Tag: RWA Conference

Conference and COVID-19

(From Feb Hearts Talk) by Tanya Kean, Events Manager

Everyone is hoping to attend RWA’s 30th anniversary conference at the Gold Coast in person, but as 2020 has shown us all, nothing is a sure thing and plans need to be flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing travel and social distancing restrictions.

As Events Manager I am faced with making difficult and often frustrating decisions based on guesswork, planning for an uncertain future and using information that is out of date as soon as I use it.  I know, I have never faced planning an event under these circumstances and I’ve got to say it’s not a fun experience!! In our 30 year history, planning for the conference has never had to factor in a global pandemic.

Under normal circumstances we would invite our international guests up to two years before the event, lock in our contracts at least a year in advance and have the workshop program rough draft ready eight months out from conference. Not this year!

The ‘what if’s’, ‘maybes’ and ‘I just don’t know’ and trying to untangle the knots of programming, amending contracts several times and inviting presenters that may not be able to travel is not what I signed up for! But, having said that I’ve found a new found ability to think outside of the box and a range of skills I never envisaged I’d gain as Events Manager. Not only do I need a plan B but also a C, D and E. 

2021 sees RWA achieve 30 years as an organisation, a milestone worth a spectacular conference program. I am determined the conference will be one that celebrates everything we have achieved in the past thirty years as well as look forward to the years to come. The big question is; how will that look?

I wanted to give members an update on where conference planning is currently sitting.

  • The conference planning team is very much working towards a physical conference. (I want to see my peeps!)
  • The Gold Coast venue has detailed it’s Covid safe plan, which states they must comply with the Queensland government policy of the number of people per square metre rule. Currently, this means we can have maximum attendees as per their room capacity. This may change and we may have to restrict numbers, details will be updated in the March issue of Heart’s Talk, when registrations are due to open.
  • The most likely scenario from government advice, (keep in mind, this is one plan and could change at any time) would be that local presenters will be able to attend as well as Australian and possibly New Zealand members. Local border restrictions notwithstanding.
  • Due to the Australian government advice that overseas travellers comply with mandatory 14 day quarantine even after the vaccine is rolled out, it is likely our international guests will not be able to attend the conference. The team is waiting until June 30 before making a final decision to allow any changes to government policy.
  • The conference planning team is exploring the possibility of replacing some of our international presenters with local presenters, in the event our international presenters are unable to attend.
  • Our international pitch partners have been contacted and we are in discussions regarding taking virtual pitches similar to the 2020 virtual pitch program. (via zoom etc)
  • There will be a Covid safe plan for all attendees. Mandatory masks and QR code tracking may be a possibility at registration!

So to recap, the 2021 Gold Coast conference is still being planned as a physical conference, but with a modified presentation format. Up until the first day of the conference, plans are likely to change, as Covid impacts those plans. Please bear with the team as we navigate through the changes and try to work through the process to ensure we have the best possible conference to celebrate this awesome milestone. 

PLEASE NOTE: The 2021 Gold Coast Conference as of 8 April 2021 has Early Bird Tickets selling and most scheduling complete. To get the latest news subscribe to this blog. Remember to update your Grenadine app so all scheduling is up-to-date.

Conference News Feb 2020

In ConferenceInterview by RWA Blog CoordinatorFebruary 3, 2020Leave a Comment

Conference round up for February – only six months to the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference!

Cocktail Party

With a yippee-ki-yay and a yee-haa, we just can’t wait for the Wild Wild West Cocktail party. It’s time to get your thinking stetsons on and lasso your costume: cowgirl, cowboy, saloon dancer, bandit or sheriff? Or maybe you’ll choose something with a West Aussie flavour like a quokka, whale shark or fair dinkum bushranger like Moondyne Joe.

And if fancy dress isn’t your thing, that’s fine too. The cocktail party is a great opportunity to meet new people, catch up with others you haven’t seen all year and enjoy yourself before the weekend begins.

Friday Workshop – Change

We regret to announce that Lisa Cron has had to withdraw from the 2020 conference due to family commitments. The conference team is on the hunt to find an equally awesome presenter for the craft workshop this year and we’ll announce it as soon as we have it confirmed. We’re sorry for any disappointment.

Friday Author Day

Although Lisa is not available, we have put together an amazing Author Day program for those of you who are published. We listened to our members about what they want and can announce the following sessions with more to come:

How to Advertise without Gambling with Bryan Cohen 

Did you know that there’s a simple strategy to figure out if your Book Description works? It takes a dash of math and a cup of patience, but if you know the formula, you may never promote a book that’ll lose money ever again.

In a whirlwind talk with tonnes of real-life examples, Amazon Ad School Founder and Best Page Forward CEO Bryan Cohen will help you understand the most important statistic in self-publishing.

Dust off your TI-82 graphing calculator and get ready to take some sweet, sweet author action.

Estate Planning for Authors with Morgan Solomon from Solomon Hollett Lawyers

What happens to your artistic legacy after you die? Or if you lose mental capacity? Estate planning is more complex than ever before – but for authors there are additional and unique challenges.

Together we shall look at the most common wills and estate issues (and hopefully bust a few myths along the way). But we shall also focus on issues unique to authors; control and licensing of your artistic legacy, inheriting copyrights and royalties.

Finance for Authors with Bob Poolman from Poolman Taxation

For some authors, numbers aren’t their strong suite but Bob Poolman’s workshop aims to demystify and simply finance. He’ll explain recordkeeping requirements of taxation expenses claimable by authors and run through a list of possible expenses claimable.

He’ll also talk about special taxation concessions for people engaged in the Arts, specifically authors, address general money matters and answer any and all of your questions, so come prepared.

Are you ready for your close-up?

Have your professional author headshot taken at RWA20

Have you been putting off getting a professional author headshot taken? Or are you still using the same headshot taken 15 years ago? A picture paints a thousand words and your headshot is no different. But what are those words saying about you?

At RWA20 in Fremantle, we are excited to offer you the opportunity to have new headshots taken with our professional photographers Angelo Di Benedetto from ADB Imagery and Shelly Boston from Smile! Designer Photography.

Photographer Angelo Di-Benedetto

Angelo Di-Benedetto has worked with clients for over 15 years across Australia to create eye-catching and creative portraits. To see more of Angelo’s work, please visit www.adbimagery.com.

Photographer Shelly Boston

Shelly Boston has over 20 years’ professional experience and is an Accredited Member of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography). To see more of Shelly’s work, please visit www.smilephotography.com.au.

Both photographers are offering Author Headshot Sessions for $75 per person. The session will last 10–15 minutes which will allow the photographer to take 15–20 images in a studio lit sitting. Sessions will take place inside the Esplanade Hotel.

The $75 fee includes one high-resolution retouched headshot of your choice. Additional images can be purchased for $50 (Angelo) or $35 (Shelly).

Shelly is also offering a one-hour Personal Branding Session for $395 per person which includes an outdoor/indoor session where approximately 30 images will be taken for the purpose of social media, advertising and branding. The fee includes pre-planning correspondence to plan a list of possible images and ideas for the session.

Angelo will be shooting on Saturday 15 August and Shelly on Sunday 16 August. Both photographers will have 28 15-minute slots available on their days. Shelly’s Personal Branding Sessions will take place on Saturday 15 August with a limit of 7 sessions.

We will establish a waiting list if you do not get your pick of photographer, however, we cannot guarantee that a second day will be added at this stage.

Bookings will open at the same time as conference registrations.

We are currently investigating options to include an on-site make-up artist. If this goes ahead in time, full details will be announced prior to registrations opening.