2013 Romance Writers of Australia Conference: Top 10 moments

Recently our Romance Specialist Haylee Nash flew the flag for Booktopia at the 2013 Romance Writers of Australia conference in Fremantle. These are her stories.

dancing up a stormFor those of you who have never been to a Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Conference, or indeed any kind of romance conference, let me paint you a picture. Imagine a modestly sized room, filled with women. Hundreds of women. Each of these women are writers, romance writers, who spend their day behind a computer (if they’re lucky enough to be able to live from their writing) and in the rest of society are often derided for writing “those books”. So it’s fair to say that these women don’t often get the pleasure of speaking about romance, certainly not with fellow enthusiasts. Now to this joyous scene add oodles of champagne, a nautical theme and a conference venue that  is far enough away from most attendees to require staying at the hotel, sans husbands, significant others, kids, pets or any other responsibilities. Into this melee I walked, and, rather than wincing at the noise and leavig, I grabbed a champagne and, with stupidly big grin on my face, entered the fray. Continue reading

The book is dead. Long live the book, says John Purcell

The book is terminally ill, say those in the know, and lies near death in a private hospital plugged into a life support machine and surrounded by close friends and relatives. Right now, across the world commentators are drafting moving eulogies. Commemorative plates and tea towels are being made. Songs are being written. A mini-series is planned. TV people are putting together five minute montages for the news bulletins which touch on the book’s long and varied history

Everyone is preparing themselves for news because no one wants to be caught off guard. At any moment word may come. The book is dead.

But then, isn’t this is all rather familiar? I grew up in the seventies and eighties and back then top people had said something similar. They said that while the whole world was off watching TV the book had died of neglect in a rented apartment, friendless and alone. A few learned souls, a loneliness of dust-covered professors and dowdy librarians, had even been brought in to identify the corpse.

There had been no elaborate funeral planned for the book then. A pauper’s grave had awaited, and there, we were told, the book had been unceremoniously dumped. No one had Continue reading

William and Kate and the longest bow

My question to you is this. Are there enough awards in the bookselling and publishing industry? Do we have all the bases covered? Most of us are familiar with a fair swag of literary prizes, what with the Nobel, Man Booker, the Miles Franklin, the CBC, Kate Greenaway, Carnegie, and Dublin Prizes, various PM and Premiers’ awards, not to mention a full swag of Costas, Daggers,  Oranges, Varunas, Pulitzers, Koalas, Indies, Hugos, ROMAs. And they are just for writers – by the time we throw in the publishers’ prizes, for design, marketing, flogging (ahem: selling), we’ve got to be in the 100s in the English speaking world alone.

Despite this, there is one area that I think has been sadly overlooked. In fact, I think it is up to Booktopia to establish a new award institution, an institution that I will call the Booktopia Award for the Longest Bow. For those of you unfamiliar with this now rarely used expression, to draw a long bow means to come to a conclusion not generally supported by the evidence. Put simply, it means to exaggerate, or sometimes even, to lie through your teeth. You know what I mean – Margaret Mead is responsible for the sexual revolution, the Iraq war caused the global credit crisis, that sort of thing.

Nominees for The Longest Bow (known hereafter as The Lobbies) will be chosen from amongst the winners of the three sub-categories, namely:

The RRT Lobby – given to the book/genre with the most rapid response time from the original stimulus to the introduction of the book to the marketplace

The Biggest Loser Lobby – given to the book/genre which bombed the most spectacularly

and my own personal favourite, Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,099 other followers

%d bloggers like this: