Programme – Jericho Writers

Festival Programme 2019

Take a closer look at the workshops, keynotes and special events taking place at the Festival this year

Festival of Writing 2018

Build your own Festival…

…with an eclectic selection of workshops covering everything from how to start writing; to how to build an author marketing brand – and everything in-between. Whether you’re looking to hook an agent or go it alone, there are workshops, keynotes and extra-special events to suit everyone.

So – let’s take a closer look at what there is to look forward to at the Festival of Writing this year. And we’ll warn you now – we think this could well be the biggest and best year yet…

Festival of Writing - Mini courses

Mini-courses explained

Kicking off your weekend in style, these additional courses hone in on one aspect of writing and publishing. During this three-hour course, you’ll delve into the ins and outs of your chosen subject with a top tutor. Choose the ‘Mini-Course’ option when booking your ticket to attend.

Festival of Writing - Book labs

NEW to 2019 – Book labs

We’ve listened to your feedback and are pleased to introduce Book Labs – a two-hour intimate session, which will workshop your writing with tutorials and exercises. With a maximum of twenty participants per session, this is your chance to put your learning into practice.

Festival of Writing - Workshops

Workshops explained

With five workshop session blocks and up to seven workshops to choose from in each session, you can build your own Festival by attending the ones that suit your writing. Led by professional tutors, agents, authors and publishers, these will leave you feeling inspired.

Friday

Kick-off your Festival in style with an optional mini-course and our famous Friday Night Live

13:00 - 14:00 Registration (for those attending mini-courses)

Say hello to our team at the Registration Desk, and get your Festival Pack.

14:00 - 17:00 Mini-Courses

Choose your favourite:

Self-Editing Your Novel with Debi Alper

This course will impart the tools you need to ensure your current draft has a clear narrative drive, a strong voice, and your characters, plot, and story development are all in place. We’ll also be looking at all elements of prose style. Using tutorials and exercises, you should end the course with a clear plan for creating a final draft.

Debi has been published by Orion. For the last thirteen years, she has helped other writers through critiques and workshops. She runs the phenomenally successful Jericho Writers’ Self-Edit Your Novel course.

Advanced Dialogue with James Law

This workshop goes beyond the basics. We’ll talk about how to write great dialogue. We’ll talk about what dialogue should accomplish and how it sets up and lays out relationships, how it reveals background and motivations, how people’s speech changes, ebbs and flows, and how we can use that to great effect in our novels. We’ll be dialogue ninjas!

James’ debut thriller, The Dark Beneath, was published in 2015 by Headline (UK) and Holt (US). The third book in the series, The Coldest Blood, is out now.

Intensive Character Workshop with Rebecca Horsfall

How can we make our characters memorable and believable? A top-to-toe look at character creation, using theory and exercises to discover how we build complex characters our readers will really care about, and how we can breathe life into them to get them driving the story of their own accord.

Rebecca is a bestselling novelist, creative writing tutor and lecturer. As a book doctor, she has worked with over 150 different novelists in a wide range of fiction genres.


How to Move from Idea to Full Plot with C M Taylor

Narrative art is how events in time (PLOT) change or do not change human beings (CHARACTER), according to the writer’s sensibility (THEME). In this workshop I teach a simple, repeatable method – adapted from screenwriting to cater for the strengths of written fiction – which allows you to build up a solid plot from the most ethereal of inspirations.

Craig’s last novel was Staying On (Duckworth, 2018). He edits fiction for publishers, co-wrote the thriller Writers Retreat, lectures on a Publishing degree and teaches widely on the structures of narrative.

How to Write a Novel in an Afternoon with Allie Spencer

In this fun, fast-moving and exciting course we will workshop the outline of an entire novel from scratch, looking at all the essentials needed for a strong working synopsis – including character, storyline, structure and conflict. Debut and experienced writers alike will find themselves with an invaluable, new skills-set as well as a fresh insight into the creative process.

Allie is the author of five romantic comedy novels, two of which have been shortlisted numerous awards. She is an experienced tutor and lecturer, teaching both creative writing and English Literature and is currently completing a PhD.

