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NAWGFest 2017: Report

Please note that the information given here relates to a previous event.

You can visit our NAWGFest main page for the latest information.

Here's a report from Pam. There are also some photographs from the event.

NAWGFest 2017 was Magical

Each year we say that the festival was the best ever – it is always the best, but gradually it is developing into a unique experience, so much so that a delegate did express to me that this event was magical. And it was!

We started off with the now expected and much enjoyed cream tea, which got the delegates talking to old friends and making new acquaintances. This is the time that friendships are formed in a room filled with constant chatter.

After dinner, new for this year, the Open Mic hosted by Marvin and his 'one liners', was a great success. Delegates came ready for their five minutes of fame and entertained us well; the buzz of excitement had begun. We were immediately relaxed and found our ways happily to the Bluebell flats, our luxurious accommodation for the weekend.

After a good breakfast it was workshop time where delegates were taught by Tim Wilson, Anita Loughrey, Stephen Booth, Cressida Downing, Alison Chisholm and Steve Bowkett with Fran Flint. The delegates enthused that the workshops were informative and well received. One delegate told me that before coming she wondered how much she would get out of her workshops – but she went away with hints, techniques and information which will keep her going for a long time.

Her writing had been given a hefty portion of the 'magic' that she needed. Steve's Self-Hypnosis to Develop Your Creativity did exactly what it said and many delegates went away eager to get writing.

On Saturday afternoon at the literary agents' Q&A session, much was learned about using an agent to get your work published, refreshingly put by Kate Nash and Hattie Grunewald. They were very forthcoming and practical about all aspects of getting and dealing with an agent. Something I believe that we all wished to know.

Next came the truly magical bit. Our Gala Dinner as arranged by Warwick Conferences was excellently set out with all the glitz and glitter that it deserved.

Peter signing books

Peter Robinson signing books.

Our President, The Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, with his wife The Lady Fellowes of West Stafford (Julian and Emma Fellowes – pictured below) were our guests of honour, together with Peter Robinson (pictured right) who was there as after dinner speaker. Peter's talk, which introduced us to his latest novel, was inspirational, and later he signed books, which were available to buy.

We also had Mike and Diane Wilson at the table with our guests. Both were stalwart NAWG members in past years. Mike was Chairman from early on in the formation of NAWG and Diane was Secretary for many years until they both retired in 2007. It was great to see them, and be the ones to spoil them for a change after all the festivals that they had arranged in the past.

The Fellowes with Pam

Lord & Lady Fellowes with Pam.

Julian Fellowes presented the trophies and certificates to the much deserving short-listed and winning competition entrants. He and his wife were charming guests to have and they helped to make our Gala Dinner – dare I say it again? – magical. They were very much appreciated and we thank them for coming on what was a very busy day for them. They had to dash off to London after the awards because two of Julian's West End shows were closing and they needed to catch the after show parties.

Sunday's Grand Raffle, from which two lucky delegates went home with star prizes, a £300 on-line writing course and a Kindle Fire. The raffle was as usual full of a large number of books and other assorted prizes, making many delegates delighted winners.

The AGM was somewhat sad because we saw two long-term members of the NAWG Board of Trustees, leaving us – Anne Steward and Marvin Close. Yours truly was voted back in again – so you've got me for another couple of years, I'm afraid. Also our very competent Membership Secretary and Festival Booking Administrator, Catherine Fitzsimons, was voted in for another two years. I was very pleased to see that most of the delegates attended the AGM because it makes me feel that you are all taking a part of the organisational facets within NAWG as a whole.

The remainder of the festival just flashed past after all the excitement of the event had unfolded and it was then all the goodbyes and comments (some of which you will find on our testimonials page) as to how much everyone had enjoyed such a wonderful weekend. So sad – but what now?

For NAWGFest 2018, we already have (thanks to Anne) Milly Johnson – romantic fiction, after dinner speaker. Tutors for workshops will be: Morgen Bailey – editing your fiction; Julie Bokoviec – drama; James Nash – poetry; Ken MacLeod – science fiction; and Simon Hall – BBC News correspondent. These are already booked so why not make the decision right now to come (again) next year?

Please note, all delegates at NAWGFest 2017 were offered the opportunity to receive a discount of £20 if they reserved a place at NAWGFest 2018 for a deposit of £20. I would like to extend this opportunity to all NAWG members. We will honour this arrangement until 31st December 2017. Pay £20 now and receive a further £20 off a full festival booking for next year. Details on this website or booking-festival@nawg.co.uk.

— Pam Fish, October 2017.

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Posted by: Kevin Machin Date: October 25, 2017 4:46 pm
Categories: NAWGFest Tags: NAWGFest 2017, past
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