After a minor diversion (to drop off my dog), I arrived at the University of Herfordshire’s campus just in time to grab a cup of (fruit) tea before going into the main hall for the first of a series of talks. I’d been on workshops in previous years and now that I teach, I decided to have a day off. Not that I still wouldn’t learn something, we all do, but I enjoyed staying in one place this time.
After introductions by VWC leads Dave Weaver and John Spencer, Ian Skillicorn talked about National Short Story Week and the reason behind it; to get people writing and reading short stories. He started NSSW as he was doing short story radio and wanted to harness interest. How do you get involved? You can just write and / or take part in local events; approach your local library to start a short story workshop. This year National Short Story Day is on 17th November and Ian added that previously his local U3A had eBooked their short stories. There were readings in cafes and bars. Local press will be looking for content so could be a good option for publicity. Local radio could they be interested in you reading out your short stories.
Nick Cook, President of VWC, then introduced the ‘Can creative writing (c/w) be taught?’ panel featuring journalist and author Michael Smith, Senior Lecturer in c/w, Dr Jennifer Young, novelist Liesel Schwarz, and lead by c/w teacher Nick Cook.
Jennifer talked about herself and how she came to c/w; inspired by her tutors at school, she is now senior lecturer at University of Hertfordshire, where the event took place. She quoted a colleague who compared c/w to yoga where his teacher pushes him into positions he couldn’t reach by himself. I liked that.
Liesel’s parents had ignored her early wish to be a writer so she went on to be a barrister but after a few years she did an MA in c/w and now teaches at Brunel, writes for the Guardian, has written a book on how to write science-fiction / fantasy. Said you have to immerse yourself into the writing community (that’s me!), adding that c/w might not be able to be taught but it can certainly be learned.
Michael writes for the BBC, the Times and has written non-fiction but realised he wanted to write a novel but needed a road map. He said writers need drive and willpower. He was told he was a good writer (of non-fiction) before going on a course on how to write a novel, realising it’s a very different beast.
Nick Cook then talked about his history of c/w which he started learning at Reading in the 1970s / 1980s. Nick mentioned Wilfred Pickles who wrote for Radio 4 and was an inspiration to him. Nick writes for the Health & Safety market because he used to work in the field and had always wanted to teach though, he said “at a lower level than Jennifer”; he teaches 10-week writing courses at college. That’s me… again! Two sides of writing: unconscious (when washing up, driving etc.) be prepared to grab them; basic rules of writing which have evolved since Homer. Show not tell, importance of characterisation, editing (“cut, cut, cut”). There will be people who break the rules and if they do it well will progress the boundaries. Agreed with Michael that non-fiction is different to fiction… up to a point.
Questions were then invited from the audience and the first was, “If writing can’t be taught, what would the world look like?” Jennifer talked about her a girl who had make a hat which reminded her of the queen so she behaved like the queen for a day and that the world would be a much poorer place without such imagination and inspiration.
Liesel said about a sheepdog who had been mistreated and when it was rescued it became clear that it didn’t know what anything was yet when it saw a flock of sheep it knew exactly what to do. She said writers would write regardless, because it’s human nature.
Michael added that there would be less successful writers but the world wouldn’t end.
Nick told us of being at a party and telling someone that he was a writer, who said, “Oh yes, I fancied taking some time off and do that.” To which he answered, “I fancied being a brain surgeon so thought I’d take some time…” 🙂 Nick then said to the audience that writing groups are invaluable. I’d agree with that.
The next question was, “What value do you give online or postal writing courses?” Nick said he had learned from a postal course which he found very useful but that in person courses would be cheaper.
Jennifer said the university she teaches at has an online facility to supplement their in-person courses and she has taught a group online course but much prefers in person because you can see each other’s faces and therefore reactions which you don’t get – and can cause problems – online.
Liesel said the writer should go for whatever suits them. She suggested doing research first and has known of people who have spent thousands on an MA and then been let down by the lecturer because they didn’t gel, and their work was slaughtered. The first time I went to an evening class, my poem was slaughtered and I vowed never to go back but the homework was to write a short story which I did, and loved, so returned… to mild slaughtering but it was felt it (and I) had enough promise and here I am, nine years, 400 short stories and ten novels later. Speaking of which, I was pitching to two crime editors (five minutes per pitch!) later in the day so I’ll talk more about that later.
