Last week, Sunday 26th April 2015, my writing group and I went to the PowWow Festival of Writing. This was my first experience of attending a writing festival, and it was even better than I had imagined.
The event took place in the beer garden of The Prince of Wales pub. Before going I had been worried about the weather, but on the day, the sun was high, and at one point I even had to take off my coat.
I did fear that the event wouldn’t hold my attention due to the event being so long, I’m a daydreamer; however, I had nothing to fear. The event started with Kit De Waal, who is a short story writer and author of a soon to be released novel. She shared her flash fictions stories with us and discussed her thoughts about flash fiction. Kit De Waal was followed by Clare Furniss, who is the author of the young adult novel titled ‘The Year of the Rat’. She shared her experience of being a recently published author. The one point which she made that stuck with me is that you need to write what you want to write and not focus solely on the market; the market will change before you are ready to publish. The other writers and authors that came to the event were: Nicholas Royle; Natalie Haynes, she made us laugh from when she sat down to when she finished, and David Gaffney, he read out his flash fiction throughout the day.
One of the reasons why I wanted to go to the writing festival was because I wanted more insight into the world of publishing. Danuta Kean, a book editor of Mslexia, publishing expert and journalist, spoke about the lack of diversity in the publishing world, and how we can solve this issue. She also shared some tips on how to get an agent and pitch your book. We also had the opportunity to hear what three different kinds of publishers thought about the future of publishing: Scrolla, Alchemy Press, and Macguffin.
The day ended with a talk from Andrew Davies, who is a British writer and producer, known for Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and House of Cards (2013). He too made people laugh with his honesty about his career, and after being asked about how to sustain a writing career, he said, “Stay young inside, be really good, and don’t be an arsehole”, which I must say is very useful advice.
It was a brilliant day, and I learnt so much more about writing and publishing. The one thing I’ve learnt in my writing journey is that there is always something new to learn. Due to my writing group enjoying the day I will be looking for other writing events to attend. Another plus is that I also bought two new books and got them signed. After the event, I felt inspired, motivated, and determined to pursue my dream. I would definitely encourage other writers to go, and I can’t wait for next year’s festival.
Keep writing, folks!
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