by Emily May
Reading: The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer
Listening to: Twinset
Watching: Pride and Prejudice (BBC miniseries)
Making me smile: a visit to Wellington, the most wonderful city in the world!
Conference registrations have just opened for the 2011 Romance Writers of Australia Conference and I've been trying to decide what the collective noun is for romance writers. A pack? A swarm? A gaggle? A clutch? A mob? All in all, I think I like gaggle best -- to me it comes closest to implying all the noise and excitement and energy of a romance writers' conference -- but the word 'gaggle' isn't quite BIG enough, because there's A LOT of noise and excitement and energy at a Romance Writers conference!
The annual Romance Writers of Australia conference is always something to look forward to, but this year's conference is more exciting for me than usual. Not only because it's RWAustralia's 20th conference, but also because ... the LoveCats have put together a panel! It's called The Learning Curve, and we'll be talking about what we've learned about the craft of writing and the business of writing since selling to Harlequin Mills & Boon.
The very first Romance Writers conference I ever went to was back in 2003 on the Gold Coast, when I'd just started writing seriously again. That conference was just The Most Amazing Experience -- the energy, the wealth of information, and the sheer marvellousness of being around so many other people who had the same dream as me was intoxicating. I went there knowing absolutely no one (and rather terrified actually) and utterly clueless about the romance writing industry. I came back filled to the brim with information -- and knowing that one day I would achieve my dream of being published.
I have many wonderful memories of that conference -- and one of them is of listening to a panel of newly published authors talk about their path to publication and what they'd learned since publishing. I did more than listen -- I drank up every word they said!
Last year, when the call for conference proposals went out, I remembered that very first conference and I realised that the LoveCats are in the perfect position to give that panel back to other conference attendees! The upshot was the Learning Curve panel on Saturday afternoon, where seven LoveCats, writing for seven different lines, will talk about what we've learned since selling and answer any questions people may have. I hope those attendees who choose to come to our panel will find it as valuable as the panel I heard way back in 2003!
Those of us taking part in the panel are:
Rachel Bailey (Desire)
Zana Bell (Superromance/MIRA)
Michelle Douglas (Sweet)
Robyn Grady (Desire/Sexy Sensation)
Nikki Logan (Sweet)
Sue McKay (Medical)
Emily May (Historical)
and our super duper moderator is Barbara Jeffcott Geris!
The Learning Curve panel is featured on the Romance Writers of Australia blog tomorrow (March 10th), so come along to find out more about what we have planned for our session -- and also check out the other workshops and sessions on the conference pages on the RWA website. I guarantee you'll want to register once you've seen the line-up!
I'm just as excited about this year's conference as I was about my very first Romance Writers conference in 2003. (And just as terrified, too -- I've never presented anything before. EEK!) I hope I see some of you there!
So tell us ... are you going to any conferences this year, Romance Writers or otherwise? Will we perhaps see you at the 2011 RWA conference in Melbourne??? I hope so!
(And can anyone tell me what the proper collective noun for a loud and enthusiastic group of romance writers is?)