I loved that weekend. I learned a great deal about the Spec Fic community, about writing and publishing opportunities, and came home enthused and energised. I also met a number of people - including a few with whom I've remained in regular contact.
The group read the submitted piece from a lady who sat on the opposite side of the room from me, and I really enjoyed it. It had a beautiful lyrical quality to the writing, a wonderful sense of measured pace and decadence in the created world that reminded me of one of Moorcock's Eternal Champion stories. I don't know if she ever finished that story - I'm still hoping to see the final product.
We chatted later - her name was Gitte Christensen - and over the years we've bumped into each other at conventions and the like, and stayed in touch.
Gitte is a quiet achiever. She's dedicated and focused, and a terrific writer to boot, and yet there are other writers with lesser bibliographies that I hear mentioned more frequently. Gitte has the credentials and continues to publish quality fiction. She's seen publication in Aurealis, Andromeda Spaceways, The Tangled Bank and Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations amongst a host of anthologies and other magazines. She's been a semi-finalist in Writers of The Future, and had a story included in the inaugural The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror collection from Ticonderoga. She was interviewed for Snapshot 2012, and maintains a fantastic blog. She has received terrific reviews for her work - for example, here, and here.
She's a writer I respect and admire. And beyond that, Gitte's just a friendly, humble writer. Keep an eye out for her and get to know her work.
Don't be one of those who asks "Gitte who?"