Stephanie Broadribb, alias Crime Thriller Girl, introduced the ‘Editors and Agents’ panel (Lisa Eveleigh, Meg Davis, Davinia Andrew-Lynch and Kate Allan) then opened the floor to questions, the first being, “What’s the marketplace share for Amazon etc.?”
Meg said that it feels like there is a small amount of people making a lot of money but most make little. The ones that write full-time and make a living wage spend a lot of their time marketing.
Lisa said it’s possible to get extremely professional-looking eBook. It’s the author who cares most who their publisher / outlet is because readers rate a book made by e.g. Penguin rather than self-pub etc. Agents are looking, and occasionally picking up, but you would have had to have sold 100,000+ eBooks.
Kate said 40% of books sold are eBooks. She quoted Agent Orange online as saying that Amazon is the single biggest bookseller. Kate self-published a novel in February despite her previous five having been with different publishers. One of her traditionally-published covers was gothic but there was nothing in the book that hinted at that. She admitted she would have been better off doing it herself so that’s what she’s done because she had tried every major publisher with her latest book but was rejected. She said not to be frightened of self-publishing but do it right. You wouldn’t sell a burnt cake, so pay for an editor (as a freelance editor, I agree with that!).
The panel was then asked, “How do you deal with so many submissions?”
Kate asks for email submissions only and they go to a separate folder but had one person admit they’d not followed her guidelines because his novel was so unique and special but she read the first page and said it was so bad that it went into the bin.
Lisa said that the bigger publishing houses will have in-house readers rather than the agent him/herself. She reads everything but just on Fridays and said that she was still getting submissions when her guidelines stated that she was closed. She added that it was imperative to read guidelines.
Meg stressed this too and had received various incentives including chocolates, £10 notes, even a naked photo of the author!
I then asked the next question which was, “Has self-publishing had an effect on traditional publishing agents?”
Lisa said a lot of wannabes / self-pub only do the first draft then submit to agents. She said it should be the third or fourth draft at least. This then prompted the next question of when do writers know their novel is ready?
Kate said a writer should have gone to writing groups and the peers say it’s ready to send.
Lisa recommended leaving it for three to four weeks then read it out loud and you can tell where the errors are. She does approve of writing groups but other writers have to be trusted and not pull the work apart for the sake of it.
Kate said the novel should be in the drawer for three to four years!
Meg added that sometimes later drafts can undo earlier works so a writer has to know when to stop.
They were then asked, “When you get a submission, what do you read first – the synopsis or writing?”
Lisa doesn’t judge a person’s writing on the synopses because that can be fixed and she knows how hard they are to put together. When she shops for books for herself, she reads the last page of a book first so she knows what the author has to work towards.
Meg reads the second chapter first because the writer often writes themselves into a book.
Kate doesn’t read the synopsis first because she doesn’t want to know what happens before she reads the book. She’ll then read the synopsis if / when she needs to know more about it.
A member of the audience then asked whether they should mention that they’ve had editorial support etc.
Kate admitted that she doesn’t read the letter so that wouldn’t make a difference and sometimes too much information (especially where irrelevant) puts her off.
Meg and Lisa said they certainly should because it shows that the writer is invested in their writing and themselves. Both of them read the cover letter and said it’s really important as long as it’s relevant.
After a short tea break, WVC Chair Dave Weaver introduced the ‘Writing for Screen, Radio and TV’ panel with David Roden, Peter Wild and Max Kinnings, then opened the floor to audience questions, the first being, “What’s the best thing out there at the moment and why?”
Max said he had a “Breaking Bad month” (of watching it every spare moment) and raved about it because it’s so well written, directed, acted etc. Max doesn’t watch much British TV but enjoys Coronation Street (David is heavily involved in the show).
David watches TV mostly at the weekend and enjoyed ‘News Room’ which he said was brilliant. (I too watch little TV but record programmes including Dexter, The Mentalist, DCI Banks, Elementary etc.). He loves horror so enjoyed Walking Dead. Because he’s involved in the industry, he rarely goes to the cinema so tends to spend his spare time gardening or watching TV boxsets.
Peter said he admires British writing such as Rev (on TV) and especially Philomena (on the big screen) because it’s brave. He mentioned ‘Borgen’ as it’s not overdone, is character-lead and sometimes commissioning editors are nervous about taking risks.
Dave asked about reader feedback at cons etc. and whether we get that in the UK.
