Fremantle Romance Writers of Australia Conference Roundup!

I was so excited to be back in person with other romance writer authors and also my wonderful writing buddies and fellow anthology lovelies Clare Griffin and Ava January! I was sad only that Sarah Fiddelaers was unable to come (baby number six needed some love and attention!)

I’d made it a whirlwind trip – one because of the (pathogen that shall not be named) and that other work and family commitments make it difficult to leave home for too long. I was worried too, given all the upheaval with the airlines – would my flight arrive on time? Or at all?? Fortunately, it did, and I managed to get there with plenty of time to spare.

I visited the shipwrecks museum, a must sea for any history or maritime buff and had a wander along Fremantle harbour before I caught up with others attending the conference.

It was a joy to share my accommodation with my writing buddy Clare (and aside from my partner Tony she’s my number one cheerleader- she gets me!) And given the time difference between Adelaide/Melbourne and Perth meant that both of us woke early and spent the hours before breakfast chatting like with were teens at a slumber party!

Friday’s workshop was with Becca Syme, from the ‘Better Faster Academy’ and author of the ‘Dear writer’ books as well as a series of popular Cozy Mysteries. We learned a lot about our strengths as individual writers, something I am still processing. I’m sure to come back to this to tell you more later.

The workshops were great and ranged from how to author TikTok to delving deep into the nitty gritty of your manuscript to make it shine. The phenomenally productive Maisy Yates gave an amazing keynote speech—both inspiring and comforting—about how hard the writing industry can be even for the most successful and determined of individuals. I love that the theme that the established writers spread was that as far as writing ‘rules’ don’t let anyone ‘shoulda’ you!!

Top left: Anne Gracie’s stand up for the Gala Dinner (done remotely). Top Right: Tanya Nellestein and me at the Cocktail Party (theme bedtime stories). Bottom Left: Cocktail party ‘Barbaras (Cartland) in pyjamas’ – Stephanie Mayne, Sue Price and Sharyn Swanepoel. Bottom righ: Louisa Duval in her nod to the classics.

The Fremantle team did a wonderful job and Dani McLean the conference organiser did an amazing job pulling her stellar team together.

In addition – I pitched my most polished manuscript – my WW2 set historical rural romance, and have today sent that off – wish me luck!!

I was downhearted to leave having reconnected with so many that have been only online for the past two years – the connections you make at conferences like these are wonderful and amazing – ones that will last a lifetime.

For the rest of the year I’ll be focussing on polishing my ‘Girls of the USO’ manuscript and maybe see where that gets me when I push that one out to the world. I’ve also signed up to do two anthology novella contributions: a regency one (my first!) and another one with my anthology lovelies.

I offered my services as a cover designer for the silent auction and I’ll also be working with the talented and lovely Fiona McArthur – whose rural romance series are a lovely slice of the outback (complete with babies – given Fiona is a former midwife!) I always have so much fun creating covers (I did our Paris anthology cover and ones for other writing friends who were self-publishing). I guess if I don’t make it as a writer I could always do that as a side business!

I am looking forward to seeing where my writing journey takes me next (as well as looking forward to the next RWA meetup in Sydney next year! I have some outfit planning to do…)

Bye for now!

N xx

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