Posts Tagged ‘Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook’

In my last blog I mentioned that I would be attending a couple of writers’ conferences this year in a bid to better my skills and network with other mad people who choose to write. Writing can be a lonely occupation, so any opportunity to get out there and socialise is grabbed with both hands.

York Festival of Writing was recommended by a friend and fellow author so I have decided to give it a go, be brave and get my work and face out there (scary, the face that is!).

In this blog I wanted to give other aspiring authors details about the conference and the wonderful authors/agents/publishers holding workshops and one-to-one sessions. After attending the conference, I will give honest feedback, so watch this space.

The Festival at a Glance

25-27 March, University of York, UK

A brief selection of the many agents in attendance:

Carole Blake; Agent to bestselling authors including Sheila Flanagan, Joseph O’Connor, Barbara Erskine – and author of Pitch to Publication.

Antony Topping & Judith Murray; Antony and Judith are senior agents at Greene and Heaton, and represent such big names as Sarah Waters,Marcus du Sautoy, CJ Sansom, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall & many more.

Simon Trewin (pictured): Co-head of Books at United Agents. Represents Richard Curtis, Nicci French, etc.

 

 

The Specialists / publishers

In their words;

“We’ve also invited specialist agents & publishers who know the market you are writing for. Among many others …”

John Jarrold: The best known specialist in science-fiction / fantasy / horror in the UK. If you write in this area, you HAVE to meet him

Julia Churchill (pictured): Julia is an agent devoted 100% to the children’s & Young Adult market. No one knows this market better.

(I met Julia at Winchester Writers’ Conference and found her to be warm and encouraging.)

 

Jane Holland & Lyn Vernham: Specialist publishers of women’s fiction & romance. And you don’t need an agent to get published by them either!

Philippa Pride: Philippa is Stephen King’s UK editor at Hodder, and is the person responsible for his entire range. She’s also a consultant who loves working with new writers.

 

 

Alan Mahar: Alan runs Tindal Street Press, one of Britain’s smallest but most prestigious publishers. About 25% of its entire output having won or been shortlisted for national literary awards.

Patrick Janson-Smith: As joint MD at Doubleday / Transworld, Patrick discovered authors such as Bill Bryson, Sophie Kinsella, Andy McNab, Joanna Trollope, and many more. Patrick now runs his own imprint at HarperCollins.

Nicola Morgan: Vastly successful author of YA & children’s fiction. No one knows this territory better. Nicola also hosts the successful, amazing and informative blog; Help! I need a publisher!

(I have my one-to-one appointment with Nicola, so i’m excited to receive her advice.)

http://helpineedapublisher.blogspot.com/

 

Amazing authors that are leading some of the mini courses / sessions available;

Finding Your Voice, with Debi Alper & Dr Emma Darwin – Two experienced and extraordinary authors

Getting Published, with Harry Bingham & Helen Corner – Harry Bingham in organiser of the festival (along with his small army of helpers!). Helen Corner is co-author of, Teach Yourself: How to Write a Blockbuster.

 

Kate Williams (pictured): The vastly popular historian and author of publishing sensation The Pleasures of Men.

Learn from the professionals


Learn how to plot
With Jeremy Sheldon. Novelist, screenwriter & tutor at Birkbeck College, London.

Showing not telling
With novelist Jean Fullerton. If you’re confused about what this rule means, you don’t have to be.

Breaking the Rules
With Debi Alper. You know the rules – but what if you want to break them? Debi tells you how (and how not to) proceed.

 

There are many more exciting authors / professionals listed on the website so please go and take a look.

http://www.festivalofwriting.com/

I look forward to seeing you there……….

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Honorary Patrons
Dame Beryl Bainbridge
Baroness James of Holland Park
Jacqueline Wilson OBE
Maureen Lipman
Colin Dexter OBE

2010 was the year I decided to become a serious writer and Winchester was my foot up.

Don’t get me wrong, i’ve been writing poetry and stories from around the age of five, but 2010 was the year to take my writing seriously; to be brave and let other people read my work.

