Saturday, September 21, 2013

And something new for May 2014

‘Writing Romantic Fiction
16 – 18 May 2014
Attend as a Day Visitor or Residential Member
Course Leader: Kate Walker
Kate Walker is a well-known Harlequin Mills & Boon author, having published 61 titles for them in the UK and USA. She is also the author of the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance.  Kate’s workshops can be adapted to any form of romantic fiction, and ‘Relax & Write’ plan weekend courses, two-part courses and retreats, so that you can benefit from her expertise in this genre. 
Romantic Fiction is big business.  This course is intended to provide information and advice for anyone who wants to learn how to write romantic fiction.  It gives an introduction to all the skills needed for success, from initial research to the final submission of the typescript. The courses are informal and fun.
If you’re just starting out writing romance, or you’ve written a manuscript or two but are not yet published and are interested in honing your skills, this course is for you.
For further information Contact Lois Bird-Maddox ‘Relax & Write’ Course Organiser
on Tel. 01454  773579
Write to: The Secretary, ‘Relax & Write’ 9 (D) Langthorn Close, Frampton Cotterell, Bristol BS36 2JH.
Book early to guarantee a place.  Book early and pay by instalments. 
Non-participating partners welcome.

Writing Courses coming up -

September always makes me think of new terms – school  terms, university terms, college terms. It’s been a long time since I was actively involved in those preparations – as a student myself, then with the Babe  Magnet teaching and the Offspring studying at school and then University but  I still love that ‘Back To School’ type of feeling. And, as I admitted over on a Pink Heart blog recently, I love the stationery and pens or pencils that go with it.

So this time of year always makes me think of plans and projects and indulging in a little stationery buying, rather more than the actual ‘New Year’ at the start of January.  And this past week or so I’ve been looking ahead rather more than usual and planning  and organising

I’m always being asked what courses/workshops I will be teaching  so I thought I’d let you know what I have coming up in the next  ‘new year. There are  the  tried and tested events that I now do every year – and one exciting new venture  and a new venue that I’m really looking forward to  getting involved in.

So – first of all, as many of you know there are the courses being run at Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, Wales. I’ve been running these course for years now and am always so happy to go back to Wales , to enjoy the warm hospitality of Anne and Gerry Hobbs who run these events, and to work with the students who sign up for my courses. In  previous years, the summer courses have taken place in Caerleon but sadly last year was the last ever event there and the whole set up has now moved to Fishguard, with the summer event being smaller as a result. So places are strictly limited and both events are booking up fast.

So here are some details:

The 9th Writers and Artists Workshops Weekend

Dates: Friday 28th February – 2nd March 2014

Place:  Fishguard Bay Hotel  Pembrokeshire

Course:  Advanced Writing Contemporary Romance.
Cost: All inclusive - £219-00

This course is designed  for students who have already been on my basic Writing Romance course – or some other. It’s not for beginners but has been designed specially to move one from the basic course.  There are six advanced workshop sessions, discussions and critique sessions.

Places on this course are strictly limited and until this weekend, the advanced course was already fully booked. But I just heard that at least one person has had to  drop out – so there  is at least one place free. If the course fills up, names will be kept on a waiting list on a fikrst come, first served basis.

Writers’ Holiday Fishguard

The new format Writers’ Holiday now also takes  place in the Fishguard Bay Hotel.

Dates: Monday 21st  July – Saturday 26th July inclusive
Cost: All inclusive:£499-00

Course: The Complete Writing Romance course.  The new courses at Writers’ Holiday will now be longer – 8 hours instead of 5.
Again, places  - and rooms at the Fishguard Bay Hotel  - are booking up fast.    There is currently just one 1 double/twin room only for July.   People sharing a room with a friend/ partner  will save on the cost of the holiday. - Unfortunately, the Writers’ Holiday  website is down for two weeks but if you email Gerry Hobbs  and if you mention my name he will sort things out for you.
As soon as the site is back up I'll post a link to it and all the details of this new Writers' Holiday.
These are the courses I've always run - and will continue to run each year in Wales.
But if perhaps you can't get to Fishguard, if you're looking for something morfe in the north of England, or the week-long Writers' Holiday would be difficult for you - I have something new coming up that might suit.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Catching up again

I'm not sure where the time has gone again.

