Most Popular Posts

Friday, December 16, 2011

Call for Submissions


Evernight Publishing 

Evernight Publishing is a well established publishing house actively seeking submissions in the categories of romance, erotic romance and urban fantasy. Manuscripts must be between 15,000 - 100,000 words. The great news about this publisher is that they promise to give you feedback within three weeks!

Books are in sold in ebook and print formats.

To find out more about Evernight Publishing click here.


Please feel free to share your experiences with us if you do submit! 





Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Before you all disappear into the sunset to enjoy your well deserved holidays ... don't forget about the annual contest run by Amazon to discover that new voice in fiction! Amazon will be accepting entries for this from the 23rd of January 2012. 

Don't know what it's all about? If you are an author of general fiction or young adult fiction with an unpublished or previously self-published novel waiting to be discovered, click here to visit the Amazon site and find out more. 

Each grand prize winner will be published by the Penguin Group who run this competition together with Amazon! 

The competition closes on the 5th of February 2012 and only 5000 entries will be accepted in each category. Good luck to all those entering!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

ROSA Christmas Party

The annual ROSA festive season get-together is taking place in Johannesburg on Saturday 10th December. If you'd like to attend, please get in touch with me on romy@romancewriters.co.za for further information.

Please note that in 2012 ROSA meetings (the kind that happen around a dinner table with food and wine) will take place on the first Thursday of every month, starting with the January meeting on 12th. Again, for more details contact me on the address above.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Choc Lit Short Story Contest

For any of you South Africans living in the UK, or with connections in the UK (since the prizes are in UK currency), here's a contest you might find interesting.

Here's a great comp for anyone who likes money and chocolate: 

Choc Lit are looking for short stories of up to 1,500 words in which the central theme is chocolate - eating it, drinking it, cooking with it, or anything else. Let your imagination take flight!

PRIZES 
1st prize £200, publication on the author’s corner blog and a mystery chocolate gift
A Runner Up will receive £50 and another mystery chocolate gift

RULES 
1. Your entry must be a maximum of 1,500 words.
2. All work must be your own and not previously published.
3. Entry fee is £3 per story
4. All entries must be received by 31st January, 2012.

JUDGES
Your judges are Choc Lit authors Margaret James (The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain) and Sue Moorcroft (Starting Over, All That Mullarkey, Want To Know a Secret? and Love & Freedom). Both authors teach creative writing for the London School of Journalism and have published numerous short stories, including in the Romantic Novelists' Association's short story anthology. Both have regular columns, Margaret in Writing Magazine and Sue in Writers Forum.

HOW TO ENTER 
1. Please post your stories to: Short Story Competition, Choc Lit Ltd, Penrose House, Crawley Drive, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2AB. Please enclose a cheque for £3 per story - i.e. to enter 3 stories would cost £9. Cheques are payable to ‘Choc Lit Ltd.’
2. Or email info@choc-lit.co.uk with the subject header ‘Short Story Competition’ and pay your entry fee by Paypal atorders@choc-lit.co.uk.

You can find out more here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

So You Think You Can Write?

First we had New Voices, the X-Factor of romance writing, and now we have the aspiring romance writers' equivalent of So You Think You Can Dance.

So You Think You Can Write is in its second year, and is a week-long online conference run by Harlequin (parent company of Mills & Boon, and based on the other side of the Atlantic).

I'm blogging a bit late on this (I blame my frantic push to finish Once Upon a Time in anticipation of hopefully being on the New Voices follow-up list), so the better part of the SYTYCW week is already over, but there is a ton of stuff on the site for you to read, learn and share.

Best of all, Harlequin are offering another shot at publication through a contest. The deadline is 15th December, and you can find out more here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Book pitches!

Savvy Authors is offering writers three chances to pitch their books to editors in the coming months. You don't need to be a member to join, but you should check them out. Savvy Authors offer amazing courses, workshops and other opportunities.

First up, on November 4th, Rona Gofstein of Ravenous Romance will be taking pitches. You can check out the details of what she's interested in here. Pitches should be left in the comments section of the relevant post on the Savvy Authors Blog on Friday.

Next is the chance to pitch to erotica publisher Red Sage Publishing on Friday, 18th November. This is a three line pitch, so a great chance to practice writing log-lines, and to work out what your story is really about. More info here.

Finally (and this is a biggie!), on Friday, 2nd December, agent Laurie McLean of the Larsen-Pomada agency (she's agent to the phenomenal YA author Julie Kagawa) will be taking 25 word pitches on the Savvy Authors blog. Yes, you read that right. Your novel summed up in 25 agent-grabbing words. You can read more here.

Finally, congratulations to our own ROSA member, April Vine, who has made the Top 4 in the Ellora's Cave pitch contest on Passionate Reads.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Call for Submissions!

As the competition frenzy turns to dust we move on with our writing journeys and what better way to do that than by looking at publishers actively seeking submissions? Here are the publishers and the criteria they're looking for:

Avon Romance

Around her hair she wore a yellow ribbon
She wore it in the springtime
In the merry month of May
And if you ask her why the heck she wore it
She wore it for her soldier who was far far away

Calling all writers! Avon Impulse is looking for manuscript submissions for a collection of Yellow Ribbon romance. Just as the song indicates, we’re looking for stories where a soldier is returning home from war. Who is waiting for him/her? What was left unsaid? Where do they go from here?

If you’ve got a story (up to 25k words), we want to read it. Be creative. Be sexy. Ready. Set. Go! For more information read their blog post!

Carina Press

Carina is looking for science fiction novellas with a winter holiday theme, to be published digitally both individually and as a collection in December 2012. The novellas should be from 18,000 to 35,000 words and feature science fiction elements as integral to the novella.

For more information on how you can submit, read the blog post! You'll have to scroll down to the post dated 6th October.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Contests Galore

In case you need to be side-tracked from the madness of pruned roses over at the New Voices website (for which entries are now closed), you can instead join in the madness of yet more contests ...

Nicola Marsh's Pitch Contest

USA Today bestselling author Nicola Marsh is running a contest on her blog this week. To enter, you need to have a completed novel or novella, and be able to write a one or two sentence pitch for your book. Entries close on Sunday 16th October.

What's the prize?
A critique of the first 5 pages of your manuscript not only by Nicola, but also by Liz Pelletier, senior editor and co-founder of Entangled Publishing.


Choc Lit Short Story Competition

UK-based publisher Choc Lit is running a contest for stories of up to 1,500 words, with a chocolate theme. Deadline is end of January 2012. There is a small entry fee. For more information, click here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

O! Magazine short story contest

The South African version of O Magazine (The Oprah Magazine) is running a short story contest for women's interest stories between 1,500 and 2,00 words in length.

The deadline is very soon (14th October) but the judges are absolutely awesome (Dr Maya Angelou among them!!) so it's an opportunity well worth looking into. For more information, click here.

Writing tips from the judges as well as full competition details are availble in the October edition of O Magazine, on sale now. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Life Writing Contest deadline extended

THE SOCIETY OF WOMEN WRITERS & JOURNALISTS has announced that the closing date for entries to its OPEN INTERNATIONAL ONLINE ‘LIFE WRITING’ COMPETITION has been extended to 30th November 2011.

‘Life Writing’ is a fluid term used to describe the recording of experiences and memories, whether one’s own or another’s. It covers biography, memoir, diaries, letters and personal essays etc., and, more recently, digital forms such as blogs and email. It can also be linked with genealogical study when recording one’s life, it is common to become curious about the lives of others that have affected one over time and, if they have not recorded their own life, to start doing it for them.

The Word Count is 3000 words maximum BY EMAIL OR HARD COPY

The Competition is open to any writer world-wide of 20 years old and over.  The judges are Sophie King for category (i) 20/40 year olds and Katie Fforde for Category (ii) over 40s.