Self-Publish Like a Pro with David Gaughran

Learn how to publish your work professionally, and why that is an increasingly viable choice in today’s market. Find out how to put together your own publishing team: editor, cover designer, and formatter – so your work looks as good as anything coming from a big publisher. Discover how to get your book distributed globally, and how to start building a readership.

David Gaughran lives in Dublin, where he writes historical novels and science fiction. He has also created giant marketing campaigns for some of the biggest self-publishers on the planet.

16:00 - 17:00 Afternoon tea

Chat to your fellow-writers over tea, coffee and biscuits.

17:00 - 18:00 Ask the Agents

Join literary agents and industry experts for a Q&A session. Get to know what they’re looking for during the Festival weekend, ask your burning questions and prepare for your one-to-ones.

19:30 Dinner

Buffet-style, with open seating. Dietary requirements catered for – please let us know when booking.

20:45 - 21.15 Friday Night Live

This much anticipated and contested competition is the Grand Opening of the Festival weekend. We have an impressive track record of ‘discovering’ new and exciting writing talent on this night. Agents are always keen to participate and snap-up new authors. Be brave and get your competition entry in!

Find out more about this competition

Saturday

With two keynotes, two workshops, our NEW Book Labs, one-to-ones and a Gala Dinner to look forward to, Saturday promises to be a day to remember.

08:00 Breakfast

Buffet-style, with open seating. Continental and full-English options available.

08:30 Registration (for those arriving Saturday)

Say hello to our team at the Registration Desk, and get your Festival Pack.

09:10 - 10:10 Opening Keynote

We’re kicking off the Festival with a welcome and an inspirational opening keynote from New York Times Bestselling author, Ruth Ware.

Ruth Ware’s début thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood was an instant New York Times bestseller in the US, and a Richard and Judy pick and Sunday Times bestseller in the UK. It was optioned for film by New Line Cinema with Reese Witherspoon attached to produce.

Since then her books have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, and all three have been optioned for either film or TV.

10: 10 - 10:40 Coffee Break

Chat to your fellow-writers over tea, coffee and biscuits.

10:40 - 12.40 Book Labs - NEW to 2019!

Choose your favourite:

Fast Fiction with Jo Cotterill

Jo will kick off this session with ‘fast-fiction’ which will get brains buzzing, and then move on to group-based work looking at planning a story using an emotional rather than a narrative arc.

Jo Cotterill is an award-winning writer who has published over forty books for children and young people. Her most widely-read books are A Library of Lemons and Looking at the Stars.

Psychic Distance with Debi Alper and Emma Darwin

Psychic Distance is the most versatile tool in the novelist’s kit, holding the key to voice, point-of-view, character, showing and telling, and much more. We’ll start by building a scene that uses the full spectrum. Debi and Emma will then each lead a group to explore how PD worked in practice, and how to exploit its magic in your storytelling.

Debi has been published by Orion. For the last thirteen years, she has helped other writers through critiques and workshops. She runs the phenomenally successful Jericho Writers’ Self-Edit Your Novel course.

Emma is a novelist and mentor; she has a PhD in Creative Writing and blogs at This Itch of Writing. Her latest book is This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin.

Pace and Tension with James Law

Three chapters into a novel and no idea if anything will ever happen? Flicking through chunks of ‘middle pages’ to get to the good bit? It doesn’t need to be this way.

This workshop will look at practical ways to measure and maintain pace, and to make sure the tension is built, and sustained, right to the finale

James’ debut thriller, The Dark Beneath, was published in 2015 by Headline (UK) and Holt (US). The third book in the series, The Coldest Blood, is out now.

Four Strategies for Standout writing with Allie Spencer

What makes a story come alive: a compelling narrative? A unique point of view? Or simply one event after another? This workshop examines four strategies for injecting that page-turning quality into your writing. Learn the difference between story and discourse; investigate the crucial part suspense plays in keeping your reader hooked; conjure up characters that pop on the page and talk about locating that killer idea.

Allie is the author of five romantic comedy novels, two of which have been shortlisted numerous awards. She is an experienced tutor and lecturer, teaching both creative writing and English Literature and is currently completing a PhD.

