March is Scottish Association of Writers conference time which I blogged about this time last year. And here I was again, arriving with my suitcase, greeting friends I hadn’t seen since then and eagerly scanning the programme to see what was on offer.
Last year I was an adjudicator with lots of things to do and a workshop to run, but this year I could relax and take things easy and enjoy attending all sorts of talks and workshops (and pick up some tips from other adjudicators!)
Friday evening always starts for our members with a gathering in the biggest bedroom for a wee drink and catch up before dinner. Then the exciting bit – the results of the competitions, or at least some of them. It continues on Saturday morning when the clubs’ tallies of trophies is assessed. This year, the Perth club took the honours, while in the Poetry competition, the Angus club swept the board.
What with workshops, book sales, informal get-togethers and loads and loads of food, it’s a hectic and filled (and filling!) weekend.
My best moment came when in the middle of a seminar, I heard my phone and quickly checked it to find that my second novel had just been accepted by Tirgearr Publishing. Unable to shriek with joy, jump up and down or generally celebrate as I wanted to, I sat there with a silly grin on my face until I could leave and go skipping along the corridor to tell my writerly mates.
There’s a grand gala dinner when the trophies are presented and this year’s guest speaker was Simon Brett who entertained us royally with spoofs of Nordic Noir, Agatha Christie and sundry other characters from his rich repertoire.
Sunday saw a new President and Vice-president voted in – Wendy Jones took over from Marc Sherland as president, and Gillian Duff became Vice-president in place of Jen Butler. They both have a hard act to follow but I’m sure they’ll be very successful.
As we say in this part of the world, ma heid’s nippin, filled with information, ideas, tips and contacts which I need to digest and act on.
But meantime, there’s a house move to organise and next year, I’ll be arriving at the conference from the other side of the country. Can’t wait!