Member Login

with Amal Awad, Michelle Douglas and Natalie Murray

Romance novels are experiencing a surge in sales, with tales of love and passion topping the charts as the highest-earning fiction genre. But what makes romance so exciting?

Explore the steamy world of romance novels with us on the evening of February 28 as we sit down with three esteemed authors—Amal Awad, author of uplit romcom, Courting Samira (Pantera Press), Michelle Douglas, author of Waking Up Married to the Billionaire (Harlequin Mills and Boon), and Natalie Murray, author of recently released Love, Just In (Allen & Unwin). Each author offers a distinct flavour of storytelling—from the charm of a heroine who has never been kissed to the hot and spicy pages of Harlequin Mills and Boon.

We’ll discuss the evolving landscape of romance literature, sex on the page (the chilli scale), the rise and rise of #BookTok, indie or trad publishing and uncover the secrets of crafting compelling love stories.

Let the romance adventures begin!


This event is hybrid event: both in-person and online options are available.

Wednesday 28 February 2023
6.30pm for a 7pm start
The Edwards
148 Parry St, Newcastle West

For those joining us online, a zoom link will be forwarded to you the morning of the event.


Members: $20 (Join the Hunter Writers’ Centre)
Non-members $35
Zoom: $20


Amal is a writer, director and performer. As a journalist, she has contributed to such publications as The Guardian, ELLE and Frankie, and has produced and presented for ABC Radio National. Amal is the author of eight books, which include both fiction and non-fiction titles. Her latest novel, Bitter & Sweet, was released last year and her first novel, Courting Samira, also had its US/UK release in 2023.


Michelle is an award-winning author who has been writing for iconic romance publisher Harlequin Mills & Boon since 2007. In 2019 she completed a Creative Writing PhD in Popular Romance and Feminism. Her books have been translated into more than twenty different languages, she’s sold in excess of two million copies of her books worldwide, and is currently working on Book 41. She’s a sucker for happy endings, heroines who have a secret stash of chocolate, and heroes who know how to laugh. She lives in Newcastle with her own romantic hero, a house full of dust and books, and an eclectic collection of 60s and 70s vinyl.


Natalie Murray’s debut contemporary romance, LOVE, JUST IN, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2024, and her indie-published time travel romance series, EMMIE AND THE TUDOR KING, is currently in development for television. Natalie grew up in Sydney, lived in Hong Kong for ten years, and now calls Newcastle home.