Monday, 25 March 2013

Writing Conference

Well, I had a great weekend at the Scottish Association of Writers conference, even though the hotel had a problem with the heating on one of the coldest, snowiest weekends of the year! They did eventually provide some industrial heaters to thaw us out, but the warmth of the writers attending ensured we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Our programme is heavily filled with competition adjudications - we anonymously enter the various competitions earlier in the year and anticipation is high as we listen to the judges criteria, opinions and results. We also receive a written critique on any work we enter. Friendly rivalry between all the represented Scottish writing groups adds to the fun, as we wait to see which group's members has the biggest number of mentions - our writing group did very well! I was stunned to come second in the Crime Novel competition as this is my first attempt at writing crime (it's set in Victorian times). We have to enter between 10,000 and 15,000 words plus a synospsis, and I've been advised to get the novel finished!

The rest of the weekend is taken up with seminars or workshops, chatting, eating and browsing the bookshop. An after dinner speaker both evenings kept us entertained until it was time to go and watch the short drama sketches or head for the bar.

I'd definitely advise all writers to try and attend at least one writing conference. Apart from the opportunity to meet other writers and discuss markets, problems, or ideas, we all continue to learn about our craft no matter how long we've been writing and getting published. And it's so inspiring talking about writing all weekend!

A few conferences I know of are: National Association of Writers' Groups, York Festival of Writing and Winchester Writing Festival. I'm sure you'll be able to find many more around the country.

If anyone likes slightly dark YA fiction that also appeals to adults, you might want to have a look at the featured YA book, Roman (Saints and Sinners) on my Flights of Imagination blog today.

Rosemary

13 comments:

joanne fox said...

It sounds a fabulous weekend, and congratulations on your success in the crime novel comp. Oh yes, you must finish that novel now!

Jean Bull said...

Well done with your crime novel, Rosemary! The conference sounded wonderful, if a little cold!

Anita Chapman said...

Congratulations on doing so well in the crime novel competition Rosemary! Sounds like a lovely conference-it's always great being able to spend time with fellow writers.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Many thanks, Joanne - I'll have to get around to it eventually!

Thanks, Jean - it was great and we began to thaw out by Saturday evening!

Thank you, Anita - that's the good part, being with other writers!

Joanna said...

Congratulations on that fantastic success with the Crime novel, Rosemary. You must be so delighted.
It sounds like a marvellous weekend and you must be inspired to finish your novel now. With the weather still bitter, there's plenty of good opportunity to tuck ourselves away and write all day!
I think you did really well to get there in the deep snow. My Scottish friend tells me that we Southerners are a bit wimpish, quaking at the first inch of the white stuff and that we should see how deep it gets in Aberdeen where they all just get on with work and travel as usual! xx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks very much, Joanna - I was genuinely stunned it was good enough! Fortunately, the hotel is nearer to my area in the west but I was full of admiration for all those who managed to get through from the north.

TracyFells said...

Well done on the Crime Novel success Rosemary, that must have topped off a great weekend. Are you going to carry on with it now?

Carolb said...

Well done on your placing with the crime novel, Rosemary- I'm sure you'll be getting on with it after all the encouragement.

Did wonder if you'd had heating after seeing the problems on the news. Glad to hear you didn't get too cold.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Many thanks, Tracy! Yes - I have something else on the go at the moment, then I hope to continue with the crime novel (at least that's the plan!)

Thanks for that, Carol - I think some attendees suffered more than others!

Vikki said...

It was a good weekend (even with the freezing temperatures!) Well done again on your 2nd place - I really want you to finish this novel and look forward to reading it. I have a good feeling about this one...

myraduffy said...

Well done,Rosemary..and yes, it was a fun weekend,if bitterly cold!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thank you, Vikki - and the same goes for yours!

Thanks, Myra!

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