The workshops will take place in two halves of the afternoon. When booking your ticket, you will be asked to choose one workshop. Your pitching sessions will then be allocated for the other half of the afternoon, depending on when your chosen workshop takes place.
How NOT to Submit Your Manuscript
sponsored by the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook
Once you emerge from having written and re-written your novel, your next step might be to approach a literary agent. The bad news is an awful lot of other writers are doing that exact same thing, with some agents receiving well over a thousand manuscript submissions annually.
The good news? A large percentage of these submissions aren’t up to scratch, making it clear that not only do agents know what they want, but they’re experts at identifying how NOT to submit your manuscript.
From sharing their list of manuscript submission faux pas, Therese Coen (Hardman & Swainson) and Lydia Silver (Darley Anderson) will provide all attendees with the guidance and advice they need to help their book get in front of – and given serious consideration by – the right literary agent.
Please note that different agents work in different ways and that this is a general overview from the personal perspective of both agents.
(Re)Connecting to Your Poetry
with Nadine Aisha Jassat
In this workshop, participants will take part in a series of activities designed to help them explore their voice in poetry. Participants are asked to bring with them, or keep in mind, a poem (by themselves or someone else) which first made them passionate about poetry, or helped them first realise that they were poets. Whether it’s Dr Seuss or Sylvia Plath, it only matters that its meaningful to you in your journey as a poet so far.
Know Your Rights as An Author
with Society of Authors
The Author’s Rights
If you’re approached by someone who wants to use your work, you’re in a powerful position and we’ll explain the fundamentals of your rights as an author including copyright, attribution and moral rights which underpin any agreement which is reached between a writer and publisher. We’ll also cover the do’s and don’ts of using somebody else’s work and how to protect your own work online.
The contract and what it means
We’ll explain the most common standard contractual terms that you might encounter and flag pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid, including the rights you’re granting to the publisher and issues relating to production, publication and payment.
How to negotiate your agreement
During this session, we’ll pick out some key clauses that can and should be negotiated for you to get the best deal for your work. You’ll learn how to approach the publisher and manage the negotiation, giving you the confidence to feel in control of uses of your work.
Led by Theo Jones
How to Drive Your Short Stories with Setting and Place
with Crista Ermiya
In a short story, where space is at a premium, setting can sometimes be overlooked as something that takes up valuable estate with unnecessary description. But in this workshop we will look at examples and complete exercises to explore how the landscape of your story can drive plot and character.
Feminist, Queer and Own Voices Fantasy
with Kirsty Logan
In the worlds of fantasy and science fiction, new worlds can be explored, societies can be upended, and bodies can be utterly remade. Whether you want to write a gender-queer dragon, technology that allows men to be pregnant, an alternate history or something else entirely, the brave new worlds of speculative fiction are the perfect landscapes for writers to explore feminist and queer ideas.
Join Kirsty Logan, award-winning writer of novels and short stories, to discuss why and how to create fantastical worlds and develop unique characters, and use them to present strong themes through a compelling narrative.
Be Your Own Marketer and Publicist
It’s that monumental moment - you’ve finally been published. All the work you’ve put in for years and years has paid off. Now you can sit back and watch yourself become a bestseller.
Yeah, it’s not as simple as that.
Often an author gets very little Marketing & Publicity behind their book. There might be review copies sent out, some social media, maybe a bookshop appearance, but more often than not it can all end there. Especially if you’re a debut fiction writer and you haven’t crafted the next big thriller with ‘girl’ in the title.
In this session we will teach you how to be your own marketer and publicist. We will perfect your elevator pitch, identify your audience, look at the realities of press coverage, and learn why booksellers should be your best friends.
Led by Charlotte Hutchinson
Writing Fiction from Secrets, Rumours and Lies
with Lucie McKnight Hardy
What secrets are lurking in your family? What stories are doing the rounds in your neighbourhood, whispered behind hands? When was the last time you told a lie?
This will be a hands-on workshop, exploring how the undisclosed stories of individuals, families and communities can be used as a jumping-off point for writing fiction.
We’ll talk about character development and locations as a means to explore people’s darker secrets, and we’ll look at some of the techniques writers can use to intrigue their readers and make them want to read on: leaving clues for the reader, building tension and the slow reveal.
Using a series of prompts, we’ll undertake a few writing exercises with the aim of developing a piece of short fiction, or the bare bones of a longer piece.
Any confessions will be treated in strictest confidence (probably).
Good Readers Make Good Writers
with Northern Soul
How does actively engaging in another writer’s work greatly improve our own?
Find out how to hone your reviewing technique, become confident in your ability to self-edit and learn how these skills are enormously beneficial to your own writing.
This is an interactive workshop perfect for book lovers, bloggers and writers who are looking to brush up on their reviewing skills along with beginners who are interested in building connections as a writer and becoming part of the reviewer community.
Led by Emma Yates-Badley