On the 6th of June I will be taking part in an innovative one-day writing conference in Newcastle upon Tyne, the homeland of my early years. The conference is hosted by New Writing North and Northumbria University (where my mum used to go) and is all about the things that writers can do for themselves to move their careers forward, from standing out in the digital age to finding out what agents and publishers really want. There’s a properly great line-up of speakers, including novelists, editors, publishers, agents, journalists and bloggers. No seriously the line up it brilliant.
Highlights include a Keynote Speech from novelist Meg Rosoff who will talk about her journey to publication, which began in her forties and then will be signing books. There will then be a panel event ‘How to Stand Out in a Digital Age’ where a group of panelists – including Ben Willis, head of digital publicity at Transworld; Costa-shortlisted author and social media expert, Nikesh Shukla; vlogger and Hotkey Books digital coordinator, Sanne Vliegenthart, who also vlogs at Books and Quills; and, erm, me – will be discussing how digital media can help with an authors career and reaching a bigger audience.
Then the rest of the day is dedicated to break out sessions which include; ‘Websites and Blogging’ – where myself and digital designer, Mel Ashby, guide you through the process of creating a website or blog, from crafting your online persona and making websites; ‘How to Edit Your Work’ – with acclaimed novelist Fiona Shaw where you can bring a page of your draft work to go through; ‘Vlogging’ – where Sanne will give a practical guide to getting started with vlogging.
Then after lunch you can join sessions such as; ‘Meet the Agent’ with Jo Unwin, of the Jo Unwin Literary Agency; ‘Develop Your Online Presence‘ where you can find out how to use social media to promote your work with Ben Willis from Transworld and author Nikesh Shukla and ‘What’s Hot and What’s Not’ where the blooming lovely Picador editor Francesca Main, Rachael Kerr is the editor-at-large of publishers Unbound, Rachel Kerr; lovely Anna James from The Bookseller and Elle magazine plus Jo Unwin will discuss all aspects of the book industry now.
Phew, and that isn’t even the full list, for details of everything happening on the day you can head to the website here. I am really, really looking forward to this, especially as Newcastle University was the university that my mother went to, taking the three year old me along with her, and so Newcastle has a very special place in my heart, along with the uni, so it will lovely to go back. I am actually off up to Newcastle with my mother this weekend for a pre-birthday treat and nostalgic trip down memory lane which I will share with you in due course.
So yes, exciting times. If you would like to join us, the lovely folk at New Writing North have given me a special code for a limited number of tickets available half price for special people, like you reading here, which you can buy through this link if you fancy it: http://bit.ly/1BAgTFf
It would be lovely to see some of your friendly faces, so do let me know if you might be attending.