Plotting for Pantsers with Amanda Saint

This interactive novel plotting session is for writers who don’t like to plot. You’ll create an easy 10-point plot that’s aligned to story structure. You’ll learn about: pace and tension; mapping your plot to your character arc; when to speed things up and slow things down; how to plot a story that keeps readers turning the page.

Amanda is a novelist and short fiction writer. She founded and runs the independent publishing house, Retreat West Books. Amanda’s an experienced fiction editor and creative writing tutor.

Half a Dozen uses for a Post-It Note with Julie Cohen

This is a hand-on workshop about using Post-Its to brainstorm, plan and revise your novel, giving practical techniques that you can apply to every stage of the writing process.

Julie’s novels have sold over a million copies and twice been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. She is a Vice President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Secrets of Wonderful Prose with Rebecca Horsfall

An exploration of how ways of using rhythm and sound to communicate feeling, create atmosphere and really pull the reader into a scene. This is an opportunity to try these techniques for yourself, and also experience how to write wonderful prose naturally by engaging on a physical level (using breathing etc.) with the world of your novel.

Rebecca is a bestselling novelist, creative writing tutor and lecturer. As a book doctor, she has worked with over 150 different novelists in a wide range of fiction genres.

Plot Fixing Lab with C M Taylor

We start with a group exercise building a full plot from inspirations suggested on the day, to give delegates a tangible grasp of a plot-generating method I routinely use. Next, we apply that method to particular plot issues delegates are having with their own WiPs. Note: Delegates are asked to bring along a 20-word written description of a plot problem they’re having.

Craig’s last novel was Staying On (Duckworth, 2018). He edits fiction for publishers, co-wrote the thriller Writers Retreat, lectures on a Publishing degree and teaches widely on the structures of narrative.

Characters with Action! With Jody Klaire

Bring your pens, your notebooks and your own masterpiece in progress to discover how characters are eco-systems and that each level creates moods and helps them evolve as they battle between superficial desires and core needs. We’ll work on ways to make your own unforgettable characters jump off the page and into the hearts of your readers!

Former police officer, Jody, is an award winning author of eleven books from high-concept thrillers to romantic comedies. She works with writers from the LGBT+, disabled communities… and beyond!

Finding Your Voice with Sarah Ann Juckes

Literary agents always say they want to find the ‘next big voice’ – but what does that mean? In this Book Lab, we’ll go through some useful techniques to find a unique voice for your novel – whatever genre you write in.

Sarah is a Content Creator for Jericho Writers and has worked in and around publishing for around a decade. Her debut YA novel, OUTSIDE, was published by Penguin in January 2019.

Agent Submission Pack builder with Sarah Hornsley

Come find out how you can ensure your submission rises to the top of an agent’s ‘slush’ pile. Full of clear tips and practical exercises, this workshop will specifically target how to polish your cover letter, synopsis and first three chapters, giving you the best chance of receiving that offer of representation from your dream agent. Remember: First impressions count!

Sarah represents commercial and accessible literary adult fiction. I’m interested in high-concept rom-coms, epic love stories, historical fiction, crime/ thriller and gothic/horror. For NF, I’m looking for popular science and memoir.

Gratuitous Sex and Violence with Harry Bingham

Your manuscript’s pivotal scenes quite likely involve sex, violence or both. But those things can be cringe-making to read, so let’s figure out what works, what doesn’t, and how to repair any damage. Please bring one page (max: 300 words) from your manuscript and we’ll tuck into as much as we can. Bathrobes and cutlasses may be worn.

Harry’s been an author for twenty years. He’s been on bestseller lists, been published right across the globe, and had his work adapted for the screen. He also runs Jericho Writers.

Writing Characters Different from You with Patrice Lawrence

Can white writers create authentic characters who are not white? Can atheists write believable stories about faith? Can a straight writer focus a story on an LGBT character that LGBT readers will recognise and feel respects and reflects their experiences? Through discussion and exercises, we will explore ways in to write authentic characters that have different life experiences and backgrounds to our own.