There are three prizes in each category. 1st £3000.  2nd £1000. 3rd  £500.
The entry fee is £7 (seven pounds sterling).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rouge Romance Launched!

Ebury Publishing, a division of the Random House Group, launched their straight-to-digital romance list today! 

They have opened up with eight titles and after that will be publishing four titles a month. Their web site is at www.rougeromance.co.uk so bookmark the site and have a look!

They will be offering book extracts, competitions and more for readers. And, you guessed it, they will be looking for new authors too!

Editorial Director (Fiction) Gillian Green said 'Given the growth in eBooks and new developments in technology, we felt that the time was right to launch a dedicated romance list. We know that romance readers have been among the first to embrace ebooks and we want to bring them the best romantic fiction out there.  Our list is diverse and there's something for every romance reader on it. What all the titles have in common is they are all utterly escapist sexy romances with a guaranteed happy ending from some of the brightest names in romantic fiction. Whilst we're initially looking at eBooks, we have print rights in all the titles on the Rouge list and are looking forward to launching print editions of our most popular titles too.'


There will be a selection of six sub-genres—Regency, Historical, Suspense, Contemporary, Paranormal and Occasions—with every title to be available for under £5.

You can find their submission guidelines here.
Let us know about your experiences if you have dealt with Ebury.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Second-Guessing Fate

I'm super excited about my latest release, and first contemporary, from Carina Press.

I live in the UK now, but the first draft of Second-Guessing Fate was written while I was still living in Cape Town. Actually, it would be more accurate to say it was written somewhere over the skies between Cape Town and Johannesburg. With twin toddlers at home and my company handing me a huge project with not only impossible deadlines, but contracted to a company in Johannesburg, I suddenly found a new haven for my writing time - that regular two-hour flight to and fro between Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Many years later, and many rewrites later, I'm pleased to say this story found a home at Carina Press and releases today!


Can She Outwit Fate?

Gemma is on a collision course with heartbreak. At least, according to the fortune-teller her best friend drags her to see. Gemma doesn't believe a word of it, but when other predictions start to come true, she begins to suspect that gorgeous, gray-eyed Nick is the man foretold to break her heart before she can find her soul mate. Too bad she's never met a man she's wanted more, because now she has to get him to dump her before she falls too hard.

Nick has plans of his own. He's ready to settle down with Ms. Right, and everything points to the beautiful Gemma. He's determined to prove to her that he's the perfect boyfriend—even if she does seem to be trying her best to scare him off…

If you'd like to read more, I have the first two chapters up on my website

Second-Guessing Fate is available from most places ebooks are sold, including
Carina Press
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Voices contest: South African Entrants

This is where we'll keep the list of all South Africans (both home and abroad) entered into the 2011 New Voices contest, as well as any entries set in South Africa.

Please support these authors by reading, voting and commenting on their chapters.

Biba Fielding: Colour Me Right
Rokaya Alli: Memories of the Past
Romy Sommer: Once Upon A Time
Sally Jacobs: Picture Perfect 
Ana Mese: Taking Chances
Kamy Chetty: The Doctor's Own Miracle Family
Kathleen Bosman: It Has To Be Perfect
Sharon Gabrielle: Love Complicates
Zan-Mari Vosges: What happens in London
Gloudi de Beer: Love on the horizon
Ella Stevens: Booty Calls and Lies
Yolande Pienaar: His Vet's Choice
Melinda Bechus: A Stranger in Time
Leonie Anderson: The Call Girl Conundrum
Bronwyn Desjardins: No Mistake in Marriage
Aimee Gray: Amber's African Adventure
Amanda Holly: Twins and Pearls
Alexandra Fox: Dreams Do Come True
Flora van Kleef: Her Crazy Love
Sherita Singh: Witch Apprentice
Chantelle Grundling: The Unbreakable Vow
Judy Seymour-Wood: Roxie Returns

Congratulations to everyone who has entered. You deserve awards both for bravery and for following your dreams. Pop on over to Lacey Devlin's blog to add your name to the NV Wall of Fame, and claim a blog badge.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Voices is live!

The New Voices contest website went live this morning. Check out the FAQs, the judges, this year's mentors, top tips from editors and published writers, and start reading.

As we did last year, we'll keep a list on this blog of all South African entrants with links to their entries so you can support local. Please read these entries and give feedback. That's what this contest should be all about: making new friends, learning and encouraging. I am incredibly grateful for the friends I made through last year's NV contest, and I'm hoping to make more this year.

So far the brave South Africans leading the way are:
Biba Fielding, with her Cape Town set story Colour Me Right and Rokaya Alli with Memories of the Past.

As the number of entries climbs I might not be able to track all the stories set in Africa or written by South Africans (both abroad and at home) so please let me know if you enter, or if you stumble across any entries not listed here.

Whether you're a reader or a writer, register at New Voices to claim your free Heidi Rice book. I love Heidi's stories, and highly recommend them.

Good luck to everyone who is entering!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Entangled Publishing Submissions

In keeping with the general trend of introducing our romance writers to any romance publishers on the market we'd like to draw your attention to Entangled Publishing this week. 

They are a boutique romance publisher who are on the look out for authors of full length novels as well as novellas in the following categories:
  • Contemporary
  • Upper “YA” (17-22 yo protags) that will appeal to crossover audiences
  • Romantic Thrillers
  • Historicals
  • Science Fiction
  • Paranormal and Urban Fantasy
  • Fantasy
So if you have a great story and a fresh new voice - click here to find out more regarding their submission requirements.

As always ... happy writing and good luck with those submissions!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Breathless Press Submission Call

Themed Call for Submission 

Send your submissions to acquisitions@breathlesspress.com with the name of the anthology in the subject line. Breathless Press currently has the following themed submission calls:

Ad-Dick-tion Anthology: Our Ad-Dick-Tion anthology is an ongoing submission call. Stories must be under 10k, have a heat rating of at least 3, be m/m (gay) orientated (m/m/f is fine as long as the two males have sex or a relationship together and not just with the female) and be original stories. There is no other theme besides being m/m. The anthology will consist of 10 stories each with a royalty of 4% of net sales. No single author shall have more than 2 stories in this anthology. We reserve the rights for digital for 1 year with the option of renewing after that. Some anthologies will go to print, if this is the case for this volume, royalties are 1.5% of net sales and we reserve the rights for 2 years with the option of renewal for another 2 years. Deadline: May 5th, 2011 - October 31st, 2011. Published: May 4, 2012.

Hot Shots Anthology: Our Hot Shots anthology is an ongoing submission call. Stories must be under 10k, have a heat rating of at least 3, and be original stories. There is no other theme besides being erotic. All stories must be m/f. The anthology will consist of 10 stories each with a royalty of 4% of net sales. No single author shall have more than 2 stories in this anthology. We reserve the rights for digital for 1 year with the option of renewing after that. Some anthologies will go to print, if this is the case for this volume, royalties are 1.5% of net sales and we reserve the rights for 2 years with the option of renewal for another 2 years. Deadline: Nov 26th, 2011 - April 30th, 2012. Published: Nov 30th, 2012.  

Ravaged Anthology: Our Ravaged anthology is an ongoing submission call. Stories must be under 10k, have a heat rating of at least 3, and be original stories. There is no other theme besides having something to do with shifters. This can be wolf, lion, panther, etc. The anthology will consist of 10 stories each with a royalty of 4% of net sales. No single author shall have more than 2 stories in this anthology. We reserve the rights for digital for 1 year with the option of renewing after that. Some anthologies will go to print, if this is the case for this volume, royalties are 1.5% of net sales and we reserve the rights for 2 years with the option of renewal for another 2 years. Deadline: Aug 4th, 2011 - Jan 31th, 2012. Published: Aug 3rd, 2012.  

