are the Chelmsford Chapter, based in Essex. You don’t have to live in
Chelmsford to join us though, you just have to get here by train, plane or
long has your chapter been running?
ten years. We began as a casual group of romance writers meeting for lunch, and
only later became a chapter of the RNA. Since then, the chapter has grown, but
some of our founding members still remain.
often do you meet?
meet on the last Thursday of each month. The dates are published in advance,
but we also send out an email reminder (because we’re all busy writers!)
is your regular meeting place?
just moved to a new venue. We now meet in A
Canteen in Chelmsford, a delightful delicatessen and café.
many members attend your meetings?
varies from month to month. Sometimes there can be only six of us, and other
times (especially at Christmas) we can number up to about twenty. There’s no
pressure to attend monthly, just whenever you can.
your meetings include a meal?
the food in A
Canteen is very nice, and the atmosphere is lovely.
We find chatting over lunch is a great way to share our thoughts and news.
your chapter open to non-members of the RNA?
we’re primarily members of the RNA, we do have a few chapter members who are no
longer part of the organization. We are all writers though – whether at the
start of our careers, or well-established.
long are your meetings?
varies, too. We meet at 12 noon, though some members arrive a bit later due to
public transport restrictions. We’ve usually finished around 2:30pm (perfect if
you need to pick up children from school) but nobody worries if you need to
leave earlier. We’re very relaxed!
you give an outline of speakers/guests you’ve had in the past year?
primarily a support group, so haven’t had any speakers in 2016. However, we did
help to organize the Colchester Cream Tea in April this year, which was a
lovely event for all involved.
do you have planned for 2017?
just working on that now. We’ve had a fabulous new bookshop (Foyles) open up in
our city, and it would be good for us to forge some closer links with them.
Apart from that we’ll be doing our usual plan of eating, talking, and having
would you say makes your chapter of the RNA so special?
the same as all chapters – the people. We are a varied bunch. We range from
authors on the New Writers’ Scheme, to those who have been published for
decades. Each of us brings something unique to the group, whether it be
experience of the publishing industry, knowledge of digital marketing, or
connections that might help a fellow writer. I only joined a year ago, and I
immediately found the chapter to be very welcoming and generous with their
support. It’s great to spend time with like-minded people.
your chapter have a website, Facebook page or Twitter account?
have a Facebook group, but haven’t yet made any other social media accounts.
One to work on in 2017!
is the contact for new members?
(Carrie Elks) I recently took over as the organiser for our chapter, and am
enjoying it immensely.
can be contacted by email: Carrie.Elks@mail.com or
by telephone 07530 859769