Patrice is an award-winning writer of stories for children and young people. Orangeboy, her debut YA book was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award, won the Bookseller YA Prize and Waterstones Prize for Older Children’s Fiction and has been shortlisted for many regional awards.

World Building with Hal Duncan

Some writers develop their settings exhaustively before even thinking of the first scene. Some dive straight into the thick of story, discovering the worldscape as they go. Here we’ll take a hands-on look at some simple tricks you can use in either approach to avoid pitfalls, so your conjuring doesn’t end up a train wreck of contradictions and vague handwaving.

Hal writes mainly fiction, specifically Sci-Fi and Fantasy. He also writes poetry and has written literary criticism and commentary as collected in Rhapsody, a non-fiction book on strange fiction. Hal has written to critical acclaim and has shared awards lists with the likes of Neil Gaiman.

Writing in First Person with Isabel Costello

First person narratives now have a significant presence in the fiction marketplace, creating deep connections between characters and readers. We’ll consider the pros and cons of first person, when to choose it and how and why it works. Writing exercises will take you into your protagonist’s head and heart, maximising the power and intimacy of first person to tell a moving and memorable story.

Isabel is a novelist (Paris Mon Amour), short story writer and host of the influential Literary Sofa blog. Her workshops include Resilient Thinking for Writers with psychologist Voula Tsoflias.

12.40 - 14.00 Lunch

Buffet-style, with open seating. Dietary requirements catered for – please let us know when booking.

14:00 - 15:00 Industry Keynote

Join Anne Meadows, Commissioning Editor at Granta; Darcy Nicholson, Commissioning Editor at Transworld; and Laura Deacon, Editorial Director at Amazon Publishing UK, for this exciting insight into the publishing industry. It promises to be a lively one!

Anne Meadows joined Granta and Portobello Books in 2010. She acquires literary fiction, fiction in translation and non-fiction for both lists and is always on the lookout for new writers.

Darcy Nicholson is Commissioning Editor at Transworld (PRH). She works across fiction and nonfiction, and her authors include Rebecca Reid, Katie Khan, Jessica Pan, AA Dhand and Lauren Bravo.

Laura Deacon is the editorial director at Amazon Publishing UK and edits books by Mark Edwards, Damien Boyd, Steve Robinson, Elle Casey, and others. Prior to joining Amazon Publishing in 2017, Laura worked at Penguin Random House.

15:10 - 16:10 Workshops Session One

Choose your favourite:

How to Approach an Agent with Imogen Pelham

Agents can seem frightening, or like mysterious gatekeepers. In this workshop a lot of the myths about agents will be dispelled, whilst giving you practical advice on how best to approach agents in your submission (and also at the festival), as well as guidance on how to put together the most compelling pitch for your work.

Imogen is a literary agent at Marjacq, representing a range of literary and upmarket-commercial fiction, and non-fiction which looks at serious subjects in interesting ways.

10 Things I wish I knew 10 Years Ago with C M Taylor

In this session we explore the ten most helpful tips I’ve unearthed while writing six novels and editing more than 200 for publishers and private clients. My aim is simple – to save you some of the hours I’ve spent weeping at the desk.

Craig’s last novel was Staying On (Duckworth, 2018). He edits fiction for publishers, co-wrote the thriller Writers Retreat, lectures on a Publishing degree and teaches widely on the structures of narrative.

The Secrets of Successful Self-Publishers with David Gaughran

Secrets of successful self-publishers – This workshop will puncture a shed-load of myths about how self-publishers sell books and show you the real secrets behind their success – marketing strategies they have used to take over 40% of the US ebook market. It’s not what you think…

David lives in Dublin, where he writes historical novels and science fiction. He has also created giant marketing campaigns for some of the biggest self-publishers on the planet.

How to Write a Sentence with Hal Duncan

Applying six simple principles in hands-on editing of examples, this workshop will show you how to rip your prose apart and put it back together, how to make it vivid and vital, how to pare and hone it, to turn the most leaden purple prose into gold–or steel, at least, solid and sharp and wielded as a precision weapon.