Crimson Anthology: Our Crimson anthology is an ongoing submission call. Stories must be under 10k, have a heat rating of at least 3, and be original stories. There is no other theme besides having something to do with vampires. The anthology will consist of 10 stories each with a royalty of 4% of net sales. No single author shall have more than 2 stories in this anthology. We reserve the rights for digital for 1 year with the option of renewing after that. Some anthologies will go to print, if this is the case for this volume, royalties are 1.5% of net sales and we reserve the rights for 2 years with the option of renewal for another 2 years. Deadline: Feb 4th, 2012 - Jul 31th, 2012. Published: Feb 1st, 2013.  

Serviced Anthology: Our Serviced anthology is an ongoing submission call. Stories must be under 10k, have a heat rating of at least 3, and be original stories. There is no other theme besides having something to do with the army, military, navy, or air force as well as being romantic/erotic in nature. We will be doing two a year, one with a focus on m/m stories, the other on m/f stories. The anthology will consist of 10 stories each with a royalty of 4% of net sales. No single author shall have more than 2 stories in this anthology. We reserve the rights for digital for 1 year with the option of renewing after that. Some anthologies will go to print, if this is the case for this volume, royalties are 1.5% of net sales and we reserve the rights for 2 years with the option of renewal for another 2 years. M/M Deadline: Sept 8th, 2011 - Feb 29th, 2012. M/M Published: Sept 7th, 2012. M/F Deadline: Mar 10th, 2011 - Aug 31st, 2012. M/F Published: Mar 8th, 2013.  

Home for the Holidays: Our Home for the Holidays is published for December. We will be releasing 8 stories in December all revolving around the holiday season. Stories must be more than 10k with a heat rating of 2 or more. Deadline: Jan 1st, 2012 - June 30th, 2012. Published: December 2012.  

Hot Shifters: Our Hot Shifters are published for October. We will be releasing 8 stories in October all revolving around the shifters. This can be wolf, lion, panther, etc. Stories must be more than 10k with a heat rating of 2 or more. Deadline: Nov 1st, 2011 - April 30th, 2012. Published: October 2012.

Send your sexy stories to acquisitions@breathlesspress.com with the name of the anthology in the subject line. And please check out our submission guidelines here: http://www.breathlesspress.org/Page/submissions http://www.breathlesspress.org

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Voices Update

It's just a matterof weeks to go to to the launch of New Voices 2011. To keep the buzz alive while we wait, check out the following blogs:

Are you entering this year? Once again, we'll keep a list here on the blog of all entrants with South African connections, and link to your chapters so we can support each other.
 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Essentials Magazine's Annual Romance Story Contest

The September edition of Essentials magazine is out in stores now, and happily contains the announcement of their third annual short story competition.

This year's contest is titled The Essential Voice. As with the previous two, they're looking for romances of up to 1,500 words, entrants must be resident in South Africa (or any country where Essentials is sold) and the entries will be judged by an editor from Mills & Boon.

This year's prizes include:
First Prize - a luxury weekend away in the Drakensberg, publication in Essentials, a critique from an editor at Mills & Boon, Struik's Creative Writing course, a Samsung netbook computer, flowers, and a hamper.
Top 3 Stories - Struik's Creative Writing course, a Samsung netbook computer, flowers, and a hamper.
Top 5 Stories - Struik's Creative Writing course, flowers, and a hamper.

There are some amazing prizes up for grabs this year - buy a copy of the magazine or click here for details.

The Essentials website also promotes the international New Voices contest, which this contest is running in conjunction with. The deadline for The Essential Voice is 10th November 2011.

To enter, you can submit online at www.essentials.co.za, you can email your submission to essentials@caxton.co.za, or post via snail mail to 368 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park, 2196. You should send your story with a cover letter that includes your name, address, daytime contact number and word count. Include "The essential Voice" in your subject line.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Script Writing Masterclass

The Writers' Guild of South Africa is offering a screen writing workshop for Johannesburg-based writers on Saturday 27th August at AFDA Film School in Milpark.

You can find out more information at their Facebook site, and bookings can be made via email to admin@writersguildsa.org.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Publish Your MS Online and Start Earning Royalties Today

Do you have an unpublished manuscript floating around?

Why not publish it online as an ebook? You never know, the readers out there may love it. Online sales are currently outstripping hardback sales and the trend is only set to increase. Plus, I’m sure you could do with an extra couple of hundred bucks in your pocket each month?

I am not a traditionally-published author. I currently have three titles out on Amazon Kindle. Some sell better than others but on average I’m making an extra $60 per month. That’s without marketing - solely relying on the ‘foot traffic’ from Amazon.com users. Imagine if your ebook sold twenty or even fifty copies a month? With proper marketing (PPC, Ad Swops, Link Exchanges, Newsletter Mentions etc.) that is not entirely unfeasible.

eBook publishing is in fact relatively simple. All you need is a complete manuscript saved in a Word document. Most ebook sales sites (like Amazon.com, Smashwords etc.) require your ms to be in some type of format before you can upload it to their servers. That’s where we at www.yournovelonline.net come in. Our editors know how to format your ms for eReaders across all platforms, from Android, to iPhone, iPad to Kindle, so all you have to do is upload the formatted document. What this actually means is that it will display accurately on any eReading device. Poorly formatted ebooks can damage an authors reputation as readers will simply delete the ms from their device and not bother buying another one. It’s worthwhile to make sure your ebook is properly formatted.

The same goes for cover art. Although we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, research shows that in fact, we all do. The cover image of your book on Amazon.com can influence the buying behaviour of readers. A well designed, appropriate cover will maximise your online sales and contribute to your professionalism and reputation. At www.yournovelonline.net we specialise in ebook covers which are formatted for screen resolutions, printing and reading on all eReader devices.

So join the online revolution and start making money on your ebook sales. What have you got to lose? And with www.yournovelonline.net you are already ahead of the game.

Here’s to your online success!
Louise Rose-Innes
www.yournovelonline.net
Email info@yournovelonline.net if you have any queries.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kindle in South Africa

You may not yet be able to buy a Kindle here yet, but SA already has its own official Kindle store. Run by Dianne Volek, Kindle Books (www.kindlebooks.co.za) offers a selection of eBooks for download in Rands.

Dianne is also looking for good quality eBooks, novels, or educational books, so any South African writers interested in self-publishing should get in touch with her on dianne@intercomm.co.za or via the Kindle Books website.

My only gripe with Kindle Books SA is that they don't appear to stock any books by The Wild Rose Press, so if you want to download books by our talented ROSA members April Vine, Rae Summers, and Gina Rossi (release date TBC) you still have to buy in US dollars!

