One of my New Year Resolutions was to finally get writing and I’m proud to say I’ve made a serious effort. In February I began a creative writing course, doing two hours every Wednesday night for five weeks. The course was set up and led by author Kerry Hudson and I was joined by other writers who are also writing their first book. The course gave me that boost I needed to start writing my story. I honestly don’t know how I would have started writing it without the amazing help of Kerry and my new writer buddies. We have since set up a monthly writing group so that we can continue to help each other write and give each other feedback.
Feeling encouraged by not only my group but by Kerry, I booked myself onto a writing Session with author Marcus Sedgewick, focusing on Magic Realism, which was held at Bloomsbury Publishing. It was a really interesting evening; I was surrounded by a mix of first time writers and published authors. Even just stepping into Bloomsbury Publishing House I got jitters of excitement at being in the same house that so many amazing authors, stories, books and characters had all been present. I felt very lucky. It got me thinking – how many people know about these types of events? I follow so many people on Twitter and Instagram who love writing and reading and spend their time engrossed in books, yet I knew no one at this event. So whether you want to write your own book, or you just love reading them, here are some London events and workshops I thought might be of interest to some of you:
Monday 1st June 7.15pm // South Bank Centre // £10
A panel of high-profile, creative and inspirational women discussing the books that have most influenced their lives. Kate Mosse, Co-founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction will lead a panel of celebrated women that includes CEO of Whistles, Jane Shepherdson; Chair of the 2015 Baileys Prize judges, Shami Chakrabarti; columnist and Baileys Prize 2015 judge, Grace Dent; award-winning author, Aminatta Forna and Grazia columnist, Polly Vernon. Click here to book.
BAILEYS WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION SHORTLISTED READINGS
Tuesday 2nd June 6.30pm // South Bank Centre // £10
On the eve of the much-anticipated announcement of the 2015 Baileys Prize winner, the event will see this year’s shortlisted authors reading and discussing their work with Shami Chakrabarti. Click here to book.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF WRITING
Tuesday 16th June 6.30pm // Bloomsbury Publishing // £35
The National Academy of writing presents a two-hour masterclass offering skills you need to craft a complete, thoroughly edited manuscript. The course is being lead by Richard Beard, who has written six novels including Lazarus is Dead and Damascus, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He will be joined by Christie Watson, a British novelist whose books include Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, and Where Women are Kings. Watson won the Cost First Novel Award and the Waverton Good Read Award. Click here to book.
HOW TO HOOK AN AGENT
Various Dates // Bloomsbury Publishing // £149
If you feel like your book is done and you’re ready to put it out there and attract the attention of an agent, why not try this course? A little on the expensive side yes, but on this half day course you will work with four top UK literary agents and be able to ask all the questions you need about pitching your work. You will even get a one to one session with an agent of your choice. Click here to see dates and info.