Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Fun, fun, fun – also known as the RNA conference 2013

This year the RNA conference was in Sheffield.  Six and a half hours and four separate train journeys from my home.  We are not going to discuss the three cancelled trains at Edinburgh on the way home, the fact I lost my train ticket, or the final train journey home with drunk, grimy teenagers who’d all been at T in the Park.

No, we’re going to discuss sharing a weekend with people who are happy to talk about books, reading and writing nonstop for three days.  Bliss.

Scarlet Wilson and Heidi Rice
Scarlet Wilson and Heidi Rice

The accommodation at Sheffield University was the nicest I’ve stayed in at a conference.  I was lucky enough to share with five other authors that I knew and there was chocolate, wine spritzers, crisps and champagne for three days.

For the first time ever at a conference I paced myself.  I didn’t go to a talk every session.  I actually bunked off two – unheard of!  One to go for some tea and biscuits with some other authors I hadn’t managed to catch up with yet, and the other to go and lie down for half an hour after lunch!

RNA bagThe goody bags were spectacular this year with chocolate, lots of books, and lots of unique ways other authors had found to publicise themselves – me included.  I printed A7 cards this year with a calendar on one side and a picture of my latest book on the other and OBVIOUSLY I attached chocolate.  Do I really think that any of these items make people buy books?  No, I don’t.  But it’s nice to contribute to the goody bag for your colleagues.

India Grey, Scarlet Wilson and Heidi Rice
India Grey, Scarlet Wilson and Heidi Rice

So what did I learn?  Lots.  There was a large amount of publishers delivering presentations encouraging authors to submit to them.  I attended presentations from Mills and Boon, MIRA, Carina Press, Piatkus and Harper Impulse.  All of them were excellent.


There were also presentations on using theme in your story, managing your time, changing writing genre and writing YA.

All in all, it was a fabulous conference with the best part obviously being the people there.  Can’t wait for next year!

PS  The incoming conference was……The World Congress on Parasitic Plants!


18 thoughts on “Fun, fun, fun – also known as the RNA conference 2013”

  1. Hi Scarlet – this sounds wonderful. I have the RNA conference or the Mills & Boon Authors luncheon (either or, but possibly both) on my bucket list. Would asbolutely love to attend.
    Sorry your trips coming and going were not great, but I’m glad the conference made up for them.

    1. Hi Lynne, I’m already looking forward to the AMBA lunch in September. Fun and frolics all around, I hope you make it someday!

  2. Scarlett is all sounds great except for getting home. As the crow flies, Sheffield is not that far from Scotland! The daugher of a friend of ours starts at Sheffield Uni studying medicine in September. It is a LOOOONNNNGGG way from Australia!

  3. Morning Scarlet

    I wish I could have been there. I remember how much fun last year’s was and would have gone if I hadn’t already arranged to be away for three weeks prior to it. It’s great to catch up with authors and readers of romance as well as the Mills and Boon editors. We all have something in common, (not least the love of a glass of wine,) which means lots of late night chat and lots of giggles. I’ll have to try and make it next year. And oh, I’d really love to go to the American one. That, Lynne, is on my bucket list.

    1. Next year is Telford Anne, had to look it up on the map and think it’s an even longer train journey! I would love to go to RWA too – it’s on the bucket list!

  4. Scarlet, it sounds like you had an excellent time at the RNA! It’s gorgeous to be able to talk books and reading and writing for a whole weekend, isn’t it!

    It’s a shame about the dramas of your journeys there and back… but perhaps there’s some material in there for one of your future books! 😉

    1. Sharon believe me, you wouldn’t want to read that in my book! My patience was definitely at an all time low! Never mind, I’ve got a year to recover!

  5. Scarlet,
    Looks like you had a wonderful time. I’ve just gotten back from conference here. Great to see people I don’t get to see but once a year, learn something new and get excited about what I do all over again. I’d love for us to manage to be at the same conference sometime.

    1. Susan the RWA conference always looks fab. Hope you can do a blogpost soon with pics and some gossip!

  6. Scarlet, I love seeing the pictures, and it sounds like you had a fabulous time. I think the idea of cards with calendars (and chocolate) is a wonderful idea (writing that one down)! Like Lynne, I’d love to go to the conference someday!

    1. Tina, I stole the calendar idea from LizFielding as I got one of hers a few years ago and used it all year. Credit where it’s due!

  7. It does look like a lot of fun. Classy fun, you all are much more nicely put together than folks at the other writing conferences I’ve been to. And here I thought writers were a rumpled lot 🙂

    1. Amalie, I didn’t post the pictures of the rumpled night time chats in jammies and nighties, but they definitely happened!

  8. Lovely pictures, Scarlet and it’s good to hear you had such fun, despite all the struggles in getting there and back. It sounds as if you were kept pretty busy – good thing there was plenty of chocolate and champagne to keep everyone going!

    1. It could be fun!!!! Jennifer Taylor was there too, along with lots of m&b authors. Come and play Amy!

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