These are my notes from the Romance Writers of Australia 2023 conference. Please be aware that this is not a transcript.
Enisa Haines is one of the founding members of RWAus.
“I know all the secrets of RWAus!” She began with a run down of her love of romance, including discovering Mills and Boon at the age of 11, and reading all of the releases every month. She found an advertisement in the newspaper for a ‘write a romance novel’ course and joined. Later, through that group, she met Lynne Wilding who was the first President of RWAus, forming in 1991. The first conference was held at Macquarie University and around 80 people attended. Enisa’s fun fact was that her non-romance reading brother named Heart’s Talk, the monthly magazine that RWAus has released every month since 1991.
In 1996, the RWAus committee was invited to the Harlequin offices and asked, “if you could have any of our authors as a keynote speaker, who would you have?” and Enisa said “Nora Roberts.” But it was a pie in the sky dream and unlikely to happen, but two months later, Enisa got a fax…
Harlequin confirmed that Nora would like to come to Australia. Enisa screamed then sat on the floor, eventually able to get up and tell the rest of the committee. Nora Roberts spoke at the 1997 conference, and Enisa said it was one of her most precious memories, and afterwards Nora personally thanked her for organising the invitation.
Now RWAus is in it’s 32nd year and look at it. Look at the wonderful community that has been built.
“Thank you, and to all the new members, welcome.”