|Award presentation to Chris Longmuir by Alanna Knight|
I’m walking on air this week – yes, I know that’s a cliche – but I really am walking on air. You see, I’ve just returned from a brilliant weekend at the SAW writers’ conference – for those not in the know SAW stands for the Scottish Association of Writers. Now, I belong to several professional Associations such as the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association), the SOA (Society of Authors), and ALLi (the Alliance of Independent Authors), but the SAW is special to me because it was the first association I joined as a member of AWC (Angus Writers’ Circle). Have you noticed how all these organisations like to be known by their initials?
Anyway, back to the weekend which was most enjoyable. Eleven of us from Angus Writers’ Circle attended, but of course the best thing about the SAW conference is meeting up with old friends, and making new ones. Scottish writers are a friendly bunch.
|Don't I scrub well?|
The weekend was packed with speakers, workshops and seminars. The main speaker was Alexandra Sokoloff. She also ran two workshops on story structure – I attended both. As well as being a novelist, Alexandra is a Hollywood script writer, so I was interested in her take on structure, and it was interesting. Did you know that in films the hooks (climactic scenes) which writers use to keep the reader page turning, and ensuring the TV watcher keeps watching after the break, are placed in the film script at specific points based on when the film reels had to be changed in the early days of cinema? And, of course, nowadays they come before the commercial break in TV shows. Fascinating information
Linda Gillard also presented a great workshop on how to promote a book, write blurbs, and the effective use of promotional material. Very informative.
|The Barbara Hammond Trophy for|
the best self-published book
But, the icing on the cake for me – yes, I know it’s another cliche – was winning the best self-published book award which is a new competition the SAW set up this year. Winning this competition means I get the fabulous Barbara Hammond trophy. So, I’m the leader of the pack because I’m the first person who has won this. Oh, and before I forget, the book that won the award was my historical crime novel, The Death Game.
If anyone is interested in entering this competition next year, or even a similar one, the adjudicator explained the winning entry was decided on the basis of presentation, professional book cover, formatting, editorial and proofing issues, professional appearance, and of course, the actual story. My book scored high on all levels, and he said some extremely complimentary things about it, but I was beyond hearing most of them because I was so excited at having won this prestigious award.
So, all in all, it was the best weekend ever, and I’m walking on air.