RNA Conference 2018

As a writer, the annual conference is definitely the highlight of the year for me and, surprisingly, it seems to come around quickly each time. This year was no exception and, from counting down the months, then the weeks, then the days, suddenly I was packing and wondering which shoes would go with which dress!

Welcome with Nicola Cornick and Jan Jones

This year, the conference was in Leeds Trinity University, a campus just outside Headingly. Leeds is a lovely city but I didn't see anything of it beyond the train station. Horsforth, where the campus is located, was really nice though, and I enjoyed a short and pleasant walk from the train station to the campus with HMB author Rachael Thomas .

The conference sessions were useful and enjoyable and included a double presentation from Mills and Boon. This began with editors from the longer 'Trade' imprint giving a summary of the recent rebranding of the company, and concluded with the Series editors outlining the requirements of the different lines.

There was also a very illuminating session with Nicola Cornick in conversation with Barbara Erskine. I must have been the only one in the audience who'd never read Lady of Hay - something I intend to remedy immediately!

I also really enjoyed Liz Harris' session on pacing, which is something I always struggle with in my writing.  Her presentation was both useful and fun, as - in her own words - she'd gotten to grips with animation now and her analogy of pacing being like peeling an onion was an entertaining and invaluable one.

As always, the industry appointments were many and varied and making a choice was difficult. I got three in the end - reserve appointments with Mills and Boon longer series editor Anna Baggaley and independent editor, Laura Gerrard, and my first choice with Kate Bradley from Harper Fiction. All of them gave encouraging and helpful feedback on my timeslip chapter, which is an exciting new experiment for me, and I came away feeling encouraged but also with the realisation that I'll have to write the rest of it now!


  1. Hi Melissa. It was great to see you again. It was a full-on weekend with lectures and appointments. Very exciting for you to be writing something different. Wishing you every success. xx

    1. Hi Sarah, yes it was very full on, but as always so much fun. Great to see you there too and hope we can catch up in the autumn, xx

  2. It was a very full-on weekend indeed, which passed by far too quickly. Hope the writing is going well and wishing you much success xxx

    1. Hi Kim, yes, it seems to go quicker every year, if that's possible! Hope your writing is going well and, likewise, wishing you all the success you deserve xx


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