The 2015 conference of the Romantic Novelists’ Association was fantastic. As it was at Queens College University, London, the city where many industry professionals are based, Friday was Industry Day.
Where else can you ask questions of agents such as Carole Blake (Blake Friedmann), Tim Bates (Pollinger), Lisa Eveleigh (Richard Beckley), Hanna Ferguson (Hardman Swainson) and Caroline Sheldon (Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency); and editors such as Kim Young, Helen Huthwaite, Martha Ashby, Kate Bradley, Anna Baggeley, Gillian Green, Jane Johnson, and many more? Also Matt Bates, fiction buyer for W H Smith Travel, Jim Azevedo of Smashwords, book bloggers, reviewers … the list went on.
Christina Courtenay and I ran a workshop titled ‘Show-and-tell versus show-don’t-tell’ on Saturday afternoon, and we were happy to get nearly 60 participants, some of whom allowed Christina to dress them in traditional Japanese costume and answer questions about how it felt to wear a kimono or geta (shoes). Thanks to everybody who took part, made it fun, wore the clothes and ate the biscuits and chocolate.
The workshops, talks and panels are only part of what goes on at a conference of course. One has to socialise a little.