Saturday, 5 July 2008

Two weddings and a writers' conference

The last fortnight has been a bit of a blur due to the lovely Winchester writers' conference and my friends trying to cram every social event of the summer into the same two weeks. All great fun but I could have done with a few days between each of them! Winchester was wonderful and terrifying in equal proportions. The pitch and publication course was really useful, but had its scary moments. We had to split into pairs and pitch to our partner as if they were an agent, then swap. Deep breath, not too bad, then 2 chairs were placed in the middle of the room... It's amazing how quickly you descend into incoherent babble when 20 pairs of eyes are fixed on you as you attempt to pitch to your "agent".

My real agent appointments the next day seemed slightly less worrying in comparison until I discovered the bear pit of a venue for the meetings. They're held in a large room with tiny exam style tables set up in pairs. You sit next to another desperate delegate and try to hold a sensible conversation with the agent opposite. It's incredibly loud, and very hard not to listen to the person next to you who is losing it slightly. I did get lots of useful feedback and one of them said I could send it to him again once I'd made the suggested changes. I went home happy.

The wedding I was at yesterday was held in the most glamorous venue I've ever encountered. St Audries Park in Somerset resembles a stately home, but only hosts weddings. You get the entire place for the day, and it's vast grounds. Weddings are held in the Orangerie, dancing in the great hall and then there are the endless lounges and bedrooms of epic proportions. I think the sinks and powder room of the ladies covered about the same area as my house. It was lovely to float around the place as armies of staff got you drinks and brought out endless trays of food...

And then there was Doctor Who, sniff.

8 comments:

Fiona said...

It seems to me to be a good idea to go to a wedding, have a few relaxing drinks and then go to the conference.

Seriously, it does sound like fantastic value for money and I'll be going next year. Maybe to listen to you tell us how you got your agent/deal.

KAREN said...

That was my experience of the Winchester Writer's conference too! Quite scary, but interesting all the same.

Dr Who was quite sad, wasn't it? :(

Annieye said...

Events are a bit like buses aren't they? You wait for ages for one and then three turn up! I shall definitely book up and go next year.

(Keep on with that re-write Denise - and get it sent off while it's fresh in his mind.)

Lane said...

The pitching, both the practise and the real one, sounds absolutely terrifying, so hats off to you for staying cool and getting such good feedback!

The wedding sounds wonderful. Haven't been to a wedding for so many years. If only divorces were celebrated in big lovely venues:-)

Dr Who was very sniffy indeed:-)

Debs said...

The pitching sounds rather terrifying especially in a big echoing room.

I love a wedding but haven't been to one for about three years unfortunately.

Have taped Dr Who but haven't managed to see it yet. S has given me spoilers, even though I didn't want them.

motherx said...

The pitching sounds scary! Id be babbling like a maniac and not making any sense!! well done...sounds like you did really well! x

Denise said...

Fiona - I think you're onto something there with the few drinks! Sigh, lovely idea about the deal...

Karen - I'm still sniffing about Doctor Who, so sad :(

Annie - I'm writing, I'm writing!

Lane - Divorces with buffets and a few drinks sounds like a great idea!

Debs - Hope you've had a chance to watch Doctor Who now, even if it will make you sad...

MotherX - I WAS babbling like a maniac, they were very kind!

Lorna F said...

Glad to hear the one-to-one situation went well and that the conference was a positive experience. It was good to say hi there - and by the way, the nightmare you referred to when we chatted at lunchtime? Oh, yes. You were right. I was superconscious of that person afterwards - made the afternoon such fun ....

Get the typescript off to the agent!