conference is a big part of the appeal. We go to learn. We go to get updates on
industry trends, but we also go to relax and spend time with like-minded people
who will admire our pretty shoes. For those of us married to sensible
engineers, any comment on our shoes that doesn’t start, “Don’t you already have
some like that?” is particularly appreciated.
the big opportunity to glam up, get your tanned bits out (fake-tanned this year
obviously), drink some wine, eat some food and just have fun. For me, this
year’s Gala dinner turned into a particularly fabulous night, because my short
story, Feel the Fear, was announced as the winner of the Elizabeth Goudge
Trophy. I started hyperventilating as soon as my story was announced as one of
the top three. Fortunately, the people on my table were kind enough to remind
me to breathe, and I was able to collect the award without fainting in
amazement or falling off my heels.
blur. There were lots of congratulations. There was quiet marvelling at the
names, the proper grown-up writer names, already engraved on the Elizabeth
Goudge cup. There was at least one moment of being made (forced, absolutely and
completely against my will) to drink champagne. There was discussion about
whether the champagne would taste better if I drank it out of the Elizabeth
Goudge cup. But more than anything else there were new friends, genuinely
chuffed to be there for someone else’s happy moment, with no jealousy or
resentment, but lots of laughs and encouragement and pretty pretty shoes.