Author Topic: The Writing Festival Report.  (Read 5426 times)


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The Writing Festival Report.
« on: April 13, 2010, 07:02:20 AM »
York Festival of Writing Report

At this moment I am sat on the DFDS ferry out of Newcastle upon Tyne.  I have had a wonderful week end in the company of writers, agents and publishers.  It has been the most enlightening experience and I would recommend it if you want to get on in your writing career.

When I arrived on Friday I was greeted by so many wonderful people who attended the event for the sole purpose of learning how the agents work, the publishers publish and the writers write.

My ship is now leaving the port of Tyne and as we pass the breakwater at Tynemouth the North Sea is behaving itself as we sail into the setting sun.  Itís a beautiful evening and as I sit in the bar with my Harvey Wallbanger I am still recovering from what was a rewarding and yet manic event from Friday to Sunday.

Goodbye England, Iíll be back soon but hello new attitudes to writing.  I have spent the whole week end learning how to improve my writing skills which included point of view, voice, showing and not telling. I met Linda Jones (our MWC member) who did a wonderful tutorial on making money from writing magazine articles.

Saturday was awesome.  I mean it!  I met with two agents.  I did my pitch and learned so much.  As a result one of the agents has promised to get back to me in the coming week to provide feedback on my novel.  I know it sounds good, but I always say the money isnít there until itís in the bank, so to speak and I donít want to get excited in any way, it doesnít mean a thing at this stage, but the fact that I will receive some feedback from a top UK agency is worth a lot.  I met with romance novelist Katie Fforde who gave everyone the much needed encouragement to carry on writing no matter what feedback we receive and to remind us all that perseverance is an all important factor is being a writer. She also provided ten top tips to being published.  

During the Gala Dinner we had an Authonomy Live event for  published authors to pitch their novel to an audience of 400 people. Four agents and authors judged the event from the stage.   We all enjoyed listening to their work and they were encouraged to act out their story using props.  There was one excellent story where a couple on a film set were asked to act out a sex scene and unbeknown to the film crew, they werenít acting!  It was hilarious.  The author used a couple of Barbie and Ken dolls as props.  

One thing the agents did say is that new writers spend too much time worrying about their synopsis when it is their writing skills they ought to consider.  A synopsis is only for the agent to skim through to get an idea of the story.  Impress the agent with the writing and not necessarily the synopsis.

I also met with Barry Cunningham who sat next to me during the evening.  He is the agent for JK Rowling's Harry Potter  He gave a very encouraging speech about his time with Chicken House, his own agency.  

There was so much going on at the Festival I didnít have much time to think, but I have to say that the whole of the festival was worth every penny I spent.  There were so many wonderful people all with similar aims, problems and aspirations. We all know that writing can be a lonely occupation.  It doesnít have to be that way.  The more of these events you attend the more networking you can achieve and as a result you learn how to be published.  

We are now well out to sea, the sun is still shining as I sit in the bar finishing my drink.  I now understand the attitudes of agents and publishers and why it is so hard to be published.  This kind of event opens your eyes and allows you to see how the other half lives in the book world.

The band is playing as the ship pushes through the ripples on this rare calm evening on the North Sea.  The best evening of the year so far.   Let us hope for me this could be the best year for writing too.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this and anyone who wants to come to London with me in November, please apply to have your name put in the hat for the RNA Winter Party.  (See the Coffee Shop Invitation) Send me a PM if you want further details.  You wonít regret it, I am sure.  

« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 02:55:14 AM by Orangutansaver »


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Re: The Writing Festival Report.
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 09:13:52 AM »
Sorry guys I bumped this up so Richard could see it. 

He posted on an earlier post and now that has past and gone.

Lin x

Offline pb

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Re: The Writing Festival Report.
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2010, 08:29:04 PM »
more more more

give us more, Linn

colour atc

Offline Jos

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Re: The Writing Festival Report.
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 03:56:21 AM »
Sounds good, Lin.
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time - Andrť Gide

Go on, buy a copy.