Thanks to YA author Lynette Ferreira for passing on this information.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another Romantic Fantasy

I’ve always had a romantic fantasy that has nothing to do with the plot of romance novel. Rather it’s a fantasy of living the life of a successful romance novelist. Some may call it visualisation, I call it day dreaming.
In this fantasy, I live in an apartment building in Sea Point, as serene and glorious as an ocean liner immured in the blue mountains of Cape Town. Of course, I live in a penthouse – you probably saw it on last week’s Top Billing.
In the morning, I wake up and have a fruit smoothie, hook into my iPod and take off for a long run on Ocean Drive. In this fantasy, I’m not only a wealthy novelist but I have a fab body – you probably saw it on last month’s Men’s Health. When I get back to my pad, my assistant Sebastian – I’ve already decided he’s a geeky/cute UCT English Major and works three mornings a week – has ordered in breakfast.
Over frothy cappuccinos and chocolate croissants, we discuss my social itinerary for the week. I get invited to every thing these days, so it’s important to be selective of what parties, galleries and openings I attend. After that, I have a shower and decide what to wear to my meeting with my accountant.
The accountant meets me at a trendy cafe, he’s a very serious sort of chap, and discusses my latest royalty statements. He advises some off-shore investments as a tax break and I nod sagely from behind my Ray-Bans. After that, I take an executive car to my publishers’ office. It’s such a chore but they want to show me the mock-ups of the covers of my latest bestseller. I have control over all the art work, so I have to be there. You’ve probably seen the latest one displayed in a Perspex holder above a mini-mountain of my books at Exclusive Books.
With the afternoon done and dusted, it’s time to have a long nap in my Top Billing bedroom – sleep mask, dolphin music on the background, silk pyjamas. In the evening, I attend a Veuve Cliquot launch, crammed with yummy finger foods and delicious celebrities. Of course, everyone wants to know if I met Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson on set when they were filming the big screen version of my last book. I’m not the type to drop names, so I just smile demurely and sip champagne.
It’s late when I get home, but of course it’s never too late for my fans – so I spend an hour or two responding to the endless emails from fans from across the world. In between, I confirm with my travel agent. Off to Spain in two weeks and then a quick shopping trip in London. I must say, I’m exhausted by the time I get to bed...
Of course the only thing I don’t do in this fantasy is write – because that’s the hard part. If you’re writing, you know what I mean. There’s no glamour in the actual graft of trying to get a book down: it’s hard, bum-numbing, sweaty work and nobody really cares if you do it or not. And whether you’re writing in a penthouse or a coffee shop in the mall, it still takes the same amount of work, the same hours, the same frustration and occasional joy. And when things are not going well, I conjure up this fantasy life. Sometimes it gets me through the bleak patches.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Voices is back!

The website has been updated, last year's entries have been wiped off the slate, and the new dates have been announced ... Mills & Boon's New Voices contest starts again on 13th September 2011.

For anyone interested in joining the madness (and fun!) this year, keep an eye on www.romanceisnotdead.com, the official home of New Voices. Click on the Terms & Conditions to check out the prizes, competition rules and whether you're eligible to enter.

To enter, submit a first chapter of your category romance novel to the website between 13th September and 10th October, and don't forget to read and comment on other entries - that's part of the fun.

And if you enter, please let us know. As with last year's contest, we'll be running a support group here on the blog. Good luck!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

South African Writers Circle Short Story Competition

Annual Short Story Competition
This competition is open to all. SAWC membership is not a pre-requisite.

THEME: Open

GENRE: Short Story (fiction only)

CLOSING DATE: 31 October 2011

FEE: The entry fee is R45 for members and R55 for non-members. If you would like to receive a critique of your entry an additional R10 is payable. You may submit more than one entry, each with the prescribed fee/s.

REQUIREMENTS:

1. All competition submissions must be in English.

2. Entries may not exceed 2 500 words.

3. Entries must not have been previously published nor been placed in any competitions.

4. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entertained.

5. Entries will be judged on literary merit, use of imagination and ability to enthrall.

6. Entries must be typed in double spacing on one side of each sheet of A4 paper. Number the pages and keep a copy, as we cannot return entries unless a SASE has been supplied.

7. Provide a cover page for your entry. This must contain the title of the work, your pseudonym, and the number of words. The author’s actual name or address must not appear on the cover page or anywhere in the submitted work. Your name should only appear on the entry form (see below).

8. Attach an entry form and a cover page to the front of each entry.

9. For posted entries, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of your critique. Critiques will not be sent to entrants, even if they have paid the extra fee, unless a SASE with sufficient postage is provided. Qualifying e-mail entries will receive an e-mailed critique.

10. Entries may be posted to SAWC Annual Short Story Competition, Competitions Manager, South African Writers Circle, Box 2342, Westville, 3630; or George at georgem@clt-interactive.com. Each entry must be accompanied by an entry form which can be found at: http://sawriters.org.za/live/competitions/annual-competition.html

11. EFT payments and direct deposits must include a reference (minimum of the first three letters of your surname plus your first initial and AC (for Annual Competition), for example, SoapJ-AC). Cheques must be made payable to the ‘South African Writers’ Circle’. If payment has been made by direct deposit, please include a photocopy of the deposit slip with your entry. Banking details are as follows: SA Writers’ Circle, Standard Bank, Current account, Hillcrest branch: 045726, Account number: 250780119.

12. Winners will be announced on the website and in the SAWC Newsletter. Prize winners will receive their prizes at the 2012 SAWC Annual Awards Luncheon.

PRIZES:

1ST PRIZE — R1 000, the Frances Bond trophy and your story published in the SAWC Newsletter Write Now!
2ND PRIZE — R500.
3RD PRIZE — R250.
There are 5 HIGHLY COMMENDED ENTRIES — each win an SAWC pen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The next ROSA get-together

The next ROSA get-together is on the evening of Thursday 23rd June in Parkhurst, Johannesburg.
If you'd like to come join us for food, wine, and lots of chat about books, please email me on romy@romancewriters.co.za for further information.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Two new writing contests

First up is the Kensington Brava contest. This year they're looking for novellas with all the heat and passion of their romances. The top eight contestants get mentored through the final rounds, so well worth entering even if you don't win! You can find out more here: Writing With The Stars. The deadline is mid August.

Mslexia managazine, aimed at women writers, is running a contest for full length novels. Entrants must be previously unpublished in full length fiction an should have a complete manuscript. Please note that there is an entry fee of £25. More information is available here: Mslexia The deadline is end of September.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

International 'Life Writing' Competition

THE SOCIETY OF WOMEN WRITERS & JOURNALISTS
is delighted to announce its 
INTERNATIONAL ONLINE ‘LIFE WRITING’ COMPETITION

With prizes totalling £9,000 
Sponsored by The Morris Duo Foundation for SELVA (Standard English, Literacy and Visual Aesthetics) 
Judges: Sophie King and Katie Fforde 
Word Count - 3000 words maximum
Closing Date: 30.09.2011 
Entry by email only via our Submissions page 

‘Life Writing’ is a fluid term used to describe the recording of experiences and memories, whether one’s own or another’s. It covers biography, memoir, diaries, letters and personal essays etc., and, more recently, digital forms such as blogs and email. It can also be linked with genealogical study - when recording your own life, it is common to become curious about the lives of others, and if they have not recorded their own life, to start doing it for them.

You can find out more here: http://www.swwj.co.uk/home.htm

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Introducing ... April Vine

I’m South African by nature, born and bred, and I’m an incurable writer. I wish I could remember the definitive moment when I realized I wanted to be a writer. My mum’s always been an avid reader – amassing hundreds of Barbara Cartland historical novels. My late dad, an obsessive book buyer, whether it was a thesaurus, an Enid Blyton adventure or a Reader’s Digest book about birds. Books were part of the furniture at our house.

I loved the escapism they offered and began to write stories about my friends at school. I’d give them exotic names and adventures in faraway places. They’d wait quite eagerly for my little homemade, stapled renditions of books. When I reached high school, I changed genres and switched to romance : ) If one of my friends had a crush on a guy, rest assured I was going to write a full account of their romance with a guaranteed happy ending. I was extremely popular. I made all my friends romantic dreams come through on paper! :)

About some fifteen years ago, I queried M&B, had a full requested but was rejected - albeit with great personal feedback, too much plot for one. I then took time out to have babies and even though I wrote consistently, none of my books ventured outside my computer. I picked up the submission process again in 2007 and submitted a book to The Wild Rose Press. Just my luck the book landed in the wrong editor’s inbox, the erotic romance editor to be clear, but she liked my voice enough to want to work with me and recommended I read a few erotic romances to get a feel of what she was looking for.

