We recommend you select a mix of workshops on technique (eg: plotting), on genre (eg: writing for kids), and on the business side of things (eg: one of our "Meet the Industry" panels). Some 'workshops' will be highly interactive; others will be more in the nature of talks. All events will have Q&A opportunities. When you book your place at the Festival, you'll be asked for your workshop preferences. These take place on the Saturday and the Sunday.


 

 

 

 

1A) Jeremy Sheldon - “Why aren't you writing in sequences?”
Some storytellers write in three acts. Some write in four acts. And some don’t bother to think about “acts” at all and improvise their way through a storyline. Whichever way you write, it might be useful to borrow from, or at least consider, an approach many screenwriters use that breaks a storyline down into smaller sub-units, each sequence containing its own thrusting momentum and logic, each sequence building towards the next in a growing wave of dramatic intensity. We’ll look at these “sequences” throughout this session and consider what kinds of things our characters do and choose at each stage of the story as well as keep an eye on what’s going on at an emotional and psychological level. This session will be useful to writers working in all genres. Jeremy Sheldon is an author and screenwriter. The Comfort Zone and The Smiling Affair are published by Jonathan Cape. His feature film work includes Montana, Allies and Thin Rain, an action-thriller to be directed by John McTiernan in 2016.

1B) Tracy Rees - Overcoming Obstacles to Writing Success
We all know that publishing can be a tough industry to crack. When rejection follows rejection it is easy to lose faith. In this workshop, Tracy Rees will examine the practical, emotional and psychological blocks that commonly arise for aspiring writers, sometimes making the dream of publication seem nigh-on impossible. Offering a variety of helpful tips and suggestions, she will look at ways to dissolve or overcome these obstacles and move forward to success. Tracy Rees is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller Amy Snow, and Florence Grace. She is the winner of the inaugural Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and the LoveStories Best Historical Read award 2015. She has previously worked as a publishing manager, a counsellor and a tutor. She is currently working on her third novel for Quercus.

1C) Brian Keaney - Look Who's Talking; the importance of voice in children's fiction.
For a children's writer a compelling voice is an absolutely critical quality. Get the voice wrong and and you will fail to capture your target audience. In this workshop we will look at the kinds of voices that succeed in children's fiction and consider how you can develop a storytelling voice that young people will want to listen to. Brian Keaney has written twenty novels for young people  and worked as Series Editor for three major publishers.  Until 2014 he regularly taught Creative Writing on the University of Cambridge summer programme.

1D) Julie Cohen - First 100 Words Challenge
Editors, agents and readers say that the first few hundred words of a novel can make them decide whether to read on or not. Are your first hundred words as good as they can be? Julie Cohen goes through some tips for making your first hundred words stand out, followed by a lightning-quick critique of as many 100-word beginnings as possible from the audience. If you’d like to participate, please bring the first 100 words ONLY of your novel on a loose sheet of paper, to submit at the beginning of the workshop. Award-winning novelist Julie Cohen writes emotional, character-driven women's fiction novels. Her work has been translated into fifteen languages. Her latest paperback is Dear Thing, and her latest hardback is Where love lies, both published by Transworld. Dear Thing is a Richard and Judy 2014 Summer Book Club selection. Julie is also an experienced teacher, recently leading writing courses for the Guardian, Random House, and the V&A Museum.

1E) Piers Blofeld - Rejection: Live!
Piers Blofeld demystifies the submission process and takes you into the heart of what agents are really thinking when they read your submission. Piers Blofeld has been an agent at Sheil Land since 2009.  He was previously senior commissioning editor at Headline where he was responsible for creating both an adult fiction list and a new YA list as well as exploring new areas of business relating to games, online publishing and graphic novels.Unlike some of his more publicity shy colleagues, Piers has a strong online profile.  He is on twitter @pblofeld and unusually, has also published a series of YouTube videos in which he discusses some of the thorny issues around getting an agent.  The videos are well worth a look as Piers made them to ‘help writers navigate the sometimes tricky waters of their writing careers’.   