Hal writes mainly fiction, specifically Sci-Fi and Fantasy. He also writes poetry and has written literary criticism and commentary as collected in Rhapsody, a non-fiction book on strange fiction. Hal has written to critical acclaim and has shared awards lists with the likes of Neil Gaiman.


Dig Yourself Free – My six tried and tested tips for when I’m stuck with Patrice Lawrence

My six tried and tested tips for when I’m stuck. I’m 30% plotter and 70% flying by the seat of my pants. I know where I’m going but have literally lost the plot and don’t know where to go next. These are six ways I use to inspire and spur me on.

Patrice is an award-winning writer of stories for children and young people. Orangeboy, her debut YA book was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award, won the Bookseller YA Prize and Waterstones Prize for Older Children’s Fiction and has been shortlisted for many regional awards.

The Author / Agent Relationship with Eleanor Anstruther and Jenny Savill

Join debut author, Eleanor Anstruther (A Perfect Explanation, Salt) and her literary agent Jenny Savill (Andrew Nurnberg Agency) for a panel exploring the key aspects of how agents and authors work together. Find out how to choose an agent and what you, as an author, can expect.

Eleanor was born in London, educated at Westminster School, and read History of Art at Manchester University. She lives on a farm in Surrey. A Perfect Explanation is her debut novel.

Jenny is the Director of Andrew Nurnberg Agency. She represents children’s and YA fiction; literary fiction, commercial and literary women’s fiction, suspense, historical fiction, and occasional narrative non-fiction. @jennysavill1 www.andrewnurnberg.com

Tips and Tricks for Writing Great Commercial Fiction with Darcy Nicholson

Tips and tricks for writing great commercial fiction – You’ve had an idea, you may have started writing, but how to make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance at writing a manuscript that will catch the attention of literary agents, commissioning editors and readers? This workshop aims to help you avoid common pitfalls and write the best commercial fiction you can write.

Darcy, Commissioning Editor, Transworld Publishers (Penguin Random House) Darcy works across commercial fiction and non-fiction; her list is varied but at the heart of each book she publishes you’ll find pace, heart and a brilliant pay-off.

16:10 - 16:40 Afternoon Tea

Chat to your fellow-writers over tea, coffee and biscuits.

16:40 - 17:40 Workshops Session Two

Choose your favourite:

All workshops in this session will feature a 15-minute Genre Talk with literary agents and the speakers.

What it Takes to Write Strong Literary Prose with Sam Jordison

Using examples from classic books and novels he has edited at Galley Beggar Press, Sam Jordison talks about what happens at the level of the sentence – and how artists hone their prose. Along the way we’ll also ask if there’s really such a thing as literary prose, what’s so different about it – and what do certain kinds of editors like about it…

Sam is the co-director of the award-winning independent publisher Galley Beggar Press. He writes about books for The Guardian and he is the author of several non-fiction titles such as Enemies Of The People and the best-selling Crap Towns series.

Life Writing, Memoir, Biographical Fiction with Emma Darwin

Some of the biggest sellers and most exciting writing in recent years have been creative non-fiction. Do you have a real life story you’re longing to tell? But how do you decide whether to write it as a novel, or non-fiction, or the exciting territory between the two? In this practical workshop we’ll explore how to find the facts you need, and craft them into a compelling narrative.

Emma is a novelist and mentor; she has a PhD in Creative Writing and blogs at This Itch of Writing. Her latest book is This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin.

Your Sci-Fi and Fantasy ToolKit with Hal Duncan

Too often we talk of SF/F in terms of conventional tropes–spaceships and dragons, robots and elves. In this seminar (followed by a 15 minute Q&A with an agent,) we’ll strip the clichés down to their origins, not as traditions but as innovations, breaches of realism functioning as tools, a marvelous mode of metaphor, unique to these genres.

Hal writes mainly fiction, specifically Sci-Fi and Fantasy. He also writes poetry and has written literary criticism and commentary as collected in Rhapsody, a non-fiction book on strange fiction. Hal has written to critical acclaim and has shared awards lists with the likes of Neil Gaiman.


