Monday, October 24, 2011

The Festival of Romance #festivalromance

Disney's Cinderella, not, Katy Little Lady
For the first time in my life, I've had a real 'cinders goes to the ball' moment. The Festival of Romance is in it's first year and I would have loved to attend but couldn't afford to. So when I found out last Monday that I'd won a day ticket from Novelicious for describing my ideal hero, I was ecstatic.
I stopped myself short of wearing a ball gown. It would have looked a bit odd during the sensible non-ball gown sections of the day. But, that decision was before I found out that Mandy Baggot wore a chicken suit the following day.

One of the fabbest things about the event was meeting up with writing friends, old and new. Many of the people I had the great pleasure of meeting I have only ever been in contact with virtually and it's great to get together as writers and chat. I have to say a special Thank You to Laura E James who offered me a lift to the festival. Talli Roland has a great picture of some of us at the start of the day over on her blog. You'll have to forgive my squatting pose. Not the best look to go for.

Helen Hunt's talk
My day started with a talk from Helen Hunt about writing short stories for Women's magazines. It was an excellent talk and gave me the confidence to try and submit to magazines. I've only ever submitted once and figured it wasn't my forte. Helen's advice means I will try again in the future and I plan to attend one of Helen's workshops in the future.

Next up was a panel on self-publishing with Mandy Baggot chairing and the lovely, Talli Roland. It was interesting to hear the participants reasons for wanting to self-publish in this ever-expanding part of the market.
Self-Publishing panel

Sue Moorcroft then led a workshop on Writing Romance. Sue is the author of Love Romance and it's a book I highly recommend. The lovely, Nikki Goodman, volunteered to help Sue and hearing the characterisation of her hero and filling in the gaps from there was really helpful.

Next there was advice for Aspiring Authors about getting published from Cara Cooper, Lyn Vernham of Choc Lit and Hazel Cushion of X-Cite Publishing. They explained what they are looking for and what would be a complete no-no for them.
Sue Moorcroft's Workshop

A scrumptious lunch and a charity quiz provided great entertainment and supported a worthy cause. I was in a team with Liz Crump, Celia Anderson and Victoria Shaw and we scored 10/20 - it was a difficult quiz!

After quiz antics, we were treated to a talk from Gillian Green, editorial director of newly launched, Rouge Romance. She explained how Rouge came about and what their plans are for the future. It was very encouraging to hear about new developments in the field, especially with e-books taking on a life of their own.
Lynne Connelly questions Gillian Green
Sadly, in the style of Cinders, while the festival was still in its first day throes, I had to whisk myself back home before my transport turned into a pumpkin...

It meant I missed a chocolate-making demonstration, a handsome man serving cupcakes and the author's fashion show to name a few highlights. But I came away with new-found friends and renewed energy to start my re-write with the guidance of my NWS report.

I must also say thank you to Festival of Romance organiser, Kate Allen and Novelicious - wouldn't have been able to go with out you so I guess that makes you my fairy godmothers!


  1. It was great that you could come for a while at least, next year you'll have to be there for the whole thing. I really enjoyed it too and it was fab seeing so many friends in one place!

  2. It was a fantastic day and will have to stay longer next time. Was lovely to see you again, Christina and thank you for signing my book x

  3. Ooo no one has ever called me a fairy godmother before lol Glad to have helped made your wish come true!