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Friday, 11 August 2017

Countdown to #ScotsWrite


Writing conferences are part and parcel of a busy writer’s life. They release writers from their self-imposed solitude and confirm there is life outside the writer’s cave. It provides an opportunity to expand our knowledge, find out how other writers work, meet other writers who are household names and others who are less well known. Above all, it’s about networking.

Normally I am simply an attendee and sometimes a speaker but I’ve never been involved with organising a conference. Until now.

After the Society of Authors in Scotland (SOAiS) made the decision to organise a conference we were gripped with excitement. We wanted it to be the best conference ever, particularly as it was going to be a one off and wouldn’t be repeated. Well, at least not for a long time. Find out all about the conference at http://www.societyofauthors.org/Events/ScotsWrite
 
Hard working members on the ScotsWrite Conference organising committee
Our committee, headed up by our wonderful chairperson, Linda Strachan, got to work. And as a committee member, I was in the thick of it. We soon realised it would be of benefit to have additional SOAiS members join the committee to help with the planning and implementation of the conference. These extra members were a boon and things were soon merrily chugging away although at the beginning things were a bit chaotic for me. That was soon to change when our events organiser, Jenny Kumar, joined our working parties and soon whipped us into shape. I reckon Jenny is Wonderwoman in disguise.
 
Westerwood Hotel ScotsWrite conference venue
Anyway to cut a long story short. We have our venue arranged, the luxurious Westerwood Hotel, in Cumbernauld, which is central and easily reached from all parts of Scotland. The food is to die for and if there’s time in between listening to all the great speakers we have lined up, there’s always the spa or the golf course.



Our speakers are booked and the line up is stupendous. The speakers include Joanne Harris (Chocolat), Caro Ramsay, Denise Mina, Charlie Higson, Joanna Penn and a host of others too numerous to mention including publishers and agents. Plus, if you want to know about Scrivener we have sessions devoted to that. And there is optional Tai Chi if that’s something you fancy. If you want to see the full programme check it out here http://www.societyofauthors.org/Events/ScotsWrite/Full-Programme and if you want to know more about the speakers check them out here http://www.societyofauthors.org/Events/ScotsWrite/Speakers


It’s going to be an exciting weekend and we have a delegate bag full of fascinating goodies for everyone who comes along. But don’t delay because places are selling fast. And don’t think if you miss it this year you can come along next year because you can’t. This is a one off conference and there will be no repeat next year.


A final word before I finish. As well as special rates for SOA members there are special affiliate rates for the conference if you belong to any of the following organisations such as: ACW; ALLi; Borders' Writers Forum; Federation of Scottish Writers; Historical Novel Society; ITI; NUJ; Playwrights' Studio, Scotland; Royal Literary Fund; SAS; SAW; SCBWI; and WGGB. So, be sure to claim your discounted price.

This conference is something you can’t afford to miss and it is open to everyone, not just SOA members so make sure you book. And make it soon so you don’t miss the event of the year.

I’ll see you there.

Chris Longmuir



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