RNA Conference 2015

Me and Gill-Marie Stewart settling in

Me and Gill-Marie Stewart settling in

This year’s RNA conference was held at Queen Mary University in Mile End, London, and although most of us had a bit of a struggle to get there (thanks to a tube strike), a fantastic time was had by all!  I certainly came away buzzing with ideas and enthusiastic about writing – it was fab and just what I needed!

There was so much going on, it was impossible to go to all the talks or to see/speak to everyone, but here is a short summary of the events I attended (and a couple I participated in):-

Caroline Sheldon, Hannah Ferguson, Carole Blake and Tim Bates (with Eileen Ramsay and Jan Jones behind them)

Caroline Sheldon, Hannah Ferguson, Carole Blake and Tim Bates (with Eileen Ramsay and Jan Jones behind them)

The Agents’ Panel on the Friday which was superb – brilliantly chaired by Carole Blake of Blake Friedmann, it included Caroline Sheldon(Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency), Hannah Ferguson (Hardman & Swainson), Tim Bates (Pollinger) and Lisa Eveleigh (Richford Becklow).  It’s always great to get the agents’ perspective on what is happening in publishing so this was fascinating.

Matt Bates, the lovely fiction buyer from WH Smith Travel gave a great talk about what sells and doesn’t sell in his stores.  I especially loved his insights into covers and the huge importance they have!

Sarah Broadhurst, book reviewer extraordinaire, told us about her lifelong love of books and her career – very entertaining and interesting!

Relaxing with Ann Ankers, organiser of the RNA Marcher Ladies

Relaxing with Ann Ankers, organiser of the RNA Marcher Ladies

An Editors’ Panel, chaired by Jane Johnson (who is also an author) gave more fascinating insights, and a panel of book bloggers/reviewers told us what reviewers are looking for and how to approach them.  This panel included the lovely Charlie of The Worm Hole blog, whom I’d had the pleasure of sitting next to at dinner on the first evening.  We share a love of castles!

Author Hazel Gaynor talked about promotion; Eileen Ramsay (RNA’s new chair) led a panel discussion that featured Katie Fforde, Jane Johnson and Daniel Hahn (chair of the Society of Authors); and author Ruth Long gave a fabulous talk about magic and folklore that made me want to rush home and write fantasy books!  Then Alison Baverstock taught us about marketing, Tamsyn Murray analysed three YA books to find out why they’ve been such huge successes and Kerry Fisher talked about her road to traditional publication.

Our two volunteers in 'uchikake' kimono robes

Our two volunteers in ‘uchikake’ kimono robes

I did a talk on “Show don’t tell” with the brilliant Sue Moorcroft, utilising some of the many Japanese things I’ve collected over the years and finally I was one of many who ended up on Jane Wenham-Jones‘s Sunday Sofa to discuss our quirks …  Are you exhausted reading all this?  Well, then you’ll see why I now need a week to recover from the conference 🙂  But I’m already looking forward to the next one!

Liz Fenwick looking like a princess!

Liz Fenwick looking like a princess!

... and Liz from behind

… and Liz from behind

Lucie Wheeler and Katrina Power trying on 'zori' and 'geta' (with tabi socks)

Lucie Wheeler and Katrina Power trying on ‘zori’ and ‘geta’ (with tabi socks)

Gill-Marie Stewart and Sue Moorcroft chilling

Gill-Marie Stewart and Sue Moorcroft chilling

Katrina Power (and her megawatt smile) with Carol Townend and others

Katrina Power (and her megawatt smile) with Carol Townend and others

An 18th century Jewish cemetery in the middle of the campus - interesting!

An 18th century Jewish cemetery in the middle of the campus – interesting!

All the Choc Lit authors who attended this year's conference (minues one)

All the Choc Lit authors who attended this year’s conference (minues one)

And three of the Paisley Piranhas - myself, Gill-Marie Stewart and Katy Haye

And three of the Paisley Piranhas – myself, Gill-Marie Stewart and Katy Haye

With the lovely Sue Moorcroft – my talk ‘partner’

With fellow ChocLiteer Laura E James

With fellow ChocLiteer Laura E James

Kimono

Some of the conference first-timers looked after by Katy Haye

Some of the conference first-timers looked after by Katy Haye

What happens when we have to go home ...

What happens when we have to go home …

 

7 Comments

  1. Obviously a great conference and lovely to see all the photos now – closest thing to being there!

    Comment by Angela Britnell — July 14, 2015 @ 7:07 pm

  2. Thanks Angela, I’ve added a couple more photos! Would be great if you could join us for next year’s conference 🙂 xx

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — July 14, 2015 @ 7:58 pm

  3. Great post about a wonderful conference and I did feel like a princess!! lx

    Comment by Liz Fenwick — July 15, 2015 @ 8:54 am

  4. Thank you, Liz, it really suited you! xx

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — July 15, 2015 @ 10:01 am

  5. Great to see the photos of your session (and the rest, too)! It was an excellent time, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Charlie — July 15, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

  6. Thanks, Charlie, so glad you enjoyed the conference! 🙂

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — July 15, 2015 @ 2:07 pm

  7. I was torn between two sessions and missed out on your “Show Don’t Tell” on the toss of a coin 🙁 Any chance you could do it again next year? I heard how good it was, and here’s the proof—those pics of Liz in particular are astonishing.

    Comment by Christina Hollis — July 15, 2015 @ 4:21 pm

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