Monday, September 4, 2017

FOCUS ON: Nottingham Chapter

It isn't often we have the opportunity of welcoming an entirely new Chapter to the Blog but Clare Harvey and Katie Ellisdon have got together and will be holding their first meeting on 15th September. If you're local why not go along and support them. Clare tells us here how it all came about.

It’s really exciting that you’re starting a new RNA Chapter in Nottingham. Are you and Katie Ellisdon long-standing friends or is it just a lucky accident and what prompted you to take this step?
Katie and I have known each other for ages, although we only discovered we were both closet writers a couple of years ago.
We used to live opposite each other on Chetwynd Barracks in Nottingham back in 2007, when our
Katie Ellisdon and Clare Harvey
children were toddlers (Katie has two daughters, and I have a son and twin girls – all our children are now at secondary school). Those were manic days when both our soldier husbands were being sent all over the place (Iraq, Afghanistan, Kenya, etc. etc.) as they were both technical engineering officers. Being de facto single parents, living opposite each other with kids the same age, we were in and out of each other’s houses all the time. Then my family were posted to Nepal, and hers to Northern Ireland, and we didn’t see each other for a few years, until we both ended up posted back to Chetwynd Barracks, and living on the same street yet again.
Neither of us realised that in the interim we had both been busily scribbling away, and dreaming of becoming authors.
I took an MA in creative writing at the University of Nottingham in 2011/12 and Katie was a huge help with after-school childcare on the afternoons when I couldn’t make it home from uni in time to meet the kids from school, but she was very secretive about her own writing, and didn’t tell me until I was lucky enough to get a publishing deal in 2014. I think my response was something along the lines of ‘I always knew there was a reason why I liked you so much, it’s because you’re a writer too!’ Katie is now a member of the New Writers Scheme.

Have you planned a regular meeting place yet and do you mean to have lunch, high tea or just morning coffee? We’d love to hear about where and how often you hope to meet.
Lady Jayne's Vintage Tea Room
Our group started as an excuse for Katie and I to get together (as neither of us live on the army camp any more, we hardly ever see each other), but we’ve also just discovered that the RNA’s lovely Imogen Howsen is local, too, so there’ll be three of us.
The meetings are on the third Friday of the month at 2pm at Lady Jayne’s vintage tea room at the Toton Lane tram stop in Nottingham. It’s a sweet little tea room where everything is homemade and yummy. From Nottingham city, you just need to hop on a tram and go to the end of the line at Toton Lane. From outside the city, it’s just off the A52 by the Bardill’s roundabout and follow signs to tram stop – there’s loads of free parking.

Do you anticipate your chapter will be open to non-members of the RNA?
To begin with the group is just for RNA members, but that could change, depending on what the group feels will work best.

Do you have any particular aims in mind?
The aim of the group is really just to meet up informally with other like-minded writers for a cuppa and a chat (and possibly a nice slice of homemade cake…).

Are you planning to have a Nottingham Chapter website or Twitter account, and can you please give our readers a link to your Facebook page.
I will add new members to a dedicated WhatsApp group, but have no plans to develop a website or social media presence at the moment, as we’re starting so small.

Who is the contact for new members?
Clare Harvey or call me on 07751546954 or tweet/DM @ClareHarveyauth

And then there were three! Lovely that Immi is joining up. We all look forward to seeing how your group develops and wish you the very best of success with your new venture. Thanks so much for joining us.

About Natalie:
Natalie Kleinman writes contemporary and historical romantic novels. Her latest Escape to the Cotswoldsis set in the beautiful English countryside and was published by HarperCollins HQ Digital in June 2017.

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Gabrielle said...

Best of luck with the group. Loving the vintage tea rooms!

Gabrielle Mullarkey x

Lizzie Lamb said...

The Leicester Chapter started small but now we have 59 members. Most (but not all) are in the RNA - full, indie and NWS. I would live to join up with you at some point as a visitor (and I've never been in a tram). Good luck with your Endeavour.

Lynda Dunwell said...

Very best wishes with your new Chapter, as Lizzie said Leicester Belles started small and Birmingham did too, I attend both as often as I can and love the companionship, news and networking opportunities both Chapters provide. Onward and upwards girls, it' s the way to go. Good luck.

Caroline Bell Foster said...

So exciting to have another Chapter and one on my doorstep too!

Clare said...

We have seven members and a Facebook page, now:

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