Thursday, July 18, 2013

Random Thoughts:RNA Conference 2013

The RNA Conference was held in Sheffield this year. 
Do you know it takes longer to get from Glasgow to Sheffield on the train than it does to get to London??  Don't figure.
Sheffield University was a gorgeous setting.  The accommodation was the nicest I've ever been in at an RNA conference, with 6 rooms in every flat and a large sitting area/kitchen where I can guarantee you that the world was put-to-rights on Friday and Saturday night.
I shared with some fab fellow writers - Heidi Rice, Abby Green, India Grey, Natalie Rivers and Fiona Harper.  And just for the record we are all very well behaved.  No alcohol.  No chocolate.  Ahem.

There's a lovely aura around Heidi Rice here!  We decided she must be an angel!

The conference has many purposes.  There are three options available for every session and it can be hard to choose.  Some of the stand out sessions this time included Julie Cohen on using theme to focus and deepen your work, publishers sessions from Harper Impulse, Mills and Boon, MIRA and Piatkus and a session titled 'the 16-yr-old in my head' by Imogen Howson and Ruth Long.

Scarlet Wilson with Anna Baggaley from MIRA 
And then there was the socialising.  Around 180 people attend the RNA conference and there were some people that I wanted to sit down and chat with and just never managed.  Either I couldn't find them, or I spotted them from a distance in the middle of a chat with someone else!

The lovely Liz Fenwick, Fiona Harper and Charlotte Ledger from Harper Impulse
Socialising is so much fun at the conference.  There is always someone else to speak to about writing.  There's always someone around who can tell you whatever it is you have a query about.  Within the celebrations this year was an author who has put her backlist of books up on digital platforms and hit the six figure range in income from sales!

Scarlet and Heidi 

The overall feeling from this conference was the range of options available nowadays for authors.  This is immensely different from the first conference I attended in Greenwich in 2010 when digital was still in its infancy.  But having options is a powerful message for authors.

|It's great to fun to see people you haven't seen for a whole year and learn about their news, successes and celebrations.  It also helps you look forward and plan for next year.

Celebrations this year included sales of six short stories by the lovely Brigid Coady, who used to be a columnist for Pink Heart to Harper Impulse.  Congratulations Biddy!
Brigid Coady and Liz Fenwick
There are no airs and graces at the conference.  Okay, India Grey is always very graceful, but everyone is very sociable.  Editors, publishers, authors and pre-published authors (do you like that term?  I like a positive spin on things!) all chat together at all the events.

Harper Impulse showed us the list of new authors they've signed for their digital imprint with really quick turn around times for getting their books out.  Mills and Boon showcased the six new authors they've bought in the last year for the Modern imprint, six new authors they've bought for Medicals and two new authors for the Romance/Cherish line.  All very positive news.

Before the Gala dinner with Kate Walker, India Grey and Pippa Roscoe, Mills and Boon Editor

So, after a dreadful journey home with 3 (yes, 3!) train cancellations at Edinburgh (the other thing here was after dragging all my stuff on and off 4 trains I reached Glasgow to discover I'd lost my ticket and left it one of the other 3 trains!!) I finally managed to get home.  And what did I do when I got home???  I looked up Telford on a map.  Because that's where the conference is next year!!!

And finally, something I want to leave you with.  As we left Sheffield they had signs up for the incoming conference.

The mind boggles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Awww thanks Scarlet! Was great seeing you and am so chuffed about my stories :)

  2. Chuffed for you Biddy! Hope your enjoying the US!

  3. Brilliant wrap up, scarlet! And fab photos, may have to pinch some of those, especially me and my celestial aura!