Up to that point, I must admit I didn’t even know erotic romance existed. I fell off my chair reading my first one and blushed a hundred shades of red. But my husband, my rock, advised I try it before I knock it. And well, I became hooked on the freedom to explore the more physical attributes of mankind. Subsequently I managed to publish three short erotic romance stories and am working on a few more for submission.

For me the hardest part about writing, anything for that matter, is writing! It’s the strangest notion in the universe. There’s nothing in the world I want to do, or can do, yet every day I talk myself out of actually doing it. It boils down to a very bizarre battle between my butt and the chair. True too is the more you write the less arduous that battle becomes. So my advice to anyone with a passion to write, and advice I try to follow myself, is just write it, even in its most base form, a dirty draft. All you need is something tangible to work with, and from there anything, anything is possible.

I never met a writer who wanted to be anything else.” — Natalie Goldberg

Happy writing!

You can find April's novels at The Wild Rose Press. She also has a website at www.aprilvine.co.za.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Introducing ... Louise Rose-Innes

Louise Rose-Innes was born in Cape Town, in the Western Cape and spent her school years running wild amongst the subtropical environs of the beautiful east coast of South Africa. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental and Geographical Science, as well as a Post Graduate in Marketing Management at the University of Cape Town, she moved to London where she currently lives.

When she’s not writing modern romance, Louise works as a web copywriter and internet marketer. She’s just launched an e-book formatting service for authors, who want to self-publish their work on the web. Check out her website at www.yournovelonline.net.

Louise has been formulating romantic stories in her head as far back as she can remember, and finally put pen to paper in 1996 after completing a romance writing course through Barnes and Nobel. She did a diploma in Features Writing at the London School of Journalism in 2001, and studied Online Copywriting with American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI) in 2009. Louise has published several fiction and non-fiction e-books, the latest titled 50 Development Activities for Kids, which can be purchased from www.yourchildsdevelopment.com.

She’s also written a comprehensive visitors guide to Cape Town, called Cape Town Magic, which can be downloaded off www.westerncapetravel.co.za.

Louise is a regular blogger on online marketing for authors, at Savvy Authors, a website for writers, by writers. Louise’s latest romance novel, Antarctic Affair, can be downloaded off her website www.louiserose-innes.com or found on Amazon Kindle. If you have any questions for Louise, you can email her at louise@louiserose-innes.com.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Postcards from Cape Town writing retreat

Australian travel writer and photographer Kim Wildman will be hosting a writers' retreat in Cape Town in September.

Held from 5-9 September at beautiful Dunkley House guesthouse in the city's old quarter, this five day retreat will take participants on a travel writing journey through the sights, sounds and scents of Cape Town.

Facilitator: Australian-born Kim Wildman has spent the better part of the last ten years criss-crossing the African continent as a travel writer, guidebook author and wannabe National Geographic wildlife  photographer. She has authored and updated more than 15 guidebooks including Lonely Planet's South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland and West Africa, Bradt Travel Guide’s Tanzania and Ghana, and Random House Struik’s Offbeat South Africa. Kim has a Masters Degree in African Studies attained from the University of Cape Town. Recently voted one of Tripbase’s 100 Favourite Travel Writers in the world, her feature articles have appeared in Travel Africa, abouTime, Planet Africa, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Voyageur magazine. Visit her website at: www.wildwriting.com.au

You can find out more about this retreat here: http://www.wildwriting.com.au/retreats/cape-town or feel free to contact Kim on kim@wildwriting.com.au

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Next Big Author

From Louise Rose-Innes, who will be profiled here on the blog next week:

The Next Big Author – Closing Date May 31st 2011. Supported by Bloomsbury, Random House, Orion, Little Brown and Hodder and Stoughton.

There is still time to enter for feedback from the publishers of authors such as JK Rowling, Dan Brown and Terry Pratchett for the best opening chapters written in May. Please visit www.thenextbigauthor.com for details of how to enter via the competition rules on the left hand side of the site’s homepage.

If the time left seems short, below are a few examples of famous authors who penned completed books in short periods.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange: “The book I am best known for, or only known for, is a novel I am prepared to repudiate: written a quarter of a century ago, a jeu d’esprit knocked off for money in three weeks, it became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence.”

Mickey Spillane: His most famous Mike Hammer Novel, I, the Jury, was written in nine days. It sold 7 million copies in three years

From The Guardian: “Alexander Dumas had a 100-louis bet (a decent sum in 1845) that he could write the first volume of Le Chevalier de Maison-Rouge in just three days. Powered by a steady supply of coffee (his manuscripts are splattered with it), he pulled it off within six hours to spare with scarcely a crossing out.
In 1941, Jack Kerousac dashed off 200 short stories in eight weeks, thanks to a regime of benzedrene pellets. Stephen King took just three nights to finish The Running Man while hooked up to a Budweiser drip.”

Not that we at SA Romance recommend drugs and alcohol as the solution for writing quickly!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Introducing .... Kathleen Bosman

I hope all our South African readers are at the polls today, exercising your right to a say in your government. Enjoy the day off!

Today I welcome Kathleen Bosman, one of our few Kwazulu-Natal members, who currently lives in Newcastle (the one in South Africa!)

If you live in Natal, please get in touch with us, as we need a few more members before we can get a local chapter going there! (PS: If anyone would like to offer me a job in Durban, I'd love to move back there.)

* * * 

I grew up in Durban and from childhood spent most of my days walking to the library and making up stories in my head while I walked, then reading, reading and reading library books.  I loved fantasy stories and dreamed one day of writing my own books.

A year after marrying Kevin, we left our stable jobs and moved to Zambia to help with education there, planning to stay only two years.  We stayed seven years and although life was hard, I had my three babies there and did not have to work while they were little.  To counteract the boredom of the slow life there, I took up writing and did a writing course on writing for children, thinking that was the type of writing I was only interested in.  I wrote three children's books which when I look back on, I cringe, but it was experience.

After moving back to Newcastle, South Africa, and looking after three busy preschoolers, I put writing aside.

Then when I took a position running a church bookshop, my days became lazy and quiet again and I decided to write an adult novel.  It turned out to be romance!  It was so much easier writing for adults - I didn't have to simplify everything - I could just write.

Since then, I have written about four more novels, each time learning something new and perfecting my talent.  I self-published my first novel, The Shoe Shop, with Raider Publishing and although it was wonderful to have my words in print, the response has been disappointing due to the publisher putting typing errors on the back page of my book and all the websites.

Although I enjoy reading and writing woman's fiction and some suspense, I always enjoy romance the most.

My greatest dream is to be published with a traditional publisher one day and make a successful career of my writing.

Kathy

* * *


If you would like to join ROSA, please email either myself or Amanda (email addresses below) or leave a comment below with your email address and we'll contact you. The Yahoo group, where we provide moral support, and exchange news and ideas can be found at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sa_romance_writers/

amanda@romancewriters.co.za
romy@romancewriters.co.za

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Introducing .... Elaine Pillay

Elaine and I first 'met' online through the New Voices contest. She is a member of the ROSA Yahoo group, and I recently had the pleasure of meeting her in person in Cape Town.

* * * 

All my life I’ve wanted to write. I remember being fifteen and reading my first Penny Jordan book. She became my Romance Writing Goddess whose altar I worshipped at regularly. I secretly feasted on her books and developed a ferocious appetite for all books romantic, and a dream was born.

I remember working as a secretary while I paid for my degree. I would, unbeknown to my bosses, write stories of dark, sexy heroes and heroines trembling with desire, and print pages of fantasies. Of course, I never submitted them but the dream lived on.