David said there’s a difference between being influenced by audience feedback and being led by them. Often shows are governed by the ratings so they so audience research to include which characters they like. He mentioned Hayley in Coronation Street and that she wanted to leave permanently so they had to kill her off. He then talked about Tracy Barlow and how the audience hates her but that without her, there would be a huge gap in the show. The moment you let fans be in charge of a programme, he said, it becomes insular and stops appealing to a wider audience and said that’s what’s happened to Doctor Who.
Peter’s worked on The Archers and gets scripts from people who think that it’s easy to write for the show but it’s clear that they’re not engaged with the genre.
The next audience question was, “How is the on-demand phenomenon affecting TV?”
Max said he doesn’t write for TV (he had, but “got a bloody nose from it”). Watches programmes as box sets (e.g. Netflix) and says a viewer would remember the storyline so much better when it’s watched it one go. He feels it maybe too early to say how much it affects. Netflix handles their audience with respect, not making them wait. This then lead to the panel being asked whether the BBC is worried?
Peter said the BBC is in constant flux and has spent the last 50 years working on how to respond to changes in the market place.
Dave Weaver asked how writers go about writing scripts.
David complained that British drama comes from a radio history so everything’s ‘told’ whereas US drama comes from a screen history so everything is shown and is therefore more visual. He has conflicted with the writers on Coronation Street when he tells them that a line isn’t needed because an actor can show it with a look but invariably he’ll be overruled although he has respect for the writers especially when they’ve been writing for so many years.
Peter said scripts are often overwritten, on radio and on TV. David agreed saying that sometimes actors or directors will misinterpret the subtext e.g. a character saying “I love you” when actually they didn’t but it wasn’t clear it was ironic.
Max admitted finding it very hard to convert from novel to script because in a novel, “you have the luxury of internal thought” which I found really interesting.
David then asked Max when he’s converting, what’s left out?
Max said it’s the stuff you can’t physically do. His last novel was an 11-hour audiobook so this has to be squashed into an hour and a half. You have to just use the main plot points but has had some readers – knowing he’s doing the process – asking him not to chop the characters they love.
The panel was then asked, “How do I become a scriptwriter – write something new or for existing programme?”
David said that the BBC is looking for originality. Peter agreed and said they want to look at something new because not many people can write a good complete script. David added that he knows of writers who have submitted their first draft which is the worst thing you can do. You should put it in the drawer for two months then come back to it. Peter said you have to show that you can write good dialogue, that the script is structured well etc. He recommended the BBC’s Writers Room website (www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom). David said some shows are invitation only (e.g. Doctors and Hollyoaks) and will pay experienced writers to write a trial script before considering taken it on.
The next question was, “What makes you / commissioning editors excited?”
Peter said a unique voice, strong dialogue (“sounds obvious but it’s so true”). Recommended not writing about well-worn themes e.g. lottery. Look for original themes. Both radio and TV “eat stories”.
Max said work towards a really strong calling card script (of an hour+) to get an agent. Ask yourself what you want to write? If you want to make short films, go out and make one. (David said you could do the same for feature films.) Max continued by suggesting getting a step ahead by becoming a writer / producer but budgets for shooting films are still £70,000+.
David reiterated having a good story and a good script. There aren’t many good scripts out there; maybe one in 20-30 scripts maximum. The vast majority just aren’t good enough. You have to get feedback, keep rewriting on it.
Peter said it’s depressing when he suggests to a new writer to write a second draft and then finds, a few months later, when he gets the second draft submitted but can’t tell the difference. He said the first draft is a “good discussion document, no more than that”. It’s in the second draft where the work starts.
The panel was then asked, “With novels, publishers won’t consider unless you have other novels following up. Is it the same with scripts?”
Max said it’s a myth that publishers want series. (Oops. I’m pitching a series today). 🙂
Peter heard that Ian Rankin wrote the first novel with nothing in the pipeline but was then asked for another so had to write more.
David often asks if there’s anything else because he’s underwhelmed by the first one but it shows enough promise to be interested in the writing. He wants dialogue that he reacts to, the characters have to be so realistic. He admitted to having cried at some scripts (because they were so realistic) and gives helpful criticism.
The final question was, “How long do the writers have on a continuing programme to write the script?”
Peter said generally 7-10 days to write synopses for six episodes, these go to the script editors who edit them and give them back, the writers have a week or so to write the script ensuring the continuity of the characters fits. Some brilliant writers haven’t “cut it” on series despite being very good writers at one-offs.
