Last weekend I had the honour of attending the Romance Writers of Australia’s 2019 conference held in Melbourne.
As a first time attender I was labelled a “newbie”, and had the opportunity meet many up and coming authors as well as those more established in their writing.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the gala awards night that honoured writers in the RuBY awards. Another highlight was the Fight Like A Girl workshop by Aiki Flinthart.
One of my favourite things to read in a romance novel is a kick ass woman who doesn’t rely on a male hero to save her. Aiki’s talk had so many gems in how to make your writing that much more nuanced and believable when it comes to portraying fighting.
I also enjoyed meeting Annabelle McInnes, an author who runs the Cover Crush segment for the RWA. As a cover designer it was great to pick out some authors opinions on covers.
There were many moments over the weekend where I picked up on some advice for authors about covers that I can also vouch for. For example, make sure your cover reflects the genre. Don’t try to look too different or you will confuse and irritate your readers; however, do make sure your cover isn’t identical to what’s already out there. This is particularly important when using stock artwork.
Another highlight over the weekend was the diversity panel where Amy T Matthews (Tess LeSue), Nicole Hurley-Moore, MV Ellis, and Renee Dahlia debated the different elements of diversity and how they are and aren’t being integrated into the romance genre. So many great discussions and questions came out of the debate, which was a really positive sight.
Romance is one of my favourite genres to edit and to design covers for. It’s a genre with a rich history and a diverse readership that know what they want.
Next year’s conference will be held in Fremantle, WA. Can’t wait!