Monday, 18 August 2014

Overview of Writing Conferences and Events for Australian and New Zealand writers

By Narelle Atkins

Last week I discussed the benefits for writers from attending writing conferences. This week we're going to hear from the Australasian Christian Writers (ACW) Facebook Group. In the last year I've attended four writing conferences.

2013 ACFW Conference in Indianapolis, USA.
http://www.acfw.com/conference

2013 CALEB Conference in Brisbane, Australia, sponsored by Omega Writers Inc.

2014 Romance Writers of America Conference in San Antonio, USA.
http://www.rwa.org/conference

2014 Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Sydney, Australia.
http://www.romanceaustralia.com/p/1/Home 

I asked the ACW Facebook Group to briefly share the benefits they received, or hope to receive, from attending a specific writing conference or event. 

2014 Romance Writers of New Zealand Conference
http://www.romancewriters.co.nz/

Iola Goulton: I can't wait to hear James Scott Bell at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference because, well, he's James Scott Bell. And because I'll be going with Catherine Hudson and Andrea Grigg.

Andrea Grigg: I'm going to the RWNZ conference and I can't wait to hear James Scott Bell. Even better, I get to attend with Iola Goulton and Catherine Hudson!

2014 Christian Writer's Conference
http://www.christianwritersconference.dx.am/

Iola Goulton: I'm also going to the Christian Writers Conference near Melbourne in October, and I'm looking forward to meeting lots of ACW writers there, and especially looking forward to hearing Adele Jones tell me what's wrong with my writing posture.

Susan Barnes: I'm looking forward to the Christian Writers Conference (near Melbourne) in October with Australian & NZ authors encouraging, supporting and helping one another get more Christian books into the marketplace.

Brisbane Writers Festival
http://bwf.org.au/

Nola Passmore: I'm going to the Brisbane Writers Festival in September because they offer helpful workshops in a wide variety of genres.

The Australian Society of Authors' (ASA) National Writers Congress
https://www.asauthors.org/news/national-writers-congress-attracts-200-authors

Penny Reeve: Last year I attended the ASA National Congress which gave me a great insight into the wider Australian book industry, current trends and issues for writers and a greater respect for the work of the ASA.

2012 ACFW Conference
http://www.acfw.com/conference

Ian Acheson: ACFW in 2012 (hopefully another one in '15 or '16). What I received most was affirmation from like-minded souls and meeting many, a few of whom have become dear friends in the 2 years since.

If you've benefited from a writing conference or event, please let us know in the comments and provide a link to their site. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. 


NARELLE ATKINS writes contemporary inspirational romance and lives in Canberra, Australia. She sold her debut novel, set in Australia, to Harlequin's Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line in a 6-book contract. Her debut book, Falling for the Farmer, was a February 2014 release, followed by The Nurse's Perfect Match in May 2014, The Doctor's Return in August 2014, Her Tycoon Hero in November 2014, and Winning Over the Heiress in February 2015.

Narelle blogs regularly with International Christian fiction Writers and Inspy Romance. http://internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.com/ 
http://www.inspyromance.com/ 

She is also a co-founder of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA).
http://acrba.blogspot.com/ 

Website: http://www.narelleatkins.com
Blog: http://narelleatkins.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NarelleAtkinsAuthor
Twitter: @NarelleAtkins https://twitter.com/NarelleAtkins

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for this summary, Narelle. I've enjoyed the last four Christian writers' conferences/fairs held in Queensland, most of which were sponsored by Omega Writers and am looking forward to being part of the Christian writers' conference in Bacchus Marsh in October (see http://www.christianwritersconference.dx.am/). But I have also benefited greatly from various seminars, workshops and festivals held at the NSW Writers' Centre here in Sydney over the years (see http://www.nswwc.org.au/).

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    1. Hi Jo-Anne, I've heard the State Writers' Centres around the country run some great workshops at an affordable price. Definitely worth looking into if you live in one of the capital cities.

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  2. Hi Narelle
    I've found conferences and workshops a huge boost in inspiration, great for learning new things and connecting with other writers, editors and publishers. I especially loved the Word Writers Getaway in 2012 & Caleb Conference in 2013, so am eagerly looking forward to the Christian Writers Conference this October. Workshops at the Queensland Writers Centre have also been helpful in terms of craft and understanding about the industry but so far I haven't made any ongoing connections through them.

    Just a couple of weeks ago I discover the Rivercity Writers Conference (Brisbane) which ran last Saturday and it was a fantastic day with fun, dynamic and helpful presenters and great opportunities to talk to other writers. The organizers of Rivercity are also getting together a writers weekend at O'Reilly's on the Laminington Plateau in May next year which sounds delightful. And last month I attended the inaugural USQ Writers Bookcase in Toowoomba. Another great day with free workshops, plenary sessions and booths featuring authors, publishers and those offering author services (editors etc).

