Longtime regular readers will know that I'm not the world's best at writing these. Other bloggers do a far better job when it comes to detailing workshops and who had the best shoes, but here goes!
I made it to Penrith on the sardine special - aka Virgin Trains - too many people for not enough train. I shared a cab from the station with three other lovely novellists including fabulous new Little Black Dress author and recent winner of the Joan Hessayon prize, Allie Spencer.
The campus at newton Rigg is in a gorgeous spot and the staff there are lovely. The food however and my room were another story but at any conference it's the company that counts and I had the best company.
I was chuffed to be sharing a block with Nina Harrington, new M&B romance author and my good friends, Anna Louise Lucia and Biddy Coady. I soon met up with other online friends,and we went to the panel meeting on How much is too much? with Melanie Hilton, Liz Gill, Helen Scott Taylor, Sue Moorcroft and Veronica Henry.
Ten to six found me, Biddy and Anna joining the queue outside the bar where I met the lovely Sue Rix and her hubby Graham.
Dinner was less than stellar as they ran out of food by the time we got inside so I ended up with a Cumberland sausage four tiny potatoes and some orange stuff that may once have been carrots but by then you could have used them as rubber bullets. Fortunately Sandra Forder had a stash of biscuits in her room.
Saturdays workshops were fab - really, seriously good. I went to Myra Kersner's Non fiction proposals - excellent workshop on selling, publishing, writing and promoting non fiction. This was followed by Hugo Summerson's brilliant talk on How to do public speaking really well. I really needed this one!
Then we had a plenary session with one of my favourite writers - Veronica Henry.She told us all about her scriptwriting for the Archers, Family Affairs, Crossroads, Holby, Heartbeat etc and how this has informed her novel writing. Fascinating stuff.
I'll tell you more in part 2!