Monday, 21 August 2017

Romance Writers of Australia: Conference Highlights - Narelle Atkins


By Narelle Atkins

I love writing conferences. I've lost count of how many I've attended over the years but I have collected six badges from Romance Writers of Australia conferences. I met my dear friend, Mary Hawkins, in person for the first time at the Sydney conference in 2007.

Our Aussie conferences are special. In recent years the Romance Writers of Australia conference offerings have broadened beyond romance writing to include more workshops on the business of writing and publishing. This year in Brisbane I had the opportunity to attend workshops from Draft2Digital and Google. I was also blessed with an excellent fifteen minute appointment with Dan Wood, Director of Operations and Author Relations at Draft2Digital.

Draft2Digital are a global distributor of ebooks and audiobooks. They assist authors by distributing their works to digital storefronts including ibooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Tolino. 

Kris Austin, CEO and Founder, shared his vision for how Draft2Digital will continue to expand their author services to meet the needs of their author clients.They currently distribute to 195 countries. Australia is their second largest market (15%) behind the USA (53%).     

It's great that we don't need to travel to the US to see publishing industry professionals.The amazing Margie Lawson is travelling to Australia for our Omega Writers Conference in Sydney, 28-30 October 2017.


Rochelle Manners, Kat Kolmer, Andrea Grigg, Narelle Atkins
A conference highlight, as always, was the chance to catch up with old and new writing friends, including familiar faces from our ACW group. Unfortunately I wasn't able to arrange an ACW group photo but I have included everyone in photos in this post.


Andrea Grigg, Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Rochelle Manners did a wonderful job organising the conference book store. Brisbane locals and tourists can visit Rochelle's charming bookshop, The Mad Hatters Bookshop, in Manly, Queensland. 



Andrea Grigg, Rochelle Manners, Cindy Williams
Romance writers know how to party. The Harlequin Escape After Party that followed the Saturday Evening Awards Dinner was a lot of fun. 



I discovered the Gold Coast train to Brisbane and travelled to and from conference with my dear friend Andrea Grigg. Andrea and I enjoyed a relaxing post-conference Monday lunch by the beach before I flew home to Canberra via Sydney. 


Narelle Atkins & Andrea Grigg - Currumbin, Gold Coast
Conference weekends are busy and I did my best to squeeze in some writing time. I flew to the Gold Coast via Sydney and spent more time in airport lounges than in the air. I used the waiting time to brainstorm my latest story. 

Early on Friday morning I wrote and edited my upcoming Inspy Romance blog post in the airport lounge and during my first flight from Canberra to Sydney. A blog post completed by 7.30am was a great way to start my conference weekend.


Stop by Inspy Romance on Thursday (Aust/NZ time zone) to join in the conversation on ebook pricing. Strategies for ebook pricing was a hot topic of conversation at the conference. 

Do you share my love of writing conferences? Are you planning to attend the Omega Writers Conference in October? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences.


A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, NARELLE ATKINS was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle's contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia.

Twitter: @NarelleAtkins https://twitter.com/NarelleAtkins

12 comments:

  1. That looks such fun! I am so sorry I was unable to make it this year. Glad you enjoyed it, and hopefully I'll make one soon.

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    1. Hi Malvina, I missed seeing you! I did enjoy a lovely catch up with Enisa. I hope to see you at another conference soon :)

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  2. Sounds like a great conference 😊. And yes. A good e-book πŸ“šis worth more than a cup of coffee ☕️- though it is a hard sell in today's market. ⛰

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    1. Hi Jeanette, RWAust do put on a great annual conference. You don't need to be a romance writer to benefit and all the large Aussie publishers attend and take appointments.

      Yes, I totally agree that ebooks can be a hard sell in the market. I find I have so many great stories to read in my tbr list and not enough time to read them. :)

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  3. Thanks Narelle. We've had the chance to do a little vicarious RWA conference life with you. And I'm sure the pricing of an ebook will interest every writer.

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    1. Hi Rita, I'm happy to share my conference experiences.

      My friend Enisa has blogged on the conference at Breathless in the Bush. Her post contains video footage of the fabulous ballroom dancers who entertained us at the Awards Dinner. Definitely worth a look. :)

      https://breathlessinthebush.blogspot.com.au/2017/08/rwa-conference-round-up-love-gone-wild.html

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  4. Thanks for sharing this Narelle. Sounds a very productive time! Where is next year's being held?

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    1. Hi Carolyn, The 2018 Conference is in Sydney in August at the Wentworth. Love that hotel :)

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  5. It was great to know that so many of my writing friends were at the Romance Writers Conference this year. Tania Joyce is an Immersion Sister. I am so sorry not to be at Omega to catch up with Margie again.

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    1. Hi Raelene, We'll miss you at Omega. The RWAust conferences are friendly and welcoming and not too big that you feel lost in the crowd. I'm so looking forward to seeing Margie in October :)

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  6. It was a great conference wasn't it? Looking forward to next year already :)

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    1. Hi Andrea, It was so good to catch up with you at conference. Sydney next year is going to be fabulous! :)

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