THIS WRITING LIFE: Hanging with my tribe!

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If you love romance, writing, or both, the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference is the RWA Get Fresh logoplace for you. Every year I come away with my head spinning from all I’ve learned, my heart warm from all the darling friends I’ve caught up with and the new ones I’ve made, and my body buzzing at all the exciting ways in which we can give our readers the best reading experience possible.

The 2015 conference, held recently at the glorious Park Hyatt in Melbourne, was no exception.

On a professional front, the highlights for me were Angela Ackerman’s Friday workshops Larger than Life Characters and Show Don’t Tell, CS Pacat’s How To Plot A Page Turner, Sarah Mayberry’s and Sara Hood’s Marketing Masterclass, and the ‘If I Knew Then What I Know Now’ published author panel. Social highlights? Well, let’s just say every day was a social highlight!

Here are a few happy snaps from the weekend. As you can see, there was plenty of laughter, great information, and even a few dress-ups.

COCKTAIL PARTYRWA Cocktail Party - Crowd

A happy crowd. You would not believe how loud it was.

RWA Cocktail Party - Christina Brooke, Denise Rossetti and Annie West

Christina Brooke, Denise Rossetti and Annie West.

RWA Cocktail Party - Harlequin Australia ladies

Harlequin Australia ladies Lilia Kanna and Michelle Lee looking gorgeous.

RWA Cocktail Party - Trish Morey and Marion Lennox

Trish Morey and Marion Lennox.

RWA Cocktail Party - Keri Arthur and Anne Gracie

Keri Arthur and Anne Gracie.

RWA Cocktail Party

Robin Aldridge and Fiona McArthur, both attending their TWENTY-FOURTH conference in a row. How cool is that!

RWA Cocktail Party - Michelle Conder. Annie West and Me

Michelle Conder, Annie West and me.

CONFERENCE

Angela Ackerman Workshop - collage of slides

Some of the slides from Angela Ackerman’s brilliant Friday workshops.

RWA Conference - Michelle Douglas and Denise Rossetti

Michelle Douglas and Denise Rossetti.

RWA Conference - Tricia Stinger and Cathryn Hein

Tricia Stringer and me.

CS Pacat's fantastic How To Plot A Page Turner - slide collage

C.S Pacat’s session on How To Plot a Page Turner was soooo good. Fantastic information.

RWA Conference - Maggie Le Page

New Zealand author Maggie Le Page, who won the guess the number of jelly beans competition, lucky thing.

Marketing Masterclass - slide collage

Some of the great slides from Sara Hood’s and Sarah Mayberry’s Marketing Masterclass session. The full set of slides from the presentation can be found on Sara’s Marketing4Writers website.

RWA Conference - my raffle prize

My raffle prize: martini glasses and two Sandy Curtis romantic suspense novels. Rah!

RWA Conference - morning tea

Morning tea. More loudness, but with cake.

ARRA BOOKSIGNING

ARRA Booksigning - Cathryn Hein

Me and Hot Chocolate the Blow Up Wonder Horse.

ARRA Booksigning - Meredith Appleyard

Meredith Appleyard.

ARRA Booksigning - Shannon Curtis

Shannon Curtis.

ARRA Booksigning - Maggie Le Page

Maggie Le Page.

ARRA Booksigning - Cathryn Hein and Helene Young

Me and Helene Young.

ARRA Booksigning - Fiona Palmer

Fiona Palmer takes her books very seriously.

ARRA Booksigning - Anita Heiss

Anita Heiss, who I had the great pleasure of sitting next to.

ARRA Booksigning - Maggie Mundy and Trish Morey

Maggie Mundy and Trish Morey.

ARRA Booksigning - fans lined up

Eager fans!

RWA GALA AWARDS DINNER

RWA Gala Awards Dinner - pre dinner drinks

Pre-dinner drinkies.

RWA Gala Awards Dinner

Celebrating all our achievements thanks to Anne Gracie’s stand-ups.

RWA Gala Awards Dinner - Ruby winner Amy Andrews

Ruby winner Amy Andrews received many lipsticky congratulations on her win.

RWA Gala Awards Dinner - Dance lessons

Dance lessons thanks to the Escape After Party.

RWA Gala Awards Dinner - Rachel Bailey and Annie West

Rachel Bailey and Ruby Award winner Annie West in the cocktail bar.

OTHER STUFF

RWA Book haul

My book haul! Although I may have read that bottom one a few times.

RWA Conference - cafe entertainment

Entertainment in the Hyatt’s cafe. Very civilised.

Melbourne - Yarra River

Melbourne looking pretty at night.

My huge thanks to Kate Ledsen, Kate Belle and their team, along with the RWA committee and all the volunteers for putting on such a wonderful conference. Very fresh indeed!

As you can see from the above, romance authors are super-savvy about their business and craft, generous with their time and expertise, and know how to have a good time. If you’re searching for your writing tribe, perhaps the RWA is the place for you. It certainly is for me.

 

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12 thoughts on “THIS WRITING LIFE: Hanging with my tribe!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Thanks Louise. It was a wonderful weekend. Always a joy to catch up with everyone. I’m so glad I took lots of notes and photos of the slides. The sessions I attended were excellent this year. So much info!

  1. AvatarRae Hilhorst

    What a brilliant time you all had. I have heard about the event but never seen one. Way better than Pro-blogger. I have been to one problogger and yes it was fab but I kept saying to myself there must be something for writers. Now I know xxx

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      We did have a brilliant time, Rae. You’ll have to try and make the Adelaide conference in 2016. That one is going to be a beauty.

      I’m smiling about your comments re Problogger. I was reading about the event and lamenting not going because it sounded fascinating. I plan to check it out one day. In the meantime, RWA is the goods!

  2. AvatarFi

    Loved, loved this blog. Kudos to all the sorting and uploading which I was too slack to do, Cathryn. You are such a champion. But you have captured it beautifully, a fun time and always so inspiring to catch up with everyone. I particularly loved that 90 new first time conference goers who discovered RWAus conference. Waving to Melanie Coles 🙂 who I met on the stairs and looked so excited I had to stay and hear her story. Instant new friend who was a joy to meet.
    Look forward to seeing everyone in Adelaide next year
    xx Fi

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Glad you enjoyed it, Fi! Lovely to catch up with you in Melbourne, as always.
      That’s an amazing figure for first time attendees. Just shows that people are cottoning on to how truly incredible RWA is.
      Rock on Adelaide. That one’s going to be a beauty and you’ll be celebrating 25 big years. Cause for more fizz!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      A great weekend indeed, Malvina. Wonderful to catch up with people and the sessions I attended were very informative and/or inspirational. As for the hotel… wowsers!

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