Wednesday, October 26, 2016


We welcome Jean Fullerton with this month’s edition of Focus on RNA Chapters.

It gives me great pleasure to feature one of our long-established Chapters of the RNA blog and I'm very grateful to Sheila Daglish for taking the time to tells us about the North Devon Group.

'Small and (almost) beautiful' possibly best describes our North Devon Chapter as we gather for coffee, cake, and a two-hour working session in the spacious and pleasant cafeteria at St. John's
Garden Centre, Barnstaple. We meet approximately every six weeks, although winter dates are flexible since our (currently seven) members must tackle ninety-minute drives across Exmoor, Dartmoor or sometimes-stormy coastal roads.

Our Chapter was formed about ten years ago and we welcome new members, whether or not RNA, because fresh ideas and experiences are always appreciated. We agree and are reassured by the fact that, for all of us, holiday weeks, home demands and crises are inevitable, sometimes rendering a daily writing routine impossible. Family life is so often at the core of what we write anyway and, importantly, we know that, whether actively writing or not, all our members make a valued contribution to discussions around the table.

The last few months have brought successes and new adventures. Patricia Fawcett attended the Writers' Summer School at Swanwick in August, brought us news of current short story writing requirements and has plenty of ideas for these - a temporary change from her regular novels. In the summer she gave a talk at Buckland Abbey, one-time home of Sir Francis Drake, where her audience particularly liked the supporting visual aids she used. Frances Evesham's first two Exham mysteries can now be obtained in paperback, and she reports that internet sales of her other books are doing well. At Ilminster Literary Festival she presented a talk on her other love -
Victorian fiction.

Amanda Robinson is writing regularly, an erotic romance which now needs to be finally pulled together. Anne Holman is working on a Regency tale, having had previous success in this genre, and was happy to see 'The Art of Love', her 24th pocket novel, published in July, hopefully also in Large Print. A further pocket novel is currently awaiting a result - preferably acceptance! Lucy Alexander, our newest recruit, attended the RNA Lancaster Conference and, after a one-to-one session with a M&B editor, was asked to submit the next two chapters of her medical romance. An autumn writing course with Kate Walker at Swanwick should help with the final polish. There's one last success for our Chapter to record and that's Sheila Daglish's 'Dangerous Waters' - a My Weekly pocket novel published in May, and accepted for Large Print.

Our North Devon location and cafeteria venue mean that we can't realistically invite guest speakers but, between meetings, through e-mails we always have someone ready to offer encouragement, sympathy, ideas or opinions. Our Chapter does not have a website, nor has it ventured onto Facebook or Twitter, although individual members often find these useful.

For 2017 we plan more of our well-tried recipe - friendly, supportive meetings, always receptive to new trends and movement in the publishing and self-publishing worlds. 'Small and (almost) beautiful', as you'll see from the above success stories, is a concept that seems to work!

Contact for North Devon Chapter is:
Sheila Daglish, 01271 850006.
E-mail: themalthouse94@

Thank you so much, Sheila, for that comprehensive overview of the North Devon Chapter.

Jean x

About Jean: 
Jean was born in East End of London and spent all her career as a district nurse in East London but is now a full-time writer. Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie, is her current release. Her next novel Pocketful of Dreams, set in the turbulent years of WW2, is due for release in June 2017 and is the first in next East London series. 
Her first series with Orion Fiction was set in the Victorian period after which she jumped forward to post-war East London.

She is a proud graduate from the NWS and passionate about the local chapters, which is why she has taken on the role of Chapters Liaison. 

Thank you to Jean and Sheila for this month’s blog contribution. 

If members would like to be featured on the RNA blog please contact the team on

1 comment:

Rosemary Morris said...

Writers spend so much time working on their laptops or computers that a group such as yours is beyond price. Meeting other authors, chatting and sharing 'writerly' experience is very worthwhile.

Rosemary Rach
Writing as Rosemary Morris
Multi-Published Historical Novelist