I remember getting my degree and moving to Joburg from Durban to work as a Teacher. I had it all mapped out, I would Teach in the day and write at night and the holidays, my, that would certainly help.

Boy, was I wrong. I had no time!

Whenever a child disobeyed an instruction, I would wish that I could stay at home and write or that a submission would be accepted. I would silently pray to the Universe about how I was meant for better things, of how I was meant to be a Writer. So the dream lived on.

I met a guy, he was wonderful. He listened to me dream about my dream. He read my countless pages of man meets woman and laughed. He asked questions, “Why did you choose that title? Do women really want that kind of man?”

He entertained my dream and it became his dream for me, so much so that he asked me to take some time off, stay home and chase it.

But the weight of rejection was too heavy to bear as depression set in and self-doubt grew in leaps and bounds.
Maybe, I was never meant for this.

Then, on my birthday, I woke up and read Anthony Ehlers' blog post, “Do You Remember Your First Time?.” And I remembered the dream that was born at fifteen.

I remembered, writing my first romance short story, as my Matric Prelims Creative Writing Exam. My Teacher, a single woman and an avid romance reader, who had never previously paid attention to me, spoke to me. Really spoke to me.
“I loved your story,” she said.
She looked satisfied and dreamy which surprised me as she was always aloof and strict. For the first time that year, she really looked at me, as though, she was looking for where the story had come from.

And now, I realise that I need to look too, inside me because that is where my stories come from and that is where my dream lives. So I will dust off the cobwebs of rejection and find that romantic beacon that beats with a heart so strong. I hope that you will find yours too because we were born for this.

* * *

If you would like to join ROSA, please email either myself or Amanda (email addresses below) or leave a comment below with your email address and we'll contact you. The Yahoo group, where we provide moral support, and exchange news and ideas can be found at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sa_romance_writers/

amanda@romancewriters.co.za
romy@romancewriters.co.za


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Introducing .... Gina Rossi

ROSA (Romance writers Organisation of South Africa) was founded last year and has already grown to nearly 30 members, most based in South Africa but also including South Africans now living abroad. Each Wednesday for the next few weeks we'll be introducing you to various members of ROSA, starting with Gina Rossi.

Gina made the coveted 'reguests' list in Mills & Boon's New Voices contest last year, the only South African to achieve this distinction. I'm now going to hand over to Gina, so she can introduce herself ...

* * *

Born and bred in SA, I have been a scribbler of stories all my life.  I started writing in earnest in 2008.  My first serious submission was to M&B.  It got rejected but they were very kind with their comments, telling me what I did wrong, but, more importantly, what I did right.

While that submission was 'out there' I got hold of a number of  'How to Write' book and started to learn the craft.  I also follow some published writers on their blogs, and it's oddly inspiring to know that they have some of the same basic problems I do!
I feel I've come a long way in 2 years and hope publication isn't far off.

I send off as much stuff as I can possibly write, always with a mind to improving with every effort.  Short stories, partials, poetry, the lot, and I enter competitions whenever I can.  With heaps of stuff submitted, the rejection of one piece of work is not as crushing - believe me!  In addition, I belong to the Romantic Novelists' Association, and submitted a full manuscript to them in 2010.  This is a wonderfully supportive organisation.

I've always wanted to write an historical novel.  Of course I went through every Georgette Heyer, Barbara Cartland, Anya Seton and Elizabeth Gouge book as a teenager.  My favourite childhood book was The Armourer's House by Rosemary Sutcliffe.  I read it over and over, sighing over Piers...he was definitely my first romantic hero!

I love, love, LOVE the Cape, lived in Stellenbosch, and then in Cape Town until 1999, when my husband's work took him to the UK. 

When I heard about the 2010 M&B New Voices competition, I thought about the historical romance I've always wanted to write (since Piers!).  I imagined the Franschoek area - outpost of the Cape - and how a protected female like the refined Georgina, forced to flee from a scandal in England, would see and experience it. How she would compare it to her old, restricted life and come to value her new freedom.  And how she would react to sexy maverick Anton Villion as he throws himself into the cultural mix.  Both have a past and secrets, and both have a journey to complete before they can fall properly in love.

I wrote Chapter 1 for M&B and sent that off, then completed Chapter 2, just in case, and the Pivotal Moment.  I hoped desperately, somehow, that I would be in the Top 10, but it wasn't to be.  I then threw my name into the hat for a random review.  Ten lucky writers were chosen, but not me.  Nevertheless, I despondently checked the list of writers M&B wanted to follow up in the faint hope...and WOW!  There it was: The Wild Heart!  I didn't know what to do with myself.  I jumped about and shrieked for most of the afternoon.  And opened the wine early (it was Friday, after all).

Then I dug out my Wild Heart notes: all the precious scraps of paper, till slips, dry cleaning reciepts etc with brilliant ideas scribbled all over them, and, you probably guessed - they're all rubbish.  Here are two gems: The Wild Heart could refer to either Anton or Georgina' (I mean, DUH!) and 'Baboons on the roof.' (What the hell is that supposed to mean?)

As you can see, I had work to do!

In mid December I submitted my requested first 3 chapters to M&B - and have heard nothing to date.  I pressed on and finished the manuscript, and am now sending it out to agents.  So far I've had four swift responses out of ten: 3 said 'no' but with encouraging comments rather than a form rejection, and one agent in London has asked for the 1st 3 chapters on the strength of the synopsis (I ran around the house screaming when I got that email!).  So, I live - and write - on in hope!

In my limited experience I would urge our members to submit, submit, submit.  And keep writing all the time!

Good luck to all the aspiring romance writers out there.  Enjoy your writing.

* * *

If you would like to join ROSA, please email either myself or Amanda (email addresses below) or leave a comment below with your email address and we'll contact you. The Yahoo group, where we provide moral support, and exchange news and ideas can be found at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sa_romance_writers/

amanda@romancewriters.co.za
romy@romancewriters.co.za

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Brenda Novak's Annual Auction

Since 2005 NYT best-selling author Brenda Novak has run an online auction to raise funds for Diabetes research. The 2011 auction opened today, and runs for the entire month of May.

The auction is specially geared towards readers and writers, with hundreds of autographed books, gift baskets and jewellery up for grabs, as well as professional critiques, marketing opportunities and editor & agent critiques. Click on the banner below to check it out - and good luck if you place any bids.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Birthday TWRP!

The Wild Rose Press celebrates their fifth birthday this week. They will be running a 5-day long birthday bash on their two reader loops, with loads of giveaways for participants. You can chat with authors, find out about new books, ask questions - and win!

You can find the two reader loops here:



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Carina Press Steampunk Submission Call

Carina Press has put out a submission call for a rather interesting holiday theme. They are looking for novellas between 18,000 and 35,000 words in the Steampunk genre and with a winter theme. The stories do not have to be romances, and they can have absolutely any heat level. The deadline is May 15th, so get scribbling.

You can find out more here: Steampunk Submissions Call.

PS: If you're not quite sure what Steampunk is, Wikipedia has this interesting article, or you can sample some of the genre from Carina's store.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hero ... Gilles Marini is up!

Yes the oh-I-can't-stop-drooling-gorgeous Gilles Marini is the new inspiration on our Hero Worship page. Check out the pictures or errrmmm the bio here.

If you don't know who Gilles is ... just watch Dancing with the Stars on channel 120 Friday and Sunday night! You should recognise him as the delicious Frenchman in Brothers & Sisters too!

I'm sure your heroine wouldn't mind looking into those sexy dark eyes!

Enjoy! Oh and do keep sending those ideas of who you'd like to see next!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Judy Croome gives away Amazon Vouchers!