Children’s Book Ready for Submission with Davinia Andrew-Lynch

TBC

Davinia runs Andlyn, a boutique agency dedicated to finding storytellers whose material can not only exist on the page but can also find an outlet through other media territories. Children’s fiction is at the forefront of what Davinia is looking for but Andlyn is nowopen to adult submissions too.

Irresistible beginnings and Happy Endings with Cathy Bramley

We will explore how to hook your readers from the first page to the last. We’ll discover what makes a great opening to a novel (and what doesn’t). And how to end a story so that readers are left with a great big satisfied smile on their faces and immediately rush to buy another of your books.

Since attending her first Festival of Writing in 2012, Cathy has published ten commercial women’s fiction novels, sold over a million books and appeared in the best sellers’ list three times.

How to Build a Crime Novel with Harry Bingham

In this class, we’ll look at an actual crime novel (Harry’s This Thing of Darkness) and figure out what makes it work and how to achieve the same effects. If you read the novel prior to the workshop, great – but the class will make sense even if you haven’t. There will be a short Q&A with literary agents at the end.

Harry’s been an author for twenty years. He’s been on bestseller lists, been published right across the globe, and had his work adapted for the screen. He also runs Jericho Writers.

18:45 Gala dinner, competition results and drinks

Don your posh frocks and suits for reception drinks and a three-course dinner. We’ll also announce the results of the remaining competitions, and there’ll be chance to mingle at the bar with agents, speakers, and other writers until the early hours (if you’re able to stay up that long!)

Sunday

Finish your Festival on a high, with a further three workshop sessions, a panel, a keynote and one-to-ones. Don’t forget to swap details with the friends you’ve made over the weekend!

08:00 Breakfast

Buffet-style, with open seating. Continental and full-English options available.

09:00 Registration (for those arriving Sunday)

Say hello to our team at the Registration Desk, and get your Festival Pack.

09:20 - 10:00 Futurecast 2019

Join a panel of industry experts as we look into the future of the publishing industry and what that means for writers. Chaired by Harry Bingham.

10.10 - 11.10 Workshops Session Three

Choose your favourite:

Self-Publishing 101 with Harry Bingham

Did you know that most adult fiction these days is digital? That more than 75% of it is sold digitally? And that absolutely nothing stops you accessing that market and making a properly good income from so doing? This class will give you an ultra-rapid overview of what to do and how to do it, plus a guide to additional resources.

Harry’s been an author for twenty years. He’s been on bestseller lists, been published right across the globe, and had his work adapted for the screen. He also runs Jericho Writers.

Breaking the Rules with Debi Alper

A story is often clobbered by shouts of, ‘You can’t do that!’ We all want to create something fresh, but it won’t work if the POV switches round so much the reader gets dizzy, or it’s impossible to work out where we are in the timeline. In this workshop, we’ll look at the so-called rules and show how to break them.

Debi has been published by Orion. For the last thirteen years, she has helped other writers through critiques and workshops. She runs the phenomenally successful Jericho Writers’ Self-Edit Your Novel course.

Story Structure from Pixar with Julie Cohen

Back by popular demand, this workshop shows you how to craft a novel using the techniques perfected by Pixar writers. Bestselling, award-winning novelist Julie Cohen demonstrates how to handle sub-plot, endings and beginnings, three-act structure, and more. Bring tissues.

Julie novels have sold over a million copies and twice been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. She is a Vice President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Creating an Engaging Voice with Amanda Berriman

Whether you’re writing in the first or third person, creating an engaging voice (and getting this right for the story) is essential. This workshop will explore what we mean by voice, analysing the elements of a strong voice and working out ways to ensure the voice leaps from the page in your story.

Amanda was born in Germany and grew up in Edinburgh, reading books, playing music, writing stories and climbing hills. She works as a primary school teacher and lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two children and dogs. Her debut novel Home was published last year by Transworld.


Four Act Structure with Allie Spencer

Screenwriters are obsessed with ‘Act Structure’: a formula of well-honed checks and balances that ensure a tightly-written, perfectly paced screenplay. This formula is a ‘must have’ in every novelists’ tool kit – and will transform the way you approach your writing. Back by popular demand, this workshop tells you all you need to know about getting your book onto the right structural track and keeping it there.

