Since Rebecca Crowley’s off jet-setting at the moment (as you read this, she’s probably stuck in either a plane, a train, or an automobile) she has kindly let me take over her usual monthly spot.
My name is Romy Sommer and I’m the Chairperson of ROSA – Romance writers Organisation of South Africa. You’ll be excused for not having heard of us. The organisation was only registered as a non-profit last year, so we’re still very new.
Next month ROSA hosts its second annual conference – in a picturesque little university town called Stellenbosch, which lies in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Since romance writers run on a fuel of coffee, chocolate and wine, what venue could be more perfect?!
The conference kicks off with an informal wine tasting at the Romond Vineyard, known for its award-winning reds:
Then the serious business gets underway: two jam-packed days of guest speakers and workshops, pitches (via Skype) to editors from five international romance publishers and three literary agents (one from the UK and two in the US), and of course the all important business of drinking wine while chatting to other romance authors.
Our guest speakers include authors published by Harlequin (Joss Wood), HarperCollins (me and paranormal author Rae Rivers), a number of Afrikaans authors including Elsa Winckler who is published in both English and Afrikaans, and our very own Deputy Chairperson, Rebecca Crowley, who charmed us all at last year’s conference with her engaging talk on ‘Standing out from the slush pile’. I can’t wait to hear this year’s talk!
And this is the view we’ll have from the conference rooms at the Devon Valley Hotel, which lies amid the vineyards of its own working wine farm:
Have we whet your appetite yet?
The ROSA conference takes place every September, alternating between Johannesburg and the Western Cape. So if you’ve ever fancied a trip to the bottom-most tip of Africa, make this your excuse and come visit. We’ll even supply the wine!
To find out more about ROSA and its conference, please visit our website at www.romancewriters.co.za.