Judy Croome - one of the founding members of the South African Romance Writer's site - has started on her journey of self publishing! We're happy to announce that her book "Dancing in the Shadows of Love" will be released next month. Keep your eyes on this blog for more information!

To celebrate the joyful learning curve that she's on Judy has decided to give away 4 Amazon vouchers - each to the value of $25! If you'd prefer to have it in local currency for your local vendors then Judy will even arrange that for you.

So what do you need to do to get your hands on one of these vouchers? Simple! Go watch the trailer for "Dancing in the Shadows of Love" - which you can do by clicking here.

Once you've watched it - Like it and send Judy your details so you can be entered into the draw! You can reach Judy by clicking here! You can even triple your entries by leaving a comment on YouTube!

If you can't wait to find out more about Judy's journey you can go to her blog by clicking here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wild Rose Press Looking for Submissions

Yup another epublisher is looking for your work! Haven't heard of the Wild Rose Press? They're generally known as the "kinder, gentler publisher"! They only publish romance - which is of course great news for our readers and contributors! Our very own Romy Sommer is also published by Wild Rose under her alias Rae Summers. Check out her book "Let's Misbehave".

The Wild Rose Press is looking for your Classic Contemporaries for the Champagne Rose Line.

The Millionaire's Club

Champagne and Caviar. Rich and sexy. He's the reformed playboy, the corporate raider or the self-made man. He comes from old money or new money. These stories are about rich and powerful men. He's determined and has the means to get what he wants. The woman he falls in love with usually doesn't have money, but she does have power in this relationship. However, he'll have to shower her with more than the gifts money can buy. He'll have to earn her love. And he'll have to show her his love is the most valuable possession he can give her.

Submission requirements for the Millionaire's Club.

Length – 20K – 60K (not full length - these will not go to print)

Rated Spicy to Hot (see details on both ratings below). Champagne Rose stories must include a fully depicted and fully consummated love scene to be considered in this line.

Spicy: Contains detailed love scenes, including descriptions of foreplay and consummation.

Hot: Contains sizzling detailed love scenes and explicit content, which may be offensive to some. This is not erotic romance. No extreme graphic language.

Find out more about their submission requirements here or send your submissions to Queryus@thewildrosepress.com

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ellora's Cave Looking for Submissions

If you haven't heard of them, Ellora's Cave calls itself "The world's first & foremost publisher of erotic romance for women, as featured in Forbes, the Washington Post, Publisher's Weekly & the Montel Show."

They are an ePublisher and work with authors via email so no paper submissions allowed.
 
Their special theme series for 2011 are:
 
SEX BYTES
Theme is tech sex: all the ways to meet and fall in lust and love via modern technology--texting, IM, Skype, online dating.
Stories release in October 2011.
Submission deadline is April 30, 2011.

LOVE LETTERS
Theme is love letters, cards, diaries.
Stories will release in January/February 2012 (in time for Valentine's Day).
Submission deadline is August 31, 2011.

OH, CANADA!
Stories must be set in Canada, at least one of the main characters must be Canadian, and the story should have a Canadian "flavor" (slang, customs, holidays, etc).
Submissions must be received before September 1, 2011.
Stories release throughout 2011.

Further guidelines:
~ Story length 18K - 45K words.
~ Any genres, settings.
~ Must use the theme as a primary story element.
Submission deadlines are firm. Earlier is preferred.

Want to know more about the publisher? Visit their web site!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"There is only one thing ..."

"... that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure."


That's a wonderful quote by world renowned Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho and many wise men and women before him.

We're going to be following that sage advice here on the Romance Writer's blog for the month of April! So here's the challenge for all you romance authors in waiting out there - write a book in the month of April!

And here are all the reasons why you should do it:
  • That idea milling about in your head - you need to get it down in writing.
  • Time will never be "right" or "enough" unless you ditch those excuses.
  • You're tired of your existing work in progress and need a new challenge.
  • Reconnect with your creative self.
  • There's a crowd of us doing it with you - supporting you all the way.
  • Can't remember when you last wrote and you're wondering whether you still have it in you.
Tomorrow is the 1st of April! Come play the fool ... come write with us!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Portrayal of a heroine - Keira Knightley & Coco Mademoiselle

OK so I have to confess that Coco Mademoiselle is one of my favourite perfumes! The whole idea of Coco Chanel is so alluring to a romance writer that you can't help but fall in smeaven with one of her fragrances.

Then the next confession is that I adored Keira Knightley in her role as The Duchess!

So put the two together and you get a knock-out ad for Coco Mademoiselle starring Keira Knightley. If you're looking for inspiration - check out the video!



Inspired yet?

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews is a new site that reviews romance novels. The official launch was 1st March, but throughout the entire month they're running contests for readers. There are over 200 prizes up for grabs, with different contests every day.

TRR gives readers the chance to discover new books, chat with authors, read and write reviews, and vote for their favourite books.

Major Prizes (to be drawn at end of month)
Grand Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize: $70 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card

Please support TRR, not least because they're supporting both readers and writers. They've already uploaded the following reviews for two ROSA members:
Betrayed by Claire Robyns
Let's Misbehave by Rae Summers

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Avon goes Digital

Avon Books, the HarperCollins Publishers outlet for the romance lines, has finaly gone digital! Let's extend a hearty welcome to Avon Impulse.

So what does this mean to our romance writing community? Yup you've guessed it - another publisher to approach. There's an extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions on the web site which covers all the usual topics such as their submission guidelines and what they're looking for right now. If you've got the urge to become an Avon author then here is your opportunity! They will definitely be looking at sales numbers and if you're one of their popular authors you'll stand a good chance of getting into their print versions.

If any of you are currently under contract to Avon or have a manuscript in for review with Avon Impulse - give us a shout and tell us about your experience with them!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Celebrate the international Week of the eBook

This week (6-12 March) is officially Read an eBook Week. Our own local eBook Divas are celebrating the week by giving away a selection of 11 free Mills & Boon eBooks. Why not spread the joy of eBooks and encourage your friends to give it a try?

To download these very fabulous free eBooks,
1) Visit www.ebookdiva.com and register/login
2) Go to www.ebookdiva.com/ebookweek
3) Enter the voucher code "ebookweek”
4) Select and download your eBooks
*** Remember this voucher will only be valid until midnight on 12 March, so make sure you use it before then.

To find out more about Read an eBook week, visit http://ebookweek.com/

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Multi Published Author Sophie Hannah in South Africa!

Thanks to our lovely contributing member Romy (who is an avid Twitter user and fan) we've found out that author Sophie Hannah will be in South Africa to promote her new book!

Sophie Hannah is the author of 5 internationally bestselling psychological thrillers and her novels are published in 20 countries! Not only does she write thrillers, her talents also include penning short stories, poetry, romance and other fiction. She has won numerous awards for her writing and her poetry is even studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK! Wow! Click here to go to Sophie's web site and find out more about her writing.

We're lucky enough to have the opportunity of meeting such an esteemed writer at the following events:

18:00 Monday 7 March - Exclusive Books, Cavendish Square, Cape Town
18:00 Tuesday 8 March - Exclusive Books, Hyde Park, Johannesburg

Sophie will also be interviewed on 702 Talk Radio at 13:00 on Wednesday the 9th of  March on the Jenny Crwys-Williams show. So if you can't make it to meet her in person don't forget to listen!

If you're an author stalker and get a photograph with yourself - send it to us for the blog!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heroes and Heartbreakers

On 14th February, Macmillan Publishing set up their new romance community site, www.heroesandheartbreakers.com.

Heroes and Heartbreakers (H&H) brings together original stories, pre-release excerpts, blog posts, giveaways and more in a publisher-neutral environment - which means romance content from all publishers, imprints and authors will be featured on the site.

