This year the MRWG celebrates 25 years of camaraderie and achievement. In honour of its Silver Anniversary, today the MRWG is proud to launch its inaugural anthology of short stories by current members, Sweet and Spicy. Eighteen contemporary, historical and paranormal stories celebrating love and romance, with chilli ratings of 1 (sweet) to 5 (erotic or spicy), perfectly showcase the talents of this group of Australian writers. Sweet and Spicy is available as an e-book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Books and Smashwords.
Melbourne writers of romantic fiction formed the MRWG in November 1990, a year before Romance Writers of Australia Inc (RWAus) was established in Sydney. Never fear … it’s not a Sydney-Melbourne rivalry ‘thing’. The two organisations are proudly affiliated and work closely together, especially in those years when the RWAus Annual Conference is held in Melbourne. As the two organisations have a very different raison d’être, most members of MRWG also belong to RWAus.
MRWG is a face-to-face writing and critique group. Monthly meetings aim to provide members with emotional support, teach members their craft, motivate them to begin and finish their stories and encourage them to submit to competitions and publishers. All achievements, big and small, are celebrated.
Membership of the MRWG is limited by various practical considerations, and fluctuates between 30 and 40 writers. Yet the MRWG as a ‘training ground’ has punched above its weight of numbers in the last ten years, producing many success stories in various writing contests around the world.
In particular, MRWG members have done well in the contests run by RWAus, now an Australia-wide and international group with over 1,000 members. In the last ten years, five of the winners of the coveted RWAus Emerald Awards have been MRWG members: Melanie Scott in 2007, Carolyn Comito (aka CJ Archer) in 2008, Emmie Dark in 2011, Dorothy Bramich (aka Dora Bramden) in 2013, PJ Vye in 2015. Winners of the Valerie Parv Award have been Gabrielle Luthy in 2000, Melanie Scott in 2003, Anna Cowan in 2010 and Michelle Somers in 2013. There’s always a cheer squad of MRWG members at the annual RWAus Dinner, helping to celebrate any wins.
The wide range of sub-genres tackled by the group is indicated by the current members who are published:
- Amber Bardan, contemporary romance
- Fiona Georgiou , writing as Georgiana Louis , contemporary and historical romance
- Jennifer Lynne, short sensual and erotic romance
- Johanna Zantuck, writing as Jo Bridgewater, Regency romance
- Michelle Somers, romantic suspense
- Sarma Burdeu, writing as Andra Ashe, erotic romance
- Stefanie London, sexy contemporary romance
- Amra Pajalic, writing for children and young adults as Amra Pajalic, writing contemporary romance as Mae Archer
- Anna Cowan, Regency romance
- Carolyn Comito, writing historical romance as C J Archer and mysteries for adults and young adults as Carolyn Scott
- Charlie Kramer, romantic comedy
- Cheryl Wright, romantic suspense
- Ebony McKenna, loads of crazy romance for young adults
- Fiona Lowe, medical romances and romance fiction set in small towns
- Gail Symmonds, historical romance
- Iris Leach, mysteries with a touch of romance.
- Joan Hunt, writing as Jo James, sweet romantic suspense single titles and novellas. Sadly, Joan has also died, in December 2007.
- Joan Kilby, smart, sexy, emotional and fun contemporary romances
- Kathy George, Gothic, with strong elements of romance
- Keri Arthur, urban fantasy & paranormal
- Louise Reynolds, contemporary romance
- Margaret Tanner, historical romance
- Melanie Scott, contemporary romance &urban fantasy
- Melissa Dark, writing as Emmie Dark, contemporary romance
- Nicola Marsh, flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, spooky stories for teens
- Zelma Falkiner, sweet romantic novellas. She too has passed on, in June 2009.
Over the past 25 years the MRWG has helped many writers identify their niche as romance writers and achieve their dreams. Today we pay tribute to everyone who’s given their time, energy and generosity of spirit to that cause. May it long continue.