1F) Kathryn Taussig - Shaping Your Commercial Novel: Pitch, Plot and Pacing in Commercial Fiction
A workshop detailing how to make your commercial novel the best it can be. What editors and agents are looking for in commercial fiction: what area of the market are you writing in? How can you capitalise on what's selling now? And how do you make agents and editors sit up and pay attention? We'll also go on to discuss where commercial fiction can go wrong, and how you can make your book better by improving your plot, pace and structure. Kathryn Taussig is a commissioning editor at Quercus, part of Hachette UK. She specialises primarily in commercial fiction, including women's fiction, psychological thrillers and historical fiction. Amongst others, she has worked with Richard & Judy bestselling author Tracy Rees on her novels Amy Snow and Florence Grace, as well as publishing the top-ten kindle bestseller While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green. She's originally from San Francisco, California but has lived in the UK for more than a decade.

1G) Laura Williams - Writing Tips: Rules are Made to be Broken
Literary greats such as Kurt Vonnegut, Henry Miller, Elmore Leonard, George Orwell, P.D. James, Neil Gaiman and Zadie Smith have all at one point or another written lists with their key pieces of advice for writers, with tips on the whole spectrum of writing a novel – when, where, how and what you should write. In this workshop we’ll look at several of these different lists, assessing whether these rules from the masters of fiction writing hold up, or whether maybe, sometimes, the rules can be broken. This is a workshop for writers who feel overwhelmed by the amount of advice there is out there about how a novel should be written, and want to figure out how to write their own unique book, without falling into some classic pitfalls. Laura Williams is an agent at Peters Fraser and Dunlop, where she has been working since 2011, after completing a degree in Classics at Oxford. She is actively building a fiction list and a small non-fiction list. She enjoys working with debut authors, and getting stuck in editorially.


How to Hook an Agent and Get a Book Deal: What's Your Genre? (Saturday 11.50 - 12.50)

Want to know how to choose an agent? Or write a covering letter or synopsis? Or understand rejection letters? And do you want to know what agents and editors are looking for? Of course you do! So come and ask them.

  • Literary Fiction
  • Reading group Fiction
  • Children's/Young Adult
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Crime/Thriller/Mystery
  • Historical Fiction

And:

  • Script Writing with Jeremy Sheldon

 

  

 

 

2A) Debi Alper - POV/Psychic Distance
How far inside your characters' heads do you go? To what extent does their voice colour the prose? This workshop has been described by former participants as the most transformative session they have ever attended. Psychic distance holds the keys to character, POV, voice, show and tell and much more.
Debi Alper is the author of gritty, funny, contemporary novels with Orion - and a hugely respected tutor and book doctor with the Writers' Workshop.

2B) Daren King - "Thriller Plotting Techniques - For Writers of All Kinds of Fiction"
Laurence Daren King, published as Daren King, has spent the past four years teaching the Writers' Workshop's most comprehensive course, the Complete Novel Writing Course. Laurence mentors writers of all styles of fiction, from character-based/literary fiction to genres including chick-lit, science fiction, fantasy, and of course thrillers. Whatever the style, King has found that plotting always comes down to the same rules and concepts, all of which are best viewed through the sphere of thriller writing. Daren King's debut adult novel reached the Booker longlist and his first children's novel won Gold in the Nestlé Children’s Book Prize.

2C) Kirsty Greenwood - Writing Commercial Fiction that will sell to a publisher
Awaiting Class Description. Kirsty Greenwood is the founder and editor in chief of Novelicious.com. Kirsty founded Novelicious in 2009 and built it into the biggest women’s fiction blog in the UK. Kirsty also self-published her own chick-lit novel, Yours Truly, which went on to sell over 120,000 copies and secured her a traditional publishing deal with Pan Macmillan. Her second romantic comedy THE VINTAGE GUIDE TO LOVE AND ROMANCE is out now! Kirsty Greenwood recently joined Bookouture as Associate Publisher.

