Last weekend, I attended our annual Scottish Association of Writers conference and had a wonderful time, as always. So many great people, interesting workshops and inspiring adjudications. Two of the most interesting speakers for me were well-published children's and YA authors, Nicola Morgan and Cathy (Catherine) MacPhail.
Nicola's adjudication of the Award for a children's novel was full of expert insight into writing for that market, and she doesn't pull any punches about how difficult the publishing world can be. It's well worth a look at her popular blog, Help! I Need a Publisher where, as the Crabbit Old Bat, she tells it like it is and provides plenty of helpful hints along the way.
Cathy is the most down-to-earth writer you'll meet and several of her children's novels are worthy award winners. As one of our after-dinner speakers, Cathy had us all entertained by her method of getting great ideas from watching life on her local train journey. She also had us spooked by her visit to a particular old hotel which became an inspiration for part of her spooky new series. You can read about Cathy and her books on her website.
An inspiring weekend all round!