
And after eating lunch, I ventured outside, turned right, and walked maybe 200metres, and I was at the beach. Magic. Just a shame that the C word stopped our fellow writers travelling from interstate. The awards dinner is the highlight of the conference. The conference committee arranged the dinner to go live on the RWA you tube channel so our members could watch the award from wherever they were.
It was RWAustralia’s 30th Anniversary Conference this year. There were many heart-warming dialogues of the wonderful woman who started this fantastic association to help Romance Writers be the best they can be. The association has grown enormously. Yet the values are as important now as they were. Thank you, RWAustralia, for helping me get my groove back.
Here are some snaps from the weekend. Enjoy.