National Writers’ Conference 2017

On the 10th June, I attended a writing conference that was held at Birmingham university. I do like to try and attend at least one conference every year as they are usually both helpful and inspiring.

 

The sessions I attended were:

Working with agents and publishers.

Making a career of writing.

Contracts and payments, rights and remuneration.

 

Working with agents and publishers.

The sessions were great and I learned a lot of information from them. One thing I learned was that I can send my proposal off to a lot more agents! I was under the impression that I could only send my work out to five agents at a time, but literary agent Ella Khan, suggested that only sending out five was not feasible for authors to do that as it can take a long time for an agent to get back to you. She suggested to send out your work to 10-20 agents at a time, but explain that you have done this when you submit your work and do let other agents know if you have had another offer or if you sign with another agency. I also realised that I need to change my cover letter to sell myself more. I did sell myself on the actual proposal but what about if they don’t read it? So, I will change my letter to sell myself and my book to the agent from the onset.

Making a career of writing

This was an interesting one. I thought it would be covering writing for magazines and such, but it was about thinking more broadly and to consider other options, such as, speaking at writing conferences – for example.

Working in schools was another thing, if this is something you wish to pursue then it can work out well. It was suggested that you take something to hand out to the children or send them a poster to put on the wall thanking them for the time you had with them. By doing this, they will remember you and everyone can see what had fun time was had by all.

The one thing that struck me was a quote from Cat Weatherill, which was:

“Decide where you want to be and plan how to get there.”

It seems obvious but that really struck a chord with me, so this is my new aim!

Contracts and payments, rights and remuneration.

Again, another informative talk from The Society of Authors, who stated the importance of subsidiary rights and to try and hold on to some of them but this will reflect on the advance you get (if any).

Another thing that struck me was to think about what the publisher is offering and is it a better option than self-publishing?

It was also mentioned that The Writer’s Guild of Great Britain has a downloadable minimum terms contract, which is free for anyone to access – you don’t have to be a member.

Lastly, if you submit a complete article to a magazine then you are automatically agreeing to their terms, so please do check their terms before you submit anything to them.

 

Overall, it was a fun day and very informative. It has given me a few things to consider, it also showed me how much I already know! Which was surprising, as people were asking questions that I already knew the answers to. 😊

My advice would be, don’t quit but keep at it and you will eventually succeed! This is what I keep telling myself too. 😀

(Note to self – I must get better at taking pictures when I’m out and about! :))

Ella Khan is on the left, and an author is on the right, but I can’t remember who the lady in the middle is?

 

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