This is an amazing annual writer networking day, now in its 5th year, I found out about it earlier this year and many writers I have met since have recommended it as a DEFINITE event to attend. I wasn’t sure I was ready, thanks to supportive writing friends with a little encouragement I booked a place.
For the cost of a workshop you get 2 keynote speakers and 4 panel talks (each one consisting of 3 people and a chair) – so that’s 18 experts in a day and a FREE lunch! (Plus pastries and coffee – which I missed as I barely made it in time to register.)
I wrote notes all day (and have a slightly aching wrist and lots of admiration for all long hand writers!) My 2013 notebook is nearly full, it will be by the New Year.
The main dilemma was choosing which talks to attend – and many that I wanted were in the same strand and you could only choose one. I am going to do my best to find people who went to the other groups or contact the facilitators for more information. There was one on publishing that I completely missed and another one which may have been more relevant for where I am about how writers and libraries can work together. (Although I have a librarian contact who I could maybe get such information from.)
This is what I did manage to attend;
Opening Key Note Address: Kate Pullinger – Writing for Digital Platforms
Novelist and writer for print and digital platforms, Kate Pullinger, considers how writing on a digital platform can inspire creativity.
Planning Successful Writing Projects
Jo Bell – Poet, Canal Laureate 2013 Ian Billings – Children’s Writer, Actor/Director Jean Atkin – Poet, Writer, Writer in Residence
Thanks to Birmingham Literature Festival and other Writers’ Network meetings I had already met many of the people on the panels.
Writing in Collaboration
Nick Walker – Writer, Performer, Producer Hannah Barker – Writer, Theatre Maker Mez Packer- Writer Rochi Rampal – Writer, Performer Helen Cross (Chair) – Novelist
I wish I had networked during lunch – but by the time all delegates had managed to be served the vegetarian buffet they already had to extend the lunch hour, there were several people I had hoped to catch up with and wouldn’t have minded talking to other writers – as I have at other events this year, there just wasn’t time though, and at the end everyone was tired, I spoke to Jo Bell and by the time I made it downstairs everyone had gone practically!
Managing a Writing Career
Jo Bell, William Gallagher (Writer, Publisher, Writing Tutor), David Edgar (Playwright) & Philip Monks (Chair/ Writer)
Funding for Writers
James Urquhart (Relationship Manager (Literature) Arts council England), Heather Wastie (Writer), Chris Taylor (New Writing South), Jonathan Davidson (Chair/ Director Writing West Midlands)
Closing Keynote address Stephen May – Writing and Quality
It was a fantastic day and I cannot wait to delve into my notes, I am however, exhausted and on tonight’s TO DO list should be;
- NaNoWriMo writing (1000’s of words owed)
- Preparing Poetry for tomorrow’s open mic,
- Extending flash writes for an event I am attending next week,
- Scheduling more events in the diary,
- and sleep.
If I am lucky I will do the 1st and the last and soon!