The ethos of the Nottingham Writers Studio has always been to be a space where writing grows – sometimes it’s words on a page, sometimes it’s working to develop our craft, sometimes it happens in more subtle, but equally important ways.
It was great to see so many members at April’s social to welcome East Midlands lit agent Penny Luithlen. Penny’s been a long standing supporter of what we’re doing in Nottingham, and it was great to hear her answer questions from the floor relating to her work as a children and YA author agent, and her take on publishing as a whole.
Outside of YA specific questions, there was a lot to take away for any member, especially in terms of understanding the process of being published. The points I took away were know where your work sits in the market, what makes it different, what makes it the same – and remember that the first person who reads your manuscript may not be the person who calls to ask you for more. That ‘killer first page’ is all important, whether you’re writing pony adventures, spoken word contemporary poetry or an experimental work that riffs between the Iliad and Crossroads.
And marketing yourself and your work is becoming more and more important – whether that means social media, book tours or becoming known as an expert in your field is down to what suits you, but it has to be done.
After the talk it was great to see the conversation continue between writers at different stages of their career discussing where their writing will take them next -big thanks to Penny for joining us and to Pippa for hosting another illuminating social (despite the moody lighting!)
May Social – Diamonds in the Rough – members will be presenting short extracts from works in progress. Looking forward to discovering something everyone will be talking about this time next year.