Well, no - I do know where a lot of it went.

I was travelling, and meeting up with family and friends. With fellow authors. With editors.

I was in the beautiful city of  Cambridge  where I had a lovely family get together and a picnic in the sunshine (when we had sunshine, unlike today) on Jesus Green  after a visit to the outdoor swimming  pool. I met two of my sisters, one of  my brothers in law,  my nephew, and I met my  great niece  for the first time. A memorable afternoon.
In Cambridge I also went to the book launch of a dear friend who was celebrating  the publication of her very first book. You met Anna Sugden when she came  to this blog to join in the 40 for 40 celebrations and I was so happy to be able to join her at her launch party  on the same day as the family picnic - great organising that put both events on the same day.

Home from Cambridge, I just had time to turn round, unpack, do some laundry, pack again -  and head for London.

London was where the annual Association of Mills & Boon Authors lunch was held in the Reading and Writing Room (appropriately enough) of One Whitehall Place - Part of the Royal Horseguards Hotel.  The  guest list there read like a who's who of romance writing. Liz Fielding, Sarah Morgan,  Sharon Kendrick, Fiona  Harper,  Heidi Rice, Kate Hardy, Kate Hewitt,  . . .  If I went on, I'd fill the whole blog with names. There were also the new writers, Michelle Smart, Anna Sugden, Rachel Brimble, Victoria Pembroke, Christy McKellen and brand-new, only just signed Jessica Gilmore.  I also met up with new friend CC Coburn for the first time, face to face. Again, you met her here on this blog last month.

We were given wonderful  'Books are My Bag' goodie bags (thanks to Kate Hardy for letting me borrow the photo - my gift of chocolate didn't survive the Babe Magnet on the journey home!)  Kate also has some great photos of the venue etc on her blog. I didn't take my camera, so I'm relying on her.

She also has pics of the  Meridien Hotel  where the authors'  cocktail party was held  by Harlequin Mills & Boon. Another fabulous venue with  Rossinis (strawberries and champagne) and other delights.  So many new editors to meet and only I  just had time to chat with my own lovely editor before the evening ended. You can read about this event from an editor's point of view over on I Heart Presents.
I want to thank  Fiona Harper,  Heidi Rice and Sharon Kendrick for organising such a fantastic AMBA lunch. And of course I also need to thank Harlequin Mills and Boon for the fabulous cocktail party afterwards.

But there were two other treats in London - as part of the 40th celebrations - I've forgotten how many of the  '40 Special Things' we have crossed off on our list so far  but these two were really special. Well, they were for a theatre fan like me.  The Wednesday evening was spent at the National Theatre watching Othello starring Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear. And Thursday  evening was at the Gielgud Theatre to see Noel Coward's Private Lives  starring Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor.
Both were totally fabulous - very different, but wonderful in their own ways.  Fabulous.

So now it's back down to earth and to work for a while. There are other events  coming up but for now I need to concentrate on writing.

Which reminds me - if you are interested in  writing and thinking about writing a romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon, don't forget that the annual writing contest - So  You Think You Can Write -  has started again  for this year. You can read all the details on the SYTYCW home page and here, again on I Heart  Presents.

And if you are interested in writing romance  and have ever thought about coming on one of my courses then I have some news for you coming up. 

Watch this space.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Pink Heart Day

Well I hope you enjoyed the 40 for 40 celebrations.  I did, but it took up lots of time and energy so I've been taking a break and concentrating on writing  and other things.

This weekend I have another celebration as I meet up with my sister and her husband,(also celebrating their 40th  in October) another sister, my nephew and niece and a grand-niece -    but just to finish off the 40 for 40 - I have a few winners I didn't hear from. This is the last call to get in touch with them .
Shirley Buchanan
Sally Bearnathy
Jane Linfoot
 Please can you contact me to claim your prize.  If you have already contacted your donating author direct, please let  me know so I can cross you off my list.

Once again thank  you to everyone - authors and commenters  -  who joined in. You made a special occasion  extra special.

Today I'm back into routine a bit more with my monthly column A Date With Kate over on the Pink Heart's Society blog where I'm talking about the Back to School season -  and its temptations.  Temptations I know some of you share.


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