David added that it’s not good enough to be good, you have to be fast. Has 15 writers who have to write their first draft in a week, they get feedback, a second draft in another week, another draft in a third week. David produced a 169-page A5 pack of a one-hour that one writer would have created in a week!
The next panel was on writing non-fiction for magazines and newspapers, and featured Michael Smith, Karen Fletcher, Nick Cook and Lesley Eames. It’s not really a field that I’m keen on, but I was interested to see how applicable it would be for me.
Karen started by saying that if you write short stories, you can write features. I’ve written 400+ shorts so that made me take notice. She said the non-fiction market is certainly not swamped and there are plenty of opportunities out there.
Lesley suggested writing short stories even if you’re just interested in writing novels.
Michael talked about his journalistic past and said that writing articles will help get your name out there because at the end of a piece it would have your name but could also say the author’s novel is out etc.
Nick asked Karen and Michael about the advantages and financial remuneration. Karen said it depends on the market – if a writer has a niche then it will be a more specialist market which would likely pay more. You can meet editors from trade shows and become known in that sector. Have a blog / your own website.
Michael commissions for a publisher called ‘Bite Back’ and said writing non-fiction books often don’t have an advance payment but non-fiction writers earn better than fiction. He said Lisa Eveleigh’s guidelines for non-fiction are more specific and she wants to know what’s in each chapter and how it will fit in the marketplace so she knows whether it’ll work. Writers need Twitter, Facebook etc. Michael uses hashtags in everything he tweets (as do I, pretty much) and that distributes the feed better than anything else. Word of mouth will be the best thing to get books sold. (It worked for Fifty Shades.)
Nick asked if it’s easier to get non-fiction published than fiction.
Lesley told the audience that she had done a workshop that morning and put up a picture of a rhinoceros because writers have to have thick skins. Her first three stories were accepted but then there were many rejections thereafter. She had one story rejected and was told it was because the characters weren’t engaging but sent it back in error a year and they loved it and bought it. Lesley was asked how to find the guidelines. She suggested going into WH Smiths and looking at the magazines. She quoted Jacqui Burnett’s website but, me being me, stuck up my hand, waited for her to spot it, and mentioned womagwriter and my blog. 🙂
Karen said the Good Housekeeping magazine has good guidelines on their website.
Nick asked Michael to talk about the Daily Telegraph and what opportunities there might be. Michael said the best way in was for the Weekend section because they have writers for their daily editions, and that it was the same for other nationals: you have to research the paper, know your subject. Be professional (Karen knew of a writer who had put in a covering letter how much she/he loved Elle when writing to Marie Claire… oops). You can submit via email. Work out what they like and what their style is.
A female member of the audience asked whether she could approach magazines to run extracts of her reiki healing book to which Michael recommended she check with her publisher to see whether they would allow her.
Nick said when it comes to writing that you shouldn’t overload the item with facts yet be technically accurate. He recommended Richard Dawkins because his books are so clearly written so the reader can understand everything. It should be attractive and entertaining.
Nick invited Karen to talk about PR and marketing. She explained that some companies and magazines commission freelance writers to write on behalf of the company because they pay by the day although the byline goes to the company rather than the author. She said it’s a very lucrative market but it usually comes about because you’ve already become known in your field.
The next audience question was “How to get into writing articles?”
Michael said you need to come up with good ideas and write for newspapers / magazines that you read. Go off the beaten track… e.g. media Guardian, find out who the commissioning editor is, submit a mini-synopsis, ready to pitch it. He had to re-write someone’s ‘copy’ (article) and his editor wanted him to tell a joke!
The first session after lunch was a 45-minute crime panel, hosted by Crime Thriller Girl, Steph Broadribb. Her fellow panelists consisted of crime writers Max Kinnings (who we’d seen earlier at the Writing for Screen Radio & TV session), M.R. Hall, Max Kinnings, William Ryan and Emlyn Rees (who I was pitching to later that afternoon). Steph started by asking the panel how they got into writing. M.R. Hall said he was a barrister but wrote scripts (inc. Cavanagh QC) but the streamlining of the industry had “forced him” to write novels. William writes crime novels in 1930s Russia, was also a lawyer and wrote screenplays. He did a Masters in Creative Writing and had been taught by AL Kennedy and Don Paterson and started writing like them but then realised he was writing a book that he wouldn’t buy or read past the first chapter because he wasn’t enjoying what he was writing. He liked crime and historical fiction, and as a screenwriter he’d researched 1930s Russia so wrote about it.
