Saturday, June 24, 2017

Festivals and Workshops: Festival of Writing

Welcome to Elaine Roberts with another in her interesting series about literary festivals and workshops.

This month I have interviewed Laura Burson from the Festival of Writing. Welcome to the RNA blog, Laura. Can you tell us something about your festival, how it came about and how long its been running?
The Festival of Writing takes place annually in York. Now in its seventh year the festival has gained
an outstanding reputation for helping unpublished authors on their writing careers. Its many notable success stories including Joanna Cannon, Tor Udall, Deborah Install and Shelley Harris. It is the biggest creative writing weekend in the UK.

Who are your main speakers this year?
This year we have two hugely successful self-published authors to join traditionally published names in speaking at the festival. Mark Edwards and Rachel Abbot, who have each sold more than two million copies of their books and are now published by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint, will address hundreds of aspiring writers about the different routes to publication, sharing their experiences.

As our blog is for writers can you tell me how your festival would benefit our members?
The Festival of Writing is one of the most influential and highly regarded creative gatherings in the publishing calendar. It attracts hundreds of aspiring authors from across the UK who gather each year to meet agents and publishers to pitch their ideas, attend creative workshop and benefit from one-to-one tutorials with editors and industry experts, honing their craft and helping them on the path to publication.

Is there anything to enter (maybe a writing competition), if so could details be provided?
Yes, one of the highlights of the weekend is the now famous ‘Friday Night Live’ competition (often described as the literary X Factor) when delegates read 500 words of their manuscript to be critiqued by a panel of experts. Previous winners have gone on to great success with bestselling novels and six-figure book deals. The 2014 winner Joanna Cannon read from her future bestseller THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP. Within 48 hours of leaving York she had seven offers from book agents and went on to become a Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and paperback.
We have a host of other exciting comps too, with great agent judges on the panel.

How about staying over for the whole event. Where can people stay?
Those booking weekend tickets get accommodation included. It's on campus so close to all the workshops, talks, all the meals and all the other evening events. Everybody stays on campus, so you'll be sharing food, drink & accommodation with the editors, agents and authors present.

What does it cost to attend?
Day tickets start at £185 (including two agent one-to-one meetings).
Weekend tickets start at £395. With these weekend options you get accommodation included. All meals, inc gala dinner. Refreshments. All talks & workshops. Plus 2 one-to-one sessions (with agents / publishers / book doctors).
Although day tickets are available to the event, we do urge people to stay the Friday and (especially) the Saturday night, as many of the most important connections will take place 'out of hours'.

Do workshops/talks fill up quickly?
We still have tickets left for 2017 but encourage folk to book soon to get choice agent slots.

How much time does it take to organise the festival?
It takes a year in the making, with planning for the next usually starting just as we've tidied up that year's event.

Dates for this year and possibly next.
The Festival of Writing takes place 8-10 September 2017 in York.

For more information and the full programme visit:

Email for queries:

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, Laura,  and we wish the festival every success.

***STOP PRESS: RNA members who wish to attend can type RNA into the relevant box to receive 15% off any ticket option***

1 comment:

Celebration & Festivals said...

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