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Development Day 2017
September 16 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
***This is an NWS members-only event, but if you’d like to apply to join the studio in order to attend, then we can streamline your application***
Our annual Development Day features panel discussions, workshops and individual feedback from top-level agents. Suitable for emerging and established writers alike, the day will provide a balance between the craft, and the business, of being a writer — all in an encouraging, inspiring environment.
Each agent will deliver a workshop, and Penny Reeve (Angry Robot) is back by popular demand to lead a workshop on Social Media and Building a Fanbase.
The deadline has now passed for booking agent one-to-ones. However, Elinor Cooper will be leading a query workshop on the day, and she’d like people to bring in query drafts to edit there and then. This is a great opportunity to get feedback on your query letter for people who don’t have an agent slot.
Tickets £58. Lunch and refreshments included.
Please use the Paypal button below to make your booking. You’ll receive a receipt via email from Paypal, which we ask you to accept as confirmation of your booking.
A1: SOCIAL MEDIA AND GROWING A FANBASE with Penny Reeve
(Alan Sillitoe Space, 10.00-11.10)
Growing your social media fan base is something of an art, but there are a few critical components that will get you noticed quickly and effectively. Penny Reeve will show what are your most important sources, so you can use your time wisely for the greatest impact on your social media footprint.
A2: AGENTS DEMYSTIFIED with Felicity Trew
(Event Space, 10.00-11.10)
This session by Felicity Trew is aimed at un-agented authors. It gives an overview of the agenting process. Who they are? What they do? And how do you find one? It then explains the submission process – mostly focusing on the submission letter with the aim to be both informative and confidence building for new writers.
B1: AGENT PANEL with Elinor Cooper, Juliet Mushens and Hayley Steed
(Event Space, 11.30-12.55)
This keynote session brings three leading London literary agents who represent a range of genres together in conversation about their experiences as agents. They will impart lessons learned, pet peeves and the view from the other side of the submissions desk. Come prepared with plenty of questions because you will have ample opportunities to join the conversation.
C1: EVERTHING YA with Juliet Mushens
(Alan Sillitoe Space, 14.15-15.25)
Think of the biggest books in recent history, such Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, etc. — all YA. It’s one of the best selling and most diverse genres out there, with a sizable adult readership as well. However, it is becoming harder and harder to break into this competitive market. In this session, award-winning YA agent, Juliet Mushens, will shed light on all things YA, with up-to-the minute insights into its past, present and future.
C2: QUERY CLINIC with Elinor Cooper
(Event Space, 14.15-15.25)
The stand-alone query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: seduce the agent or editor into wanting your work. However, distilling your completed novel into a few paragraphs can vex even experienced writers. And when you getting your foot in the door depends on standing out, it’s even more important to get your query spot-on. In this workshop, Elinor Cooper will cover how to construct and polish effective queries. We are asking for few brave volunteers to offer up their queries for class discussion and critique.
C3: Kaffeeklatsch at 14.15-15.10 with Hayley Steed
(Photographer’s Office, 14.15-15.25)
If you weren’t quite ready for an agent one-to-one but would like the chance to have an intimate discussion with one of our keynote speakers, then this is your opportunity to ask Hayley that burning question about your novel, or indeed anything publishing-related. Kaffeeklatsches are small group discussions that offer rewarding opportunities to get to know the ins and outs of the agenting and editing processes. The session is limited to five attendees, and a sign-up sheet will be available at the Information Desk during registration on the day.
D1: THE WORLD OF THE SMALL PRESS with Alex Davis
(Alan Sillitoe Space, 15.45-16.55)
We’re all used to seeing the big names in publishing on the shelves in Waterstones, but there is an ever-expanding range of small and independent presses out there achieving great things, publishing work of high quality and offering exciting new opportunities for writers. Alex Davis explores how to find independent presses, what you can expect from them as an author and how to best submit your work to them.
D2: AFTER THE FIRST DRAFT with Hayley Steed
(Event Space, 15.45-16.55)
After writing a novel comes the editing process — and love it or hate it, it is an essential step in making your novel shine. In this seminar, Hayley Steed will cover ways to approach the editing process and determine what parts of the novel need fixing – and which ones you got right in the first draft (yes, there will be a few!) She will also cover writing a synopsis, which is useful as a roadmap of revisions and the finished novel you are aiming for as well as an essential element of submitting to agents and publishers.
Penny Reeve spends her time wrangling authors, co-ordinating blog posts, interviews and podcast recordings and merrily talking to anyone who will listen about Angry Robot, the best SF/F & WTF publishers this side of the ISS. When not working she writes, reads and talks about roller derby. Follow her ramblings (mostly about her cat) on Twitter, @penelopebabs
Juliet Mushens started her publishing career in 2008 she worked for a number top agencies before establishing her own agency in 2017. Shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year four years running, she represents a bestselling and critically acclaimed list. Her authors include million-copy no. 1 bestseller Jessie Burton (THE MINIATURIST and THE MUSE), NY Times bestseller Taran Matharu (THE SUMMONER trilogy), and Sunday Times bestsellers Ali Land, Claire Douglas, Debbie Howells and James Oswald. In a relatively recent interview, she said she was on the lookout for a serial killer thriller, a ghost story, historical crime, non-Western fantasy. However, she also likes to be surprised and welcomes the unexpected in the submissions inbox. Note, she no longer handles non-fiction and doesn’t represent picture books for new clients, or fiction for children younger than 9+ years.
For one-to ones: a query letter, a one page synopsis and the first chapter/15 pages
Hayley Steed works with Madeleine Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. She also coordinates Digital, Film & TV rights, working closely with the agency’s clients. Previously she was Publicity Assistant at ED Public Relations, specialising in promoting bestselling authors and collaborating with publishers. She was shortlisted for the PPC Children’s Book Award for her work on the campaign for Jenny Downham’s Unbecoming. After graduating from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in English she spent a year interning at five of the top UK literary agencies.
For one-to-ones: Hayley requests a query letter, a one page synopsis and the opening 50 pages/three chapters
Felicity Trew’s list is open to every sort of work. She particularly devours contemporary and historical fiction and quirky and imaginative children’s books. Dream projects to arrive on her desk today might include: a spellbinding novel for our time, a bold contemporary UK teen voice, an accessible, well-plotted (and don’t hold back on the funny) book for middle grade and a potentially classic picture book text for younger children. It is also her mission to build-up a list of extraordinary illustrators who capture the life of their characters and have a real love of storytelling at the heart of their artwork. She was one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars 2016.
For one-to-ones: Felicity requests a one page synopsis and the opening 50 pages/three chapters
Elinor Cooper has worked as an agent in multiple agencies, from being at one of the largest literary agencies to being the only book agent in the business. These days, she is one of three agents at Diamond Kahn and Woods Literary Agency, representing both fiction and non-fiction. Her list is varied. On the fiction side, she covers general/commercial and literary fiction for adults as well as children’s, YA, and even graphic novels. For non-fiction, her tastes lean towards memoirs and politics. Elinor particularly loves working closely with her authors on editorial matters, especially when she is able to help a debut author realise their dreams.
For one-to-ones: Elinor requests a synopsis of no longer than one A4 side in length, which covers all the major plot points including the ending, and the opening two (consecutive) chapters
Alex Davis is an author, creative writing tutor and events organiser who has been actively involved in literature in the East Midlands for more than a decade. In that time he has run a small press, Boo Books, worked in mainstream publishing with Solaris and Black Library, worked on a host of literature festivals, originated and co-ordinated the annual Edge-Lit event in Derby as well as having had two books out so far with small presses, one fiction and one non-fiction