There are two opportunities to reach a new audience that authors might find particularly interesting: the original short story program and the blogger team. H&H is acquiring original short stories, and welcomes submissions from all romance subgenres. If you're interested in submitting a story, you can contact Liz Edelstein, Senior Manager and editor of HeroesAndHeartbreakers.com at submissions@heroesandheartbreakers.com.
The site is also looking for bloggers to contribute romance-themed material to the site. Both are paying opportunities.

* * *

The submission guidlines are available here. They are looking for romance stories of all genres between 6,000 and 15,000 words in length, and their pay is generous.

Monday, February 7, 2011

And Our New Superhero ... Henry Cavill

Did you hear the gossip? Henry Cavill who we've loved for a couple of seasons of The Tudors is set to become the latest Superman!

Yes the latest hero worship page is up for your reading - or would that simply be viewing - pleasure. He's long overdue on our hero page and has been requested a number of times so please take your fill by clicking here.

Suggestions for who else you'd like to see exposed are always welcome!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Publishing money flows in one direction only

Sarah Duncan's latest post might seem incredibly obvious to writers who've been knocking around for a while, but if you're still a newbie, you really need to read this:
http://sarahduncansblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/publishing-money-flows-in-one-direction.html 

Self publishing is a different story. This is where you knowingly spend your own money to publish your own work. And when you self publish, you the author, should be the one receiving the earnings, not some middle man.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Interview with Shaida Kazie Ali

We've just uploaded Romy's interview with Shaida Kazie Ali, author of "Not a Fairytale". It's her debut novel which is set in Cape Town!

Shaida tells the tale of two Muslim Indian sisters while making use of modern day versions of fairytales along the lines of Cinderella and The Little Mermaid. She even includes a few recipes!

To read the full interview click here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Do you remember your first time?

I was about eighteen years old. I don’t even remember much about it, except it was kind of disappointing. And it didn’t last long.

If I try to think back – it was so long ago – I seem to recall it was about a journalist who flies down to Plettenberg Bay to interview a reclusive hero. I’m pretty sure he drove a white Porsche 911 – this was the late 80s after all. Pastel fashions abounded, as did lashings of glamour. There may have been a dodgy choice of the word Moonlight in the title. I do remember I didn’t get past the first few chapters, before I abandoned the love affair.

But that was my first time trying to be a romance author. After that, my sister bought me a whole stack of romance novels and I started to read a lot more – probably the best advice to a new writer is to read, read, read. I waited a couple of years before I started a new romance. This one still had the dodgy title – Valley of the Sun – and the plot was something straight out of a soapie. Think Egoli meets Bold and Beautiful set in Sun City. It was predictable, filled with clichéd characters and over-written. Of course, at the time, I thought it was perfectly charming and was horrified that the editors at Mills and Boon didn’t like it.

After I recovered from the bleak despair of rejection, I did start to write again and I worked hard on improving my craft. (Another good piece of advice – just keep writing!). I tried my hand at romantic-suspense, at erotica, at mainstream storylines. The bug had bit. I was very much in love with romance.

At least, I was in love with the idea of a being a romance writer. What I’ve learned – sometimes not without pain and exhaustion – is that writing is hard work. It requires self-discipline, self-belief, and perseverance and, more than that, it requires a bum on a chair and words on a page. And, as we all know, that’s easier said than done.

My point is РI knew I had one somewhere Рis that we always tend to idealise our first love affairs with writing. We remember it with a glow of nostalgia and a tender compassion for our naivet̩. How foolish, how brave and how hopeful we were.
Sometimes, for me, that first dream, that feverish wish to be full time writer - published, secure, living in a castle in Spain – seems so far off and elusive. Writing feels dry and pointless. Writing doesn’t even feel like work, but a kind of self-punishment. And it shouldn’t. We should try as we move into the New Year, to reconnect with that dream again. Let’s be brave again. Let’s be foolish. Why the hell not?

If we don’t believe in ourselves, let’s believe in love. Let’s believe in love stories. And let’s write them.

This love affair ignited in me a love for romance writing. I discovered the love poems of Pablo Neruda, the joy of Wuthering Heights and every alpha hero that followed Heathcliff. I found out that one of my favourite movies is the heavenly A Walk in the Clouds. I watched Twilight again the other day and marvelled at what a clear, vivid love story it really is. I still sleep with a stack of Mills and Boon books next to my bed.

I hope we all can find the first spark of love again for our writing. And I hope we all find our forevers, our happily-ever-afters, ours dreams. We just need to look inside us for that first, heart-stopping moment we believed this was a love affair worth chasing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New publishers, contests and pitches

Two new romance publishers on the block!

Astraea Press is releasing its first titles in January 2011. They are a new eBook publisher of non-erotic romance based in the US and they're open to submissions. You can find out more about them at their website and blog.

Knox Robinson Publishing are actively seeking historical romance submissions. Details on their website are still a little sparse, but they plan to revamp the website in February.

A cautionary note: as with all new and untried publishers, do your homework before you submit.

The 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Thanks to Each Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance. All Entries can be submitted through the CreateSpace platform and must be received no later than February 6, 2011. Up to 5,000 Entries will be accepted within each category.
Don't miss your opportunity to win - submit your Entry today!
Read more about the Contest and review the Official Rules.

Two Short Story Contests

ROSA member Kathleen Bosman has shared this info with us:
For those interested in trying out a short story, the annual Commonwealth Short Story Competition is now on. It's very different from novel writing but it's still fun. Here is the link to their website: www.commonwealthfoundation.com/shortstory

And courtesy of Bronwyn Desjardins:
The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2011 short story competition is for published and aspiring writers alike. They're offering the chance to win £500, plus a place on an Arvon residential writing course of your choice, and  publication of your story on the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook website! All you have to do is enter a short story (for adults) of no more than 2,000 words, on the theme of 'compulsion' and email it to competition@acblack.com with `WAYB11 competition' as the subject line. The closing date is 14 February 2011.

And Another Contest

Harlequin Desire author Tessa Radley is offering herself as mentor for a month. Entrants need to write a 1,000 word opening to a secret baby Valentine-themed novel. You can find out more at eHarlequin.

Editor Pitch

Harlequin's Nocturne Bites line is offering aspiring paranormal writers the chance to pitch direct to an editor. To enter, send a two paragraph blurb to doeraemi@gmail.com by 17th February. More information is available here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hollywood Adventure, African Romance - A review

Lights, Camera, Love by Bronwyn Desjardins (Nollybooks) is a short romance packing a lot of love, action and adventure. Thuli, a receptionist at a luxury lodge in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, is sucked into the world of movie-making when she becomes the temporary PA to a SA-born Hollywood director, Jake.

Thuli is a wonderfully drawn character – beautiful, proud, strong and yet vulnerable. Despite the differences in background with the hero, she stands her ground and more than proves herself as his equal. In fact, she is instrumental in saving Jake from the secrets that have kept him closed off from love. Jake is a stand-out character, so different from the cliches one normally finds in romance novels. The scenes where he struggles with his sense of identity and his tragic past are especially poignant.

The author’s descriptions of landscapes and customs are beautifully evocative – by engaging all our senses, we feel connected to both the natural splendour of Africa and life in a rural village, with its smells, rhythms, rituals and colour. These parts of the book really come alive with heartfelt authenticity.

Despite the wildly glamorous premise, the relationship between the hero and heroine is moved forward in a realistic, believable way – which will no doubt make young readers connect with them on an emotional level. There is great tenderness and vulnerability in their journey towards happy-ever-after.

This fast-paced romantic novel ends with a nail-biting suspense sequence that would not be out of place in a big-screen movie. With the new Nollybooks series, South African escapist fiction is off to a very good start