The Upcoming Famous and Fabulous Romance Writers are a collective of romance authors who met – and bonded – through the RWA Conference in Brisbane in 2017. Join them on their writing journey towards imminent stardom!
I’d always loved reading category romance and in the mid-1990s I thought “I could write that!” (Ha!). I attended a workshop given by Lynne Wilding and she said: join RWA… So I did! Receiving Hearts Talk was a highlight of each month and I felt like I was ‘in the loop’ with the Australian romance writing industry. Then life took some twists and turns and writing (and my RWA membership) was put aside for a couple of decades. In 2015 I enrolled in a romance writing course and re-joined RWA. I was delighted to discover the positivity and strong sense of community that oozed through the hard-copy pages of Hearts Talk hadn’t changed. The technology had though, and with it the opportunities and support have increased exponentially. Since rejoining I’ve participated in OWLs, entered competitions, attended a conference and joined social media. For me, RWA is the spot where passion meets knowledge and its generous members are happy to share both.
I joined RWA, not because I wanted to focus solely on romance writing, but because RWA was recommended to me by a publisher friend of mine. She said there was no other community of writers like it. And how right she was. The longer answer to this question is that joining RWA reflected a desire to take my writing more seriously and listen to those nagging voices that were keeping me awake at night, questioning why I was still not pursuing my desire to write and get published. I began with small steps. I wrote more regularly, participated in a local writing course, joined the RWA and a local writing group, and made some wonderful writing friends. My mindset improved because my goals began to feel achievable and I was talking to like-minded people – there was so much friendly advice, so much encouragement and so many experts willing to share their wisdom. I haven’t looked back since joining RWA. I’ve taken more and more steps along the writing path and the RWA has proven a font of knowledge and friendship along the way.
My idea to write romance came on my honeymoon. Romantic right? Driving across picturesque Tasmania I realised I’d imagined most of a romance story in my head. Jokingly, I told my husband. When we got back from our honeymoon he took me for a surprise trip to buy a laptop, and told me I had nothing to lose by giving it a go. Jumping forward a few years, now with cheeky toddler in tow, I completed a local writing course. At the end of the course the teacher told us to join a local writing group. I didn’t find a local writing group but I did find RWA. Joining has opened up my solo writing journey, giving me support on the days I feel I’ll fail, and hope that one day I’ll share my characters’ journeys with others.
Inspired by a friend’s publishing success early in 2016, I set myself a challenge. One year to write a full manuscript. In setting myself this goal I wanted see if I could complete a full-length story, find out how I enjoyed the process and to ‘tick’ an item off my bucket list. After a year, I had a full-length manuscript complete with craterous plot holes, a lead character with no clear motivation or personality, a minor character who hijacked the plot and a hero who even I couldn’t figure out why my main character loved him. I needed help. Around this time, it was suggested to join RWA by a literary agent I was lucky enough to meet. She said the competitions, the conference, the email loops and the online webinars would be valuable for someone starting out. She was spot on! I joined RWA in early 2017 and have already seen an improvement in my writing thanks to the tools and support available. For me, the RWA has been a great opportunity to invest in myself and my writing.
Some years ago (massive understatement), I enrolled in a Creative Writing class. The first assignment was a movie review, and the lecturer hated mine. His comments were so diabolical they drove me into a creative wasteland where I thought I was too useless to attempt writing. The years passed, and one day I had an epiphany. I realised it didn’t matter what one lecturer said. It was up to me. I had to stop hoping and wishing and dreaming – I had to plunk my bum on a seat and actually write. That was the day I joined Romance Writers of Australia. I joined a community of warm-hearted, helpful and talented individuals, and their collective energy helps me stay motivated. Since I joined (in 2017) I have written over 100,000 words, and some of them are okay! I am writing now, and I am proud of myself.
What motivated you to join RWA?
The Upcoming Famous and Fabulous Romance Writers
The Upcoming Famous and Fabulous Romance Writers are five aspiring and emerging RWA members. Like many new RWA members, we worry about our skills, we have pride in our growing accomplishments, and we are nervous about whether we can ‘make it’. We share our journey from newbies to (fingers crossed, hearts wildly beating) accomplished writers.
We connected at the RWA Conference 2017 in Brisbane, and formed a support group that has become an important step in our writing journey.
We can be found on various social media below. We’d love you to come visit.