San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
The 2015 Newcastle Writing Conference: Do it Yourself
Saturday 6 June, 10am - 5.30pm
Northumbria University, City Campus East, Newcastle upon Tyne
New Writing North and Northumbria University are delighted to present the Newcastle Writing Conference: Do it Yourself. Aimed at new and emerging writers of fiction, as well as more established writers wanting to embrace the digital age, the conference will explore trends in publishing, identify new markets for writing and support authors to make connections with each other and with industry experts.
In 2015, there are more opportunities and challenges for writers than ever before. The publishing industry is changing and the writers who get ahead are those who make the most of the possibilities available to them. Our Do it Yourself conference will show you how to navigate the new rules (while remembering that many of the old rules still apply). From using digital platforms to engage with readers, to exploring non-traditional publishing routes, to identifying what today’s editors look for, this conference is all about what you can do for yourself.
The Newcastle Writing Conference is a must-attend event for aspiring and early career writers looking to promote their work and understand more about the industry, and is also for more established writers who are interested in engaging with their readers through digital platforms.
If you’re studying creative writing at university the conference will also be a useful introduction to the industries of writing and publishing and a chance to learn from experts and writers.
Our last writing conference sold out, so don’t delay in buying your tickets.
If you’re travelling to Newcastle for the conference please explore discounted accommodation options here
Newcastle Writing Conference 2015: Confirmed programme
10am-10.30am: Registration, tea and coffee
10.30am: Welcome from NWN and Northumbria University
10.35-11am: Keynote address: Acclaimed novelist Meg Rosoff will talk about her journey to publication, which began in her forties. Since her first book was published in 2004, Meg Rosoff has won the prestigious Carnegie Medal as well as the Branford Boase Award and the Guardian Prize. Now on her sixth novel, Picture Me Gone, Rosoff’s debut novel, How I Live Now was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Fiction as well as the Whitbread Book Award.
11.05-12pm: How to Stand Out in a Digital Age: This panel event will explore how digital media can enhance your writing career. Panelists will look at the influence of social media and blogging on the book-buying public as well as giving their perspective on the publishing industry today. Featuring Ben Willis, head of digital publicity at Transworld; Costa-shortlisted author and social media expert, Nikesh Shukla; vlogger and Hotkey Books digital coordinator, Sanne Vliegenthart, whose YouTube book vlog Books and Quills, has over 124,000 subscribers; and blogger Simon Savidge, who runs the influential book blog, Savidge Reads.
12.15-12.30pm: Book-signing session with Meg Rosoff
12.30-1.30pm Break-out session (participants must select one, subject to availability)
- Websites and Blogging: Leading books blogger Simon Savidge and digital designer, Mel Ashby, guide you through the process of creating a website or blog, from crafting your online persona to the technical side of making websites. Beginners welcome.
- Meet the agent: An opportunity to ask a leading literary agent any questions you may have about how to pitch your work and the submissions process. With Mark Stanton, Jenny Brown Associates. Stan is interested in a variety of genres including: literary fiction, crime and thrillers and non-fiction – particularly in the areas of sport and popular culture.
- How to pitch your work, with Steve Chambers, senior lecturer in creative writing at Northumbria University. This workshop will demystify the art of pitching your work and show you how to pitch to anyone professionally and with confidence.
- How to edit your work: with acclaimed novelist and Northumbria University lecturer, Fiona Shaw. Bring a page of your draft work to Fiona Shaw’s editing session and discover at first hand how best to take the red pen to your words. Please bring with you two printed copies of a piece of draft prose, double-spaced, up to 500 words.
- Vlogging: Vlogs are video blogs, and the growing trend in the digital arena. Sanne Vliegenthart of the popular vlog Books and Quills offers a practical guide to getting started with vlogging, either to promote your own writing or to talk about other people’s.
2.30-3.30pm: Break-out session (participants must select one, subject to availability)
- Meet the agent An opportunity to ask a leading literary agent any questions you may have about how to pitch your work and the submissions process. With Jo Unwin, of the Jo Unwin Literary Agency. Jo represents authors of literary fiction, commercial women’s fiction, young adult fiction and fiction for children aged 9+ but not younger.
- Develop your online presence: Find out how to use social media including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to promote your work with Ben Willis from Transworld and author Nikesh Shukla.
- Writing in the Academy: How creative writing postgraduate courses can help your work, with Northumbria University’s Professor Michael Green.
- Non-traditional publishing routes: The opportunity to learn more about crowdfunding and self-publishing. Join Rachael Kerr from crowdfunding publishers Unbound, whose recent successes include Letters of Note and the Booker-longlisted The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth, Jim Hinks of Comma Press which is developing a new digital self-publishing initiative, MacGuffin, and Debbie Young, a self-publishing expert from the Alliance of Independent Authors.
3.30-3.45pm: Tea and coffee served
3.45-4.45pm:What’s Hot and What’s Not: This panel event will explore current trends in the publishing industry with industry experts. Francesca Main is the editorial director of Picador who recently edited the best-selling The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton; Rachael Kerr is the editor-at-large at Unbound; Anna James, book news and media editor of publishing industry bible The Bookseller and editor of We Love this Book; Jo Unwin, a literary agent whose clients include Nina Stibbe, Jenny Colgan and Charlie Brooker.
4.45-5.15pm: Questions from the floor
Please note that lunch is included in the package.
Refreshments will also be served on arrival and during the afternoon break.
When & Where
New Writing North and Northumbria University
Newcastle Writing Conference is a partnership between New Writing North and Northumbria University.
New Writing North is the writing development agency for the north of England, and is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. www.newwritingnorth.com
New Writing North works with writers to develop career opportunities, new commissions, projects, residencies, publications and live events. It works in partnership with a broad range of organisations, universities, local authorities, regional development agencies, sponsors and media producers to develop opportunities for writers.
Northumbria University, Newcastle is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence.
Northumbria is one of the largest universities in the UK with almost 34,000 students from 131 countries. The University has over 186,000 alumni worldwide. Northumbria has invested more than £200 million in our estate since 2005 to improve the student experience. Northumbria is ranked top 50 in the UK for research power and had the 4th largest increase in quality research funding (REF 2014). According to Times Higher Education, Northumbria had the biggest rise in research power of any university in the UK. Northumbria is ranked 3rd in the UK for international student satisfaction in the International Student Barometer survey 2015, a rise of 26 places on the previous year.
Northumbria University’s cultural partners include New Writing North, Live Theatre, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Tyneside Cinema and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.