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Performance and promotion skills for writers

Guardian Masterclasses

Sunday, May 25, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (BST)

Performance and promotion skills for writers

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Take your writing from the page to the stage – and into the viral ether – with confidence

Writing is usually a solitary pursuit. Publishing and promoting a finished work, on the other hand, requires a somewhat more sociable approach. Literary festivals, salons and readings are a great way for new writers to attract the attention of agents and publishers, while book tours and a strong social media presence are promotional mainstays for established authors.

If reading out your work to a room full of strangers sounds like the stuff of particularly visceral nightmares, this course is for you. Novelist Paul Burston has conquered his own stage fright to found and host the Polari Literary Salon at London's Southbank, and has been recognised as one of the top 50 tweeters in the UK. Over the course of this lively, inspiring day, he can show you simple tricks to overcome nerves, inject passion into your readings, and even use the experience to make yourself a better writer. He also offers invaluable tips on building a reputation via social media, another crucial skill in engaging your work with a broader community.

Course description

This informal, small-scale event demonstrates practical, easy-to-apply performance and social media strategy tips designed specifically to help authors promote their work to best effect. Topics covered on the day include:

  • Overcoming stage fright
  • Working with audiences
  • Establishing the right atmosphere from the start
  • What makes a bad performance – from voice to body language
  • What reading aloud can teach you about your writing
  • How – and what – to tweet to get the right kind of attention
  • Social media promotion strategies for authors

This course is for you if...

  • You're an author – published or unpublished – who wants to present your work to a live audience
  • You're a published writer who wants to get better results from your readings and social media appearances
  • You're a new writer anxious about reading in public


PLEASE NOTE: During the course, Paul will offer one attendee the opportunity to perform a five-minute reading at Polari on Tuesday 27 May. If you are interested in this opportunity, please bear in mind that Polari has a primarily LGBT audience and readings on gender and sexuality issues are best received.

Tutor profile

Paul Burston is an author and journalist whose books include the critically-acclaimed novels Shameless (2001), Star People (2006), Lovers & Losers (2007) and The Gay Divorcee (2009). Paul is the host of award-winning LGBT literary salon Polari at the Southbank Centre, and founder of The Polari First Book Prize. Paul also writes for a wide range of publications including the Guardian, the Times and the Independent.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

Have questions about Performance and promotion skills for writers? Contact Guardian Masterclasses

When & Where


The Guardian
Kings Place
90 York Way
N1 9GU London
United Kingdom

Sunday, May 25, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (BST)


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Organizer

Guardian Masterclasses

Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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