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Conference roundup – Saturday

11. August 2007

First day of the conference proper, Saturday saw an even bigger crowd of people milling around the breakfast pastries (which were very tasty).
For some reason, this year they posted everybody’s workshop choices up on the wall with everyone’s food requirements, too. Talk about being on display! Not sure what the point of that was.
Okay, I admit it. I’m one of the bad people that never follow their own schedule, and I very naughtily changed one of my workshop choices. Again.
But hey, even though I missed out on Anne Stuart (which apparently was in this tiny, over-crammed room), I got a lot of useful info out of the sessions I went to.
Allison Rushby had the unenviable job of following Jenny Crusie’s four-act-structure workshop with her own three-act one. But hey, she had a movie!
Unfortunately, I had to leave half-way through as I was due to pitch to Sheila Hodgson of Mills and Boon London.
She’s a really lovely lady, very warm and friendly. I have yet to meet a Harlequin/M&B employee who wasn’t sweet, lovely and funny in person. They do some good hiring, it seems.
The pitch went reasonably well, but then again, I wasn’t pitching for a line Sheila actually acquires, so I felt slightly bad for wasting her time. But hey, it’s always good to chat to editors, even if I felt a bit rushed.
hey, every pitch is good practice. And I’m getting the project ready to go out by the end of the month. With “requested” on the envelope. ^_^

Lunch today was a major let-down. I guess it could never live up to Friday, but this was bad even by neutral standards. Come on. Two limp salads and stale sandwiches with indeterminable spreads? Yeah, not so much. Good thing their morning break and afternoon break pastries are so filling (and sugary, mmmh).

In the afternoon, I got to listen to the very lovely Anna Jacobs, who is such a sweet lady on the outside and has such steely, no-nonsense determination underneath. there is nothing more admirable to me than a genuinely nice person with a steely core. She talked about finding good ideas and turning them into great stories, and it was definitely inspirational.

We also had the awards dinner tonight. Can I just say that awards are infinitely more fun when you know the people who are up there getting those awards?
I think I knew at least one person for each of the contests, and I’m proud to say that I knew quite a few of the place-getters and winners well!
We cheered and celebrated so much, it was awesome.
I also got to chat to a fellow chick-lit writer (yay!), although she writes at the older end of the spectrum. I love talking to people about what they write, especially if I know the subgenre at all.
All in all, a successful (if expensive) night with lots of fun, varying degrees of quality in the food, and just a good finish to a rich, full day.

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