Friday, July 11, 2008

Late As Usual: RNA Conference, Good News and Publicists

Yes I know it has almost taken a week for me to post about the RNA weekend but I have been in recovery! Oh and I was too excited from events that happened over the weekend and also that it turns out I am on Keith Urban's publicist's email list!! This meant I had my Keith Urban/Nicole Kidman at the same time as all the rest of the media! I felt very... erm... very something.

And so to the conference which was amazing. It was as if every seminar/workshop I went to was specifically chosen because I needed it. NOW! It was also fantastic because I got to spend time with my favourite sort of people in the world... romance writers.

So a quick summary of the high points. I had my chat with the M&B editor, basically I need to 'alphatize' Jack from Dream Date and make either Jo or Lucas less angsty in The Artist and The Ugly Duckling. Hmmm this has led to me rethinking ALL my revisions for Dream Date. Luckily the lovely Fiona Harper was on hand to give me the new motivation I needed for Jack that would 'alphatize' him! YAY! So I have started on that... it seems to be working.

I went to 'Grabbing The Editors Attention' workshop. A few issues were had with the comments on synopses but I had good feedback on the first two sentences of 'The Artist and The Ugly Duckling' and also on the story. As you can imagine I was already in a 'Go Me!' mood.

I didn't get the chance to see Anna Louise Lucia's workshop but I hear it was good (I was her tech support during setting up).

Many many great workshops but my mind is now blank! Julie Cohen came up for dinner on the Saturday which was great as it meant both she and Anna were there when a very nice thing happened. And as they were instrumental in this very nice thing that was good!

You see I entered the Elizabeth Goudge Trophy this year, I blogged about working on the entry awhile ago. I loved writing it, so much fun. Anna and Julie very kindly critiqued it (and Julie fixed my punctuation! Supposedly I am improving.) Anyway near the end of dinner on Saturday, Catherine Jones announced the shortlist of six. All I could hope for was being one of those six. I had my fingers crossed and when 'Bah Humbug!' and my name was said at shortlist number five I was over the moon! I stood up grinning... who cares about the rest... I made the shortlist!!

A few minutes later the three finalists were announced (Catherine later told me with only a mark difference between the three of us!) and I was third!! I do believe I might have squealed and started saying 'I can write! I can write!' OK yes I had had a tad too much wine. Then the second place was announced (name escapes me but she was very happy) and then Imogen Howson, who was at the end of my table, won!! She was crying when she got up there and it was her first conference! It was lovely.

I then spent the rest of the night... ok weekend... ok all week... being unbearably happy! Much champagne was consumed and I had a lovely chat with Anne Ashurst (who judged it with Catherine) who has given me a plan for what to do with it. All I can say is watch this space.

Sunday was a day for recovery and more great workshops including Julie Cohen's on pacing. I missed Katie Fforde's and Kate Harrison's workshops (curses) as I had to get back. Grrrrr.

So next year it will be Penrith again. I can't wait. Maybe just maybe I'll have some good news and announcement to make when I'm there.


liz fenwick said...

It was such a good conference and it is YOUR year!! Remember we have a race on to see you finishes the revisions first :-)

Anna Lucia said...

GO BIDDY!!! It was a great conference - fantastic! :-D

So proud to have read Bah Humbug before it went in... now I can say, "I remember when..."

Nell said...

It was so cool and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!