Our current venue is the very good Westerwood Hotel just north of Glasgow, which provides everything we could want in good food and hotel facilities, especially for a conference. A highlight on the Saturday is the delicious mini pastries and muffins provided at the morning tea/coffee break and delicate little cakes at our afternoon break!
This year, we had excellent speakers, adjudicators and workshops ranging from some of the elements necessary for short stories with Shirley Blair from The People's Friend, lots of great advice on the self-publishing business from Linda Gillard, traditional publishing and how to write a good letter to agents and publishers from Allan Guthrie, and studying story structure with Alexandra Sokoloff. This was only a selection of what was on offer in between the competition adjudications.
Needless to say, part of the pleasure of the weekend is meeting up with old friends and new from all over Scotland and we only stop talking when having to listen to the speakers! It's a wonderful way for writers to get together and we always go home inspired for another year. There is usually friendly rivalry between the writing groups to see who can win the most trophies, but everyone who enters any of the competitions receives a written critique from the relevant adjudicator. The Association is open to affiliated writing groups from anywhere in Scotland and individuals who don't have a group can join the Writers' Umbrella as a postal member. You can contact the secretary of the SAW through their website if you want details.
Maybe see you next year at the conference!