The board said Platform 3b - Glasgow Central, calling at Penrith. Penrith! The RNA Conference! I felt as if I’d been thrust through the wall to Platform 9¾!
I’d only decided to go last month; an online RNA friend, Rosemary Gemmell, had asked me if I was, and I thought why not, at least I’d know someone, but now I wasn’t so sure. I needn’t have worried though. Jan Jones welcomed me with a big smile, and handed me my name badge with First Conference on it so everyone would make me even more at ease.
However, it was scary entering the room full of writers, talking as if they’d known each other all their lives. The noise was phenomenal! I recognised some names because I’d read their books and their knowledgeable emails on romna. Help! But then I spotted Rosemary, and I was soon part of the crowd. That evening, I met up with some other first timers; Anna Scamans had sent out an email to all the newcomers so we could get in touch in advance.
The Gala Dinner was the highlight with everyone dressing in fabulous clothes, and unbelievable shoes, and I believe that some even partied on into the small hours!
The sessions were inspiring with people like Nell Dixon and Henriette Gyland, to name just two, who were equally happy to share our table at mealtimes. And I came away fired up to write this blog, enter a partial manuscript for the NWS this year, and get my novel finished!
All too soon we were ferried to the station in taxis, like the end of term at Hogwarts, sorry our short time at the conference was over and looking forward to next year in Sheffield. Thank you to everyone who made it such a success.
Jean's Gipsy Moth available on Amazon Kindle