I've just got back from Penrith, tired but happy. It's in
in the north of England, and as you can see from the photos it's a beautiful place.
Some of our members arrived on Thursday, and on Friday they were out and about in the town, giving a talk at the library and making appearances in the Bluebell Bookshop. The local TV were very good to us and filmed a lot of RNA members - unfortunately not any of our historical romance authors! - talking about their books.
On Friday afternoon, more people arrived for the start of the conference proper. It was held at the University of Central Lancashire, which was an attractive venue set amidst rolling countryside, and we were well looked after. The catering staff in particular were lovely and very helpful.
So, what happens at a writers' conference? Well, ours started with registration, which was a cheerful buzz of people flinging their arms round old friends and catching up on the news - and oh, yes, we picked up our keys as well. Then it was off to unpack before the welcome by Jenny Haddon, the RNA chairman. The welcome talk included news of members' milestones, for example getting their first books accepted or having their 20th book published. It was followed by the presentation of the Elizabeth Elgin award - more on that later.
There was then a talk on sagas, followed by gossip in the bar. We sat outside enjoying an English summer evening, with the sun shining and the hills around the campus glowing emerald green. It was perfect.
Then it was time for dinner, which involved more gossip, then back to the bar. By this time the light was fading, so we sat inside until late, talking about anything we could think of.
Lynne's editor, Gail, was there, and it was very interesting to hear about Triskelion's success story. But I'm sure Lynne will be saying more about this!
And then, late, it was time to catch some sleep, ready for the morning.