A new voice in Aussie romantic fiction!

Reading: Shakespeare’s Champion by Charlaine Harris
Listening To: the new magpie chicks in our backyard
Watching: How to Train Your Dragon

For those of you not in the know, The UK office of Harlequin has been running a “New Voices” writing contest via their RomanceIsNotDead blog.  Basically, entrants post their opening chapter, readers vote on it, and from there, they are shortlisted to a top 10 based on public votes and a panel of four judges.

There were over 800 entries.  Yeah, EIGHT HUNDRED!!!  It was an amazing feat to get down to a Top 10,  submit chapter two, THEN a Top Four (where they had to submit their pivotal scene)… then all the way down to the very last winning entry, where the author wins an iPad, an M&B editor for a year and publication.   And you know what’s even more cool?   It’s my lovely, talented friend Leah – writing as Leah Ashton – who won this awesome prize!

I met Leah a few years ago, when she was working in Sydney and was looking to join a crit group.  Me and my CP Linley were it (even though she had to drive over an hour to get to me!)  And you know, as soon as I read her stuff, I said to her, “I don’t say this to many writers but I do think you will get published.  Your writing is fun, expressive and very readable.”   I’m positive she thought I was just humouring her – she thanked me, smiled and nodded – but I tell you, I was right!

Even though Leah moved from Sydney, I get to see her at our RWA conference every year, sometimes with a new contest placing under her belt, but always so optimistic about writing.   And now, in 2011, I will get to scream and cheer when she collects her First Sale ribbon 😀   What an awesome, awesome achievement, Leah!   Now do you believe me?!


4 comments on “A new voice in Aussie romantic fiction!

  1. Awww, thanks Paula for such a lovely post 🙂

    I still miss our writing group meetings, they were so much fun. You and Linley inspired me to write, and I hadn’t forgotten your kind words about my writing – even if I didn’t always believe them 🙂

    But yes – now I believe you!


  2. LOL! See Paula knows! I was thrilled that Leah won too and not just because she’s lovely and can write the pants off a story but because she’s an Aussie. It’s sort of like the Olympics for writing and Australia won 😉

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