Monday, September 10, 2012

York links

Well, I've been utter rubbish at keeping to my promise to blog the festival, haven't I ...  I do still intend to post my take on the weekend - apart from the alcohol-sodden posts that precede this one.  In the meantime, either as an act of sharing or as a cheapskate way to make up for my own omissions, I thought you might like to see links to the many other posts I've found via the Twitter hashtag #FoW12 and elsewhere.

This one with the ultimate linkiness to the fab resources on her blog is from Emma Darwin.

A non-alcoholic post from the gorgeous Talli Roland.

This post from Consummate Chaos, one of the shortlisted entrants for Friday Night Live, really gives a flavour of the weekend.

Wonderful Julie Cohen gives 4 pieces of essential advice here.

Philip Coulbourn gives his response to the feedback he received from the 1-1s.

Imran Siddiq aka Flickimp has blogged here as a Festie veteran.

Virginia Moffat has written a final blog here but check her previous posts too.

I'm sure there are many more so I'll update this post as I find them.


Great post from Elizabeth Monaghan about the journey from terror to bliss.

The spirit of York really comes over in Isabel Costello's post which also includes some blush-inducing words about yours truly.

Phil Rogers has a somewhat unusual to-do list.

A WordCloud post about Julie Cohen's character workshop.

Fifty Shades of York on WordCloud.

Talli Roland (again) on self-publishing being represented at York.

Consummate Chaos (again) on the benefits of a critique.

Rob Darke pulls out the important messages from keynote addresses.

Wendy Loveday posts about why she loves the festival.

Mrs T has written a publishing acrostic.

Amanda Saint gets emotional.

Kristin Celms compares her work self and her writing self.

J.C. Martin kicks off a week of York posts here.

Tenacityflux has written a wonderful post on WordCloud.

Andrew Wille has included some incredibly useful links in his post.

Philip Colbourn gets to grips with Psychic Distance.

Julian at WordWatchers finds that his second album anxiety was misplaced.

Anthony Madigan talks about Andrew Wille's four elements.

Jon Spira on screen writing, dreams, reality and expectations.

Rob Darke (again) on age.

J.C. Martin compares pros and cons of trade, self and indie publishing.

This Cloud post captures the raw emotions that abound at York.

Another one on  the Cloud - the trucker's tale.

Wise words from Kristin Celms (again).

The lines between fact and fiction blur in this beautiful Cloud post.

An erudite post by Michael Clarke.

Vanessa Wester has created a blog diary of the festival.

A Cloud post about being bewildered.

Skylark ascending on the Cloud.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

York - the morning after the night before

Groveling apologies to anyone who might have been expecting a post yesterday.  What can I say in my defense?  Anyone who has been to York will know about the legendary gala dinner on Sat nights.  Nuff said.

I've snatched a brief few minutes to post while I'm waiting for my next 1-1s to arrive.  So all I have time to say now about yesterday is that Jojo Moyes rocks - brilliant speaker, lovely person - and that I was deafened by the sound of pennies dropping in my Psychic Distance workshop and by the applause coming from the other workshops.  I also had 3 hrs of back-to-back 1-1s and met some wonderful writers, some of whose books I fully expect to see published in the next couple of years.

As for the gala ... I think the less said the better at this point.  Needless to say, there was far too much alcohol consumed for this particular lightweight.  There will be photos.  At some point.  Maybe. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

York Talk 1

What a day!  It hasn't been without challenges ... Rushing to catch my train at Kings Cross, I wondered why my foot was wet.  Had I stepped in a puddle?  In which case, why was my leg also wet?  Ah yes, that would be down to the bottle of water in my bag ... the OPEN bottle of water in my bag ... So now it looks like I've had an ... embarrassing incident.  I am so cool  ...

Once I was at the Festival, I hit the ground running though.  And I didn't even trip over.  The buzz was a-buzzing as delegates arrived and demonstrated the art of instant bonding.  So many people I'd met before in Real Life, so many authors whose novels I'd edited but had never met, others whose names I knew from blogs, Twitter, WordCloud ... The sun shone on us all, both literally and metaphorically.  Just a shame that my sunglasses seem to have only one lens.  More ultimate coolness.

On to the self-edit mini course. Challenge number 2 for me was when I dug out various bits from my bag at the beginning of the course and discovered more leaking fluids in there.  This time, it was a broken pen and when I pulled my hand out it was smothered with blue ink.  Told you I was cool. On the plus side, I couldn't have asked for a more enthusiastic and engaged group of people.  It can't be easy to have me stand in front of you for 4 hours solid, talking at you.  Yet no one threw rotten fruit and I hope they all picked up some new ways of looking at their novels and improving on them.  As usual, there was a general vibe of people wishing they could grab back their submissions to agents, since they'd just learnt how much better they could make them.  But that's OK - it's all part of the journey.

Then ... well, it's hard to be clear about the details.  I know that I met with Nicola Morgan (Crabbit Old Bat), Jane Smith (How Publishing Really Works) and Emma Darwin (This Itch of Writing) and there was a bottle of pink fizz involved.  That was swiftly followed by a meal (of which I have no recollection) and a great deal of hugging with friends old and new.  And some more wine.

I do remember the Friday Night Live in which 6 brave pre-selected authors read 5 min extracts from their novels.  These were critiqued, X Factor style, by Shelley Harris (author of Jubilee and winner of the same event in 2010) and 2 agents.  The real judges were the audience who were asked to raise hands to select a winner.  Blimey, it was close.  There had to be a re-count between 4 of them but the eventual winner blew our socks off.  I first met Anand Nair when she attended a full day course I ran a few years ago together with Emma D.  Since then, we've stayed in close touch as she lives not far from me and so became a valued member of East Dulwich Writers' Group.  For Anand to (deservedly) win made my night.  Kind soul that she is, she shared her bottle of wine.

Then there was some more wine.  And then I lost my cigarettes (but I had a spare pack. Ha!) and my lighter (but Jeremy Sheldon had a spare so ha! again).  And now, instead of crashing out in preparation for a full on day tomorrow, I'm in my room blogging.  Well, I did promise.  Sorry that there are no links in the post.  I have my limits, y'know.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Watch this space

By this time tomorrow, I should have arrived in York for the Festival of Writing.

In previous years, I've live blogged the Festie.  See archives here for 2010 and here for 2011.  You might need to do a bit of scrolling and clicking to see all the posts.

This year, I have a particularly packed schedule (self-edit mini course, 2 workshops and 4 hours of Book Doctor sessions).  I'll also be posting on Facebook, Twitter and WordCloud.  In the name of mass coverage (and being aware of potential shattered nerves) I'm going to attempt some brief blog posts too so that those who aren't there can share the vibe.

Wish me luck ... and if you're going to be there, mine's a G&T. ;-)