2D) Jenny Ashcroft - Making Historical Fiction Relevant & Commercial
An interactive workshop covering key aspects of writing compelling historical fiction that will be relevant to today’s audience. Areas we’ll look at are: ·  What are readers looking for in historical fiction? We’ll discuss what will hook a reader in and look at some recent examples of bestsellers, examining what is it about them that has made them so successful. · Creating sense of time and place: how can you transport your reader to another era whilst keeping them turning the pages and fully engaged in your plot? Here we’ll look at striking the perfect balance of history and fiction in your story, plus use of sensory detail to establish setting.· Getting your historical fiction published: I’ll explain some of the lessons I’ve learned on my path to publication, then hold an informal Q&A on approaching agents and what to expect on moving from there to a possible book deal. Jenny Ashcroft studied history at university, has always been fascinated by the past - and loves nothing more than reliving it through a great book. Ashcroft's first novel, Remember Me, was published in October 2014 in Germany under the title, Die Frauen vom Rose Square (Goldmann Verlag). Beneath a Burning Sky is her first novel in the UK, published by Sphere.

2E) Julia Churchill & Penny Holroyde - How to elevate your submission from slushpile hell to slushpile heaven 
With many agents receiving between 20 and 50 submissions every single day, how can you make yours stand out and get into the right hands? There is a lot of information for writers on the internet but hear it from the horses’ mouths in this workshop. A vital list of common transgressions and real life examples of good, and bad submissions. How a writer submits is a crucial part of the process. Never get it wrong again. Julia Churchill joined AM Heath in 2013 as Children's Agent, after four years building up the UK side of the Greenhouse Literary Agency, and six years at the Darley Anderson Agency where she grew the children’s list. Penny Holroyde is in the process of establishing her own agency, after nearly a decade at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency.

2F) Andrew Wille - Trusting Your Voice
'Find your voice' is one of the great myths of creative writing; you have a voice already. In this workshop we shall look at practical ways to use your natural speaking voice to bring your writing to life. Andrew Wille was senior editor at Little, Brown UK, acquiring and editing many critically acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. He has freelanced for many publishers, worked as a book doctor, and taught for Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and Falmouth University’s MA in Professional Writing. His own fiction has been published in literary magazines. More info at
www.wille.org.

2G) Kerry Fisher - What you didn't know you needed to know about publishing
When you're trying to get published, finding an agent and getting a publishing deal seem like the holy grail. But which questions should you be asking to make sure that you make the most of every opportunity and get the fit that's right for you? This workshop covers what sorts of questions you should ask a prospective agent, what to consider before signing any publishing deal, which questions you should be asking about how a publisher intends to market your book, advances, royalties, foreign rights and the financial reality of being an author. Four years ago Kerry Fisher attended the York Festival of Writing as a delegate. Since then she has self-published her debut novel, which was picked up by Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins, and republished as The School Gate Survival Guide. Her second book, The Island Escape, was a Kindle bestseller, reaching number two in the Amazon charts. Her latest novel, After The Lie, was published by digital only imprint, Bookouture. She is open and honest about publishing highs and lows - you can ask her anything!

2H) Sharon Zink - GROUP COACHING . Get Productive: Handy Tips for the Hectic Writer
Are you trying to write a book amongst the bustle of a full-time job? Are you finding it hard to find time to be creative in the midst of family life? Do you fantasise about having huge swathes of time to devote to writing, but your schedule just won’t allow it? In this session, we’ll look at practical ways to make more of the time you have and we’ll also examine your priorities, so you can find ways to squeeze more precious creative time into your days–busy or not. Sharon Zink’s first novel, Welcome to Sharonville (Unthank, 2014) was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award. A former English Literature academic, Sharon has extensive experience as a literary consultant, editor and writing tutor, but recently also completed life coach training with Martha Beck in the US and now has a practice devoted to helping clients become the writers they were born to be. 

