For those writers who couldn’t make it to the wonderful Romance Writers of Australia’s conference in Melbourne this year...there was the Claytons online conference to salve the wounds...
It was a full on three days for the organizers — Anne Whitfield, Helen Katsinis, Neely Lyon and Mel Teshco (I could hardly be called one of the organizers...but hey, I’ll stake a claim lol!) —not to mention quite a few busy weeks leading up to it, but I think it’s safe to say it was a great experience for the attendees. We were blessed with some wonderful guests and workshops.
Helen managed to ‘throw together’ some great banners, including ones for each writing challenge, which included Marvellous super heroines, Days of our Lives (adult) or Clueless (YA) Ludicrous plot, Back blurbs, Short Stories and Short Story Critiques and Synopsis. Helen, Neely and I divvied up these between us and ran with them, and I think we did a pretty good job *g*
We had a couple of wonderful editors come to the party– Samhain’s senior editor Sasha Knight and Ellora’s Cave editor Meghan Conrad, both were wonderfully warm and happy to answer questions and encourage pitches.
Author guests included Diane Gaston, Michelle Diener, Darlene Gardner, Erica Hayes, Sami Lee, and generous lovecats:- Tracey O’hara, Anna Hackett and Natalie Anderson. The amazing Helen Katsinis also squeezed in a blogging workshop. (She seriously deserves a medal!)
And then...if all that wasn’t enough, we held nightly parties and games in the chat room, with a trivia contest (prizes!) and some great photos sent in for the Friday night virtual ‘cocktail party’ – which we then used as temporary book covers to inspire some brilliant blurbs! (photos *left* Helen Ellis *right* Imogene Nix *bottom* Toni)
Speaking of trivia...in the yahoo group workshops alone in the three days we managed to rack up over 2096 emails....I shudder to think of the end result had we not used the chat room for many of the Claytons workshops!!
All in all it was an experience I'll never forget, and one that seriously opened my eyes to how much volunteers do and have done to help out their fellow writers =)
(photo: Joanna Lloyd)