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Back home, and entirely thrilled about it all – that’s what I am!

HNSScotland18 was a wonderful conference: Margaret Skea did a wonderful job of putting together an array of seminars, panels, lectures and talks – with a fascinating Scottish slant. Thanks to Stevenson and Scott, I have a fondness for the Jacobite Risings, and therefore I loved hearing about them from Maggie Craig and Trevor Royle, crossing kilted re-enactors on my way about, and being piped into dinner was a novel-worthy moment… Besides, I met such lovely people, and pitched my novel to two very nice agents – who won’t represent me, but had many interesting, helpful, and flattering things to say about my writing.

And then…

Ah well, and then there was the Short Story Competition. Let me brag and boast a little here, because the fact is that I won the competition. Remember the story that would not be written? Well, I wrote it, in the end*. I cut it frighteningly close, but managed to submit it – and… won the competition.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it was – and how lovely everyone was about it, so full of enthusiasm and praise… Ah well, I’ve been walking on a cloud these past few days, and loved every minute of the Conference, and been a little sad to leave this buzzing, friendly, stimulating hub.

And as I strolled along Princes Street in Edinburgh, later on Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t help remembering my schoolgirl self, landing in Scotland for the first time, barely able to string together a coherent sentence in English… Well, one can learn a good deal of things in a quarter of a centuries, can’t one?

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* And really, really, thank you, Davide! That full day of focused scribbling, and music, and walking was what jostled me out of my megrims and got me the story…

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