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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.

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Monday, 13 July 2009
The RNA conference is always special. This year's, held in Penrith, was extra special. The buzz is unbelievable, the support, comradeship, excitement, optimism, purpose and fun to be had there seems to increase each year. It's a time for meeting old friends and a time for making new ones. There us such generosity of time and help given by those who are published to those who are, as yet, unpublished. To my mind anyone who writes novels even if there is only a smidgen of romance in them, and they are not members of the RNA, well, they need their heads examined. The lectures I attended this year, were, as always interesting, up to the minute and valuable. After writing as many books as I have, I am still learning and this conference I learnt a lot more. The one regret was that I couldn't go to them all. These days writers have to promote themselves far more than they used to since publishers concentrate on a few stars and the mid-list are left very much to their own devices. It's hard for some to do and how to set about it is a maze, but Freda Lightfoot gave us such logical and sensible advice. Hugo Summerson made sure we know how to speak in public, it was fascinating and what energy the man has. Veronica Henry, so successful an author, yet so modest – an adorable woman who made me want to rush out and buy her books. And Moira Briggs telling us about the literary blog Vulpes Libris was riveting. I particularly enjoyed Kathy Gale who helped us know what publishers want, which is a bit like unravelling the Rosetta Stone. I couldn't agree with everything that the author panel on writing said. And once or twice had to stop myself from standing up and yelling “You're wrong!” But all that proves is that there are no rules to writing, that each of us do it in a different way, that nothing is written in the runes. So, just as well I didn't! Now to unwind and get back to work. There lies the greatest gift from attending an RNA conference one returns home inspired and confident that anything is possible and with an eagerness to get back to writing. .

6 comments:

  1. Hi Annie. So pleased you said you didn't agree with everything. I've often been seen muttering into my beard at the conference!

    It does sound as if it was even more special than usual. And I MISSED IT!
    xxx

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  2. Hi Annie. That was a great 'Scottish' kitchen party we had - and it was wonderful to meet you and Billy!x

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  3. What a perfect sum up of the conference.
    lx

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  4. I'm so jealous of you all! Perhaps I'll make Eltham. Thanks for blogging this, Annie.

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  5. Annie, yes thanks for posting - I enjoyed reading your account of Penrith wish I could have made it too!
    xxx

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  6. Hello Anita, I found you via the RNA blog and thought I'd just say how interesting and useful (and also quite fun) this conference sounds. I must find out more about it and what you have to join to attend.
    Jane Gray

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