Were you at Winchester?

As a last-minute thing, I was invited to give a workshop on ‘how to submit’ at the 31st Winchester Writers’ Conference.  It was my first time there, but I was made welcome by the other delegates and speakers almost instantly.  It has a festive atmosphere, and is alive with writers – hundreds of them – from all different genres, and at all different stages of their writing career, but taking it seriously, and learning their craft.

My group were entertaining and lively, and refreshingly varied in their projects – and we tackled the thorny questions of submissions together.

I managed to stay late enough to catch Barry Cunningham (publisher of Chicken House)’s excellent talk on children’s literature, which had me nearly in tears with his description of his former self – dressed a puffin – with children whispering him their deepest darkest secrets.  Good children’s literature really does reach out to its readers – and so should strong adult fiction.  Writing is given meaning by reading – something we all too often forget.

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July 4, 2011

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