Max studied criminology at university and wrote at the kitchen table for hours but didn’t tell anyone. Wrote a satirical crime novel but it didn’t do well but created another but then in 2005 he decided to write a series about a hostage negotiator. At the time, he was doing jury service at Southwark Crown Court and got chatting to people on the London Undergound just after Jean Charles de Menezes and found they were more than happy to talk to him.
Emlyn said he got into publishing (Curtis Brown) by running their slush pile. He put his own book into the slush pile and raved about it to his agent who then wanted to meet ‘the author’. Said you have to do anything to get into publishing. His agent (still his agent) got a deal. Emlyn met his wife in a bar and as a chat up line suggested they wrote a book together. It led to him writing humour novels for seven years but he’s since come back to writing crime novels.
Steph asked the panel whether they were planners or ‘pantsers’. M.R. said he’s a plotter and that it was from his scriptwriting days, although he reassess as he goes along.
William said he’s a ‘semi pantser’; he has an idea of the end so he doesn’t waste too much time as he goes along.
Max is a ‘reformed pantser’. For his early novels he was a pantser but then plotted for later novels and found their much better novels for it, although he does pants it sometimes.
Emlyn said it’s lovely to have a safety net by having a plan but only usually has a 2-page outline then adds bits to it as he goes along. He said he wants to be surprised by what happens and doesn’t want it to be a dull process for him or the reader.
Steph then asked about research. M.R. started by saying he has people he can call upon, and suggested writers go and meet people in the field they’re writing about.
William said it’s hard for him because they’re set in the 1930s but has 300+ books set in that era (e.g. Hitler, “really cheery”). All the things that you have to explain to someone today, you don’t have to explain as you don’t have in Dickens etc. There’ll always be experts out there to pick up on errors. He couldn’t have written his books twenty years ago because there wasn’t then all the information online.
Max agreed that you don’t put in all your research. It’s good to do it but not so that the story becomes bogged down by it. Re. the London Underground research he said there’s a District Dave’s Message Board (http://www.districtdavesforum.co.uk) which 200+ employees use.
Emlyn said if you’re writing procedural crime it’s more important to get the facts right but he writes thrillers so it’s easier to make it more general. Research stops writers writing because, especially with the internet, it’s easy to go off at a tangent (on to other sites etc).
The panel was then asked, “How important is visiting the location you’re writing about?”
William said it’s useful to go to the locations and it’s easier to research than make somewhere up. He’s been to Russia a few times and was chased with a machine gun on one occasion! He was in the Central Bank of Russia, there on business as a lawyer, so nothing to do with writing and that there had been a miscommunication but a bank employee had vouched for him.
The next question was, “For those with ongoing characters, how much do you know in advance?”
M.R. wrote a standalone but the publisher wanted two more, then three more so he knows in advance because he writes three synopses at a time.
Emlyn said writing series are great because you can hold back some of the details until later books. He said he’s deliberating as to whether to make the characters age or not.
Max says he doesn’t write too far in advance in case they don’t get published and he’s writing a second series which he’s getting into and hopes his publisher doesn’t want more of the first series too quickly.
Matthew said that series are usually written in a chronological order but that doesn’t have to be the case.
M.R. said he can change his characters but not too much.
Next up was, “Have you been in prisons to interview the inmates about their lives?”
Emlyn has taught creative writing in prisons but not interviewed any of the men there.
I then asked what the panel’s favourite authors are and whether there was a book they wish they’d read?
Max and Emlyn said they wished they’d written Cormac McCarthy’s The Road because it’s “sparse but beautiful”.
William favours Simeon & Chandler’s novels and said, despite being 1930s, they’re quite similar to novels set in contemporary times.
M.R. Hall admired Elmore Leonard because he was also spare with his prose. He added that John Cheever, in his short stories, wrote about people who “imploded”.
The next question was how to make the crime or character original?
William said the readers have high expectations and you don’t have to be too original.
Emlyn added that if something’s so “off the wall” in a thriller it’s OK but in a crime they want what they know.
M.R. said it’s hard just to sell a Detective Inspector novel without having a new angle.
Max said to tap into readers’ fears.
The final panel (for me because I was pitching to two editors during the last panel of the day) was hosted again by Dave Weaver, with Francesca Best, Jade Chandler (who I was also pitching to), Emlyn and Nora Perkins, and was on ‘Commissioning Editors and Agents’.