 

 

 



3A) Emma Darwin - Showing and Telling.
Everyone says "Show, don't Tell", but nothing could be more wrong-headed: you need to be able to do both. In this practical workshop we will explore what "showing" and "telling" each actually mean, why they matter, and when to use which. You should leave having worked with both tools, looked at good real-world examples, and acquired a clearer idea of how to use them on your work-in-progress.
Emma Darwin is that rare thing: an acclaimed literary author who's graced the bestseller lists. Her fiction has been shortlisted and longlisted for numerous prizes and sold extensively overseas. Her latest book, Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction, (John Murray/Teach Yourself) was published in March 2016.

3B) Louise Buckley - First paragraphs: How to grab the reader (and an agent) on the first page
Hooking your reader is arguably one of the most important aspects of being an author. Literary agent Louise Buckley takes us through some of her top tips for honing that first paragraph. Using examples, she shows us what makes a strong opening paragraph and what can put off the reader from reading further. Before joining Zeno Agency, Louise spent six years working as an editor for Pan Macmillan and Dorling Kindersley publishers. At Pan Macmillan she worked across their Adult fiction list, where she commissioned and published the bestselling Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, along with sagas, women's fiction and thrillers. She's also edited and published a selection of fantasy and science fiction.

3C) Harry Bingham - The Prose Laboratory - basics
Writing good, clear, competent prose is absolutely essential no matter what your story or genre. In this workshop, we run through the key elements of good writing - and how to make sure yours passes the test. Harry Bingham's work has been published in the UK, the US, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, Japan and numerous other territories besides. He has been short-and long-listed for major literary awards and his crime fiction has been critically acclaimed worldwide. He is also author of books on How To Write and Getting Published. 

3D) C M Taylor - Character is Destiny, Part One: Basis
Using insights ranging from Classical Greece to contemporary Hollywood, this workshop will explore the basis for the underlying structure of story, and use a very simple tool to depict your character's struggle to journey from ignorance to understanding. Craig (writing as C M Taylor) is the author of five novels. Premiership Psycho (Corsair 2011) and the Amazon best-selling Group of Death (Corsair 2012) form two thirds of a savagely satirical trilogy about contemporary celebrity culture described as 'Brilliant' by The Sun, and 'Horribly entertaining' by The Mirror. He's also the author of Light, Cloven and Grief, the latter a dystopian fantasy described by British Science Fiction Association as a work of 'breathtaking originality' and nominated for their 2005 Book of the Year.

3E) Hal Duncan - When is a Chapter not a Chapter?
Actions come in incidents, and incidents come in episodes, and the meat of narrative works at its best when it's structured to reflect this, passages scaling up to scenes scaling up to chapters scaling up to acts. Conflate and confuse the scales, and your choppy jumble of scene-scraps patched together all wrong simply won't do its job. This workshop offers a simple way to understand the subtleties of chapter construction--scenes and acts too--parsing action into the Spurs, Turns and Crunches that form the basis of narrative beats, the basis of pace and rhythm, giving you the savvy essential if you want to bring out all the power in your narrative, the driving music of its dynamics, via the structure itself.. Hal Duncan has over twenty years critiquing experience as a member of the Glasgow SF Writers Circle, and a half dozen years writing for a living, mainly fiction and poetry but also a considerable amount of literary criticism and commentary via his regular 'Notes from New Sodom' column for BSC Review. A blend of pulp and postmodernism, his first novel, VELLUM, was described by Lucius Shepard as 'the Guernica of genre fiction', and shared awards shortlists with everyone from Neil Gaiman (BFS Award) to Brett Easton Ellis and Haruki Murakami (World Fantasy Award).

3F) David Gaughran - Should You Self-Publish? A Beginners Guide
Should you self-publish? We’ll go through the pros and cons of self-publishing, and deal with your reasons for being reticent. Are you worried you will damage your career? That you won’t be able to get your book noticed? Or that you could never learn the practical steps involved? These are all valid questions and we’ll go through each of them in detail, as well as related issues surrounding piracy, marketing, the so called “glut” of books, and various pitfalls you should avoid. We’ll also whizz through the practical steps between an unedited manuscript and seeing your book on sale. David Gaughran is the author of the historical novels Mercenary and A Storm Hits Valparaiso, as well as the popular books for writers Let's Get Digital and Let's Get Visible.

