Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Events, Blogs With Conference Reports and A First Time Attendee's View


Summer Fiction Panel at Waterstones Notting Hill
Summer's here and before you jet off for your holidays, pop down and meet Judy Astley and Victoria Connelly, hear about their latest books and perhaps pick yourself up a beach read for your trip.

Thursday, July 16, 2009
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Notting Hill Gate
Tickets £3 redeamable against book purchases

Victoria will also be appearing at:

- A signing in Waterstones in the Chimes in Uxbridge this Saturday 11am - 2pm.
-A talk at Waterstones in Tunbridge Wells on Friday 31st July 7 - 8pm (£3 redeemable again)
-A signing in Jarrolds, Norwich on Thursday 6th August at 6pm(ticketed but free)

To date these are the blogs that are sharing their experience of the RNA Penrith Conference:
Liz Fenwick
Anita Burgh
Janet Gover
Sue Moorcroft
Jen Black
Nell Dixon
Anna Louise Lucia
Monica Fairview
Pink Heart Society
Victoria Connelly - publisher's blog her blog
Saskia Walker
Nina Harrington
Carol Townend
Imogen Howson
Susan Rix
Kate Nash
Lynne Connolly

This list will be update as further reports come in. Now for a report from a first time conference attendee Beth Elliott

A first-timer’s impressions.

I admit to a few butterflies as I walked from the car to Reception. It seemed that everyone else knew everyone else. Groups of people appeared and disappeared in the warren of student accommodation blocks. I overheard murmurs of ‘in the bar’ and ‘the naughty kitchen’. Was I going to be a forlorn outsider?

Then I reached Jan and Roger, seated at their table, beaming a welcome and handing out keys and goody bags. And other RNA committee members were standing around, ready to chat. The warmth of these first ten minutes was most encouraging. Feeling that I might survive, I set off to find my room.

Installed but still a little uncertain, I hurried to the Welcome session. By the time Katie and Jan had greeted us, the atmosphere was bright and lively. Everyone was friendly, everyone had time to talk to anyone else. Whatever your ranking, from beginner to the published author of many years’ standing, they all understood the ups and downs of a writer’s life.

The range of subjects on offer was wonderful. Whether it was Annie Burgh talking about how to impress the Publishers with our presentation, Freda Lightfoot showing us methods of publicising ourselves, or Jodi Thomas warning us that writing does not get any easier, we drank in every word. We all wished we could have been at all the talks. However, at the tea breaks, we shared what we had just learned. Shy? Nobody had time to be shy.

No wonder the volume of conversation was deafening at each pause. No wonder that mealtimes were a bustle of exchanging ideas, asking advice, making yet more friends. After the sparkly Saturday evening meal and the Elizabeth Goudge Prize presentation, groups formed in the bar and later in the kitchens. People passing by would see a party, tap on the window and join the squeeze round the table. Wine flowed and conversations ranged over vast areas. Usually we all write but for three days we all talked. It did us good.

We ended with Liz Bailey’s energetic session on charisma. She sent us back into the big wide world laughing, full of confidence and renewed enthusiasm for our Wips. The only regret was that the conference was over so quickly … but already I’m looking forward to the next one.

Beth's latest book IN ALL HONOUR, is available from Robert Hale.
The one man Sarah Davenport could ever love, handsome Major Greg Thatcham, seems to be unofficially engaged to her best friend. This means she must avoid him before her willpower evaporates. Sarah’s brother has lost his entire fortune to the sinister Lord Percival, who implies he will accept Sarah in lieu of the debt.

No comments: