Thursday, 17 July 2014

Happy Times at Harper Adams: RNA Conference 2014

One of the best parts of attending an RNA conference is the chance to meet new people. So far, I have always travelled alone and I always feel a mixture of fear and excitement at the prospect!
I needn't have worried though, because here are some of my friendly flatmates: Natalie Klenman, Elaine Everest, Elaine Roberts and Francesca Capaldi who all made me very welcome. There was also Melanie Heard-White who I met on the first afternoon and who decided to come with me to the first  session. It's always better than walking alone into a room where everyone seems to know everyone else, and you don't! We all spent sometime together at the Friday Night Drinks Party.

Here are some other friendly ladies at the Gala Dinner: Sally Quilford, who I knew from her column in Writers' Forum, Charlotte McFall, and Amanda Ward and her mother-in-law.
I also talked to Liz Harris, Jude Roust and Jules Wake who I know from the famous Ox Lunch, and people that I'd met at previous conferences like Deborah Swift and Jan Preston and online  writing friends like Rosemary Gemmell.

I enjoyed all the sessions I went to, including those by Janet Gover on making location another character in your novel, and Jean Fullerton on plotting using Pride and Prejudice as an illustration. Such entertaining and memorable speakers! However, the most entertaining was the talk by Jane Lovering and Rhoda Baxter on 'Writing Funny'. They made perfect foils for each other, with Jane taking the comedy role in her black onesie with penguin feet. Something to do with 'juxtaposition of thingamy', but their message was to have fun and enjoy what you're writing.

Even on the way home, I met some new friends waiting for the train to Birmingham: Gail Mallin and Jen Gilroy, and we talked as we'd known each other for years!
All in all, I had a very happy time!
Thanks to Jan, Roger and Jenny for all their hard work!


  1. It was a great conference, Jean, and so nice to meet you again! It was so full on, though, it's taken me all week to catch up on sleep and information. Roll on next year.

  2. Sounds like a great weekend, Jean. I know my Mum really enjoyed it too!