Writers and Artists held in “how to get published” conference in York on 25th of March and our own Nadine Little went along and wrote a blog about her experiences. You’ll find part one below the break with part two being published shortly. We hope you enjoy!
Writers and Artists How to Get Published Conference Part 1
Over a hundred budding writers gathered at York St John University at 9am, clutching cups of tea and making politely awkward conversation with strangers. Or perhaps that was just me. I’m not what you would call a social butterfly but I promised myself I would at least talk to the agent I’d singled out/Twitter stalked as the most appropriate of the three attending.
But that scary moment would come later, during the networking slot at the end. Until then, I satisfied myself by talking to a lovely woman called Marie who used to live in the Highlands but now resides in York. She is interested in publishing short stories she told to her children when they were younger. I subsequently followed her around for the rest of the day as my only friend.
The conference began with an introduction and overview of the publishing market from Alysoun Owen, editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. It was an interesting talk on what publishers offer versus self-publishing (sales and marketing expertise, kudos, sales outlets etc.) and finished with an encouraging list of activities to improve your chances of success, including reading more, doing your research and knowing your competition.
The second speaker, Emma Flint debut author of Little Deaths, covered how to grab your reader from the start. This was her first time speaking at a conference, although it didn’t show. The seven points she said you must consider in your first chapter were point of view, tense, setting, character, the heart of your story, starting point, immediacy/conflict and enticing the reader into the second chapter.
My favourite speaker of the day was Natasha Pulley, debut author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street — the most beautiful book cover I’ve ever seen. She discussed the process of editing in an amusing analogy involving her book, a trip to Peru and llamas. Her key point was to keep the momentum going by writing out the first draft without getting bogged down in research. Editing would add in the details and richness to this initial framework.