Thursday, 24 May 2012


Last Saturday, Sarah Brabazon and I are privileged to be with three outstanding writers and speakers, Fiona Lowe, Melanie Milburne and Ebony McKenna.

Fiona Lowe presented workshops on "Maintaining Tension" and "Writing From the Male Point of View".

Read about Fiona, a finalist in this year's RITA contest, on

Ebony McKenna shared workshops on "The Staircase Of Turning Points" and "Writing Young Adult Romantic Fiction".

Read about Ebony on her website:

Melanie Milburne is well known in Tasmania. We are very proud of her wonderful achievements and so grateful she was able to share some of her insights this day with us.

Do check out all three websites.

And then it was over. Melanie had returned to southern Tasmania and I had driven our other two wonderful and generous Victorian guest speakers to the Launceston airport for their flight back home.

An hour or so later my understanding husband quickly helped me unload the car. I was exhausted but after a cuppa still yielded to temptation and checked the Feedback Forms from the thirty writers who had attended that day seminar,  our first Romance Writers of Australia sponsored event in Tasmania.

Had writers been helped on their journey to being published? Had it been as successful a day as I thought it had been?

Very soon, my weary eyes were moist. Page after page, comment after comment. Each one thrilled me, made all the many, many hours of preparation over the months, the weeks and especially those last two exhausting days with my fellow coordinator worthwhile.

Now Sarah Brabazon and I have recovered somewhat, it is time to finalise reports for the Romance Writers of Australia’s Event Coordinator to take to the RWA executive. There is still some tidying up to do, including the list of writers who have indicated interest in forming a RWA Hub group here on our Island state.

And last night there was that email from a writer who had this brief, one day “taste” of what can be expected at our annual RWA Conferences. She is fired up! Encouraged in her writing efforts, she went home and registered to be at the Gold Coast RWA Conference this year. It will be so good to see her there, as well as so many other romance writer friends I’ve made through being a member of RWA for nearly twenty-one years. 

There is still much information and inspiration for me to personally sort through from those workshops last Saturday – as there always is after every RWA event I’ve been to. Now, just how do I improve the way I show my hero’s male point of view, put into practice those other “light bulb” moments in this current manuscript of mine?


  1. Brilliant job, Mary and co! Congratulations on running what sounds like a fabulous Tassie Roadshow!

  2. Fantastic job, Mary, Sarah and presenters. I LOVE the RWA Roadshows and would have loved to have been at the Tassie one. So glad you inspired people to come to the Gold Cost too!

  3. As great as the Roadshow was, it is still just a "taste" and I for one enjoy the whole block of chocolate, not just the taste of one small part!

    And thank you so much Trish and Rachel for your contributions to our "Goody Bags". Or were you not aware the publishers had contributed your books? I still have to get around to thanking all the generous members of RWA who sent their parcels of goodies to us but you two are the first.

  4. Mary and Sarah, you did a wonderful job putting together and running the Tassie roadshow. Thank you, and the presenters, for your efforts.

  5. I'm glad it went well, Mary. I knew it would. Wish I could have been there! Congratulations to you and Sarah!

  6. Mary, it was such a marvellous experience working with you on the Tassie Roadshow. I can't overemphasise the networking benefits of volunteering.

    Thank you everyone for your lovely comments about the Roadshow.


  7. We sure did have fun getting to know each other, Sarah! At times it was time consuming but I too have to emphasize the great benefits that come from volunteering despite the hours invovled.