For me the third day of my adventure, but really this was the first day of the RNA's 50th anniversary conference: the Industry Day.
The day (in fact the entire weekend) was blessed with sunshine, though the sultry heat was occassionally overwhelming. The speakers of the day were mostly publishers and agents, giving us writers the insider view on publishing - fortunately not all doom and gloom. Again and again the message was reinforced: even though fewer titles are being bought and publishers are taking fewer risks, a good book still has every chance of being published.
After registration and Katie Fforde's welcome introduction, we were straight into the first talk of the day, by Charlotte Bush and Rob Waddington of Random House. The major gist of their talk was the importance for writers to understand their market.
Next up was David Shelley of Little Brown who spoke about changes in the market place, including the rise of supermarkets and digital, as well as current trends.
Then after lunch editorial consultants Jane Eastgate and Sally Cummings spoke about what writers can do to make their work stand out for an editor. Sadly they didn't really have the magic answer of 'what is the X-Factor?'
[From left to right: agent Erin Niumata, writers Janet Mullany, Nicola Cornick and Rosemary Laurey]
The working day ended with another informal chat session, this time with 5 writers each representing different decades of the RNA, and obviously focussing on the RNA itself in this anniversary year.
The day was not by any means over yet. We dressed up in our glad rags and hit the Trafalgar Tavern for a delicious dinner, with champagne, conversation and speeches at the historic Trafalgar Tavern. I'll admit to falling into bed with exhaustion that night.