Allie is the author of five romantic comedy novels, two of which have been shortlisted numerous awards. She is an experienced tutor and lecturer, teaching both creative writing and English Literature and is currently completing a PhD.

Using Empathy to enhance your descriptions with Jo Cotterill

Jo will look at using empathy in writing descriptive scenes to build strong characterisation and create vivid experiences for the reader. Bring writing implements and your hearts.

Jo is an award-winning writer who has published over forty books for children and young people. Her most widely-read books are A Library of Lemons and Looking at the Stars.

Subplots and Other Sneaky Tricks with Jody Klaire

In this session, we look at all the sneaky tricks writers use from subplots to subtext, knowledge gaps to unreliable narrators in order to suck their readers in and get them hooked. You’ll learn how to spot, create and implement each sneaky trick in order to create multi-faceted stories that keep your reader gripping the page!

Former police officer, Jody, is an award winning author of eleven books from high-concept thrillers to romantic comedies. She works with writers from the LGBT+, disabled communities… and beyond!

11:10 - 11:40 Coffee Break

Chat to your fellow-writers over tea, coffee and biscuits.

11:40 - 12:40 Workshops Session Four

Choose your favourite:

Behind Closed Doors’: Writing Sex Scenes with Anastasia Parkes

This workshop will start with why I no longer write ‘hard-core’ erotica but still see great sex scenes as integral to any genre, illustrated with some examples from some classic literature, my own work, and the Bad Sex in Fiction Awards showing how not to do it! This is a workshop where anything goes, including filthy language, so participants are asked to leave their inhibitions firmly at the door.

Anastasia, pen name Primula Bond, is the author of erotic romance novels. Recently, she’s ventured into domestic noir and short stories, whilst working as a freelance ‘human interest’ writer and an editor.

How To Make Money as a Writer with Sarah Ann Juckes

Is it possible to make a living from fiction writing? In this workshop, we’ll look at the different ways writers can earn money from writing, and what it takes to make ‘being an author’ into a sustainable career.

Sarah is a Content Creator for Jericho Writers and has worked in and around publishing for around a decade. Her debut YA novel, Outside, was published by Penguin in January 2019.

The Thriving Author with Melissa Addey

Reject the ‘starving artist in a garret’ mythology and focus instead on becoming a ‘thriving author’ by taking an entrepreneurial approach to your writing career. Change your mindset and your writing practice, then take five steps to transform your writing income. Attendees will complete some brief exercises, then download a pack of resources including the eBook Merchandise for Authors.

Melissa started her career in business and is now a fulltime author of historical fiction. 2016 Writer in Residence at the British Library, now completing a Creative Writing PhD. www.melissaaddey.com

Writing Successful Works of Creative Non-Fiction with Sam Jordison

This workshop will help you learn the techniques and strategies to develop a quality work of non-fiction. We’ll look at how to focus your ideas, hone in on your subject, and think about appropriate style. We’ll explore finding inspiration, discuss who and what to read and how to shape a proposal.

Sam is the co-director of the award-winning independent publisher Galley Beggar Press. He writes about books for The Guardian and he is the author of several non-fiction titles such as Enemies Of The People and the best-selling Crap Towns series.


Advanced Characterisation with James Law

You don’t need to tell a reader what your character is like, you can show it in the way they look, speak, act, react, think and move. Every action, or inaction, is an insight into them and their motives. This workshop goes step by step through making your characters really leap off the page and into reader’s hearts and minds.

James’ debut thriller, The Dark Beneath, was published in 2015 by Headline (UK) and Holt (US). The third book in the series, The Coldest Blood, is out now.

What Makes a Good Fantasy Novel with Julie Crisp

With many genre authors having broken into the mainstream – the realisation that all fantasy isn’t Tolkeinesque has started to become accepted. So what is it that makes a great fantasy novel and what are readers looking for?

In this workshop we’ll explore themes such as, what makes worldbuilding work, what sells and why diversity is so important.

Julie is a literary agent looking for SFF, crime/thrillers, historical fiction and bookclub novels. She’s worked in publishing for over twenty years and, for nine years, headed up Tor UK, publishing authors including China Miéville, Peter F. Hamilton and Naomi Novik.