3G) Bestselling crime author C.L. Taylor and her literary agent Madeleine Milburn - From pitch to publication: An author and agent's journey.
Topics likely to be covered: the author agent relationship.  What to look for in an agent.  What an agent and publisher need from an author. The knock out pitch that agents look for and the hook that publishers want to see.  Writing with the market in mind. Submitting to an agent. C.L Taylor's original covering letter to her agent and subsequent synopses / pitches for her publishers. CL Taylor is a Sunday Times bestselling author of psychological thrillers THE LIE and THE ACCIDENT. Combined sales of both novels have now exceeded half a million copies in the UK alone. Madeleine Milburn is one of the top literary agents in the UK.  Since graduating from the University of St Andrews with a degree in English Literature and Language in 2004, Madeleine has worked for the independent publishing company Trojan Books in Berlin and the oldest literary agency in the UK where she specialised in foreign rights.  Prior to having her own Agency, Madeleine was the Head of Rights and a Literary Agent at the most commercial agency in the UK, handling the rights to three No.1 bestsellers. 

 

 

 


4A) Emma Darwin - Literary Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction:
Has someone told you that your story is literary fiction, or has that always been what you write? Are you writing non-fiction or life-writing about people or places, but want the creative freedom of a novelist? This kind of writing can be rewarding like no other, and it has a market of passionate readers and prize judges, but the bar is therefore set very high for the quality of both prose and ideas. In this practical workshop we'll explore what makes good writing literary writing, and what you can do to give your own storytelling that special quality. Emma Darwin is that rare thing: an acclaimed literary author who's graced the bestseller lists. Her fiction has been shortlisted and longlisted for numerous prizes and sold extensively overseas. Her latest book, Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction, (John Murray/Teach Yourself) was published in March 2016.

4B) Harry Bingham - The Prose Laboratory - advanced
Agents are always on the lookout for strong writing and distinctive voices. Writing decent prose (covered in the Saturday workshop) isn't always enough to catch an agent's eye. In this workshop, we'll take your writing and figure out how to make it sing. Tra la! Harry Bingham's work has been published in the UK, the US, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, Japan and numerous other territories besides. He has been short-and long-listed for major literary awards and his crime fiction has been critically acclaimed worldwide. He is also author of books on How To Write and Getting Published. 

4C) Susan Yearwood (of the Susan Yearwood Literary Agency) - Industry Session. Title TBC.
Awaiting Class Description. Susan Yearwood started her career in publishing in the early ’90s and gained valuable experience at, amongst other publishers, Virago (now part of Little, Brown Book Group) and Penguin Books Ltd (Penguin Random House). Susan completed an MPhil in Critical and Creative Writing before founding SYA eight years ago, starting the successful careers of debut writers Kerry Young (shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award) and Prajwal Parajuly (shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize). The agency represents a broad range of adult fiction and non-fiction as well as children’s and YA fiction.

4D) Jeremy Sheldon - "Save the best to last: Plotting and how to climax in every genre"
“…at the end where all works of art should begin.” Edgar Allan Poe
Poe couldn’t have been more correct, yet how much time is spent talking about beginnings rather than endings where the narrative’s most important story events undoubtedly occur? Consider how many workshops, seminars, articles and blog posts focus on first lines, first pages and first chapters, all with an (understandable) emphasis on hooking the reader, but little or no attention is given to how to bring a story to a satisfying climax, the most important job of all. This session will redress this imbalance and outline the cornerstones of a strong, affecting ending that moves and excites the reader or audience in equal measure in all genres. Finally, we’ll outline what this “End” means for the ”Beginning” and the “Middle”. After all, as Billy Wilder warned us: "If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.” Jeremy Sheldon is an author and screenwriter. The Comfort Zone and The Smiling Affair are published by Jonathan Cape. His feature film work includes Montana, Allies and Thin Rain, an action-thriller to be directed by John McTiernan in 2016.

