Introducing the Friday mini-course


There's so much on at the Festival, that it can be difficult to find room for everything that you want.

For that reason, we've developed five optional mini-courses to run during the afternoon of Friday 25th March. Those courses will aim to cover their material in as much depth as we can manage in the time - thereby freeing up your time at the Festival to concentrate on all those other goodies.

The mini-courses on offer are:

Writing for Children, Julia Churchill & Michael Ford
How to get Published, with Harry Bingham & Helen Corner
Developing your Voice, with Debi Alper & Emma Darwin
Screenwriting Masterclass, with Ashley Pharoah
Characterisation Masterclass, with Kate Allan and Jane Lovering

We've chosen some of the most experienced and capable workshop tutors in the country to run these courses, so please don't leave it too late to book, as places are strictly limited.


When? How? How much?


The courses are on Friday and run from 14.30 to 18.30.

To book a place, just make the appropriate selection when you come to book your Festival ticket. (The mini-course costs an additional £70 to the normal Festival price). Places are limited and, as always, it's first come first served. More info on each course follows below.

 


Writing for Children
, with Julia Churchill & Michael Ford

Julia Churchill
Julia runs the UK office of The Greenhouse Literary Agency, an agency exclusively dedicated to children's authors. Julia has discovered and represented a number of children's authors who have gone on to appear on a number of prestigious literary award shortlists.

Michael Ford
Michael worked in a variety of publishing roles before becoming an editor of adult fiction. He has written a number of novels and non-fiction books for children, including the SPARTAN series for Bloomsbury UK.

How to Write for Children and Young Adults.
The course will be aimed at helping participants to ensure that their children's manuscript is strong enough to sell - at a time when the market for children's fiction is tougher than it has been for years. The afternoon course will cover:

• The target audience: getting the tone right for kids & young adults
• Who is telling the story? - the mysteries of points of view
• Plot structure - absolutely crucial! You can't afford to get this wrong.
• Building compelling characters
• Maintaining suspense - how to pace and develop your narrative
• The business side: submitting to agents, etc


 


How To Get Published
, with Harry Bingham and Helen Corner


Harry Bingham
Harry is the bestselling author of five novels with HarperCollins and is currently writing non-fiction for 4th Estate. His latest book is The Writers' & Artists' Guide to Getting Published. As boss of the Writers' Workshop (organiser of the Festival of Writing), he has helped dozens of writers into print ... including a number of authors who went on to be bestsellers.

Helen Corner
Helen runs Cornerstones literary consultancy, established 1998. They provide editorial feedback, scout for agents and run self-edit workshops. To date they've helped launch over 50 writers. She's a leading UK consultants and has co-written a book, Teach Yourself: How to write a Blockbuster by Lee Weatherly and Helen Corner, Hodder. 

How to get Published
The afternoon course will cover:

  • Is your manuscript strong enough to send out?
  • Preparing a strong submission package
  • Agents or publishers? And which agents? Which publishers?
  • Interpreting signals from Planet Agent
  • Signing up with your agent
  • Slushpile Live. (Terrifying, but useful. We will probably have an agent participate in this session.)

To participate in Slushpile Live, please email info@festivalofwriting.com at least two weeks before the Festival with a single file (.doc, .docx, or .pdf) containing (i) your draft agent's covering letter, (ii) your synopsis, and (iii) a random page from your manuscript. Your name should not appear on the MS. Feedback will be given live and in public, so please don't send your work in if you're not sure you want this. You'll learn masses whether or not your work is reviewed. Please note, we will try to review all submissions during the time allocated, but can't guarantee it.

 


Find Your Voice
, with Emma Darwin & Debi Alper

Debi Alper
Debi is the author of the tough, funny, contemporary Nirvana thrillers, published by commercial powerhouse, Orion. She's also a hugely experienced editor and workshop leader for the Writers' Workshop.

Emma Darwin
Emma is the bestselling author of The Mathematics of Love and A Secret Alchemy (both Headline Review). She's also a winner of both Bridport and Fish Short Histories Prizes. She also works as editor & workshop leader for the Writers' Workshop.

Find Your Voice
The thing that all agents and all publishers are looking for more than anything is voice - that elusive quality that makes your work sound like no one else in the world but you could have written it. Why does voice matter so much? It matters because agents will see dozens of perfectly competent manuscripts in a year, but only one or two that actually sing. It's those one or two that have voice:

  • Voice: what is it? learning to recognise voice
  • Where is your voice at the moment?: Taking stock of where you stand at the moment.
  • Directions: Ways of strengthening your voice. Learning to experiment. Going beyond the merely competent. Exercises
  • Summary: Reviewing the day.
 


Screenwriting Masterclass
, with Ashley Pharoah

Ashley Pharoah
Ashley is one of the hottest properties in British television at the moment, with a huge string of credits to his name (Eastenders, Casualty, Silent Witness, Down to Earth, Tom Brown's Schooldays, Wild at Heart, Bonekickers) - but he is probably best known for his co-creation of the BBC smash hit Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes.

Screenwriting Masterclass
Screenwriting is the most lucrative career path for any budding writer - and TV is by far the most important market for screen drama. Just as much to the point, writing for TV hones any writer's skill in two critical areas: (1) writing for the market, and (2) focusing on the story. These are essential skills for any screenwriter, of course, but there are equally essential - and too often neglected - by would-be novelists too:

  • Masterclass syllabus to be released.
 


Characterisation Masterclass
, with Kate Allan & Jane Lovering

Kate Allan
Kate writes historical fiction under her own name as well as part of the Jennifer Lindsay writing partnership. Her first novel, Fateful Deception, was shortlisted for the RNA New Writer Award.

Jane Lovering
Jane writes romantic fiction for the indie publisher, Choc Lit.

Characterisation Masterclass
Long after the intricate details of plot have vanished from a reader's memory, we remember the characters we read about. Too many characters in first-time novels are either bland or strain credulity. Kate and Jane will use workshop-style techniques to help you build characters that sizzle with life and have an entirely believable unpredictability:

  • Masterclass syllabus to be released

 






Julia Churchill
How to write for Children


Michael Ford
How to Write for Children


Harry Bingham
How to get published


Helen Corner
How to get published


Debi Alper
Finding your Voice


Emma Darwin
Finding your Voice


Ashley Pharoah
Screenwriting


Kate Allan
Characterisation


Jane Lovering
Characterisation