Friday, 17 April 2009

Winchester Writers' Conference Programme

My regular readers (you're still with me, aren't you?) will know that each summer I teach at the Winchester Writers' Conference. This is a busy, packed affair which this year will run from the weekend of the 3rd July. The programme is now at last up on the conference website at http://www.writersconference.co.uk, so do go and take a look as there's a huge range of courses, talks and appointments available with writers, editors and agents. The Saturday programme is so full that the biggest problem is always what to select from so many talks. I'll be teaching a mini-course on the Friday called 'Making Memorable Scenes' and on Saturday I'll be giving a talk called 'From Short Hop to Long Haul' about making the transition from writing short fiction to tackling a novel. The conference also runs writing competitions - when I started going there as a delegate, before I was published, it gave me a real thrill to win some prizes there: anything that validates you as a writer is an encouragement. To be amongst other writers who are sharing the same hopes, dreams and doubts as you is also balm to the soul, especially if you are unlucky enough not to be supported in your ambitions by those around you. People who attend Winchester tend to be exhausted by the experience but also pepped up, their enthusiasm refreshed, their knowledge of the publishing industry broadened. It's a great place to network and make friends.

6 comments:

Denise said...

I'd been watching the site and booked on Monday! I've made two one to one appointments (agent and editor) for a book that although well planned is barely started! Fear is a great motivator... Hope to see you there again this year.

Lorna F said...

I've been watching the site too and was wondering if they were ever going to get round to posting the programme! Good luck with the book and with the one-to-ones. You're right - sometimes you need to scare yourself into activity! Look forward to seeing you there, Denise.

Lane said...

It sounds like an excellent conference and I've heard such great things about it. I won't be able to make it sadly but I look forward to hearing all about it (that's you too Denise!)

Your talk 'Short Hop to Long Haul' is something I would love to hear. Maybe you could make a podcast??

Right, off to have a look at the competitions.

Lorna F said...

Lane - I'm so sorry you can't come to the conference - it would have been nice to meet you. Podcast? Good idea, but I haven't a clue how to make one! Good luck with any competitions you enter. I'm concerned that you haven't blogged for a while - how are your eyes? I hope everything's OK.

Karen said...

I went to the conference a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the day.

The agent one-to-one (mine was with Jane Judd) was tough though - they were all packed into a noisy room and seemed shattered and fed-up by the time my appointment came round! I would highly recommend it though :o)

Lorna F said...

Karen - the one-to-ones are really strenuous for everybody. I usually do an hour's worth and that's about all I can take, but several of the agents and editors are there pretty well all day long. Some are friendly, others more challenging and I agree the environment is not ideal, with all the tables so close to one another and the noise levels so high. Difficult to make a confident pitch in such circumstances. However, it can be helpful to see the process: how an agent can glance at just a few pages and nail what is wrong/right. Whether you agree, deep in your heart, that the agent is right - that this or that isn't working (you knew it really) and that you'll have to go away and work some more. Whether you disagree with the agent and feel that the work is fine, the agent just wouldn't have been the right one for you. And, every year, there are positive results: people find agents, agents find deals. All contact with the industry is useful. Are you definitely not coming to this year's conference?