Platform Building & Related Terrors with David Gaughran

Mailing lists, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogging, Pinterest… no wonder writers break out in a sweat when anyone mentions the word platform. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but this session will simplify everything for you, focusing on what you need, how to get it, and, most importantly, what you can ignore so you can focus as much as possible on writing.

Dave lives in Dublin, where he writes historical novels and science fiction. He has also created giant marketing campaigns for some of the biggest self-publishers on the planet.

12:40 - 14.00 Lunch

Buffet-style, with open seating. Dietary requirements catered for – please let us know when booking.

14:00 - 15:00 Workshops Session Five

Choose your favourite:

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them with Laura Williams

The world of publishing can seem difficult to understand for first time writers, and this session aims to highlight how to avoid classic pitfalls that hamper an author’s path to publication. This session will cover crucial mistakes an author can avoid both in the writing of their first book and when submitting to agents, as well as during the publishing process.

Laura joined Greene & Heaton as an agent in 2018 from Peters Fraser & Dunlop, where she worked for seven years. She represents a wide-ranging list of fiction and non-fiction.

Merchandise for Authors with Melissa Addey

Would you like to develop merchandise for your books? It’s a great way to engage readers and create a new income stream. Forget bookmarks and mugs: create some truly special merchandise. In this workshop, we will look at the dos and don’ts and give you dozens of ideas for every budget. You will also receive the eBook Merchandise for Authors.

TBC

Using Flash Fiction to Develop Your Novel with Amanda Saint

This interactive workshop will focus on writing scenes for your novel using flash fiction techniques. Flash fiction writing is an excellent way to find your way into scenes during early drafts. It helps to ensure that your prose is working hard and that scenes can work as a standalone story, as well as part of the larger narrative.

Amanda is a novelist and short fiction writer. She founded and runs the independent publishing house, Retreat West Books. Amanda’s an experienced fiction editor and creative writing tutor.

Taming Your Reluctant Protagonist with Rebecca Horsfall

What can we do when one of our main characters just won’t come into focus? All too often we find ourselves chasing shadowy protagonists around as we try to find their voice and get their motivation clear. So what’s going on when this happens? We look at the most common barriers to our protagonists developing a life of their own.

Rebecca is a bestselling novelist, creative writing tutor and lecturer. As a book doctor, she has worked with over 150 different novelists in a wide range of fiction genres.


The Art of the Rewrite with Julie Cohen

The art of the rewrite gives practical step-by-step advice on how to make your SFD (shitty first draft) into something polished and submission-ready.

Julie’s novels have sold over a million copies and twice been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. She is a Vice President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Facing The Fear with Debi Alper

Ever been beset by Doubt Demons? Those evil whisperers that say you can’t write, and no one will ever want to read your stories? Of course, you have. Every author has their own demons. In this empowering and interactive workshop, we’ll be calling out the most common fears and coming up with strategies to kick them in the teeth.

Debi has been published by Orion. For the last thirteen years, she has helped other writers through critiques and workshops. She runs the phenomenally successful Jericho Writers’ Self-Edit Your Novel course.

How to Hook an Agent with Kate Evans

The slushpile can feel a scary place, and with agents receiving up to 50 submissions every day it is tough competition to make your submission standout. There is no magic formula to bagging yourself an agent, but there are ways to ensure your manuscript hits the right people. From deciphering who to submit your novel to, to crafting a professional cover letter, and more.

Kate is the Publisher of Agora Books and an Agent representing journalism and a small list of non-fiction. She joined PFD in 2014 and launched Agora Books in 2018.

15:10 - 15:50 Closing Keynote Speech

Every year, we end the Festival with an inspirational story in the hope that this will drive you to keep writing throughout the year. This year, we’re joined by the one-and-only Joanna Cannon.

Joanna Cannon left The Festival of Writing 2014 with seven offers of representation from literary agents. Since then, her award-winning novel The Trouble With Goats and Sheep has become a Sunday Times Bestseller and has sold in fifteen countries.