2015 – That was the year that was!

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And so it’s that time of year again – that time when we reflect on everything that’s happened over the last year and also look forward to the coming year with a renewed enthusiasm and positivity.

And what a year it’s been! 2015 has seen me fulfil my ambition of securing a publishing contract and, as I look back over the year, I can see that this is due, in part, to me taking a much more business-like approach to my writing. And it paid off.

Key highlights of 2015:

  • Joining the Romantic Novelist Association New Writers Scheme
  • Entering the So You Think You Can Write Competition 2015 – shortlisted
  • RNA Tea Party in York
  • Tutored writing retreat
  • Getting a publishing contract with Tirgearr Publishing

Joining the RNA NWS was, I believe, the key to my success this year. It is always over-subscribed but, if you can get on to it, I would say it is well worth it. The cost of the scheme includes an in-depth critique of your manuscript. But more than this, you are then part of an incredibly knowledgeable and supportive group of writers and this, for me, has been invaluable. By attending an RNA event held in York, I was able to meet up with authors and fellow aspiring writers, including some who live close by and with whom I have met up since.

Entering the So You Think You Can Write 2015 competition saw me through to the semi-final – a real confidence booster – and this was closely followed by my attending a tutored writing retreat with my friend and aspiring writer, Detty. It was here that we learnt about the technical aspects of writing – a real eye-opener and an invaluable lesson. Equally as important, for me, was the chance to meet with other aspiring authors – not always an easy thing for me to do, being rather introverted, but well worth the effort. I’ve learnt that writers are such a lovely, supportive bunch of people.

But, the overall highlight of my year has been signing a contract with the marvellous Tirgearr Publishing. This has helped me to realise by dream of being published, and I have been welcomed into yet another group of incredibly hard working and supportive writers and publishers. I feel very lucky to be part of such a professional team.

So, as 2015 draws to a close, I look back at a year that has passed by so quickly and one which I will forever remember as being the year I got my first publishing contract. And as I look forward to 2016, I do so with anticipation and a renewed determination to see my debut novel, Beauty and the Recluse, do well and to hopefully see the release of my second novel.

And finally, to all my family, friends and wonderful writer friends, I wish you all a fantastic New Year and hope that 2016 will bring you health, happiness and the courage to reach for your dreams.

Ellie x

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