Minories; Batte-Lay tea room; RNA
I don’t know why, but the words SCONES & CREAM have a way of leaping out at me, wherever they appear. Funny that.
A recent leaping-out was on the invitation extended by the Chelmsford Chapter of the RNA, who’d had the inspired idea of organising an Afternoon Tea, which was to take place in Colchester last Saturday.
Faster than you can say carrot cake, I’d emailed Fenella Jane Miller and Jean Fullerton, the organisers of the event, and booked a place. Sandwiches, scones, cakes and fizz, served up in a lovely place full of RNA friends – it sounded the perfect way to spend an April afternoon.
And indeed it was!
The tea took place in a lovely Grade II listed building, The Minories, which stands almost opposite Colchester Castle.
Arriving there, we gathered in the Batte-Lay tea room, where we caught up with ‘old’ friends and were introduced to new.
Our tables were soon groaning beneath a profusion of delicious things to eat, and soon we were groaning, too!
Fenella and Jean did a superb job of making sure that everything went smoothly, and then, when we could eat no more, Jean introduced the guest speaker, successful author Victoria Connelly.
During her highly entertaining talk, Victoria made an impassioned plea for writers to guard against distractions that took them away from their writing, which was the most precious thing, and which was where the writer’s focus should be. She recognised that writers today were no longer expected just to write a good book, but they were also now asked to do much of the promotion too; for example, to spend their days on blog tours. But, she said, ‘Readers don’t want a blog post – they’re probably not even aware of most of the blogs out there anyway – they want another book from you, so get to it!’
Victoria finished her lively speech by saying that there’d never been a better time in which to be a writer as we can now write with or without the involvement of middle men. All that’s needed is ‘the passion and determination to put one word in front of another, to create our characters and build our worlds.’
All that entertainment punctuated with good advice, plus cakes, fizz and friends! It was a brilliant afternoon. Thank you very much, Jean and Fenella, for organising it.