Tuesday, August 25, 2015

FOCUS ON: Leicester Chapter

This month Lizzie Lamb gives us an insight into the Leicester Chapter and how it functions.

To begin with perhaps you could tell us a bit about your Chapter
The Belmont Belles has been running in its present form for about five years. We usually meet once a month but break in July and August.

Do you have a regular meeting place?
The Belmont Hotel, Leicester – hence the name.

How many members attend your meetings?
We have about thirty five ‘on the books’ and usually about 20 attend. Our meetings usually include a meal. The hotel serves full meals and bar snacks, so members can order what they want from the bar and a waiter brings it to the table.  

That sounds like an ideal way to enjoy a meeting. Is your chapter open to non-members of the RNA?
Yes, some of our best attendees do not belong to the RNA (working hard on them, though). Our meeting usually run from 12 noon until about 3pm

Can you give an outline of speakers/guests you’ve had in the past year?
Our meetings tend to be pretty informal and give writers a chance to get out and unwind. Although the ever lovely Carole Matthews was our guest for lunch and gave us a fabulous uplifting talk.

They've been busy, haven't they!
We have our October workshop, organised in-house - ‘Readers, where to find them and how to keep them!’ We may have some other speakers if time allows, but we like to keep things open ended and fluid.

What would you say makes your chapter of the RNA so special?
Everyone in the chapter, whether full member, NWS, associate, traditionally published or indie author all want to write and sell books, grow their readership, celebrate each other’s successes and take their writing to the highest level. We are all firm friends and every time we meet it’s like a class reunion.  

That sounds just like we would all like our meetings to be. Does your chapter have a website, Facebook page or Twitter account?
We have a ‘secret Facebook page’ where members can post anything they like about their writing, ask for help and generally keep in touch. Any new members who join the chapter would be added to this page.

Finally, could you tell us who prospective new members should contact?
Lizzie Lamb – cyberlambo@hotmail.com 0116 2217468
June Kearns – junekearns2@gmail.com

It’s always nice to hear about our close-knit groups who represent so much of the ethos of the RNA. Thank you for joining us.

http://tinyurl.com/SOTR2015 Lizzie Lamb’s recently published book, Scotch on the Rocks

The RNA blog is brought to you by 
Elaine Everest & Natalie Kleinman

If you would like to write for the RNA blog please contact us on elaineeverest@aol.com


Lizzie Lamb said...

Many thanks for featuring the Belmont Belles on the blog today, Elaine. As I said, we've broken up for the hols ATM, but I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone on our workshop on October 2nd.

June Kearns said...

Lovely post - it gives a real flavour of our meetings. We do have a great time. There's always a buzz!

Sue Moorcroft said...

It is a lovely post. It's a lovely group - really dynamic yet friendly. I can't always get to the monthly meetings but I'm looking forward to being part of the Writers' Day on 2 October.

Unknown said...

As a new member of the group, I can't thank Lizzie and the rest of the gang enough for making me feel so welcome. I've only managed to attend one meeting this year, but the October workshop is in my diary and I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone again.

Unknown said...

A lovely post. It's a great group of friendly and talented writers. I'm proud to be a member of the Leicester Chapter. Looking forward to seeing everyone in October at the workshop. x

Katherine Garbera said...

Lovely post. I want to add that when I moved to the UK the Belmont Belles welcomed me and really made me feel a part of the writing community. So glad they are my local group. I'm looking forward to the workshop in October. :)

Unknown said...

It is a terrific group, everyone is so friendly. I love being amongst so many wonderfully romantic authors at one time! I am an associate member of the RNA as I don't actually write, but work with authors. I really enjoy the meetings and am always on hand to answer any questions the members may have. I am looking forward to speaking again at the Writers' Day in October.

Anonymous said...

A great post that really put across the friendly relaxed atmosphere of our Leicester Chapter meetings. The Belmont Hotel is the perfect setting and when so many romantic novelists get together we can become quite a lively bunch with lots of laughter and chat. Thanks to Lizzie for keeping her class in order!

Alex Gutteridge said...

I feel so lucky to be part of this group and to have been made to feel so welcome. I always come away feeling inspired by all the wonderful, dedicated writers and supported by a group of firm friends. Every writer should have access to a group like this.

Caroline Bell Foster said...

So proud to be part of such an amazing group. I live in Nottingham, so nip across to Leicester on the train. I can guarantee after our meal, chitchats and general catch up, that I’ll come away inspired and ready to write. This is such a strong writing group and one I cherish.

Lizzie Lamb said...

Last time when I went to the Belmont to arrange our workshop, our usual Barman served me with a bottle of water. When I sent the letter to him he said : ' I didn't realise it was you, you usually have a gin and tonic!' Cheeky blighter. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous group, and blo, I am greatly chuffed and proud to be a Belmont Belle. Love the writer-ly chat and tips gleaned from other members.
Posting as Anonymous - if I can prove I'm not a robot, because Wordpress keeps telling me I don't own my identity. I am Mags Cullingford.

Unknown said...

I think I'll have to move to Leicester, I'd love to become a Belmont Belle.