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18/07/2017: RNA Conference 2017

It's amazing how much fun it can be to sit in a student kitchen with your friends and talk about everything under the sun! From happy-ever-afters to religion, women's football to social welfare, hot heroes and suitable heroines, and most of all how the writing is going… That is the wonderful thing about the RNA conferences! There is never a dull moment and you never run out of people to talk to and catch up with, or topics of conversation.

I must have been to at least fifteen of these conferences by now and it never gets old. Each year it is just as much fun and there are always interesting talks on a variety of subjects. I learn something new each time and come away feeling inspired and more enthusiastic about writing, fired up and ready to go… once I've had some time to recover from the late nights and early mornings. Because who needs to sleep, when there is so much to do? Sleeping can be done afterwards!

This time I attended some great talks, among them Janet Gover's excellent one about how to manipulate pictures using programmes like Adobe Photoshop - I am now itching to go and play around with photos to see what I can do! There was also the brilliant and very useful talk by Ruth Long (R F Long) on how to do talks at schools. She had some great advice and made me feel inspired to give it a try.

I also participated in talks myself - one with the lovely Anna Belfrage, where we discussed time slip vs time travel and what an author writing in these sub-genres has to bear in mind. We had a wonderful audience who had some great suggestions when it came to finding a way to time travel that a reader could find plausible.

Then there was the talk with my fellow Paisley Piranhas (Gill-Marie Stewart, Claire Watts and Katy Haye) in which we discussed romance and relationships in YA novels. Our audience braved the early hour (nine on a Sunday morning after the gala dinner!) and we had some fun creating a YA plot together.

As happens every year, there were some great talks that I missed - because you just can't be in two places at once, sadly! - and people I didn't have time to chat to, but there is always next year and I'll definitely be there! Huge thanks to the organisers for this time!

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