The social side of the RNA
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.
Saturday night’s Gala dinner is
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.
The night after that is a cheery
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.
Editor Note: I couldn’t resist posting these photos of Alison…her delight should be bottled!
  1. Author
    Scarlet Wilson 6 years ago

    Congratulations Alison – you looked stunned!

  2. Author
    alisonmay 6 years ago

    I was stunned. The only thing I've ever won before was a toast rack at my primary school summer fete 🙂

  3. Author
    Imogen Howson 6 years ago

    Aw, hugs! It was lovely to be around to share your happy moment!

  4. Author
    Judy Astley 6 years ago

    Congratulations from me too!

  5. Author
    alisonmay 6 years ago

    Thank-you Judy & Imogen x

  6. Author
    R F Long 6 years ago

    Such a brilliant night. There's you with your little cup! 😀 Congratulations again. Have more pringles. 😉

  7. Author
    Rosemary Gemmell 6 years ago

    What a lovely moment for you, Alison, and hopefully many more to come! Enjoy every minute – great to see the photos of your reaction!

  8. Author
    Jude 6 years ago

    Congratulations Alison, your delight was infectious. x

  9. Author
    alisonmay 6 years ago

    Glad to be sharing the joy! I was genuinely delighted, and am still very much enjoying every minute.

    Conference is a real high anyway without winning anything. I've been a much more productive writing bunny in the last few days that I was before conference. I hope everyone else is similiarly fired up?

  10. Author
    Catherine Miller 6 years ago

    What great pictures of a fab moment. Congratulations, Alison x

  11. Author
    Cally Taylor 6 years ago

    Congratulations! So glad I got to give the award to someone SO visibly excited. It wouldn't have been nearly so much fun if you hadn't been 🙂

  12. Author
    D.J. Kirkby 6 years ago

    Lovely photos! Congratulations Alison.

  13. Author
    Laura E. James 6 years ago

    Oh yes 🙂 x

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