Sunday, August 8, 2010

Good news, conference countdown and costumes!

Linley (on right) and I at Sydney 2007
This time next week I'll be at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Sydney. I absolutely adore the RWA conferences, and am very excited. This will be my fourth conference, and one of my favourite parts of each conference is the Harlequin Cocktail Party, which is on the Friday night. Each year I've had great fun coming up with a costume, urged on by my costume queen room mate, Linley Maroney. At my first conference in 2007, the cocktail party theme was Venetian Carnivale.  My costume involved a $29 wedding dress (bargain of the century), a brocade doona cover, some ribbon, lace and my fabulous mum's sewing skills. Linley's dress was absolutely spectacular, as you can see!

Paula Roe and I in 2008
In 2008 we were in Melbourne, and for the One Enchanted Century theme (for 100 years of Mills & Boon) I made a dress that consisted of laminated Mills & Boon covers, both present day and very old. I loved how it turned out, and I even won a prize :) (books, yay!). The photo is of me and Paula Roe (with her fabulous mermaid costume).

Last year the theme was Arabian Nights. I had a costume made while I was in Vietnam a few months earlier, so went in an I Dream of Jeannie costume. The photo (below) is of me and Paula, again - believe it or not! The photo is of Saddam and I recreating the classic "climbing the man tree" romance novel cover pose :)  However, as much as I liked that costume, about half of the party-goers had the same idea. This year I'm determined to have a "different" costume, and as I type this, I'm surrounded by the finishing touches of my costume. This year the theme is "Fantasy Island", but I'll keep my costume a surprise for now ;)

And now... for the good news!

Climbing the man tree, 2009
I woke up this morning to an email from The Golden Acorn Contest coordinator. I won my category!! This was a massive shock after my 5th placing, and no request, for The Great Beginnings contest.

And... the best bit (by far), is that this Harlequin editor's feedback was just lovely, and she has requested my partial. Hurrah!!!!!! Favourite bit of feedback: "We felt there was real promise in this voice".


So I guess what I've learnt from this is that even if one editor doesn't like my manuscript enough to request it (like with the Great Beginnings), it isn't necessarily the death of the manuscript.

Which is a relief :)


  1. Hey Leah! Totally forgot how awesome your venetian costume was . You should see my effort for this year... maybe not as inspired as Saddam, but close!

  2. So cannot wait for Sydney and looking forward to seeing you and your costume! HUGELY good news about your Acorn win? Who was the ed!?
    PS... Have you been getting my/our emails?

  3. Oooh, Paula - can't wait to see it!!

    Rach - I'll send you an email :)

  4. Hooray - congrats on your win!!!

    Looking forward to seeing you in Sydney :)

  5. That is fantastic news Leah! Congratulations!!
    Good luck iwth your costume, have a great time. I had hoped to go to the RWNZ conference this year but we really lack funds due to our landscaping so i didn't even broach the subject with my husband - hopefully next year!

  6. Congrats on your win Leah!
    Those costumes are amazing!