Welcome to my writers blog.

Writing to entertain and encourage other writers. To keep you informed of events, workshops, retreats and conferences available for writers.

The Love of Dance

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Winchester - 25th Pitstop Refuelling Writers' Weekend

The 25th Winchester Pitstop Refuelling Writers' Weekend is designed to give an injection of inspiration, to get you going again, if you're slowing or findiing it slow going.

Two workshops are available:

Writing Marketable Fiction and Non-Fiction with Sarah Mussi and Elizabeth Arnold.
Creating, Writing, Editing and Marketing Your Fiction with Paul Bavister and Catherine King.

Workshops begin on the Friday night and continue throughout the weekend. Check out the website for further details: times, pricing etc.Look under the tab for PITSTOPS  http://www.writersconference.co.uk/index.htm

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Be prepared.

I've recently been running the One-to-One pitching sessions at the Get Writing Conference with the VWC (Verulam Writing Circle) and the University of Hertfordshire. This event was attended by over 140 people all keen to develop their writing skills. There were workshops, lectures and pitching sessions to cater for writers of all levels.

Some of the top publishers, agents and editors were in attendance all willing to share their knowledge, both inspirational and factual. It was obvious to everyone in attendance that writing isn't an easy road. There are many pitfalls and hurdles to jump before you even get your work in front of an editor. This conference gave a true reflection on the publishing market today - its ups and downs.

Speaking to those attending, it was obvious that everyone came away inspired, and keen to get home and continue writing.

For my part, I had many people asking what they should expect when pitching. Now the easiest thing to say here is: nothing - that way you won't be dissappointed, but that would be unfair.

If you are going to pitch to an agent, editor or publisher, you have to be prepared. Don't go in with a scrap of paper and prattle on. Make sure you have either: supplied your synopsis and sample chapters in advance - this enables the agent etc. to read, understand and prepare comments on your work. Listen intently, ask questions, be prepared to answer their questions - know your book inside out.

If you are pitching from a standing start: Make sure you have a short, sharp synopsis, a couple of chapters ready should the agent etc. ask for it. They may not have much time to go into detail about your manuscript or idea, but if they think the synopsis has promise they will tell you it does. If they have seen many things similar, listen, they are trying to help you. Don't ever force your work on an agent etc. because it will end up in the bin - unread.

Above all be professional - if you are, they will treat you like a professional.

Do your homework. Make sure you are pitching your work to the right person. It is a waste of your time and theirs if you try pitching a children's novel to a romantic novelist agent.

One last thing. Arrive at the checking in desk on time, not before the time stated in your information pack, otherwise you will be sent away. It causes problems if people try to get in early, so they don't miss their slot, this may make others late as you are queuing too early. And yes, queuing is important. When you enter the pitching room stay focused. Give the name of the person you have an appointment with and then your name. This way the team organising can move you effectively through the process giving you the maximum opportunity to shine.

If you follow these instructions, you should find the pitching session very productive. Remember, your work might not be of interest to the person you are seeing, but that is only one person so keep trying. Writing is a hard task master; it takes talent, determination and a great deal of luck.

Above all be passionate about your work, that way you might just find others are too.

Friday, 5 March 2010


Festival of Writing York 2010 are you going?

Many of you will know I'm often at the Winchester Conference helping organise and more recently (Feb 2010) organising the One-to-One pitches at the GET WRITING 2010 ... in association with the University of Hertfordshire.

Well I'm also helping organise the One-to-One pitching at the Festival of Writing in York 2010.

This festival is shaping up to be a major writing event in York. Already delegates from around the world are signed up and booking is still open. Last bookings accepted on 25th March 2010.

Mini courses are available and workshops throughout the weekend.

Many agents from: Greenhouse Literary Agency, John Jarrold Literary Agency and Blake Friedmann are just a few of the agencies attending.

Also publishers: Barry Cunningham, Genevieve Pegg and Jane Johnson are but a few attending.

Some of the editors/authors: Beverley Birch, Sally Spedding, Toby Frost, Adele Geras, Julie Cohen and Kate Allan are amongst the many.

Click on this link to find out more and to book your place. http://www.festivalofwriting.com/

This event has been advertised in Writers News, many of you may have seen it. Don't miss out, take a look today.

I hope to see many of you there. If you are going post and let me know, I'll keep an eye out for you.