    I've have also been eyeing of The CYA conference - maybe next year.

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    1. Hi Jeanette, It seems like writers in Queensland have a number of options :) I've heard the Queensland Writers' Centre has excellent resources.

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    2. Oh, Jeanette, I'm envious! At O'Reilly's? Sounds marvellous. My brother, Stan, also went to the Toowoomba events this year. Perhaps I'll need to visit my damily in Qld around the time of those conferences/workshops!

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    3. "damily"? No, no, just Family! LOL

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  3. I know in America they do signings wondering if they do that in Australia at all with conferences for us readers? (we readers need our questions!)

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    1. Hi Jenny, The Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) usually holds a book signing and other reader events during the Romance Writers of Australia conference weekend. ARRA also holds a reader convention every 2 years and the next one is scheduled for March 2015 in Canberra.

      I haven't heard of a Christian reader event or book signing being held at the same time as a writing conference in either Australia or New Zealand.

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    2. I just discovered Readers and Writers Downunder - it started this year as an Indie signing event - but next year (March) it is open to all styles of publishing plus they are adding a convention to it. http://readersandwritersdownunder.com/

      I have loved the Word Writers events over the past few years then the Caleb Conf last year, but mostly I enjoy online conferences because I find it too hard to leave the kids (lack of support and hubby works weekends) so online I have loved...

      WriteOnCon - FREE - August each year (it's next week) aimed at people writing for 18 & under - though the info they share is often great for all authors - http://writeoncon.com/

      IndieReCon - FREE - a conference aimed towards the Indie author that's in February each year and the past years sessions are still up and available - http://www.indierecon.org/p/schedule.html

      Writing Unto the Glory - $19 for audio or around double that for the video streaming - A Christian writing conference held every 2nd year through Bethel church Redding (LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!)

      yes these online conferences are in America - but you can play catch up in the daylight - though sometimes it's worthwhile stay awake to chat live to an agent and get instant feedback on pitches or synopsis etc.

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    3. Hi Michelle, Thanks so much for sharing your comprehensive list of in-person and online writing conferences and events :)

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  4. I attended a Writing For the Soul Conference way back in 2008. It was set in Colorado Springs mid winter and organized by Jerry Jenkins. All I can say is...what an amazing experience!!! I'd love to attend the ACW's conference in 2015, so I'd better start filling my piggy bank.

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    1. Wow, Rita, attending Jerry's conference is on my bucket list. One day.

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    2. Rita and Ian, I agree. The US conferences are amazing. One day I'd love to attend the Mount Herman Conference in California.

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    3. Yep, Narelle, that one is also on my bucket list.

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  5. I've just returned from the RWNZ 2014 conference with Andrea Grigg and Iola Goulton. My head is still spinning! There was such incredible speakers including James Scott Bell. It was smaller so there was time and opportunity to talk to editors and the speakers in person. I've never been so fired up about my writing! And I have to say romance writers are so incredibly supportive, we all write very different genres but there was such a sense of support.

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    1. Hi Cat, I totally agree, the romance writing world is very supportive (see my post from last Friday). I'm glad you all had a fabulous time at the RWNZ Conference :)

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    2. Even when I was the only inspirational romance writer at the RWAustralia conferences over the years since 1991, I've always received wonderful acceptance and input and help about writing romance. Each year I treasure meeting many dear friends again made at those conferences. One problem with them now is they have grown so large in number it means using far more expensive facilities to cater for the hundreds who have also found out how great they are.

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  6. I've had the pleasure of attending three ACFW conferences (2009, 2012 and 2013). They were beyond invaluable - the workshops and amazing opportunities to improve my writing, connecting with friends in person and making new ones, meeting my agent there in 2012 and some encouraging conversations with editors in 2013. The list goes on :)

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    1. Hi Kara, I totally agree, we could talk for a long time about the benefits from attending ACFW conferences, and being a member of ACFW, in general. I hope we'll have a chance to catch up at another ACFW conference in the next few years :)

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    2. 2009, Kara? Ray and I were at the Denver one also. I've been receiving again their 40 days of prayer leading up to the ACFW this year. Has reminded again this is one of the reasons they blessed us so much spiritually as well in the really "how to write" sessions.

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  7. Love, love, love writing conferences! I started off with ACFW in 2010. RWA in San Antonio this year was a real treat, too, and nothing beats flying in and out of venues closer to home, like the RWA conference in Sydney last week. :)

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  8. Hi Dotti, yes, I agree, and local conferences equal no jet lag - a big bonus :)

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