This time of year is awards season, and Harlequin Romance has made a great showing in several contests.
Congratulations to Barbara Wallace, who won the NECRWA Beanpot Award for THE HEART OF A HERO!
Three cheers for Fiona Harper, who is a double finalist in the Golden Quill Awards with MILLIONAIRE’S BABY BOMBSHELL and SWEPT OFF HER STILETTOS!
Donna Alward’s HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART won the Short Contemporary Category of the Colorado Award of Excellence. Her book, A FAMILY FOR THE RUGGED RANCHER, was also a finalist.
Romance Writers of Australia announced the finalists for the R*BY Award (Romantic Book of the Year) and in the Short Sweet category, Romance author Marion Lennox finalled with ABBY AND THE BACHELOR COP and Barbara Hannay finalled with MOLLY COOPER’S DREAM DATE. Way to go! The winners will be announced at the RWAus conference later this summer.
The National Reader’s Choice Award finalists were announced, and HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART (Donna Alward) is shortlisted for Contemporary Series. The awards are handed out at RWA Nationals in Anaheim this July.
And the Booksellers’ Best Award nominees are listed and congrats to Jessica Hart for THE SECRET PRINCESS and Donna Alward for HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART – both books got the nod in the Traditional category. This award is also handed out at RWA Nationals.
So what do you think? Should we pop the champagne or what?
We’ve all seen the devastation the recent Queensland floods have wrought and have wondered how we can help. We know that for many affected families, books will not be high on their priorities list for some time to come.
We also know how valuable books can be in providing time out when reality gets tough.
With the aid of some wonderful volunteers, we’ve put together a Romance Writers of Australia Flooded Communities Book Appeal.
What we need?
FICTION BOOKS! Romance books, children’s books, young adult books, genre books, whatever – either new or in sparkling condition.
Please send them to:
RWA Flooded Communities Book Appeal
PO Box 1717
Noosaville Post Office
When to send them?
Now! And any time over the next few months. The books will be boxed and delivered to the appropriate libraries/schools/neighbourhood centres/community centres in batches as soon as the communities are ready to receive them. We’ll be liaising with councils, libraries and schools to ensure this is done appropriately. Feel free to pop a note inside, or if you’re an author, sign it.
All languages welcome – please repost.
Romance author Nikki Logan gives us the low-down on the conference Down-Under!
Romance Writers of Australia celebrated their 19th annual conference at Coogee Beach, Sydney, over the weekend of 13-15 August.
Like the US, conference is a big date on the Australian calendar and anticipation starts building from new year. So the first day of conference was thrumming with energy.
I’ve cherry-picked a few of my favourite workshops to highlight.
Well known Australian radio/television presenter, standup comedian and now author, Wendy Harmer, gave an inspiring presentation for the published author group about writing romance/rom elements within Australia’s east-coast literature scene in which her work has been simultaneously derided and applauded and the extra scrutiny of her as a popular, public figure. Funny, fast-paced and entirely irreverent.
Wendy was preceeded by Dr John Barletta, an amazing and engaging psych professional who analysed the state we all aim for with our writing. We call it being in ‘the zone’ but in psych terms it’s called ‘flow’ – that place on an aptitude continuum where skill and challenge and engagement hover in perfect harmonic suspension and allow us to fully immerse in our work and be uber-productive. The good news? You can
train yourself to get there.
The screenwriter of Australia’s massively successful television drama series ‘UnderBelly’ chatted to us about her scriptwriting process but more particularly about the challenges of fictionalising ‘true crime’ – not the least managing the expectations of research subjects who come from Australias leading violent crime families.
Debora Dixon held a full house of pubb’d and unpubbd writers enthraled with all things GMC with a Heroes Journey chaser. Deb is a fantastic presenter and her talk was informal and comfortable.
Vicky Lewis-Thompson spoke on the virtues of ‘feeling fear but doing it anyway’ and forcing yourself out of your comfortzone with an hilarious range of OMG bad-dream moments in publishing. It was a wonderful equaliser for everyone in the room who’d ever said something dopey in a lift or walked into a pitch session with their dress bundled into their knickers.
We enjoyed a ten strong panel of US and Australian publishing reps and agents and compared their opinions of the status of the international industry, then split down into individual workshops.
I’m always a particular fan of specialist sessions at conference – where you can see and hear things that you normally wouldn’t have access to. One of my favourite sessions was by a forensic specialist from the New South Wales’ coroner’s office; while graphic, it was very honest and open and took participants through some of the most familiar and shocking parts of being a coroner.
Right afterwards we had a fantastic session by a weapons and defence specialist and his team of ‘meat-men’ who came along to teach us everthing we wanted to know about staging fight-scenes. He showed us how you can make a weapon from nothing, what kinds of blades work best for different situations, how to strangle, buckle, take down an assailant. Amazingly eye-opening (I may never go outside again) but wonderful for our stories.
Every year RWAus runs a charity fundraiser lunch on the final day of conference. This year it was a Silver theme for ovarian cancer. 250 women (and one man) managed to raise over $10,000 for development of an early detection system for Ovarian Cancer thanks to an amazing $5K donation from Harlequin Australia.
All in all a fabulous conference with a high level of new participants. RWAus conferences just go from strength to strength. All speakers acknowledged the very high level of support, comraderie and positivity at Australian conference and this year was no exception.
Roll on 2011…
And a big congrats from the PHS to all the R*BY award winners:
Sharon Archer ‘Marriage Reunited: Baby On The Way’
Amy Andrews ‘A Doctor, A Nurse: A Christmas Baby’
Sophia James ‘Mistletoe Magic’
Tracey O’Hara ‘Night’s Cold Kiss’
*this post appeared on the Pink Heart Society on Aug. 18