I’m just back from an amazing Writing Conference in the Hilton Hotel, Spa and Golf Course near Glasgow – and what a packed, exciting weekend it was!
I was invited to the conference by the Scottish Association of Writers, to judge the Nonfiction Writing Competition and to give a workshop on Writing Literary Nonfiction.
So many regions of Scotland were represented, as shown by the number of writers’ groups there; and English and US delegates were also in attendance. The conference offered opportunities for writers in many different kinds of genres to enter competitions. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with and comparing notes with fellow adjudicators after all the presentations had been made and the critiques given to the entrants.
The hospitality of the hotel was exceptional; the food, service, and facilities were fantastic, and the wine flowed freely, especially at the wonderful Gala Dinner on Saturday night.
At the Gala Dinner, we heard a moving and inspirational Keynote Speech by historical murder mystery author Fiona Veitch Smith. She spoke about the vital role of writers in our society, and how we are in fact Key Workers. She urged us to hold onto our dreams and to never give up believing in ourselves and the high value of what we do. And she quoted from an unusual combination of sources including Stephen King’s ‘Misery’; and the poem ‘He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven’ by W.B Yeats.
For the rest of the conference, I learned so much and discovered new opportunities everywhere. I pitched my latest novel to a US literary agent; pitched a scenario for a film or a TV drama mini series to a US film producer; created a plan for a Cosy Mystery; learned new tips for nonfiction research; discovered a brilliant poet whose areas of interest feed into my own latest ideas for a nonfiction book. The poet, A.C. Clarke, had judged the poetry competition and gave a poetry workshop.
It has been a fertile, creative, and exciting time full of new and renewed relationships. The danger of weekends like this is always the ‘aftermath let-down’ as we return to normal life. I know many of us will be feeling like that over the next few days. Yet we will move beyond that and start nurturing the seedlings that will grow from all we have learned and discovered, which will in the future come to rich fruition.
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6 thoughts on “The Power of a Writers’ Conference – Scottish Association of Writers Annual Conference 2023 in Cumbernauld near Glasgow”
I must try and go next year! Sounds wonderful. Glad you had such a good experience, Sheila.
What an honour, Sheila! Did you meet my friend, Lizzie Lamb, who writes self-published romances based in Scotland? She is with the Romantic Novelists Association and has won several awards for her work.
What a weekend! I hope that all your seedlings burst into glorious life
Thank you Ruth!
Sounds as though you had a very rewarding time, Sheila, with lots to follow up on. Great pictures!
Thank you Fran – glad you enjoyed them!