Next was actually the Panel session: the Next 20 Years, which I posted at the time.
And finally there was the last Plenary by Jane Porter.
This was fun, and at times quite moving. Jane read excerpts of the rejection letters she got for 14 books over a 17 year period. During this time there were 4 comments that stood out that encouraged her to keep going.
– one said she had a good plot
– one said it was competently written
– one said it was a good premise
– one said she had a ‘crisp and enjoyable writing style’
Despite all the rejections, Jane perservered, because she believed that she was meant to write. Eventually her 15th book was accepted for publication. Jane now has more than 30 books published since the late 90s – from her website it looks like 22 category romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon, and subsequently another 10 single title books she has classified under ‘classic romance modern lit’. Flirting with Forty was even made into a movie.
As the closing session of the conference, it was a in inspirational way to finish. It was positive and encouraging, and for those who have had rejections before, it was a sign that it is not final, if you persevere. And Jane left us with the following thoughts:
- we don’t write for those who criticise us
- we don’t write for the glory
- we write because we are driven to
- we write for those who want the story
That brought the formal proceedings to a close. After that there was a confirmation that the 2012 conference will be held on the Gold Coast, and the organising team was announce (I of course didn’t know any of them). The 2013 conference will be held in Fremantle, and the 2014 conference will be held in Sydney.
I had a great time, I took copious notes. I met lots of people and learned about the mailing lists (which I have joined, but goodness they are high volume, even in digest mode). My computer problems and subsequent lack of time mean that some of the sessions were quite delayed in getting up here, but at least they are all done now. I hope that my friends who read this have got something out of it, and I’m sure that I will find it a useful reference for myself too.
Now I have about 8 months til the Gold Coast conference is on! Anyone interested in that?