4E) Kerry Fisher - 'From pipe dream to publication: ten ways to increase your book's chance of success'?
Getting published can be a long and often frustrating process but author Kerry Fisher - self-published, traditionally published and now published by Bookouture, digital only publishers - can help you find strategies to keep you moving towards your goals. This workshop will cover everything from how to develop a good writing routine and find high quality feedback to how to attract the attention of agents and the importance of effective networking. Four years ago Kerry Fisher attended the York Festival of Writing as a delegate. Since then she has self-published her debut novel, which was picked up by Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins, and republished as The School Gate Survival Guide. Her second book, The Island Escape, was a Kindle bestseller, reaching number two in the Amazon charts. Her latest novel, After The Lie, was published by digital only imprint, Bookouture. She is open and honest about publishing highs and lows - you can ask her anything!

4F) Andrew Wille - Raising the Tone
A story concept is not enough – our writing needs to excite, to move, to stir a reader. In this workshop we’ll look at ways in which tone adds texture and feeling to your voice, and brings mood and urgency to your writing. Andrew Wille was senior editor at Little, Brown UK, acquiring and editing many critically acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. He has freelanced for many publishers, worked as a book doctor, and taught for Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and Falmouth University’s MA in Professional Writing. His own fiction has been published in literary magazines. More info
www.wille.org.

4G) How to Hook an Agent and Get a Book Deal. Featuring Slushpile Live
Want to know how to choose an agent? Or write a covering letter or synopsis? Or understand rejection letters? And do you want to know what agents and editors are looking for? Of course you do! So come and ask them.
Panel to include: Emma Smith, Kirsty Greenwood, Rowan Lawton, Diana Beaumont

 

 

 



5A) Kirsty Greenwood - Whether to self publish, or traditionally publish your work.
Awaiting Class Description. Kirsty Greenwood is the founder and editor in chief of Novelicious.com. Kirsty founded Novelicious in 2009 and built it into the biggest women’s fiction blog in the UK. Kirsty also self-published her own chick-lit novel, Yours Truly, which went on to sell over 120,000 copies and secured her a traditional publishing deal with Pan Macmillan. Her second romantic comedy THE VINTAGE GUIDE TO LOVE AND ROMANCE is out now! Kirsty Greenwood recently joined Bookouture as Associate Publisher. 

5B) Julie Cohen - The Art of the Rewrite
Great books aren’t written, they’re rewritten. Editing makes your novel stronger and more coherent. But how do you move from first to final draft? Novelist and creative writing teacher Julie Cohen reveals step-by-step practical techniques for revising your novel, including 101 uses for Post-It notes. Award-winning novelist Julie Cohen writes emotional, character-driven women's fiction novels. Her work has been translated into fifteen languages. Her latest paperback is Dear Thing, and her latest hardback is Where love lies, both published by Transworld. Dear Thing is a Richard and Judy 2014 Summer Book Club selection. Julie is also an experienced teacher, recently leading writing courses for the Guardian, Random House, and the V&A Museum.

5C) Brian Keaney - Rites Of Passage - the role of insight in children's fiction
Young people are in the process of developing their personalities. One of the ways they do this is by empathizing with the central characters of stories. That is why so many children's novels focus on what the protagonist learns from his/her journey. In this workshop we will be looking at the role of insight in children's fiction and considering where you can look within your own experience for material that will resonate with juvenile readers. Brian Keaney has written twenty novels for young people  and worked as Series Editor for three major publishers.  Until 2014 he regularly taught Creative Writing on the University of Cambridge summer programme.

5D) James Wills - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Agents  (But Were Too Afraid to Ask)
Ask James Anything! James is Managing Director of Watson, Little Ltd and is passionate about reading and good writing. He looks after a dynamic and wide-ranging list of writers and is always searching for new, exciting material, especially from debut authors. Watson, Little Ltd was founded in 1970 and represents a number of bestselling and prize-winning authors and estates. James was Secretary of the Association of Authors' Agents from 2009-2011. 

