Dates: : 11-12 February 2012
Location: The Guardian's offices, Kings Place, London
Timings: Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 10am-1pm
Price: £199 (inclusive of VAT)
Maximum number of places: 30
Becoming a published novelist remains one of the most alluring dreams for thousands of would-be writers across the UK. And despite the fact that there has, arguably, never been a more competitive time to be a first-time novelist – more books are published than ever before, author advances are in decline and manuscripts sit on slush piles or, worse still, are returned unread – novels continue to be successfully published and dreams continue to come true.
Now, over an intensive weekend, feted literary agent Clare Conville (Conville and Walsh) and senior editor Francis Bickmore (Canongate Books) have devised a course to equip aspiring novelists with the necessary tools to beat the odds and get their novel published, while encouraging them to learn the techniques for critically assessing their writing before submission.
The course will include sessions on: learning your way around the publishing ecosystem; preparing your script and CV; the dos and don'ts of submitting to agents and editors; what an agent and publisher is looking for in an opening page; how the internet has changed and is changing publishing; tips for making a writing career sustainable; as well as hearing from an established writer. In addition, those attending should expect to participate in practical, workshop-based exercises and be willing to share and critique their own work as well as that of others.
Candid and honest throughout, Clare and Francis will provide their expert insights on the intricacies of the publishing process based on years of hands-on experience of working with writers who have either won or been nominated for nearly every major literary prize.
Clare Conville set up the literary agency Conville and Walsh with her business partner Patrick Walsh 11 years ago. She represents a wide range of authors including Sarah Hall, Dermot Healy, John Niven, SJ Watson, the estate of Francis Bacon, John Burningham, Katie Davies and discovered DBC Pierre on the Victoria Line. Her first book – Dangerous Women, a Guide to Modern Life - written with Liz Hoggard and Sarah-Jane Lovett, is published later this year.
Francis Bickmore has worked in publishing since 1998. He is currently senior editor at Canongate Books. He focuses primarily on fiction and has worked with, amongst others, James Meek, Scarlett Thomas, Yann Martel, Carol Birch, Nick Cave, Geoff Dyer, Dan Rhodes, Louise Welsh, Philip Pullman and AS Byatt.
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