lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

Society of Authors Conference

A lovely meeting of like-minds at the Society of Authors conference this last weekend was as usual thoroughly enjoyable. This year we met at Bath University.

We were welcomed by author, editor, translator and Chair of the Society of Authors, Daniel Hahn, and author, wearer of snazzy shirts and Chair of the Children’s Writers’ and Illustrators’ Group, John Dougherty to two-days cram-packed full of fabulous author and publisher talks, culminating in a wonderful poetry performance and an electrifying Royal Literary Fund talk by John Agard.

Also on offer were such delights as ‘My YouTube Story’ by delightful illustrator and Youtube Channel whizz Shoo Rayner (also a snazzy shirt wearer), What are Poetry Editors Looking For? by Janetta Otter-Barry, The Future of Publishing and a spine-tingling account of the real-life personal events that led to author Miriam Moss writing her new book, Girl on a Plane.

Here are some photos – I didn’t take many this year!

This is at dinner on Saturday – we were treated to an interesting live question and answer session between Daniel Hahn and Philip Pullman (who made my day coming up to talk to me about Lola).


And listening in fascination author Sharon Tregenza, poet and story-teller John Rice (indulging in another of his passions, photography!) and author of the Horrid Henry Series, Francesca Simon, whose hilarious talk I missed due to not having quite enough blood sugar to get there!

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A lot of wonderful people also wanted to meet Lola, of course. Here are fab authors  Candy Gourlay and Helen Peters taking a photo, and Lola sitting in her photo shoot pose:


The rooms we stayed in were very, very small – so small that poor Lola had to sleep in my suitcase…


And lastly – the wonderful John Agard during his performance, and lovely Valerie Boom who introduced the last section (and also read some powerful poems, as did Grace Nichols) watching him.


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I met lots of wonderful people and had a lovely time, thank you so much Society of Authors for all your hard work putting together such a varied and exciting programme.

Thank you Bath University for having lovely staff. But please, if a guest needs a ground floor room, do make sure one is provided. And get those electronic keys sorted out! Three times I had to make a long walk back to the office to get mine re-initialised, and this resulted in me being late for one session, and missing another due to the fact by blood sugar fell so dramatically due to the stress of it all.

Update! My new favourite picture, taken by the wonderful John Rice, and just this moment received. This is me in the Val Bloom’s session, Poetry in Performance. I was getting excellent tips on how to perform better in front of an audience.

06-09-2015 Val Bloom & Liz Brownlee



  1. Birgit

    It sounds like you had a great experience despite the low blood sugar. Your doggie seems quite happy in the suitcase and I am amazed at the blanket he has because I had one like it for my dog!


    • I had a wonderful time, children’s authors are all lovely people. We got the blanket in TK MAXx, it was an American one I think.


  2. Shoo Rayner

    It was great to see you and Lola again. I have an image of the moon slipping down the throat of a nightingale seared into my imagination. I was remembering coming back to Bristol airport in an early summer evening a couple of years ago. A nightingale was sining it’s heart out while all the hubbub wen on around it.

    It was a great weekend – has left me exhausted! Late nights and too much beer probably! 🙂


    • Hello Shoo! Thank you. I think all that organising and explaining interesting facts about video channels probably took its toll for you as well. I hardly saw you stop. Looking forward to seeing your tips on your video channel. And looking forward to next time!


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