Friday, 9 October 2009

Eleni-fest: Awards Dinner & Writing Community

Romance Writers of Australia's Hot August Nights Awards Dinner was a lovely event. Our hostess was the stunning Robyn Grady, Silhouette Desire author, who was just wonderful. As was the presentation slides prepared by the talented Tina Marie Clark

What is better than a room full of people cheering you on for finalling, let alone placing and winning. It really is a charged atmosphere of positive energy. My congratulations to everyone for their successes.

Check out the Hall of Fame for placings.

But there are a few mentions that I would like to acknowledge. 

First off is fellow RWA Paranormal member Ms Kylie Griffin, contest diva extraordinaire. Goodness this lady has been on fire this year entering competitions. OK let's do a round up of Kylie's Award Dinner bonanza:

  • 3rd placing in the First Kiss Contest
  • 2nd & 3rd placing in the Emerald - Single Title category
  • Winner of the Valerie Parv Award!! & and 3rd placing as well.
Kylie made such an uplifting acceptance speech. She set goals and she achieved them by working hard. Well done Kylie! I'm sure you've inspired many people. And congrats on winning RWNZ's Clendon Award as well! 

Another shout out is to AJ Macpherson - registrar extraordinaire and a member of Team Hearts Talk and RWA Paranormal group. She received 3rd placing in the Selling Synopsis and 1st place in the Emerald - ST! Great job.

See the thing is the longer you belong to an organisation, the more people you know, the more who become writing buddies.... hence why really this is a shout out to everyone but unfortunately, time is a ticking away here to mention everyone's name. So well done to the all the finalists and the place getters. Great job!

Saying that though, I want to make mention of two SARA members who came home with prizes. Much cheering from the SARA members in the crowd I can tell you.

First up is Tess LeSue (aka Amy). Tess is a very talented lady. On Friday (during the workshop), she won the Crab prize for a piece she wrote and read out to the whole room (brave all of you who went on stage). At the Awards Dinner, Tess came 2nd in the STALI and was awarded the Anna Campbell Award for Best Historical. Well done Tess!

And then there's the talented and amazing Trish Morey. Trish has given so much time to RWA over the years. In fact as Kaz Delaney pointed out, without Trish as one of the people who stepped up to the plate in 2002, RWAus would have folded. And for all her tireless efforts, Trish was awarded the Honorary Lifetime Membership. Go Trish - thanks for everything. 

More wonderful news for Trish as her book 'The Italian Boss's Mistress of Revenge' won the R*BY award in the Best Short Sexy category. Congratulations Trish!! And don't forget that Trish will be a special guest on this blog on the 26th October.

I must mention two other SARA authors who were nominated this year - Claire Baxter in the Short Sweet Category for 'The Single Dad's Patchwork Family' and Elizabeth Rolls in the Long Romance Category for 'A Compromised Lady'. Congrats on your nominations....
(don't forget Elizabeth will be joining me on the 23rd)

Though with all awards, it reminds me of Highlander...'there can be only one'. *grin *

So congratulations to the other R*BY winners:
Congratulations to Anne Gracie for being the recipient of the Lynne Wilding Meritorious Award. This is the award to recognise and and honour an individual's outstanding contribution to RWA. Thanks Anne and the nominees for all the work you do and have done for RWA. Being an organisation run by volunteers it really is remarkable how much time people devote. Round of applause to you all. This also goes to the contest co-ordinators and the contest judges, and the Conference Committee & volunteers (Denise Rossetti, Louise Ousby, Tina Marie Clark pictured left) (don't forget Anne Gracie will be joining me on the 17th and Denise Rossetti on the 27th)

That's why I think the RWA Awards Dinner is an amazing place to be. It's so great to share the joy, to cheer fellow members as they receive their awards, to toast members with their successes. What a buzz!!

                            SARA members


 Bootcamp Members


So that is the end of my conference round up. I hope you have enjoyed my commentary. 

Before I go, I wanted to talk a little bit more about the writing community. I must admit I'm not involved in any other organisations other than romance writing ones. RWA and RWNZ are the two major associations I belong to. Then there's the smaller groups which are a direct result from being with RWA - SARA, Bootcampers, RWA Paranormal, and the RWA NaNoWriMo. I'm involved with the Hearts Talk and the Web Teams, and so I feel pretty comfortable here in my 'wolf pack' as Anna Campbell mentioned the other day.

The romance writing community is generous and supportive, so I've been lucky with this. I really haven't branched out further afield. I am a member of the SA Writers Centre - though that has been an off and on again relationship - mainly due to finances. And I'd like to get more involved but time and energy haven't permitted. I'm sure there are other wonderful groups out there. 

Going to the conference, being involved with RWA, writing my grant application, has made me realise how lucky I am to call myself a writer. It's something I love to do. And not everyone gets a chance to say that. 

The community spirit really has come out in full force in response by authors to Eleni-fest. Your time and kindness has been wonderful. Thank you all so very much for making this a special month indeed. 

So if you aren't part of RWAus or RWNZ, consider becoming a member. They really are wonderful organisations. I have made great friends from this community and it's such a wonderful thing. If not RWAus or RWNZ, find the writing community, organisation or group that best fits you.

Now I'm still running the competition for the Writer's Pack but for today's post, just make a comment. No question involved (relieved sighs all around I bet) *grin*

Comments for Writer's Pack now CLOSED.
Congratulations to commenter Toula

Tomorrow my special guest is Nocturne Bites author Anna Hackett. Please drop by and make her feel welcome.


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