Friday, July 20, 2012

First Time Attendee Impression – Sue Fortin, NWS, One Ninth of The Romaniacs

Why hadn’t I been before?

Last year I joined the RNA under the New Writers’ Scheme and although I was kept up to date with what was happening via newsletters and Twitter, I didn’t feel totally connected. I was new to the RNA, I was new to Twitter and despite everyone being very welcoming and friendly, it was still only through social networking and I didn’t have that belonging feeling.  So when it came to book for conference last year, well, I didn’t. I mean, I wouldn’t know anyone, would I? Everyone else would know everyone else and I’d be there on my own.  I enjoy meeting people but it’s not in my nature to randomly strike up a conversation with someone I don’t know, so I didn’t go.

What changed my mind?

Afterwards when I saw everyone’s tweets, read the blogs and saw all the photos, it sounded and looked like everyone had great fun and I did wish that I had been brave enough to go. When I was on a workshop run by Sarah Duncan, both she and another writer said how warm and welcoming the RNA Conference would be and that I really should consider it for 2012.

So this year, with the back-up of my fellow Romaniacs, I took the plunge and booked my place for Penrith. 

Even before the weekend, I was made to feel very welcome, firstly, by Jan Jones through reassuring e-mails and, secondly, by the e-mails that circulated for First Time Attendees. It was comforting to know that there were actually many others in the same position.

So, what did I think of the Conference?


All the talks I attended were brilliant. I can’t thank the speakers enough for the hard work and effort they had clearly put into their presentations – the advice invaluable.  Talli Roland’s talk was excellent, lots of tips for getting internet savvy. Nell Dixon’s talk was equally beneficially – the dreaded editing process, which now I perhaps won’t fear quite so much.  What can I say about Jane Wenham-Jones’ 9 a.m. Sunday morning slot? Laughter is certainly the best medicine for a slightly fragile head.

I had two 1-2-1 appointments with editors, which although daunting, turned out to be very relaxed affairs yet still maintaining a professional air.  Something else I worried far too much about.

Not only did the talks and presentations all live up to and beyond my expectations, but the social side was brilliant too. It was lovely to see so many people I had met in the past year at the RNA winter and summer parties, plus friends I had made through Twitter and Facebook.  The whole conference had a lovely re-union feel about it. 

What did I get out of Conference?

1.       Excellent advice
2.       Opportunity of 1-2-1 meetings with editors
3.       Friendship
4.       New laughter lines

Will I go again?

Most definitely.


Jan Jones said...

There, see? I said you had nothing to worry about :)

Catherine Miller said...

Great summary of the weekend, Sue. The RNA is so welcoming, it's a great opportunity for newcomers to meet other like-minded people.

Jan Brigden said...

Great post, Sue. I've yet to attend a conference and you've definitely made me want to go next year. I've always found any RNA event and anyone connected with the association so welcoming and encouraging. So pleased you had a fab time x

Nell Dixon said...

Glad you enjoyed the talk. Conference is always fab, always great company and lots of laughter.

Laura E. James said...

Great account, Sue. It was a fantastic few days and I'm already saving for next year :-) x

Anonymous said...

It was great to see you there, Sue! Glad you had a good time. Hurrah for the RNA!

Unknown said...

Thank you Jan, you were of course right!

Catherine, definitely a great place for the like minded, in more ways than one :0)

Jan, I've already told you, next year we are kidnapping you and taking you with us, no matter what!

Nell, thanks for a great talk, I am definitely going to be referring to your tips.

Laura, I think we should have a kitty for next year.

Juliet, most definitely Hurrah for the RNA!


Janice said...

Hi Sue! It was so great to meet up with you at the conference and such fun to meet your fellow maniacs, oops sorry, Romaniacs. :)

Yes, hurrah for the RNA!

Janice xx

Unknown said...

Thank you Janice, it was great to see you too. Yes, I'm afraid my fellow Romaniacs are just that, maniacs. Don't forget the invite to our kitchen next year.


Linn B Halton and Lucy Coleman said...

Now I've heard the stories ... it's a 'wish I was there' scenario ten times over! I'll be there next year ....

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It was only my second conference, Sue, and I loved every minute. It's so inspiring, isn't it - the talks, the chat, meeting new writers!

Anonymous said...

That's wonderful! So glad you went and enjoyed it.