Wednesday, 24 April 2013

No Man is an Island

 And no writer should spend all their time alone. Every so often we should put down our laptops and enter out into the world in search of like minded people.
This is exactly what I did on Saturday when I headed off to the Verulam Writers Conference in St Albans with my lovely writerly friend Tania.

The Verulam Writers club is a long running writers club that holds a one day conference every year for the extremely reasonable price of £55 which includes lunch, refreshments AND a five minute pitch with a professional of your choice. For a further ten pounds you can also book a ten minute pitch where you can submit five pages in advance and then hear their feedback.

 The day offers a choice of workshops in a variety of genres but it focuses mainly on crime and childrens writing. (A strange combination but it seems to work!) and much like SCBWI it is organised entirely by volunteers. I had a workshop with the inspirational Beverley Birch on creating tension, one with Julie Mayhew (author of new YA book Red Ink) on finding your teen voice and another with Lesley Eames on beginnings. There was a very interesting panel on childrens writing with Beverley Birch, Julie Mayhew and Marianne Levy (author of the Ellie May books) with open question and answer time.

 The best part of the day was not the workshops or the pitches however but the sense of being surrounded by people just like me. And because of my recent epiphany (see my last post - Desperation Station) instead of being stressed and anxious and slightly desperate like I was at Winchester in November, this time I was relaxed and calm. I found it easy to talk to people, all the people, be it  author, agent or editor and I wasn't worried about networking and getting requests for my work. I just wanted to chat. The freedom was simply glorious and I left the day feeling positive and happy to be part of this great writing community.

Thanks to everyone who made the day so fabulous and to Tania who not only recommended the day but drove me there as well!!

 Come back next week where I will discuss what I learned from the marvelous Beverley Birch!



  1. Thanks for coming with me, Lorraine - it was a really fun day, and I was so inspired by Beverley Birch, plus Julie Mayhew's workshop on voice has actually helped me with my main character's voice... You forgot to mention meeting a fellow musical theatre geek! And your being shortlisted for the Get Writing Cup for the first 3 pages of War Creature... so I'm going to shout about it for you - woohoo! and well done! Txx