Monday 26 January 2015

Be Prepared!

Saturday saw me up early and on my way to London to attend the Writers & Artists’ "How to Hook an Agent" Workshop.  Having completed my novel, The Gift, I felt that I needed some guidance on the submission process before sending it out to agents.   The workshop was made up of sessions on knowing when your novel is ready, what should be included in a submission package, how to pitch your novel and what appeals to agents in a submission.  The first session was lead by Ed Wilson (Johnson and Alcock) and Juliet Mushens (UK Literary Division of The Agency Group).  The next session was lead by Juliet Pickering (Blake Friedmann Literary Agency) and Hellie Ogden (Janklow & Nesbit).  All the agents were professional, encouraging and unintimidating.   

The session ended with a ten minute one to one meeting with one of the agents where we were given the opportunity to pitch our novel.  I was nervous about my ten minute session, but I had done some research and chosen the agent whom I felt was right for my novel.  I needn’t have worried, as I was made to feel instantly at ease.  I linked up with some other interesting writers too.  I learnt another valuable lesson - most of the other attendees seemed to have business cards so I must get some printed - much more professional than scribbling my contact details on a scrappy piece of paper!     

Monday 19 January 2015

Walking and Writing

How does it happen?  I can be walking along when suddenly I have the answer to a short story or chapter that I have been struggling with.  I’m not evening thinking about it, but in the story creeps.  It is at times like these that I wish I had a notebook and pen with me, but I never do!  Instead I have to hold on to the idea and keep playing it in my head until I’m back home.  This is what happened to me yesterday.  I was concentrating on the muddy path, being careful not to slip over and wham I had the solution to a problem with a short story I’m working on.   

There has been research linking the advantages of walking to creativity.  Here is a link to an article that appeared in The New Yorker on why walking helps us think.  It certainly works for me!