The website of the historical fiction writer.

Winchester Writers’ Conference Part Deux

One of the many good things about the Winchester Writers’ Conference, as well as rubbing shoulders with big-time celebs, is the chance to have one-to-one appointments with different people in the writing industry. These include authors, agents, publishers and editors but there are also experts on marketing and social media, non-fiction specialists and filmmakers.

My appointments all had a look through chapters and a synopsis of my first novel and had questions and comments prepared. Important points to consider included:

  • Why should people read your work (essential for a synopsis)
  • Compare the work with the present day when writing historical fiction – it’ll help the reader sympathise with the characters more
  • Get/stay involved with writing groups. These are invaluable for support, critiques and much-needed pints. If they have a big following, they can be worth their weight in gold. Down in Portsmouth we have the Writers’ Hub, which is part of New Writing South. I also keep in touch with my friends from the MA and there are one or two other groups I’m planning to look into.

I hope those are useful for you, dear reader, if you are deciding to take up the pen (or computer) and write your own stuff!

The critiques of the manuscript also give technical advice on how it can be improved with crib sheets, etc. So, if you go to these conferences, try to get a range of people, depending on what you are doing. One of the best combinations is an author, agent and editor, particularly if it’s your first time so you can have different viewpoints of the same work.

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