The days are ticking by, bringing the RNA annual conference ever closer, I can't wait! With each passing year I am a member of the RNA, the more knowledge I acquire and the more friends I make. I have been a part of this wonderful organisation for seven years now (with a two year absence in between) and since then the confidence in my writing as well as personally has increased ten fold.
Last year was my first conference and I was SO nervous, it was bordering on the ridiculous! But this year, I feel entirely different about it. I am looking forward to meeting the many, many new friends I have made online through Twitter & Facebook as well as catching up with old ones (as in existing, rather than age - although you would wonder about that if you'd read a recent article in the Daily Mail about the RNA' Summer Party! We were portrayed as the largest group of ageing, rain bonneted, support tight wearing writers in the UK).
The RNA offers a great New Writers Scheme to unpublished authors offering the opportunity for their entire manuscript to be read and critiqued by a successfully published RNA member. These critiques are in-depth, encouraging and totally worthwhile. And after you're published? The ongoing support, laughter and mutual understanding is invaluable.
The conference is a great chance to socialise but also learn a huge amount from the numerous lectures running all day every day. Agents and editors abound, walking amongst us mere mortals, daring us to step out of our comfort zone and charm the pants off them with our sparkling new story! Pants aside, these women are a great credit to the industry and our futures.
So all I have left to say is bring on the 8th July when this writer will be headed to Caerleon ready for a weekend of fun...and wine!!