Monday, August 14, 2017

Christina Hollis: A Country Conference

Last month, I and around two hundred and fifty other members of the Romantic Novelists' Association converged on the Harper-Adams University in Shropshire for our annual conference. From Friday 14th July until Sunday 16th, we enjoyed three days of talks, workshops, and networking.

There were sessions on the role of an agent and how to write the perfect submission letter, using images from embroidery and tapestry as inspiration for historical fiction, how to make social media work for you, how to revive your backlist, how technology can help writers and many more. The  Gala dinner gave us all a great excuse to dress up and act like romantic heroines.

Harper-Adams University is set in glorious English countryside, and the fresh air gave us all big appetites. Luckily the catering team are geared up to feed hungry farmers, so there was a huge range of food on offer every morning.  After a croissant followed by porridge and fresh fruit, then tea and biscuits mid-morning, a cooked lunch and dinner in the evening, I came home quite a bit heavier than I left.

All the sessions on the craft of writing were fascinating. Hearing the stories of other writers' roads to publication was inspiring. Jill Mansell has a very civilised way of working. She writes her first draft longhand with a gold Parker pen, on the right-hand side pages of a Pukka Pad. Her editing notes are made on the left hand side pages. When she's happy with the result, she has her draft typed up by somebody else. I hate sitting at a computer screen, so if I can come to some arrangement with my offspring, I'll sub-contract my word-processing and go back to writing on paper, which I love.

After hours, the University campus came alive with people socialising at the students' bar. Residential delegates stayed in student accommodation with one communal kitchen to every six flats. That meant the fun went on after hours, too. great opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new ones. I enjoyed every minute of The Romantic Novelists' Association's Conference 2017. IT's being held in Leeds next year. I'm already looking forward to it.

I'll be posting my notes from the conference at over the next few weeks, so follow my blog to read more about individual conference sessions.

Christina Hollis writes contemporary fiction starring complex men and independent women. She has written six historical novels, eighteen contemporary novels, sold nearly three million books, and her work has been translated into twenty different languages. When she isn’t writing, Christina is cooking, walking her dog, or beekeeping.

You can catch up with her at, on Twitter, Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at

Her current release, Heart Of A Hostage, is published by The Wild Rose Press and available at  worldwide.


dstoutholcomb said...

sounds like a great writers' conference.


Christina Hollis said...

Thanks, Denise. We all had a great time!