Two years prior I had been involved in a car accident that left me with fairly minor injuries…….at the time! The injuries became more serious as time went on. Last October I spent almost four long weeks in two hospitals, and many more months sick and weak; not nice! But it was the kick up the butt I needed to release my inner creative genius, ahem. Boring back story over and done with; exciting future beckoned.

Where do I start? I mean, it’s obvious you take the first step on a ladder, but which ladder?

So, first things first – the internet. Research into other writers I like, read and respect; Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, James Herbert, Tolkien, Kate Morton, Dickens etc, etc to name but a few (I have eclectic taste in everything!!).

Stephen King had published a book on writing called, well, Stephen King, On Writing; what a perfect place to begin. His “memoir of the craft” was inspirational (a fellow accident survivor) and brilliant, just what I needed to read.

Wise words!!

Amazon was my next port of call; books on grammar, writing and publishing.

Finances and my situation at the time did not allow me to attend a course / college, so books and websites were my only option. Within minutes of searching (books on writing) I found the most brilliant and comprehensive book; Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff. This book covered pretty much everything, so became my bible.

Jurgen Wolff recommended that I attend the Winchester Writers’ Conference, so, I checked out their website. Wow, this year they had the one and only Sir Terry Pratchett giving the Plenary Speech. SIR TERRY PRATCHETT!!! I love him….. ticket sold. Saving every penny I had, I bought my place and entered a couple of the competitions detailed on their website.

Attending this conference was the best decision I had ever made. Winchester guided me to a doorway into a world I never knew existed; a world of words and wordsmiths, aspiring authors just like me. For the first time in my life I felt like I was somewhere I belonged, with people just like me.

“Hello, my name is Kirie and i’m a bibliophile.”

Hundreds of delegates from all corners of the globe attended the 2010 conference, I am honored to call some of these budding writers my friends. We keep in touch, moan and support each other in our otherwise solitary fantasy lives.

 

“The Winchester Writers’ Conference offers a wide range of courses, workshops and one to one appointments for the aspiring or established writer.”

The 2011 conference is a must! I recommend that all budding writers reading this do their best to get there!

http://www.writersconference.co.uk

Barbara Large MBE FRSA HFUW
barbara.large@winchester.ac.uk
Founder-Director Winchester Writers’ Conference

In their words;

“The Word Cloud is a free community where writers can read each other’s work, offer comments and get feedback. Our forums allow you to discuss books, scripts and writing with fellow writers, enter regular competitions, and much more.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself!

The site is run by The Writers’ Workshop & York Festival of Writing organiser; Harry Bingham, “The Boss”.  Harry is a busy published author of five fantastic but very different books, his most recent work being “Getting Published” which was published this year by A & C Black (The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook).

By Harry Bingham

Other regular professional contributors consist of a mixture of non-fiction and fiction authors across a variety of genres including:

Emma Darwin (A Secret Alchemy, The Mathematics of love)

By Emma Darwin

Jane Struthers (The Psychic’s bible and many, many more titles)

By Jane Struthers

Kate Allen (Fateful Deception, Perfidy and Perfection)

By Kate Allan

Debi Alper (Nirvana Bites, Trading Tatiana)

By Debi Alper

How these fantastic authors find the time to contribute, comment and critique, is beyond me! Their advice is invaluable to all who write.

From personal experience I can say without doubt that this is the most honest, friendly and unpretentious writers site that I have come across. Once you become a member you can understand why thousands of other writers have done the same; both published and unpublished alike.

It is devoid of any form of prejudice, bullying or cliqueiness, which I have observed on other sites and the critique is honest and professional.

I have made many friends through The Cloud, both cyber and in the flesh, and may not have continued on my writing journey if it had not been for this wonderful and encouraging people who camp within.

http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk

This weekend a group of dedicated writers will descend on London for the “Getting published” event.

Harry Bingham, of Writers’ Workshop / Word Cloud and author of  The Writers’ & Artists’ Guide to Getting Published, has organised the event to coincide with the launch of his aforementioned book. It looks to be an informative and exciting day and night.

A few months ago I was introduced to the Word Cloud by a fellow author and friend, and have not looked back. The people who frequent the site are helpful, creative and professional individuals with a real love of the written word. I would recommend you visit the site and judge for yourselves.