Sunday, 26 August 2012

03. Generosity (and Claytons)




Maybe I’m a little starry-eyed but I can’t help but feel proud of the lengths authors will go for each other.

I had the privilege of attending RWA’s (logo proudly displayed on the right) annual Online Claytons Conference recently.

Claytons, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, is the brand name of a non-alcoholic beverage that was popular in Australia and New Zealand in the 70’s and 80’s. It was ‘the drink you have when you're not having a drink’. Our Claytons, by association, was for those who couldn’t attend the official conference at the Gold Coast. (Well deserved congratulations to the winners.) J

The online conference was by no means second best. I believe, apart from a few technical hitches (that’s computers for you) that everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. Again, I thank everyone involved and here’s where that wonderful generosity came flooding in. I felt that everyone was committed, enthused and excited to be there. Professional writers gave up their time to share their experiences, offer solid advice and impart their wisdom. They welcomed questions, provided thoughtful answers and in one case, graciously let me have a little fan girl moment. :)

Again, thanks to the generosity of so many wonderful authors, there were prizes galore - signed books, book packs, e-books, offers of critiques – well almost too many to mention. And it wasn’t all work. We had time to play, to chat and get to know each other – the result of which, I hope leads to some firm friendships.

We also had a Fast Fiction Challenge – 1000 words prompted by some excellent ‘high concept’ suggestions. My condolences to the poor judge who had to choose between so many fantastic stories, not a position I would have cultivated. As generosity (again) would have it, I was fortunate enough to win the challenge, and I reiterate, there was some very tough competition.

While I hope to attend the next official conference and greet those wonderful people I ‘met’ this year, if it doesn’t work out, I know 'the conference I attend when I’m not attending a conference' will be just fine. :)

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