Archive for the ‘publishing industry’ Tag
Last weekend 450 writers, agents and publishers came together for the Writers’ Workshop Festival of Writing in York, a brand new event especially designed to break down the barriers between writers and the publishing industry.
A week before the London Book Fair, any dreamy preconceptions held by aspiring authors that writing was an easy pathway to a champagne lifestyle were swiftly dashed by industry representatives who confirmed how difficult it was to get published and then stay published. The marketplace was tough; advances were under pressure and a first book deal was no guarantee of lifelong career as an author. Simon Trewin lamented how few of the authors he’d worked with during his 17 years as a literary agent were still actively publishing.
Nevertheless, attending writers were impressed how passionate the industry were about books and writing. “As passionate, if not more passionate, than me,” commented one writer. “You have to want it enough,” author Katie Fforde said, opening the Festival. “I want to be size 10, but I obviously don’t want that enough.” In his closing address author RJ Ellory confirmed that real writers were driven by passion first, and money last. “It is just too hard otherwise to get novels written, edited and do all the promotion if you’re not passionate about it.”
Simon Trewin confessed to sixty-hour weeks and hiding in the kitchen of a holiday home with his Blackberry while publisher Barry Cunningham confessed to starting his publishing career dressed up as the Puffin Club puffin.
Agents, publishers and authors fielded over 600 one-to-one appointments with aspiring writers during the weekend, leaving writers impressed with how approachable and helpful the industry professionals were. “Pure gold,” said one writer. “I came away able to look at my whole novel through a different window.”
Shelley Harris won the Authonomy Live competition judged by Clive Malcher from Harper Collins, Helen Corner from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and author Toby Frost. Author Adèle Geras won Literary Death Match by popular vote with a powerful excerpt but promptly donated her prize to unpublished runner-up Mary Flood, “As that’s why we’re here, isn’t it? To encourage new talent.”