In the blink of an eye, the Romance Writers of Australia 2014 conference is over. This was my second year attending and I loved every second of it. I wanted to write a little recap on the conference including my personal highlights and to share a few pictures with you.
Emma Darcy’s Speech – At the awards dinner on Saturday night we had the pleasure of listening to romance writing legend, the fabulous Emma Darcy (whose sister is Miranda Lee – I had no idea!!) The had the crowd in stitches (with her fantastic four F’s of romance writing) and then in tears at many points, her speech is testament to her amazing storytelling ability and to her engaging, warm personality. I left feeling as though I had witnessed something very special indeed.
First Sale Ribbon – Since Only The Brave Try Ballet was sold last year I got to collect my first sale ribbon. Talk about exciting! At the end of conference last year I sat down and made a goal to be up on the stage at the 2014 conference collecting my ribbon. I did it!
My book was on the Think Harlequin stand!!!!! – If you look very closely you’ll see the Australian cover of Only The Brave Try Ballet (with its red spine) in the below picture. I nearly fell over when I walked past and saw my baby sitting there.
Meeting the wonderful Flo Nicoll (who bought my first book) – Flo is the editor from the M&B UK office who requested Only The Brave Try Ballet and worked with me revision after revision until she called me December last year to offer me a contract. Meeting her in person was fantastic, I was able to express how excited I was to be working with the Harlequin M&B team and to thank her personally for all her support. (Also, Romance Llama wanted to jump into this pic as well).
Conference Loot – I might be an author, but I’m a reader at heart. I attended the ARRA signing and picked Alli Sinclair’s Luna Tango – can’t wait to read it!! Plus we got a goody bag of books (including Lick which I’m reading now and LOVING) and I picked up a few M&B books along the way too.
Catching up with my writing friends and making new ones! There are so many pictures that I couldn’t put them all here, but I have put them all on Facebook (If you were at the conference and want to add me, just send a friend request and let me know you were at the conference). It was so wonderful to meet the people I chat to online and to catch up with friends from last year’s conference. This definitely one of the best aspects of the conference.
Myself and the wonderful Amber A Bardan
Going to Cherry Adair’s hotel room for a ‘plotting session’ – yes, this really happened!! Cherry Adair is a wonderful person, she’s smart and she tells it like it is. She also has a huge heart and is insanely generous with her time. I had the opportunity to go up to her hotel room with a small group while she shared her plotting secrets with us. The experience was invaluable.
I learnt so much at this conference, not just from the sessions but from talking to people, listening to their experiences and just soaking it all in. Next year the conference is in Melbourne and although I’ll be living overseas back then, the temptation to come to a conference in my home city is overwhelming. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it!
I’d love to hear from anyone who attended the RWAUs14 conference this year – what was your experience like? What did you learn?