Sunday, March 27, 2011

York Talk 2011 - ooh, goody goody.

Goody bags
This year, several publishers supplied free copies of their books, many  of them hardbacks and others advance proof copies, for distribution to all at the Festival.

I was delighted to have sold several copies of my own books and thought that would mean I would go back with lighter luggage.  Instead, my books were replaced by these freebies, but believe me, I ain't grumbling.

The grand finale

Kate Williams, historian and novelist, was the final speaker and she shared her personal experiences in the last key note address of the weekend.  Not many people can have a week that consists of chatting to Jeremy Paxman about economic contraction on Newsnight on one evening, and then a day or so later talking about the origins of Battenberg cake.

The final, final say though, has to go to Harry Bingham, who said that he had spoken to the agents and publishers over the weekend and they had all said they were blown away by the quality of much of the writing they saw. 

'Numerous agents were interested in numerous writers,' he told us.

Let's hope that several people will sign up with agents in the near future, having been asked to send their full MSes.  And that those agents will succeed in getting deals for those authors.  How wonderful it would be in the future for people to say their successful careers as authors began at York, as Shelley Harris was able to say last year.

Harry left us with these thoughts:
  • No one who had been there could be in any doubt whatsoever that the entire industry runs on passion.
  • It's vital to be a perfectionist - what the Festival does is to provide people with the tools to polish and perfect their writing.
  • Another P word, an equally essential component in the writers' toolkit, is persistence.
  • Writing is hard - so you'd better love doing it!
That's it, folks.  I'll publish one last post tomorrow and that will be to share the photos I took over the weekend.

I'm home now, still dealing with that strange mixture of Knackered but Wired.  The one thing that has hit me is that 300+ people in one vast room, don't seem to make nearly as much noise as 3 people (all male, 2 teenagers) in one small room.

1 comment:

Leigh Russell said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Glad to read about it and sorry I couldn't be there.