Event report

Winter Party 2010

Report published 20 November 2010

Group of NWS winners.

NWS winners over the years.

Raise your glasses to the NWS!

Jules Wake reports

It never ceases to amaze me as a newbie on the New Writers Scheme, how generous established RNA members are with their time and support. So it was rather fitting that my first Winter Party was a celebration of the NWS as part of the 50th Anniversary festivities. 

I’m so glad I overcame my nerves to go. A more welcoming, friendly bunch of people you couldn’t wish to meet. It was also rather lovely to stand and bask in the goodwill atmosphere as old friends fell upon each other with genuine cries of delight, sharing their successes, disappointments and common experiences. Equally lots of new friendships were fostered as many ROMNA digesters, Tweeters and Facebookers met each other for the first time. 

Formalities were briefly dispensed with, in a couple of quick speeches from Chair, Katie Fforde, President, Diane Pearson, who generously donated the champagne for a special toast, and Organiser Jan Jones, who explained those wearing the prestigious little sparkly bows were former New Writers Scheme members with publishing deals under their belts and those with the (much deserved) bigger even more sparkly bows had at some time organised the scheme. 

And how serendipitous that the Chair in the fiftieth year is an alumni of the NWS. Since its inception, the RNA has always supported new writers or ‘probation members’ as they were called in the early days. Addressing the two hundred guests assembled in the gorgeous Institute of Mechanics Library, Katie Fforde expressed her gratitude. ‘I owe so much to the RNA… I was unpublished for eight years but because of the RNA I persevered. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have gone on trying.’

Perfect then, that the NWS scheme was celebrated at the last event of the year. Roll on the next party and the next fifty years.

It's a fact

The book-lover's preferred method to woo a prospective partner is to cook a romantic meal, but sending letters or giving books came a close second and third.