Northern Lights Writers Conference 2019 – tickets available now

Creative Industries Trafford (CIT) is running its popular Northern Lights Writers’ Conference for a sixth year, at Waterside in Sale, a short hop by tram, bus, car and bike from Manchester city centre.

Northern Lights Writers Conference 2019

Northern Lights Writers Conference 2019

The day-long event for emerging and established writers includes one-to-one advice sessions on writing, editing and submitting short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction; workshops on creating scripts for TV and collaborating on graphic novels; talks and panel discussions on funding, training and development opportunities for writers, pathways to publication, and diversity in the publishing industry; networking possibilities and book signings, plus a keynote speech and ‘in conversation’ session looking at different genres, platforms and adaptations by bestselling author Jane Rogers.

Saturday 21 September, 11am–5pm (registration from 10.30am), Waterside, Sale, £35 (£25 concessions). Book online or call 0161 912 5616. More here.

Advertisements

Small Wonder Festival at Charleston

Small Wonder Festival, Charleston’s annual celebration of short fiction, will take place between 27 September and 1 October 2017. The variety of this year’s programme confirms that although the texts may be compressed, the short form may contain a multitude of subjects, tones and styles. Short stories offer glimpses into the human condition and linger on in the mind, despite, even because of, their brevity and restraint. Don’t miss the shared experience of listening to and telling stories in the atmospheric tents at Small Wonder. During the festival you can listen to engaging speakers, take part in workshops and much more…

The festival kicks off on Wednesday 27 September with ‘Let Me Count the Ways’, an exploration of love in its many contexts and guises. Groundbreaking young writers Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and Gwendoline Riley will discuss their work with journalist Arifa Akbar.

let me count the ways

On Thursday 28 September we explore the challenges and advantages of the short story form in our event ‘Novella Perfection’. Novella enthusiasts and practitioners Cynan Jones and Megan Hunter will be in conversation with Alex Clark. I believe the novella is the perfect form of prose fiction. – Ian McEwan.

Unmissable on Saturday 30 September is ‘Welcome to the Caribbean’, with Jamaican writer Olive Senior, Trinidadian Anthony Joseph and Bahamian Helen Klonaris (British Council International Writer in Residence at Small Wonder 2017).
caribbean

A final highlight for any budding writers will be ‘Hitting the Ground Running’ on Sunday 1 October. This event promises a fascinating look at how to begin a career in writing short fiction, with debut authors Julianne Pachico and Jessie Greengrass speaking alongside agent Clare Alexander and publisher Mark Richards. Perfect for aspiring authors, those interested in the publishing process or short fiction fans, it will include an extended Q&A.

Visit the Small Wonder website for more information and many more events: https://www.charleston.org.uk/small-wonder/. Or join in the conversation on social media: #SmallWonderFest.

 

 

How to turn a short story into a novel

Have you ever had a short story get a little… out of hand? Perhaps it starts out as a mere spark of an idea, maybe just a little piece of flash fiction, and then it grows, and grows, and evolves and morphs and mutates into this enormous monster that’s too huge to possibly be contained in a few thousand words.

So what then? How do you move from writing short stories into the great big daunting world of novel writing?

The short story and the novel are two very different beasts, but the writer’s brain is a wonderful thing, and if the thought of churning out 80,000 odd words leaves you in a cold sweat, what you need is some serious PLOTSTORMING.

novel writing course

Writers’ HQ’s online novel outlining course will teach you the fundamentals of plotting your story from start to finish. Designed to fit around everyday life and a busy schedule, all you need to get started is an idea, and after six weeks’ furious plotstorming, you’ll finish with a comprehensive outline of your novel, so that you’re rip-roaring ready to get that first draft out.

This in-depth online plotting course contains everything you need to expand your short story into a novel. You’ll learn the fundamental elements that make up every good plot and the basics of story structure:

  • Explore who’s in your story, what their roles are, and how to make compelling characters
  • Learn how to add tension and conflict so that your novel is unputdownable
  • Break your story down into chapters and scenes so that it feels more manageable
  • And find out what to do with your outline once you have it (hint: a whole lot of writing lies in your future…)

Exercises, examples, group discussion, tutor feedback, swearing and productive procrastination (eg: research, day-dreaming, tea-drinking) will enable you to grow your fictional world and build your story plan into a detailed outline, taking it from ‘random idea in your head’ to ‘actual real story that’s ready to be properly written’!

The next Plotstormers course starts on the 7th of August. Get ready to help that epic short story reach its full potential and take the leap into novel writing!

If you’re still not sure, try a FREE one-week primer course here, or get in touch with the procrastination-busting whip-crackers at Writers’ HQ who will soothe your fevered brow and bribe you with gold stars. BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW!

And if you’re absolutely, positively sure novel writing isn’t for you, check out the WHQ Writing Short Fiction course instead. It might help you find a way to contain that behemoth of an idea into a self-contained piece of short fiction, and help you make the most of each idea that springs into your head, covering everything from characterisation to structure to narrative voice to getting your stories published.

Find out more about Writers’ HQ online courses and regional writing retreats at www.writershq.co.uk or chat with the WHQ crew on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Win a year’s access to online writing courses with Writers’ HQ!

Brighton Writers Retreat - General Logo - Web-01

To celebrate the launch of FIVE brand spanking new online writing, Writers’ HQ are offering FIVE deserving writers a year’s access to their creative writing programme, worth over £500.

The nitty gritty: 

Deadline: 14th August 2016

Prize: Access to our 5 short courses (7 ideas in 7 days, novel plotting, novel editing, manuscript submission & short fiction) for a whole year.

Submission requirements: Free entry! Just send us a sample of your writing (either the opening of a novel or short fiction piece – maximum 1,500 words) AND a brief statement about why you would benefit from our courses.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COMPETITION DETAILS AND SUBMISSION FORM

More info:

As writers/parents/employees/freelancers, we know all too well how hard it is to hold down a job, wrangle a family, battle imposter syndrome and wrestle the evil guilt that comes with trying to carve out time to write. And in the last four years of running writing retreats we’ve met hundreds of time-starved, finance-poor writers who feel the same.

And so! We decided SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. We’ve put together five new affordable, arse-kicking, profanity-laden, online writing courses, covering everything from idea generation to short fiction to novel plotting to manuscript submission to first draft editing. These short courses, spanning between one to six weeks, will help you to develop your writing skills in small, manageable chunks, whenever you can fit them in. And there’s more! With the generous aid of a development grant from the amazing, wonderful and vitally important Arts Council England, we’re ecstatic to be able to offer five fully subsidised places on all our short courses, giving the winners access to the course material for a whole year.

All you have to do is send us a bit of your work and let us know why you’d benefit from access to our new courses. Do it! Details of how to enter can be found HERE.

Good luck!