Romance Writers Australia contests

February 21, 2018

Excitement plus here! The finalists for the second RWA contest have been announced, see if you recognize any names below...

Library lovers day 2018

February 14, 2018

I love libraries almost as much as I love books, so I was thrilled to join the Australian Libraries promotion for Valentine's Day!

January 10, 2018

What a great way to start 2018, being named as a finalist in my first ever RWA writing contest!

Romance Writers Australia contests

February 21, 2018

Excitement plus here! The finalists for the second RWA contest have been announced, see if you recognize any names below...

Library lovers day 2018

February 14, 2018

I love libraries almost as much as I love books, so I was thrilled to join the Australian Libraries promotion for Valentine's Day!

It's a ripping start to 2018

January 10, 2018

What a great way to start 2018, being named as a finalist in my first ever RWA writing contest!

Jock Serong

April 2019

Who could resist a writing workshop with the lovely Jock Serong? As well as writing great books and hosting writing workshops at the Port Fairy Library, this great author will be launching my book in Warrnambool on June 5!

Graeme Simsion

April 2019

I was pretty excited to see Graeme booked in for an author talk at the Portland Libraries. As well as being a very entertaining host, Graeme was the very first person to receive a signed proof copy of Wildflower Ridge!

Fiona Lowe

March 2019

I love Fiona’s books and was thrilled to hear she was touring the region for Home Fire, a stand-out novel about bushfires, love and small-town secrets. With perfect synchronicity, Fiona’s visit coincided with her interview on my RWA Kiss and Tell blog post, which will land on the Romance Writers website later today. Thanks for indulging all my questions over dinner, Fiona; great to meet you (and your charming roadie, Norm)!

Graeme Simsion

February 2019

Have you read Graeme Simsion yet? If not, you’d better get onto it! I first met Graeme when he came to the Portland Library several years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. A quick trip to Blarney Books in Port Fairy this morning, now I’ve got a signed copy of his latest - The Rosie Result. Lovely talking books and writing on a Sunday morning with such a successful author.

Rosalie Ham

February 2019

Rosalie Ham has a way with words, both written and spoken, that keeps readers and audiences wishing she could write twice as fast and stay chatting longer, so we’d have her company more often! This was the second time Rosalie has visited our local library and generously shared her insights into books, movies, publishing, writing, research and the way she crafts rural stories with wide-reaching appeal. 

J.P. Pomare

January 2019

A great discussion at Blarney Books and Art, with Josh discussing his literary thriller - Call Me Evie - at the fabulous Port Fairy bookshop. Hosted by Port Fairy author, Matt Neal, the event was a great insight into Josh's writing journey and his inside scoop on all things publishing through his writing podcast - On Writing. I was gripped by Josh's debut novel and loved his high suspense twists and turns.

Romance Writers Conference 2018 - Sydney

August 2018

The RWA annual gathering was my first-ever writing conference, and boy did I pick a good one to inspire my love of writing. Surrounded by over 400 fellow writers, I revelled in the workshops, socialising and company of likeminded people. I pulled out my camera of plenty of fan photos throughout the long weekend and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about their craft or simple gush over their favourite authors! See if you can spot some of my favourites - Clare Connelly, Rachael Johns, Tricia Stringer, Victoria Purman, Fiona Palmer, Cathryn Hein, Amy Andrews, Anthea Hodgson, publisher Annette Barlow, literary agent Alex Adsett, and writing friends including Suzie Jay, Jayne Kingsley, Kaneana May, Linda Joyce and Dianna Evans.

Mark Brandi

May 2018

Writing workshops are few and far between for rural fiction writers, so I booked into Mark Brandi's writing workshop in Hamilton as soon as I saw it advertised, even though I hadn't yet read his book. Workshop booking made, I sought out this book I'd heard so much about and devoured it in a day, sitting in a camp chair in our paddock, surrounded by our new calves.

 

'Wimmera' was dark, uncomfortable reading at times, but the coming of age story also had a lightness and a familiar setting in Stawell, where the novel is based. Where Mark grew up. Where I lived as a newlywed.

 

I could feel the angst of the main characters, raged at the injustices of ghastly predators preying on young, innocent children, and easily imagined things being thrown down the old abandoned mine shafts that are scattered along the scrubby gold-flecked countryside. 

During the writing workshop, I asked Mark how he managed to live with such dark, gritty storylines swirling in his head, explaining how I'd had to skim-read a few particularly disturbing paragraphs. He said the heinous character of Ronnie was a by-product of his years working in the criminal justice system, and that it was easier to put the thoughts on paper, instead of letting them consume him on the inside.

The event offered some great tips on writing techniques, and his author talk later that afternoon was also a great insight into his path to publication. 

Alexander McCall Smith

March 2018

I've been reading Alexander McCall Smith's books for more than a decade, and was beside myself with excitement when I heard the Wheeler Centre was bringing him to Warrnambool. I adored his 'Number One Ladies Detective Agency' series for their charming simplicity, the mysteries that wove moral messages into a colourful and vibrant Botswana setting, and left you reaching for the tea pot, just like his characters.

 

The beautiful, uplifting tales are set in an entirely different world to mine, but his themes of family, community, relationships and morality surpass all cultural divides. I also enjoyed his Scotland Street series and will soon be foisting his children's books on my young bookworms.

 

I asked Alexander his 'top tip for aspiring authors who have just finished their third draft' at the book signing aferwards. He said I should stop rewriting, send it to an agent, and start on the second manuscript. Wise words Alexander, time to start plotting book two in my McIntyre sisters series.

Fiona McIntosh

December, 2017

It was a family affair at Fiona McIntosh's book launch of 'The Tea Gardens'. Fiona had my Nanna, Mum, sister and I in stitches with her research missions, wardrobe mishaps and her love of writing. Her number one tip for aspiring authors was 'be confident in yourself and your work, and success shall follow.'

Tricia Stringer

November 2017

Rural romance is one of my favourite genres, and a hankering for this style of story-telling has led me to uncover some fantastic Australian authors who are kicking goals in this niche. It's also a major factor in my decision to write in this genre! I love Tricia's writing style and was delighted to hear her speak at the Mt Gambier book launch of 'Come Rain or Shine'. Her number one tip for aspiring authors was 'join an organisation like Romance Writers Australia.'

Marian Keyes

October 2017

I almost fainted when I heard Marian Keyes was coming to Australia and speaking at an event only three hours away from me! I have always adored Marian's books, and moved hell and high water to score a ticket to the sold-out event. She asked people not to take selfies, as she had a plane to catch in the wee hours, but I did get a signature and the chance to ask a question from the audience. Her top tip for aspiring authors was 'don't sign a thing without an agent.'

Jock Serong

September 2017

Fellow south west Victorian writer, Jock Serong, spoke at a Murder in the Library author event in Portland, and I was thrilled to pick his brain about first drafts, getting someone other than your darling mum to read your novel before pitching it to publishers, and other fabulous Australian authors we were enjoying (Jock and I both loved When the Night Comes by Victorian author Favel Parrett ).

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