Monday, 24 September 2012

The Word at Astley Hall

Astley Hall by socialBedia on Flickr.
On Saturday I was at The Word. An event set up by a group of wonderful writers from Chorley, it was a day to listen, learn and share, with a lovely lunch, book swap and writerly tour of Astley Hall all thrown in.

Award-winning blogger Kate Feld spoke about blogging for writers, so expect a few improvements here in the near future, while I implement some of her advice. (...faint sighs of relief from my committed yet tiny group of readers...)

Ra Page from Comma Press spoke about how to approach publishers and agents. It was lovely to catch up with Ra briefly afterwards. I'm very excited about the release of Bio - Punk next month; their latest science into fiction anthology. More on that soon.

Claire Massey spoke about the short story, and her approaches to creating short fiction. I feel exceptionally lucky to be working with Claire on the Litfest Landscape project. More about that soon, too!

The feature interview was with Kerry Wilkinson, author of the massively popular Jessica Daniel crime series on ebook, who has just got a deal with Pan Macmillan. I was caught between awe-filled admiration for a guy who has achieved such brilliant literary success, and then wondering if a lynching was going to happen when he indicated he didn't really read books himself. I couldn't tell if he was being deliberately provocative, or if he was a tiny bit embarrassed about how easy he finds it all. Either way, I've bought his first novel and I'm really looking forward to reading it. He was a brilliant guest speaker.

To sum up, I arrived with that sensation I sometimes get that I'm on the edge of a ridiculous precipice of literary failure and should give up and get a proper job. But I left feeling inspired, in admiration of brilliant writerly friends I'd spent time with that day and with a clutch of fantastic new books to read.

If The Word team plan another day, I highly recommend it. I will see you there.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic event - glad it inspired you! I am absolutely in awe of Claire Massey's stories and was thrilled to appear on her Library Wall at Paraxis - did you see that?

    1. I've just found it! It's fantastic. Which is your contribution? Yes, I love Claire's stories, too. She is a truly outstanding writer and editor.

      Do come to the next event The Word organise. It was fab.