Festival of Writing 2011

Central Hall, York University

What a brilliant weekend!

I attended the Festival of Writing at the University of York, England, for the Saturday and Sunday of the three-day event. And it was great.

Along with Lyn Vernham, of Choc Lit, my fellow Choc Lit authors Christina Courtenay and Jane Lovering enjoyed a panel presentation about Choc Lit, the way we each love Choc Lit and became a Choc Lit author. The audience were deeply involved, questioning us closely about our views on our heroes and what Choc Lit wanted from heroes – being irresistible, basically – and how we’d each found and created our own. Of course, we all took the opportunity to talk about all our books and love the covers and generally wallow in the pleasure of being a choc lit author.

Other highlights of the festival, for me, were Carole Blake and Patrick Janson-Smith’s double act at the Central Hall (pic) and the panel of independent publishers, who showed a remarkable resilience and optimism about the state of the industry. Or, at least, their part of it. Indies are so nimble that they can react to change and innovation.

I met up with lots of old friends and made some new ones and also enjoyed doing a little ‘book doctoring’ in the one-to-ones. The Festival provides SUCH a huge number of one-to-one opportunities that the conversation over meals and tea breaks was all about what this agent had said and whether that publisher had asked for a full manuscript. It’s an incredibly valuable service.

The meals were lovely – although I was heartbroken to discover I’d missed chocolate mousse on Friday evening – and I rose at the crack of dawn to watch the Australian Grand Prix from Albert Park, Melbourne, before launching into Sunday’s activities. (Lyn was wonderful and brought me bacon butties!)


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7 responses to “Festival of Writing 2011

  1. So jealous Sue…loved last year and if i could, would have gone this year!


  2. It sounds absolutely fabulous. I’m considering attending the crime writers festival in Harrogate in July and your wonderful account of York is pushing me further towards booking it. I’m glad you had a great time and got so much from it.


  3. Liz Harris

    It sounds as if it was a super event – I wish I could have gone. Alas, I had to stay at home to host guests for the concert given by DH’s choir.

    There are so many fantastic conferences on at the moment, and it would be wonderful to go to them all. It’s miserable having to select which to attend.

    Liz X


  4. Sally Zigmond

    How on earth did I miss you? I was there all weekend. Met loads of people, friends old and new, including loads of lovely fellow tweeters and attended plenty of cracking workshops and talks. Then again, it was such a hugely busy, buzzing event that we must have kept missing each other despite the massive name badges. Shame.

    I don’t know about you, Sue, but I shall take a week to recover!


  5. Thanks for posting this, Sue – sounds a great weekend. Wish I could have gone as I was at York Uni for OU summer school many years ago and would have enjoyed a writing weekend even more!


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