Sir Terry Pratchett OBE
This year the Winchester Writers’ Conference was celebrating 30 years of inspiring, encouraging and educating aspiring authors. The conference ran over three days. During this time workshops, seminars, networking, midnight reads and the all important One-to-One appointments with agents, editors and authors were held. Not forgetting the book shop where first time authors saw their books beside established writers. And after the plenary speech delegates were invited to get Sir Terry Pratchett to sign their copies of his work.
The One-to-One’s sessions were once again very busy. These were held over two full days Friday and Saturday. Hundreds of delegates milled in and out passed my desk, stopping only to give their details and to be given their instructions. Most came away happy from their meetings, although there are always a few who weren’t quite ready to see an agent and therefore came away with less enthusiasm. However, we all need to take a good look at our work with a critical eye and from the feedback given at these events delegates should be able to look at their work with a clearer perspective.
The conference started proper at 9am with the plenary speaker, Sir Terry Pratchett OBE. A digital image of the great man himself with this phrase “Why are You Listening to Me When You Should Be at Home Writing?” were displayed. Terry Pratchett an amazing storyteller. His keynote speech was witty and fun, we wouldn’t expect anything less from the legend. Click this link http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk/ to find out more about Terry Pratchett.
If you are serious about your writing then you should seriously think about attending a writers’ conference. There are three I can heartily recommend: Get Writing, held at the university of Hertfordshire in February – click this link to view Get Writing 2010. The Festival of Writing at the university of York – click this link to find out more Festival of Writing - York.
One thing to remember when attending these events – be prepared. Know what you want to say and find out. Ensure you send the correct pieces of work in advance if it is requested – don’t send anything that hasn’t been asked for. Accept creative criticism with an open mind – it is given to move your writing forward. And network effectively – you never know who you might be standing next to in a crowded room, or who may be sitting across a dining table. Networking is the best way to let the right people know who you are – remember first impression count.