The Festival Programme, 2011

This page provides a quick overview of the Festival Progamme.


Friday 25 March

14.00 - 18.00

Mini courses (optional)
Writing for Children, Julia Churchill & Michael Ford
Screenwriting Masterclass, with Ashley Pharoah
Finding Your Voice, with Debi Alper & Emma Darwin
Getting Published, with Harry Bingham & Helen Corner
Characterisation masterclass, with Kate Allan and Jane Lovering

14.00 - 18.00

Registration and collection of room keys
16.00 - 17.00 Afternoon tea
18.00 Bar opens (Roger Kirk centre)
19.00 Literary Networking
Come along to meet agents, editors and fellow writers.
19.30 Dinner
20.45 - 21.15 Authonomy Live
Your chance for a panel of experts to hear and evaluate your text. Terrifying, but useful. More details in the Full Festival Programme (from Jan 2011). Last year's winner ended up with an agent and a 2-book deal from a major publisher.

Saturday 26 March




Registration for Saturday arrivals

9.10 - 10.10

Festival Welcome & Keynote Address - David Nobbs
Author of 27 novels, and acclaimed as 'probably our finest post-war comic novelist', David is also a legend among screenwriters. He's written for countless comedy legends and created the Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin from his own novels.

10.10 - 10.40

Coffee break & David Nobbs booksigning

10.40 - 11.40

Workshops - Session 1
See workshops for more info. When you book your Festival ticket, you will be asked to select your workshop choice.

11.50 - 12.50

Panel Q&As
Your chance to ask the questions you want answered. Choice of (no prebooking required):

  • Agents panel
  • Independent publishers' panel
  • Children's fiction panel
  • Writing societies panel
  • New authors panel



14.00 - 15.00

Key note address: The Agent & The Publisher
Carole Blake (of Blake Friedmann)
Patrick-Janson Smith (now of Harper-Collins)
Carole Blake is one of the most infuential agents in London. Former Transworld boss, Patrick Janson-Smith has long been one of the most interesting and influential publishers. In this address, they discuss their roles.

15.10 - 16.10

Workshops - Session 2
See workshops for more info.

16.10 - 16.40

Afternoon Tea - plus author booksignings

16.40 - 17.40

Workshops - Session 3
See workshops for more info.

18.45 - 19.15

Writers' Reception


Gala Dinner & Competition Presentations
After-dinner speech: Ashley Pharoah


Sunday 27 March




Registration for Sunday arrivals

09.10 - 10.00

Writers' News Festival Panel
Your chance to grill their experts

10.10 - 11.10

Workshops - Session 4
See workshops for more info.

11.10 - 11.40

Coffee break & author booksignings

11.40 - 12.40

Workshops - Session 5
See workshops for more info.



14.00 - 15.00

Workshops - Session 6
See workshops for more info.

15.10 - 15.50

Keynote Address with Kate Williams
Kate is a historian and one of the most accomplished biographers we have. Her Becoming Queen received huge critical acclaim and was televised as the Young Victoria. Her new novel, The Pleasures of Men, was purchased for a huge advance and will go on sale worldwide in summer 2011.

Also Festival Q&A
There will also be the chance to grill our panel of Festival speakers with any questions that you still need answered.

15.50 - 16.00

Wrap-up & farewells




To find out more ...

Check out our Workshops schedule here. All Festival delegates are given their choice of workshops, but do note that workshops are first come, first served, so do book fast to ensure availability.

All delegates to the Festival have the opportunity to pitch their work directly to top agents and editors. For more about how to do that, please just check out the details here.

Check out the Friday afternoon Mini-courses here. These can be a brilliant way to get up to speed with one crucial aspect of the art and business of writing before the start of the Festival proper.

If you love what you see and want to book your place, then please do so quickly. All events are first come, first served and places are limited. Click here to book your place.

We're bringing the best of the books world to York 2010, so make sure you're there to meet it!

Julia Churchill

Children's agent, Greenhouse Lit Ag.

David Nobbs
Novelist & screenwriter

Kate Williams
Historian, biographer and novelist

Carole Blake
Co-head of Blake Friedmann Lit. Ag.

Patrick Janson-Smith
Former MD of Transworld, now running his own Blue Door imprint at HC

Ashley Pharoah
Screenwriter and creator of Ashes to Ashes

Michael Ford
Author of bestselling Spartan Warrior series.

Haworth Parsonage
A typical local from Wuthering Heights country