Yesterday I attended the Love Writing Manchester Conference hosted by the Anthony Burgess Foundation and Hera Books, celebrating romance fiction and 60 years of the RNA.
It was a small gathering, which made it easy to mingle and chat, with guest authors who encouraged audience participation and weren’t afraid to tackle questions. As someone returning to writing, and interested in RNA membership, I had a lot of questions and concerns, all of which were allayed. I also had a great chat with RNA Chair Alison May, who encouraged me to check if I was eligible for membership. She also mentioned that non-members were still very welcome to events, including the annual conference.
Other speakers were romantic comedy author Jeevani Charika (also writing as Rhoda Baxter), gay romance author Liam Livings, women’s fiction author Debbie Johnson, author Catherine Wilcox, and a panel from publisher Hera Books.
Catherine’s talk, on troubleshooting for romance authors, was brilliant and really funny. I made copious notes to go through when I hit the editing stage of THE AMMONITE AFFAIR. The tip about starting your story as close to the end as possible was very different, and a great way to put it.
The Manchester School of Writing had held a One Thousand Word Meet Cute competition. I sent in a snippet of the novella, but didn’t make the shortlist. I was a bit disappointed, but don’t regret trying. It is a shame that the winning piece isn’t available to read as I’d like to analyse it.
This little quibble aside, I was glad I attended and I’m really excited about joining the RNA and being more involved.