5E) Daren King - "Stealth Sentence Secrets"
And they say writing can't be taught! Writing a sentence is an artform, but even outside of punctuation and grammar it has its technical, logical side. If you ever find yourself with a sentence that you KNOW doesn't work but you just can't figure out why, this workshop is for you. Award winning novelist Laurence Daren King (published as Daren King) will teach dozens of specific language techniques and princples (with clear and specific examples) many of which, unless you have taken King's Complete Novel Writing Course via the Writers' Workshop, you will not have encountered before. With a background in both computer programming and magic/mind-reading, Laurence has a unique understanding of language; some of his techniques, for example, are based in language patterns used by professional hypnotists. Daren King's debut adult novel reached the Booker longlist and his first children's novel won Gold in the Nestlé Children’s Book Prize. 

5F) Sharon Zink - GROUP COACHING . Tame Your Inner Critic
Does your Inner Critic constantly tell your novel isn’t good enough? Does it carp on about the odds of getting published and tell you not to bother? Does it nag you so much that you sometimes even stop writing or submitting your work? If so, then roll up, roll up to this hour long Inner Critic taming session, where we’ll  explore how, although the Inner Critic doesn’t really ever completely go away–even for the most successful writers–there are great ways to calm and befriend it, so it no longer makes your creative life a misery! All kinds of writers and Inner Critics welcome! Sharon Zink’s first novel, Welcome to Sharonville (Unthank, 2014) was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award. A former English Literature academic, Sharon has extensive experience as a literary consultant, editor and writing tutor, but recently also completed life coach training with Martha Beck in the US and now has a practice devoted to helping clients become the writers they were born to be.
 

5G) Jenny Ashcroft - Moving from First Draft to Publishing Deal (the things I wish I’d known).
Whether you’re just finishing your first draft, or have a version ready to query agents, this workshop de-mystifying the process of finding the perfect agent and getting that deal is for you. Areas covered are: · What to look for when determining which agents to approach · What the process is from initial query to offer of representation · Questions to ask before signing with an agent · What you can expect after signing – we’ll look at editing, submitting to publishers, and the realities of striking deals. Jenny Ashcroft studied history at university, has always been fascinated by the past - and loves nothing more than reliving it through a great book. Ashcroft's first novel, Remember Me, was published in October 2014 in Germany under the title, Die Frauen vom Rose Square (Goldmann Verlag). Beneath a Burning Sky is her first novel in the UK, published by Sphere. 

 

 

 

 



6A) Debi Alper - Dialogue: Look Who's Talking Too
Creating sparkling dialogue is one of the essential tools of creative writing but has your novel got a good balance between dialogue and prose? Is the dialogue convincing? Do all the characters sound different from each other? Are you exploring the gap behind their spoken words? What about tags and punctuation? We'll be exploring every aspect of how to use dialogue to good effect in your novel.

6B) C.M Taylor - Character is Destiny, Part Two: Application
Employing insights from the ancient and the modern to deepen understanding of the underlying structure of story, this workshop will have you using profoundly simple techniques to unify character, theme and plot into one common thread. Craig (writing as C M Taylor) is the author of five novels. Premiership Psycho (Corsair 2011) and the Amazon best-selling Group of Death (Corsair 2012) form two thirds of a savagely satirical trilogy about contemporary celebrity culture described as 'Brilliant' by The Sun, and 'Horribly entertaining' by The Mirror. He's also the author of Light, Cloven and Grief, the latter a dystopian fantasy described by British Science Fiction Association as a work of 'breathtaking originality' and nominated for their 2005 Book of the Year.

6C) Tracy Rees - A Creative Endeavour in a Business World.
Writing is an intensely personal, creative and organic process, yet publishing is a business, where deadlines, finances and market-branding matter. In this respect, product and industry don’t always appear to be an easy match. In this workshop, Tracy Rees will examine ways we can bridge this apparent difficulty so that we can survive and flourish in the business world whilst still retaining our creative joy and integrity. She will also consider the relationship between our inner critic and our inner creative. Tracy Rees is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller Amy Snow, and Florence Grace. She is the winner of the inaugural Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and the LoveStories Best Historical Read award 2015. She has previously worked as a publishing manager, a counsellor and a tutor. She is currently working on her third novel for Quercus.

