This year we gathered in Sydney and it was a real treat. Our plenary speaker was Jennifer Crusie who started off proceedings in such a positive way that we were grinning for days. There were editor pitches, chats with lots of published authors, great plenary sessions and informative workshops. There was lots and lots of talking (how surprising), lots of familiar faces and plenty of new ones to get to know. It’s rather sad that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get to talk to everyone. We had our second Pink Breakfast, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research. Honestly, donating to charity has never been so much fun!
On a personal note, I survived the experience of running my first writing-related workshop, and even better, so did the participants! I presented with friend and Avon author, Anna Campbell on ‘Unleashing the Alpha Hero’. Lots of fun and even a few chocolates thrown in (literally). It was such a terrific feeling to have other writers talk to me later and say they’d got something useful from the session, (apart from the chance to stare at pics of fantastic heroes).
We had a glittering awards dinner where successful authors received awards for competition wins and other successes. Our own Aussie RITA winner, Barbara Hannay finally got to collect her lovely RITA statue since she’d been unable to attend the Dallas conference this year. There was another fantastic cocktail party sponsored by Harlequin Australia. This year’s theme was Venetian carnivale. I’ve never seen so many glittering masks and costumes in one place. Here’s just a glimpse of how it looked! From left to right here are Anna Campbell, Sharon Arkell, Fiona Lowe and Judy Griffith.
Already I’m planning for next year. Melbourne promises to be another fantastic conference and the venue, the Langham Hotel on South Bank, is just gorgeous. So if anyone wants an August treat, do consider popping in! This year there were attendees from all around Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Europe.
Annie’s smiling because she’s just sold her 6th book to Harlequin Presents. Meanwhile her latest release, ‘For the Sheikh’s Pleasure’ is on sale now in North America. To read an excerpt, or to enter a contest to win a copy, visit her website at http://www.annie-west.com/