Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Today we are chatting to hard working committee member, Tracy Hartshorn about our annual Summer Party that is an important date on the calendar of The Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Welcome to the blog, Tracy. Sorry for so many questions but we thought our newer members would like to know as much as possible about the Summer Party.

Where is the party to be held this year?
The Summer Party this year will be held at the Royal Overseas League, which is on Park Place, off St James’s Street, London on May 22nd. It’s a lovely venue, with a huge room perfect for networking.

What is your job as part of the team?
My role is to make sure everyone gets their tickets in good time for the event, and I’ll also be on the door on the night, welcoming everyone in. My friend and fellow committee member, Pamela Fudge, will be helping me this year.

Can members bring along family and friends?
Oh absolutely! It costs a little more for non-members (£39) but they are very welcome. And you don’t have to be with a member to attend. If you’ve ever wondered what we do at the RNA, and are considering joining us, you’re welcome to come along and meet us. We’re a nice, friendly lot and we don’t bite!

For anyone contemplating attending for the first time what can they expect?
It’s an informal affair with drinks and nibbles, where everyone, writers, editors, agents and other industry professionals, network and chat with each other.

Are there any speeches or special events during the party?
Generally the Chair will say a few words to welcome everyone, and the Summer Party sees the presentation of the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers Scheme members who have had their first book published. But generally, the emphasis is on people being able to meet and get to know each other.

What is appropriate attire for the party? Long or short? posh or plain?
Whatever you feel most comfortable in. Some use the party as an excuse to buy a new frock and dress up to the nines. Others wear smart casual. I believe there is a dress code for some parts of the club, but as far as I’m aware this doesn’t apply to the Hall of India and Pakistan.

Is there to be formal seating this year?
Not as far as I’m aware. Generally the room is set out with seats all around, with the centre clear (apart from a few side tables) so that people can stand in groups and chat.

What advice can you give for anyone attending alone and for the first time?
Don’t be nervous. There will always be someone to talk to. If you are attending alone for the first time, let me or Pamela know at the door and we will find someone to take care of you. You’ll find that once you’ve broken the ice with one person, the rest comes easy.

Will there be refreshments? If yes do we need to state vegetarian?
There will be one complimentary glass of wine or a glass of orange juice per person, after which there is a bar at which people can buy their own drinks. There will also be nibbles. There is no need to state vegetarian as we always ensure there are a good selection of vegetarian choices.  I should perhaps emphasise that the nibbles are just that. Bite-size portions. It’s a good idea to either eat before you arrive or go out for a meal afterwards.

How can we obtain tickets?
You can find the Summer Party booking form on the RNA website here: http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/activities  Alternatively I will be attending the RNA meeting in London on 15th March 2014, and bringing plenty of tickets with me, so if you’d like to save on postage, bring along your booking form and your payment and I can give you your ticket on the spot.  I will also bring Summer Party tickets along to the RNA awards ceremony at 1 Whitehall Place on Monday 17th March, so if you’re there you could get your ticket then. (Please note: I would prefer a cheque or a postal order in payment, otherwise it means me travelling home with a lot of cash, which I’d rather avoid if I can).
Thank you, Tracy for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions.

The blogging team will be attending the party so if you have a book to promote or would like to write a craft article for us please track us down have a chat.

Complied by Elaine and brought to you by the blogging team of Elaine Everest, Natalie Kleinman and Liv Thomas.

Please contact us at elaineeverest@aol.com if you wish to be featured on our blog or would like to write a craft article.

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