Mar 9, 2011

A Gaggle of Romance Writers

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 Au
stralia 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 moderat
or 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?)


  1. I'm visiting both conferences either side of the Ditch, Emily. Looking forward to both - what a choice of workshops in Melbourne!

  2. The Melbourne conference looks fabulous, doesn't it, Kylie? I'll probably be at both conferences too -- I look forward to seeing you!

  3. I'm still scheming to get there. Fingers crossed! Btw, I love Twinset. We have their Christmas CD and it's awesomely groovy!!!!

  4. Ooh, didn't know they had a Christmas CD, Amanda. Must go buy it -- I love their music!

    Hope to see you at conference!

  5. Emily, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to the Melbourne conference in August -- it's going to be so much fun! To tide me over till then I'm going to the ARRA Conference in Bondi later this month. Really looking forward to that one too.

    Twinset? Am off to investigate.

  6. Can't wait for conference in Melbourne. Seems sooooo long away (I have the patience of a gnat, lol). And I think a gaggle of writers is pretty apt :)

  7. Lucky you going to ARRA, Michelle! You'll have to tell us all about it!

    Twinset are a fabulous kiwi soul-jazz trio.

  8. The patience of a gnat, huh, Anita? Good luck waiting 5 months...

    I hope to see you there among the gaggle!

  9. I can not wait until Melbourne! Will be lovely to meet all the LoveCats :)

    I've tried to explain the buzz of an RWA conference to non writing friends and family, but it's just impossible. I think you've summed it up perfectly, Emily - "the most amazing experience ever!" :)

  10. I too personally like 'gaggle' for romance writers, cause we really do sound like a group of noisy geese when we get together LOL!
    Best of luck with the panel girls, wish I could be there! =))

  11. Hi Leah -- I'm looking forward to meeting you in Melbourne! Yeah, the whole 'buzz' thing is impossible to explain -- romance writers' conferences are totally unlike ordinary business conferences. It's such a community, so enthusiastic -- and the mainly female component results in a lot of high-pitched noise!

  12. I wish you could come too, Mel! And yes, the noise component of a RW conference is part of why I think 'gaggle' fits best! Not that we honk ... it's more like quiet shrieking. ;-)

  13. Emily

    I was at the RWA conference in Coogee last year and had a blast it was awesome and of course I will be at ARRC2011 at the end of this month and am so excited. I do wish I could get to the Melbourne one as well maybe

    Have Fun

  14. Mel, I'll miss seeing you there! I always look forward to your Friday night cocktail dressup, rolling pins and all =)

    Em, my first conference was 2003 too. Just loved listening to Jane Porter. I'm hanging out to hear Bob Mayer this year =)

  15. I can't wait! I think Melbourne will be very special this year (must register soon!) and being on a panel with the other Lovecats will be awesome.:)

    My first conference was a Gold Coast one too - but I think it was the one after Em and Robbie's first one, so it must have been 2006?