For a couple of years now I’ve been wanting to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA). The Association organises events for authors, established and aspiring, including a summer weekend conference every year where you can attend workshops and lectures held by those in the industry.
It’s taken me this long to join because you can’t just become a member whenever you fancy – there are limited spaces for new aspiring author members – and the time to join is strictly early January. Last January I was grossly complacent about joining, thinking I could send an email anytime on the day that nominations opened. Busy with cooking dinner I eventually sent my email about 5 hours after the opening time, only to be told I was too late and all the places had gone!
So, I had to wait a whole year before I could try again. This year I left nothing to chance. I didn’t even schedule my email to go at a certain time – I stood there for ten minutes before with my finger poised over the send button. Luckily, I got in this time and am looking forward to finding out what it’s really all about.
If, like me, you missed out, all is not lost. I discovered that even if you’re not a member you can still attend the summer conference, you just have to pay a little more. I did this last year and it was well worth it. You have the chance to submit a partial of your manuscript and speak one to one with an editor or agent to get their feedback. It’s only 5 minutes but it’s vital information, even if it’s critical.
Another great thing about being a member of the RNA is that every year you get the opportunity to have your manuscript read by a published author who writes in the same genre. I’m planning on doing this this year, so we’ll see how that goes!