Thursday, 22 March 2012

Romance Writers of Australia conference “Taster” in Tasmania

How much value do writers put in sharing conferences together?

Last year an email to all members of RWA in Tasmania from the RWA Event Coordinator started it.

With old friends at 2007 conference
 Over the 20 years since their annual conferences over a weekend commenced, I have only missed going to a handful. Last year I was unable to attend the conference across Bass Strait in Melbourne, so I greeted the idea of having an RWA Tasmanian Roadshow here in 2012 with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I had several commitments booked already this year so felt compelled to state that while I was very happy about this, I would be too busy to be able to help very much with the organising of this one day seminar.

Famous last words?

First of all a decision had to be made where this special one day event could be held. One multi-published author in the south near our capital, Hobart, was facing surgery in the new year and unable to help. Another keen supporter there also would be out of the state for some time at the beginning of the year. It seemed there were at least three of us in the north who were able to look into venues. Bit by bit, I became more and more involved, especially when Launceston area was decided on. Different responsibilities were divided up amongst the three of us and another couple of writers in different parts of our island state.

We wrote down the names of speakers we would like to have share workshops and speaking sessions with us. I became the Speaker Liasion and so became more and more involved. I wonder how many of you are smiling at me by now – especially those who know “Mary just can’t help herself!”

For far too many years I wrote without regular contact with other writers. We lived in a country city hundreds of miles from Sydney when I went to my first ever writers seminar in Sydney. It is now many, many years since that wonderful day which helped confirm my dream of one day becoming a writer. There was only irregular contact with other writers after that for years until a small number of folk interested in writing for the romance readers began to meet in out town and I heard about the new organisation, Romance Writers of Australia was being commenced.
A short time after becoming a member of the fledgling RWA, in one of their newsletters I read about a new bookclub of Christian Romance novels by being commenced in Ohio. I will be forever grateful to the editor of that HeartsTalk margazine for the information that eventually led to my first contract and first book published.
In previous blogs I have shared other photos from conferences.
Here are a few more of writers at RWA annual conferences over the years. Some I have met for the first time and always a delight to put faces to author's names on books I've enjoyed. Other writers seeking to be published have been met year after year and how wonderful to be able to see them after they too have been published.

So now, I am looking forward to be able to help provide this opportunity for other romance writers to hone their skills, to encourage them in their journey to publication. We are thrilled that we have three wonderful, multi-published authors coming to share with us at the RWA Tasmanian Roadshow on May 19th. While this will only be a one day event we are trying hard to make it a true “taster” of some of the things writers can expect from the annual RWA conferences.

Meet our special guest speakers!

All three are multi-published, award-winning romance authors in different romance sub-genres.
On the left meet Melanie Milburn from Tasmania. We are so proud of our "home-grown" author!
On the right is Ebony McKenna from Victoria who writes Young Adult books.
And Fiona Lowe also from Victoria is published in medical romance novels.
It is a big commitment for these generous writers to take time from their own busy schedules to share their expertise with us.
Registrations are now open but close on April 20th. Please have a read of what is in stoer – and while it is a taster it will be every bit as digestible and nourishing as we can make it for one day.

Do click HERE to read about this very special event - the RWA Tasmanian Roadshow. This is a first for us here and we are excited about being able to offer this in our island state.
Remember that as wonderful as this will be, it is a mere Taster of what writers feast on at the annual conference - this year to be held at the Gold Coast in August. While on the RWA website do check it out also. I might meet you there!

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