The Getting Published Programme


 

09:30 - 10:00 - Registration & Coffee

10:00 - 10:55 - Workshop 1. Your choice of:

1A - Elevator Pitch with Harry Bingham
The concept behind a book makes a massive difference to its saleability. That's obvious with high concept bestsellers like 50 Shades, Twilight, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, Harry Potter, Da Vinci Code - but it's also true of high end fiction. Publishers simply won't take on work without a strong hook - so how do you figure out if yours is good enough? And if it isn't, what do you do?
  1B - Showing and Telling: why you need both, and how to use them well with Emma Darwin
It's a myth that you can't 'tell' in a novel: all novels will use showing and telling as ways to develop their story. This workshop will teach you the difference between the two storytelling modes and teach you how to use them successful

 

11:00 - 11:55 - Workshop 2. Your choice of:

2A - Four Plot Problems You Didn't Know You Had with Jeremy Sheldon
"The narratives of the world are numberless." So wrote a renowned literary figure. Acknowledging the diversity of our characters and their dramatic contexts, this session will consider four problematic choices relating to plot that many developing writers often make, sometimes without even realising they're doing it. There are no quick fixes nor easy solutions, but this session will identify some principles of good plotting practice.
  2B - Prose Microscope: Which Words? What Order? with Debi Alper
Writing a novel is about choosing the best words and putting them into the best order. Easy, right? But which words do you choose? And how do you decide when and where to use them? This workshop covers all aspects of prose style: vocabulary, sentence construction, point of view, when to show or tell, how to use dialogue to good effect and much more.

11:55 - 12:20 - Coffee Break

12:20 - 1:15 - Workshop 3. Your choice of:

3A - Voice with Andrew Wille
It's a myth of creative writing that you have to 'find your voice'. You have a voice already, so let's explore ways it can make your writing strong and memorable.

 

  3B - Character with Emma Darwin 
Strong books need strong characters. That means you need to develop a character who will engage a reader's attention and who is right for your story. You also need to find ways to make that character sizzle with life on the page. This workshop is all about learning the rules - and honing your skills.

1:15 - 2:15 - Lunch

2:15 - 2:45 - Harry Bingham on Getting Published
Everything you need to know about how to find agents, how to approach them, and how to write a compelling synopsis and covering letter.

Or

2:15 - 2:45 - Juliet Mushens on Getting Published
Everything you need to know about how to find agents, how to approach them, and how to write a compelling synopsis and covering letter.


2:45 - 3:40 - Industry Panel.
Your choice of:

4A - Approaching Agents and Publishers
Q&A with a panel consisting of:
Oliver Munson, AM Heath
Sallyanne Sweeney, Watson, Little
• Suzie Doore, Hodder & Stoughton
Harry Bingham, Author
  4B - Approaching Agents and Publishers
Q&A with a panel consisting of:
Sam Copeland, Rogers Coleridge & White
Jodie Marsh, United Agents
Angus Cargill, Faber
Emma Darwin, Author


3:40 - 4:05 - Afternoon coffee break

4:05 - 5:00 - Slushpile Live. Your choice of:

5A - SLUSHPILE LIVE - with Oliver Munson, Sallyanne Sweeney, Suzie Doore, Harry Bingham
Delegates are invited to presubmit one or all of the following: (i) a draft covering letter to an agent, (ii) a synopsis, (iii) the opening page of their manuscript. This material will be reviewed live by the panel, with comments and suggestions for improvement.
It is not compulsory to submit your work. For more info, see "Slushpile Live" info below.
  5B - SLUSHPILE LIVE - with Sam Copeland, Jodie Marsh, Francesca Main, Emma Darwin
Delegates are invited to presubmit one or all of the following: (i) a draft covering letter to an agent, (ii) a synopsis, (iii) the opening page of their manuscript. This material will be reviewed live by the panel, with comments and suggestions for improvement. It is not compulsory to submit your work. For more info, see "Slushpile Live" info below.
 

Slushpile Live - further info

Agents may well receive 50 unsolicited manuscripts a week. With each submission, they have to make a rapid, commercially driven decision about whether to (A) reject the MS immediately, (B) read the submission package, but then reject it, or (C) read the submission package, then ask to read the full MS.

Slushpile Live is there to show you how agents & publishers make those decisions - and there to show you how YOU can make sure your manuscript is not one of those rejected. Here's how the process works:

  • If you want, you can submit your work for review at the event.
  • To do so, just email us your (i) covering letter, (ii) synopsis, and/or (iii) the opening page of your manuscript.
  • Email us at info@writersworkshop.co.uk no later than 25th February. You should send your work as a single email attachment in .doc, .docx or .pdf format.
  • We will select some of this material to be read out live at the Slushpile Live event. (We'll make copies, so everyone will have the relevant material in front of them. We will also divide the audience into two groups, to make the event more intimate.)
  • Then each selected person will read their work out loud and the agents / authors / publishers on the panel will be asked for instant feedback & comment.
  • Please note that if your work is selected for review, your work will be commented on in public. If you don't want this, then don't send us your work! You'll still get absolutely masses from the event whether your work is reviewed or not. We also cannot guarantee to review all work that is submitted to us: we try to review a good, representative range of material.
 

You are cordially invited ...

Everyone attending the Getting Published event is cordially invited to a drinks party following the event. Wine and soft drinks will be served.

 

And don't forget ...

Every attendee will have a 15-minute one-to-one session with a Writers' Workshop Book Doctor to give detailed feedback on:

  • Your draft covering letter to an agent
  • Your synopsis or outline
  • Your opening chapter up to 4,000 words

Most submissions to agents fail because either the book isn't good enough or it's been badly designed for the current market. The book doctor sessions are designed to uncover any such issues immediately and give you tools to address them. And if your work does look strong enough to market, then we'll do what we can to help with next steps there as well.

Finally, we will also be giving away a £30 off voucher to be used against any Writers' Workshop critique, workshop or Festival.