Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A First Timer's View of the Conference by Jean Bull

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


Rebecca Leith said...

Lovely to read this. Wish we could do it all over again this weekend!

Anonymous said...

It was great to meet you Jean! Sx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It was a fabulous weekend and I'm so glad you made it to Penrith, Jean, as the sessions were so inspiring. It was lovely to meet up in person at last!

Bluestocking Mum said...

What a great account of a wonderful weekend, Jean. It was my first time too.

Sorry not to have met you (and Rosemary - I looked out for you but missed you :-( )

Next time...

warm wishes

R F Long said...

Platform 9 3/4, that's it exactly. A wonderful weekend away, with wonderful people, over far too soon!

Jean Bull said...

Thank you, everyone. I had such a good time meeting you, and to those I missed, as Debbie says, there is always next time!

Susan Bergen said...

I spoke to hundreds of lovely new people and still never managed to get around to everyone. Still, I did speak to you, Jean (think it was over breakfast?).

Sue Moorcroft said...

Jean, that's the best pic of me I've seen for ages. Will try and find your email and scrounge a copy.

Glad you enjoyed the conference. I loved it.
Sue x

Rachael Thomas said...

Lovely blog and great to meet you. Even if it was on the platform to go home when we were deciding which zone we needed to be in!

Drew Watts said...

What a huge event it was!! I am glad to see all these photographs. I have been going to attend such a conference next week at corporate events Chicago. Actually my brother owns an event planning firm and he got opportunity to organize this event. So he has asked me to join him in this event. Feeling excited!