This blog post is way overdue, but as I’ve only just unpacked my suitcase, it still counts as just-past-conference time.
What a weekend! Romance writers, readers, editors, professionals, and enthusiasts descended on Fremantle from all over the world for five days to talk love. Though the theme was ‘Riding the Waves’, it was more like being pulled down by the undertow, drowning in the nicest possible ways in all things romance. I think it’s safe to say that no one wanted to be rescued! (unless, maybe, the surf livesaver was very good looking).
Speaking of good-looking, here’s the pirate who graced us all with roses and effusive compliments as part of the Destiny Romance first birthday party (Happy Birthday!).
The days were full of workshops, keynotes, and panels covering topics from self-publishing to dialogue to avoiding cliches. It was a joy and honour to meet Julia Quinn and Sarah Wendall, and reconnect with the fantastic plethora of homegrown romance talent.
It was also a very special treat to spend the first conference with our Escape Artists – many of whom were unpublished only a year ago. To meet and celebrate together was just a fantastic experience, and I can’t wait until next year, when we can do it all again.
The Escape breakfast: (we tried to eat, but no one could stay in their chairs long enough!)
And, of course, the highlight of every RWA conference is the evening events. We started off with the Harlequin Costume party (themed Nautical but Nice). Attendees went all out with an outstanding level of creativity. Here are the winners of the costume party from the night: Popeye and Olive Oyl, the HMAS Romance, and Ursula the Sea Witch.
And then there was the awards dinner and Escape the Ordinary after party. With a chocolate fountain, a dance floor, and an eclectic playlist of music that spanned Chuck Berry to Justin Timberlake, it was always going to be an event to be remembered. I had a fantastic time as hostess, and thank everyone who kicked up (and off!) their heels and danced the night away.
Huge congratulations and enormous gratitude to the organising committee who did just an amazing job of keeping everything in line and running smoothly over the weekend. Special mention to our own Jennie Jones who put her beautifully modulated voice to good work as MC over the weekend. And, of course, thanks to everyone who came out, hung out at the bar, came to our sessions, asked questions, congratulated us on our year, expressed interest, or just sought us out. It really is the people that make the RWA conference such a pleasure to attend, and this year was no different.
Can’t wait to see you all in Sydney for Romance Rocks 2014!