Monday, September 09, 2019

Festival of Writing 2019

It's the day after an adrenalin-fuelled weekend, and I've coined a new word: I'm twired - a combination of tired and wired - after running a three-hour self-edit mini course, hosting Friday Night Live, running a two-hour psychic distance story lab with Emma Darwin, a workshop on Breaking the Rules and one on Facing the Fear, as well as chairing the final keynote address, with Cathy Bramley. Cathy is the superstar of the 6-week online self-edit course I've run with Emma since April 2011. One in five of our alumni from the earlier courses have gone on to be published but, in Cathy's group, six out of 11 are now published, with Cathy having sold over a million (!) books.

I'm not the only person to say that the 10th Festival of Writing in York was the best yet. The team at Jericho Writers put together an event that covered just about every aspect of writing and getting published, exploring all the different ways to write a novel, as well as the different routes to publishing. As ever, the warmth and inclusivity makes FoW different from many other festivals. With a packed programme of workshops, keynote addresses, story labs, competitions and 1-1s with agents and Book Doctors, it's no wonder so many people come back year after year. And, of course, some of them start out as delegates and end up running workshops as published authors. I'm talking about people like Mandy Berriman, Cathy Bramley, James Law, Jody Klaire, Melissa Addey, Isabel Costello and Amanda Saint. There can be no doubt lives will have been changed as a result of FoW19 and I can't wait to hear the success stories rolling in.

I didn't take as many photos as usual but I've managed to gather some together to record an incredible weekend.

York wouldn't be York without a duck pic

Half of the people at the self-edit mini course

Julie Cordiner and Janette Owen at Friday night dinner

Friday Night Live, with all the shortlisted authors
Blurred - but you get the energy and excitement
Assembling the panel of agents
And we have a winner! Congrats to Taranjit Mander
Half the room in the psychic distance story lab
Gala dinner. L-R: Emma Darwin, William Angelo, John Taylor, Mandy Berriman

Gala dinner. L-R: Julie Cordiner, Melanie Garrett, Emma Darwin

Gala dinner. L-R: Janette Owen, Helen Kampfner

John Taylor and Julie Cohen

Gala dinner. L-R: Emma Darwin, William Angelo, John Taylor, Mandy Berriman, moi, Helen Kampfner, Janette Owen
The traditional self-edit alumni photo

And another alumni pic

Emma Darwin, Janette Owen and Jody Klaire, with Ferb

Finding the self-love in the Facing the Fear workshop

Sharing the love
More sharing

My York safe space

Final keynote with Cathy Bramley