Nora said the best way to get an agent is to write a book (which raised a laugh from the audience). How do you know who to approach? Imagine your book in a cover sitting next to other books on a shelf. Who are the other authors – who are their agents? Write to those agents, ensuring you research them and their requirements.
Emlyn said to exploit any connection, you have to shout as loud as you can. You don’t always need an agent but he has one because it suits him.
Jade says you are the best asset for your book so also get online.
Nora works for Curtis Brown who run courses for authors.
Dave asked whether they’ve taken on any authors based on a partly-written novel or do they have to be complete.
Nora and Francesca both said they have to have finished novels before they will sign an author so they get character development, plot etc., making sure it works.
The panel was asked how brave they are with taking on cross-genre books?
Francesca said that she’s been interested in a cross-genre book but her sales / marketing department have said “no”.
Are you limited to how many authors you can take on?
Jade said now there are less outlets (<1,000 bookshops) in which to sell their books.
A member of the audience said his passions include writing and music and said about collaborations between musicians, but were less so in writing.
Emlyn quoted author Chuck Wendig and Cory Doctorow spending a huge amount of their time online connecting with their readers, but the downside is that it cuts down on time they can write.
What makes a book marketable?
Nora wants a distinctive voice or new idea, something that makes it stand out.
Jade said she’s been lucky enough to read the first few pages which have fizzed. The publishing process can take up to 18 months so the editor / agent has to be passionate about it.
Emlyn stressed the importance of the elevator (lift) pitch. Nora agreed that it has to be a polished gem.
How many of your choices have been turned down further along the chain?
Jade explained that the first hurdle is her and most of the submissions don’t get taken on but everything she’s discussed at team meetings have been. This then lead the discussion to about how their organisations work.
How did Fifty Shades affect your business?
Jade said they released similar books because it’s what people wanted at the time.
Emlyn said that some authors then repackaged their books to fit that genre but sometimes aren’t so readers should be careful.
I asked how the self-publishing / eBooks revolution has affected their businesses, are authors more savvy these days?
Jade said that self published books still account for just 1% of sales and it’s great when authors are social media-savvy.
Francesca asked whether readers would still be loyal to an author with a mid-price eBook (via a publisher) when they’ve bought their 99c self-published eBooks.
Dave asked how to write a good synopsis.
Nora said she rarely reads them but writing them helps structure the book. They should never been more than a page. The author should ask themselves whether they know what their book is about? In a page? In two paragraphs?
A lady in the audience asked how to get poetry published.
Nora said it’s incredibly tough. It doesn’t work like novels. Get published in magazines, go to live events. Francesca agreed and suggested small presses. Emlyn recommended entering competitions and go to live events, record YouTube videos etc.
Nora added that her former publisher, Canongate, publishes poetry. I know of Bloodaxe Press.
When asked, “What’s the most bizarre submission you’ve ever received?” the panel then talked about their weirdest submissions they’ve received… which I’ll share for those who send me some banoffee pie. 🙂
What are you looking for?
Francesca is after family saga set over generations with secrets of the past. Nora said nothing specific but it has to be “wow”, although they do a lot of editorial work to get the book to a polished novel so it’s about the story more than the writing.
Jade is looking for upmarket book club reads esp. appealing to women as she has a lot of male crime writers on her books.
Most guidelines want first three chapters, can the writer send random chapters?
Nora: no. If it doesn’t grab in the first chapter then it won’t grab the reader. The panel agreed.
If an author gets an agent does it mean they’ll get a publisher?
Emlyn: No, not at all.
Nora: authors usually build up sales with the first book then develop a career with subsequent books.
How important is a title?
Francesca: Sometimes she gets told it’s a working title where the writer is open to suggestions.
Emlyn: Has to be memorable if you’re going to recommend it to others.
I then went off to my 5-minute pitching sessions (enjoyable as I love talking about writing, although they went far too quickly). I don’t know what will come of them but I’d love to be traditionally-published (for the right publisher offering the right contract… and no, it’s not just about money) but then who wouldn’t want to see their books on a bookshop’s shelves?
The day closed with the results of the short story competition. I was shortlisted (in the top ten), for the third time, and again stayed in the top ten. Never mind. My story will be on the http://getwritingday.verulamwriterscircle.org.uk in due course.
So, all in all, a great day but then having been there four times before, I’d expected nothing less.
- and from this blog, my guests who have written on writing events are: Alice Shapiro, Feather Schwarz Foster, Jane Wenham-Jones, Judith Marshall, Lev Raphael, and Terri Morgan.
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