Monday, 11 July 2011

RNA Conference Virgin No More!

I'm coming down from my RNA Conference high!

It was my first conference, and I had this on my name badge so that everyone knew to be extra nice to me. But really, it didn't need to be there. Everyone I met were truly fabulous people. You knew you could sit yourself down and start chatting to anyone of them - well, that's what I did anyway!

The whole weekend, from start to finish, was amazing. I've met so many wonderful writers, and not taken nearly enough photographs! I've come home inspired, and a little overwhelmed.

This was my room. Having never been to university, I did feel like a fresher (is that what they're called?). I did turn the fridge off the second night because that kept me awake. I'm a woman who needs silence to sleep in! 

In the goody-bags were four free books, a large bar of Green and Blacks (yes, I'm now following!) and lots of other useful stuff. The Green and Blacks did get devoured rather quickly.

This is Vanessa Savage, who I buddied up with on Friday afternoon upon arriving. We swapped numbers and lived in the blocks next to one another, and agreed to meet for breakfast and the evenings, so that we knew we'd never have to enter a room alone. We'd send text messages like, "Ready whenever you are." Luckily, a lot of the workshops we were together in, too.

Vanessa is in the New Writers Scheme with the RNA, and has an agent. I wish her the best of luck with her book!

I was extremely fortunate to meet lots of published writers. But of my two favourites are Sue Moorcroft and Liz Fielding  - I tried not to act too stalkery around them!

Here's a lovely picture of Sue and I, as we managed to sit together for the Gala dinner. I had a wonderful time talking to Sue - thanks so much for putting up with me!

It's a bit pink, but I don't think my mobile phone helped, plus there was pink lighting.

Earlier that day, I'd sat in Liz Fielding's talk about humour and emotion. It was fascinating to see hear how Liz worked.

I've learnt so much from this whole conference my head will explode, and hoping that this can be delivered in my writing. I need to thank Jane Holland at Embrace for giving me ten minutes of her time, and showing me how to improve my first chapter of The Wedding Favour! I'll get working on that tonight.

Real special mentions to Morton Gray and Ellie Swoop - such a shame you could only come for the day. Next year, you'll have to weekend it - even if it is in Penrith! Really lovely to meet you and put faces to names at last.

And to name a few more mentions; Talli Roland, Mandy Baggot, Rachel Brimble and Alison Knight ... and so many, many more.

Oh and I never did get Rachel Lyndhurst to sign something for me.

You're all gorgeous, talented women - thank you for making my weekend special.


  1. Damn it, why can't I write romance?

    Glad you enjoyed it :)

  2. It looks like great fun. You've defnitely got me thinking of becoming a member and going next year.

  3. Ah, yes, Becky, you're a published romance author, so you might be able to join and not try to fight your way onto the New Writers Scheme. I'm not sure how it all works. But yes, you should get involved. Your genre needed more representation actually ;-) Either that, or they were all keeping quiet.

  4. (Sarah decided to add something)... What genre do you write? There must be a group somewhere! You do find that the RNA is predominately women, so we stick together and are all very supportive.

    Not sure if another group would be so good. But then I'm biased ;-P

    Actually, there was so much to learn at this conference, that it wasn't necessary to be just a romance writer. You could learn a lot about the publishing sides of things, and just being a writer of women's fiction.

  5. Yay! So nice to meet you in person! And I loved hearing about your novels (despite my slightly zombified appearance on Sunday, I *was* listening)! :)

    Hope to catch up again at the winter party!

  6. Your post reminded me of my first conference when Fiona harper and I went to everything together...we had such fun.
    Great post.

  7. Yes, I realise I didn't say much about the talks and everything - they were fab too. I think I'm just overwhelmed by the amount of friends I made. :D

  8. Lovely to meet you at last. Wish I'd booked for the whole weekend, but then I was exhausted after one day! Looking forward to the next one already! Mx

  9. Teresa in answer to your question, the first ms was SciFi, the second YA and the current is women's fiction.

    I think I'm 'exploring my options' as they say :)


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