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  • Writer's pictureElsie King

All that Glitters - Romance Writers of Australia Conference 2023

As is often the case the best laid plans can be disrupted at the last minute. We had planned to take drive to Lithgow NSW with our caravan and then I would take a train into the city and attend the conference. It was to be part of the holiday my husband Peter and I had decided to take to North Queensland. We needed to get warm and revisit old haunts.

A bout of gout stopped this plan in its tracks. Poor Peter had a very sore foot.

Last minute flights and arrangements to stay with friends, thank you Vicky and Elsie, got me to the Friday afternoon session on time. And the fun and learning began.

The venue, the Sofitel Wentworth was in the heart of the city and grand. The concierge addressed me in French, very posh. My room was lovely, large and comfortable.

The RWA had done a splendid job of welcoming attendees. The registration desk was efficient and friendly. I was processed and provided with my program and lots of goodies.

My Friday session was Revisions: How to tackle them presented by Pippa Roscoe. – The focus was on authors who get revision letters from editors in traditional publishing but it was still useful for indie authors. It certainly gave me some ideas for a blog about revisions that I will publish later in the Indie Scriptorium web site.

On Saturday Amanda Ashby provided excellent information in her session, Be your own developmental editor. I learnt all about Taming the voices: how to write in multiple points of view from Cassie Harmer and then learnt how to make my website zing at Author website essentials by Michelle Barraclough.

The Sunday sessions We’re all indie-viduals presented by Monique McDonell and Sasha Cottman was about marketing for indie authors and I also thoroughly enjoyed Ebony McKenna’s Creating Anthologies session. I finished off with the Draft2digital session ran by Dan Wood who suggested that they will be offering author e-mail accounts.

In addition, I enjoyed the cocktail party, the gala dinner with its awards section and the fabulous keynote speaker Stefanie London and her inspirational story. I served on the desk at the Indie Store and met up with a host of people and a few friends from the Freemantle conference. I was called up on stage in recognition of being in the Sweet Treats Anthology.

I’ve found that the real learning from conferences occurs when you have the time to review your notes, look up the multiple websites and reflect on what you’ve learnt. The conference is fast paced, noisy at times and can be overwhelming.

This was my second conference. It has made me realise that networking and self-promotion are skills I need to develop. I found it difficult to get involved and introduce myself to others. The conference also coincided with my first publication of my novel and I was transforming from being an aspiring writer to an emerging writer and my choices of sessions allowed me to enter the realm of published, professional authors which was intimidating but stimulating. It forced me to realise that writing is a long-term career and it takes years to achieve the skills both in writing and especially in marketing and promotion. The conference certainly provides a wealth of information that I will be using for my own development and to share with other aspiring/emerging authors who read the Indie Scriptorium – Self Publishing Collective blogs.

It was lovely to catch up with Susan Maree and have a photo together. Susan M. Smith, is a fabulous author of Christmas themed romance novels that are available on Amazon. I highly recommend her books to get you in the right frame of mind for Christmas and she provides some yummy Christmas recipes to try as well.

Cheers Elsie

©Elsie King 2023


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