Thursday, 21 March 2019

Writing and Publishing Weekend



As aspiring authors, Chloe (Forever Fictional) and I decided to go to a local writing and publishing weekend as part of the overall event: Bookfest.
At the event we heard from authors, publishers, editors and a wide range of people at different stages in their writing.
Unfortunately due to both of us working, we were unable to go to the Saturday session and had to leave slightly early from the Sunday one. Even so, it was a really interesting event and we enjoyed it.

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The first speaker was author Suzie Wilde (pictured above) who talked about researching your book.

Suzie talked about the importance of research within your book and how it can make everything so much more realistic and believable (particularly fantasy or historical fiction). She specifically mentioned tangible research having a great impact. An example she gave within her own novel (The Book of Bera) was how itchy the clothing feels as it is set in a viking community. Suzie got the chance to go to a viking reenactment and realised how uncomfortable the clothing was to wear. This small detail allowed her story to be much more believable.


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The next speaker was Dan Kieran, a co-founder of the publishers: Unbound who talked about crowd-funding.

I'll be honest and say that this was the talk that I had the lowest expectations for but it actually turned out to be really interesting. I'd never heard of crowd-funding a book to be published and it also sounded like I really supportive process. If I ever get round to writing my book (ha) I will definitely consider using Unbound.
Something he said that really stood out to me was: "Publishers aren't looking for original, they want a comparative bestseller". This made so much sense to me and emphasised further how good Unbound's work is to publish the original (I'm not sponsored or asked to say this by the way haha, it was just a promotional presentation which actually sounded good).

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The next speaker was Wendy Metcalfe who talked about dealing with rejection within the writing industry. That nice light-hearted topic....

Wendy talked about some of her own experiences with rejection as well as some tips from well-known authors on how to handle being rejected. She also provided some useful resources such as links to good people to follow on Twitter such as Neil Gaiman and motivational websites such as LitRejections.
A technique Wendy suggested to help with writing was morning pages. Basically the idea is to wake up and write three pages of whatever random stream of consciousness is in your mind and to get it out of your head and onto the page. This clears your mind allowing for more focused and productive writing when working on your novel.

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After lunch (in which we were the outsiders of the outsiders... anyone attending it would be classed as an outsider and even among them we were the least sociable haha), we then listened to the final guest speaker: Scott Pack who talked about perfecting your submission before sending it to publishers. 

Some useful advice was about getting to know specifically what your publisher's want to read and if your book is going to appeal to them. You can do this through publisher's websites or Twitter, or by researching authors they have published. If you look in the acknowledgements, authors quite often thank their publisher's and knowing specific names within the publishing house can be a good way to stand out and show that you know what you are talking about and have done your research.

Scott was a really fun speaker and had soo much useful information and advice. I really wish I could have stayed and listened to the rest but I had to go to work.

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Overall it was an interesting event and I learnt so much useful information from it. Now just to get actually writing my book...

Kaitlin

5 comments:

  1. Sounds like you enjoyed it.
    I can't wait for your first book! :D

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  2. I'm so happy you made a post about this! I debated writing one but didn't think there'd be enough to say :D

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    1. Feel free to tell me anything you want to add

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