Tuesday, November 19, 2019

ROSA's 4th annual Strelitzia Awards for unpublished authors


ROSA's annual contest for unpublished authors, the Strelitzia Award, is now open for entries. Entrants receive three months of mentoring as they prepare their entries, and in 2020 this mentorship phase includes a whole lot more features. Not only will entrants receive one-on-one mentoring and personalised feedback on their work, but they will also have access to webinars, lessons on writing craft and private Q&As.

The Strelitzia contest not only offers excellent value for money for aspiring writers, but also the chance to win this fabulous glass trophy.

This year, the contest is open to both ROSA members and non-members, and we are accepting entries in both English and Afrikaans. The deadline for applications is Sunday 24th November, and we have place for only twelve participants, so if you'd like to take advantage of this incredible opportunity, don't delay!

ROSA also has a scholarship program available for those who want to enter but can't afford the fees. Applications for scholarships close on Wednesday, 20th November.

For more information, the contest rules, and the link to the entry form, click on the button below.



Monday, November 11, 2019

ROSA's Scholarship Program


Thanks to the generosity of our published members who donated the royalties from ROSA's first anthology, Wedding Season, our scholarship program has been expanded so that more of our members can benefit from the program.

In 2020, scholarships will no longer be linked to the annual conference, and there will be four scholarship beneficiaries. Each scholarship will be to the value of R2,000. This will not be in the form of cash, but rather a value allocation to the ROSA member to cover the cost of any ROSA educational services the member wishes to make use of, including entry into ROSA contests, ROSA webinars or workshops, or attendance at local chapter events, the Cape Retreat or the annual conference. This will enable more members to benefit, no matter where they live, and is focused on benefitting aspiring authors.

You do not need to be a ROSA member to apply for a scholarship, however non-members who are accepted into the program will have the cost of their membership fee deducted from the scholarship amount.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 20 November 2019, and successful beneficiaries will be notified within a few days, to enable them to enter the 2020 Strelitzia contest. Submit an entry form on this link.

Please ensure that you read all the Terms & Conditions on our website here before applying for a scholarship place, and look out for the announcement of the 2020 Strelitzia contest and mentorship program for our unpublished members coming soon.


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Conference report from Alissa Baxter


Today's post is from long-time ROSA member and ROSACon veteran Alissa Baxter.

* * * 

I attended this year’s ROSA conference this year, and I found the range of topics that were presented very interesting. I particularly enjoyed listening to Whitney Ross give us an insider’s view into traditional publishing in the United States.

Whitney represents middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction across all genres, including historical, science fiction and fantasy, romance, and contemporary fiction.

She joined the Irene Goodman agency in 2018, and before that she worked as an editor at Macmillan for nearly ten years, so she is uniquely qualified to give authors an insight into the mysterious world of traditional publishing.

I was very interested to learn about how many imprints the big publishers have. It can be overwhelming to know where to start looking for a publisher, especially when there are so many imprints in each house. Literary agents act as the gatekeepers of the traditional publishing houses, and therefore, if you wish to go the traditional publishing route, it is important to know how to set about finding an agent who is the right fit for you.

Whitney gave us some great tips on how to write a good query letter, and she explained the role of an agent in terms of the business side of publishing. She also warned us about agents who might not be what they seem (“schmagents”), and she showed us examples of query letters which grabbed her attention, and those that didn’t.

It was a fascinating talk, and it demystified the role of literary agents and exactly what it is that they do for authors. Some agents have more of an editorial focus (Whitney is an editorial agent), but all agents bring a unique set of skills to the table, and it’s important to find one that is a good fit for you – that’s if you decide to go the traditional publishing route. If you would prefer to go it alone, self-publishing allows you to manage the entire publishing process yourself, but that’s the topic of another blog post entirely – and I’m sure someone will be writing a post about Ashleigh Giannoccaro’s fascinating talk about this topic.

Whitney Ross - image courtesy of Suzanne Jefferies