Monday, 5 January 2015

RNA New Writers' Scheme - Why I Joined


Last Friday, early in the morning of January 2 (12.02 to be precise) I sat at my computer with my finger hovering over the send button of an email. This email was my application to join the Romantic Novelist Association's New Writers' Scheme.

Over the last couple of years I have had some lovely guests on my blog and many of these are novelists who have found publication after being enrolled on the RNA NWS. Karen Aldous, author of The Vineyard and The Chateau is one of them. Rather than re-invent the wheel and tell you what the RNA NWS is myself, you can read Karen's guest post about it here and here,

So why apply? The answer is simple - because I want to write a romantic novel.

Although predominantly a short story writer (I love writing them and have been very lucky to have been successful in the women's magazine market) a lot of my fiction is romance. As well as the magazine romances, I have written two short romantic serials for The People's Friend and published Room in Your Heart my collection of romantic short stories. As I am always searching for new achievements, a novel seemed the obvious next step.

So why hadn't I taken it? Well, I did start. As I mentioned in my last blog post where I revisited my 2014 goals, one of my aims was to have written a novel by the end of the year. Sadly, this didn't happen. I only managed three chapters and I realised it was because I was not taking the novel as seriously as I should. I had the time to devote to it (as well as the stories) but I was not making the best use of that time.

What could I do about it?

During 2014, I was lucky enough to meet (in real life and on-line) several writers currently on, or recently graduated from, the RNA New Writers' Scheme and I began to wonder whether this might be the path for me. What I needed was a proper deadline to aim for and I knew that if I joined the scheme I would have to have something ready to be critiqued in August. As well as that, I would have the support of other writers on the scheme. With that in mind, last Friday, I pressed the send button and went to bed - to find, the next day, that I had been accepted onto the scheme!

I am excited by the prospect of taking my novel seriously this year but for those of you who like reading my magazine stories... don't worry, I have no intention of giving them up!



41 comments:

  1. Yay, well done! Best of luck with the novel. Don't be daunted by the length - just do a bit at a time and gradually you'll get there.

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    1. I'll need lots of encouragement, Kath!

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  2. I write a small amount every day. That adds up to a lot after a while. I plan to graduate this year from the NWS, after 13 years.

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  3. Really pleased you got on. I can't say strongly enough how good I think the New Writers' Scheme is, and not just because I've graduated. Even if I hadn't it was instrumental in me meeting many wonderful caring and sharing people at the many RNA functions I have attended. You are in for a good time - oh, in between getting that novel written.

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  4. This is the best thing you could do to motivate yourself to write that novel, Wendy! I too graduated from the NWS several years ago and probably would never have finished the first novel had I not had the deadline. All the very best with it.

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    1. Hoping the same thing will happen to me, Rosemary.

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  5. What a lovely postive way to start the year. Good luck, Wendy.

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  6. Good luck with the novel, Wendy. I used my MA for the same purpose: to provide a structure and the discipline to get the words on the page. And talking about it like this gives you an added incentive to get it done.

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    1. I'm hoping that if a talk about it, it will make me do it, Elizabeth.

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  7. Well done Wendy for getting on the scheme. As others have said, that's a really positive start to 2015 and I'm sure you'll get your novel written, now you've got that deadline! Good luck with it all!

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    1. I wish I had as much faith in myself as you have, Helen.

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  8. Hope you find it interesting and useful - do please let us know how you get on.

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  9. Congrats on getting on the scheme. Now you know I will need full updates on progress each month ... including stats, graphs and forecasts ;)

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  10. Well done Wendy for joining the scheme; there's nothing like a deadline, and that's apart from the critique which I think is really good value for money. I was a member for a few years, and now its time to actually use that feedback to edit the scripts I wrote into something that is fit to be sent to an agent - that's my goal for this year. Good luck, I'm sure you'll be graduating in no time at all. Linda

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  11. Fantastic news, Wendy. Wishing you lots of fun, progress and success. How exciting!

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  12. Well done for getting in, Wendy! The RNA is a constant source of support and encouragement (and also, sometimes, inspiration, but shh, don't tell them that...). And sometimes, just knowing that you have a deadline - that very important August one - can be enough to force pen to paper! Best of luck with your writing.

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    1. I am typing away at this very minute, Jane!

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  13. That's exciting news, Wendy - and I'm very glad you'll still be writing short stories, but I look forward to reading your novel xx

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    1. I can't imagine ever giving up the shorts, Teresa (can't afford to!)

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  14. Your posts always sound so positive. I'm sure you'll finish that novel. Good luck.

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    1. Thank you for your faith in me, Maggie - I'll try!

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  15. It's fantastic that you've got a place on the NWS. I found thinking of writing a novel as running a marathon compared with a quick sprint for a short story, really helped. Also keeping a tally of my daily word count above my desk and seeing it gradually go up to the end. Keep on going and I'm sure you'll get there - glad you'll still be writing short stories too.

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    1. Keeping a tally of the daily word count sounds a really good idea, Kate.

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  16. Really glad you’ve got your place, Wendy! Hope to see you at one of the parties – I was sorry to miss you at the winter one!

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    1. Yes it was a shame and sadly I won't be able to go to the summer party as I'll be on holiday.

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  17. Congratulations on getting your place, Wendy. I shall be very interested in what you think about it. As you know I was all set to apply too but it was the in-depth discussion you started on Facebook that made me question whether I was ready. So, thank you for that. Now, I'm determined to work really hard to be ready by 12.02 am Jan 1st 2016! Good luck - I'm sure you'll do it! :-)

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    1. I certainly thought long and hard before going for it as it's unlikely I'll have anything completed by August but I knew if I didn't do it this year I'd wish I had. I'm hoping it's the push I need to get on with it.

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  18. Congratulations Wendy-it's a great scheme! Hope to see you at an RNA event. Happy New Year!

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  19. How exciting, Wendy! Best of luck. You're right - having a deadline can make all the difference. I'm also in NWS so we can cheer each other on. NWS is such a brilliant scheme. I'm sure you will find it immensely useful.

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    1. I meet be picking your brains about it sometime, Susan.

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  20. Good luck, Wendy. I would never have finished and revised (and published) my first novel without the NWS. x

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