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Thursday, 11 June 2009


Now that I have just been to the press launch - yay for sparkly wine in the morning - for the Edinburgh International Book Festival (sorry, got to do the whole name thing - corporate branding etceterydah), I can bring you more detailed news than the sketchy things I said in a recent post. (Don't bother going to find it: I'm going to paste the relevant bits here. Apologies to myself for plagiarism.)

The events below are aimed specifically at writers, published or unpublished. The whole programme is now live on the website, but you can't book till June 22nd. If you are incredibly lucky when you phone, you will get to speak to my younger daughter, Rebecca, who is in the booking office for the weekend. Do say hello to her but please don't confuse her because it's hectic there on opening weekend and I do not want you to be responsible for her cocking up the whole shebang. You could also ask her if she's going to be back in time for supper and why she hasn't brought her dirty mugs downstairs.

These are not all the writer-related events available - they are just the ones I have a connection with, either because I'm involved in them or because I helped arrange them. They fall within a strand called the Writing Business and are designed to be very practical. A workshop is 1.5 hours; the others are talks which till focus on the practicalities of the topic, and last one hour.

Most of the authors involved have websites and you might even be able to contact them like that. Why don't you drop them a line, tell them you're coming and ask what they're going to talk about? (If they haven't prepared anything yet, tell them Nicola Morgan says hurry up, f'crying out loud - don't they know there's only two months to go??)

Sat 15 Aug - 2pm - How to make a living as a writer (workshop) - Keith Charters

Sun 16 Aug - 11am - Writing non-fiction (workshop) - Angus Konstam

Sun 16 Aug - 2pm - Self-publishing (workshop) - Keith Charters

Mon 17 Aug - 11am - Writing crime fiction (workshop) - Lin Anderson

Mon 17 Aug - 6.45pm - Writing in a Recession - Mark Le Fanu (Gen Sec of SoA), chaired by me - please come to this: Mark is so knowledgable and has all the gen on exactly how UK authors are being affected by the recession and what publishers are doing.

Mon 17 Aug - 2pm - Contracts workshop (workshop) - SoA staff (real experts!)

Tue 18 Aug - 2pm - How to Market Yourself - Alison Baverstock

Tue 18 Aug - 4.30pm - How to structure a story - Lin Anderson

Wed 19 Aug - 4.30pm - The Art of Blogging - Caroline Dunford and Helen Fowler

Wed 19 Aug - 6.45pm - How to make a publisher say Yes - Nicola Morgan

Thurs 20 Aug - 4.30pm - Writing for children and teenagers - Viv French and me

Fri 21 Aug - 2pm -
Writing fantasy - Alan Campbell

Sat 22 Aug - 2pm - The Perfect Approach (was meant to be called The Perfect Submission ...) (workshop) - Nicola Morgan

Mon 24 Aug - 2pm - Getting Published panel - Frances Bickmore, Maggie McKernan and rather annoyingly, me. Only annoyingly because I was asked to be on this panel and accepted without knowing what the topic was, and now I find it's the same as the "How To Make A Publisher Say Yes" one I'm doing on my own ....

Tue 25 Aug - 11am -
Getting Creative (workshop) - Caroline Dunford

Tue 25 Aug - 6.45pm -
Monkeys and Type-writers: can you learn to write and if so how? - Sam Kelly, Lin Anderson, Caroline Dunford, chaired by me

Wed 26 Aug - 11am - Dealing with rejection (workshop) - Caroline Dunford

Wed 26 Aug - 2pm - Writing for teenagers (workshop) - Keith Gray

d 26 Aug - 6.45pm - Self-publishing - Keith Charters

Thur 27 Aug - 6pm - Fight for Your Rights - Nicola Morgan

Fri 28 Aug - 11am - Writing short stories (workshop) - Susie Maguire

Fri 28 Aug - 2pm - Writing for young children (workshop) - Linda Strachan

Sat 29 Aug - 2pm - Creating a crime series - Aline Templeton

Mon 31 Aug - 11am - Writing biography (workshop) - Angus Konstam

Mon 31 Aug - 2pm - Writing romance (workshop) - Eileen Ramsay

Even if you can't come to an event, do come to the book festival. I am there most days and would love to meet you. Know me by my shoes, as usual (except when it's raining). The book festival have got rain down to a fine art - last time there were plastic ducks on the accidental ponds and the sculptures depicted sheds and things semi-submerged in mud. And ice-cream still rocks in the rain.

Today, as I write this, it's sunny, and I'm thinking we should have a blog picnic. Would you come? I have organised a picnic in the book festival for the last three years and every year it has rained; on the other hand, every year I have blagged a marquee. Yay for bribery.

Here is a fab pic that Tim Duncan has sent me of the above-mentioned ducks. Is that a hippo lurking?