This weekend was busy, busy, busy. But great!
Saturday saw an early start with a drive down the (always delightful) M1 to Kingston University for a writers’ conference. The course was led by Alison Baverstock, former publisher, author and now acting course leader of Kingston Uni’s Publishing MA.
The keynote opening speech was given by Richard Charkin, Chief Exec of Bloomsbury, on the current state of the publishing industry. Richard has been in publishing for nearly 40 years, so has a wealth of knowledge and experience about the industry. His talk covered everything from book pricing to E-books to Google books.
This was followed by a talk by Carole Blake, MD of the Blake Friedmann Agency. Carole is a real character – very entertaining and gave a useful insight into what agents are (and aren’t) looking for. And yes, I think everyone got the message that she DOESN’T do children’s!
The afternoon saw a couple of workshops. Commercial Fiction by Emma Burstall turned out to be Commercial Women’s Fiction. Oh well, never mind. It was quite interesting, and the short stories on my website show that I’m in touch with my feminine side!
Writing for Children was facilitated by Linda Strachan. Linda hails from north of the border, and is really enthusiastic about her subject. And with more than 50 children’s books to her name, she really knows her subject. A really useful workshop that could have easily filled two hours instead of the one allotted.
And then it was on to Reading, for the Reading Festival of Crime Writing. More on that to follow…