Hurrah - it's almost time to go to the RNA weekend conference at Penrith! This is as far north as the conference comes and it will be only my second attendance at one. The programme is excellent - interesting, informative and hopefully inspiring. And then there's the endless chatting, meeting old friends and new - and I'm especially looking forward to meeting a few blogging friends 'in the flesh' at last. See you there Paula, Jean, Talli, Debbie, and anyone else I chat with online.
Although I've mentioned the RNA New Writers' Scheme before, it's a good time to remind unpublished novelists who write any type of romantic fiction about this wonderful opportunity. First of all, don't be put off by the word 'romance' - this covers all kinds of fiction now and as long as there is some kind of romantic element in the story, it should be fine. Once you have joined the NWS, you can send in a full manuscript by the end of August each year, for which you will then receive an in-depth written critique. Excellent value for the price of the joining fee. Places are limited and interest is huge, so you would need to apply in the first few days of January. Details are on the RNA website.
As well as a valuable critique, there's always the chance your novel might go to a second read which means it's well on its way to possible publication. Some writers might not realise that Pocket Novels and other category novels are acceptable for this. In fact publication of a woman's magazine serial would gain you full membership to the RNA itself. The NWS also allows members to join the official online discussion forum of the RNA.
Meanwhile, I still have my packing to do for an early start tomorrow morning - once I decide finally what I'm taking. Our lovely, changeable weather doesn't help! But that's by the way, as I'm more excited about the workshops and people. I'll report back afterwards, if we haven't sunk under water at Penrith!