6D) Hal Duncan - The Power of Point of View
PoV can make or break a novel, viewpoint part of the fabric of narrative. To get it right is to make the reader believe in the reality of an illusion, a narrator or character who doesn't exist. To get it wrong is to shatter that spell. In this workshop, starting from the basic division into first, second and third person, we'll dive into nuances often left uncovered. We'll look at the sneaky question of when your story is told from, and unpack the perils of omniscient versus limited, digging deep into technicalities of focus vs. viewpoint characters, framing vs. anchoring, how thought is dealt with, even subtleties of character presentation that can turn your PoV into a muddled mess or a powerhouse for your story, unleashing the juiciest potentials of the medium itself. Hal Duncan has over twenty years critiquing experience as a member of the Glasgow SF Writers Circle, and a half dozen years writing for a living, mainly fiction and poetry but also a considerable amount of literary criticism and commentary via his regular 'Notes from New Sodom' column for BSC Review. A blend of pulp and postmodernism, his first novel, Vellum, was described by Lucius Shepard as 'the Guernica of genre fiction', and shared awards shortlists with everyone from Neil Gaiman (BFS Award) to Brett Easton Ellis and Haruki Murakami (World Fantasy Award).

6E)  Marilia Savvides - How to globalise your writing career.
Why do some books appeal to readers all over the world, from Korea to Germany to Estonia, while others have a following only in their native language? Why are some authors published in translation while others aren’t?
This workshop will look at books that have made it big both in the UK, the US and in translation and why that is. It will teach you about a lesser-known part of the publishing industry – foreign rights – and how lucrative and crucial they really are for authors. Authors should know more about how the business works, before even approaching agents, so you don’t just get yourself a literary agent but the right agent for your book and hopefully… your book in the hands of readers all over the world. We’ll also be covering some classic how-to’s: how to research which agents to approach, how to pitch your book and my own do’s and don’ts.
Marilia Savvides is a literary agent and an international rights agent at Peters, Fraser + Dunlop. Her authors include Georgetown professor and empathy researcher Abigail Marsh and E.O. Chirovici; his debut English-language novel The Book of Mirrors will be published in 36 countries in 2017. She is currently building her list of authors and also sells translation rights around the world securing foreign language deals in Portugal, Greece, Israel, Hungary, Russia, China, Taiwan and Korea for PFD’s clients.


6F) David Gaughran - The Secrets of Successful Self-Publishers
There are a lot of myths about how books are sold.
 We will go through what actually sells books, and what doesn’t (you will be surprised!). The common misconception regarding self-publishers is that we sell books by hustling, or screaming “Buy My Book” on Twitter, or creating elaborate publicity stunts that you could never hope to replicate, or hiring expensive publicists you could never afford. None of that is true. Successful self-publishers use mailing lists, deal sites, advertising, cross-promotion, box sets, discounts, and all sorts of other things which generally don’t involve leaving the house, talking to other people, or spending very much money. And these tools are much more effective too: a single ad on the right site can shift thousands of books in a single weekend. David Gaughran is the author of the historical novels Mercenary and A Storm Hits Valparaiso, as well as the popular books for writers Let's Get Digital and Let's Get Visible.


6G) Ruth Bennett -Hooked on Books: Creating young fiction that readers will love!
How do you write young fiction that will get newly independent readers hooked on books for life? This workshop will consider different trends in fiction for 5- to 8-year-olds, including humour and the role of series fiction, as well as the challenges of writing outstanding text when you have a limited word count. Find out what publishers are looking for and how to make your story stand out from the crowd. Ruth Bennett is commissioning editor for Stripes, fiction imprint of the Little Tiger Group. Stripes specialise in bright and appealing books for young readers aged 6 to teen, from Holly Webb's best-selling animal stories to delicious teen romance from Katy Cannon and plenty in-between.

 

Speakers / talks are subject to change, but we do aim to replace like with like - or (if you prefer) rebook you for a different event.