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Watch out! There’s a Lit Fest About

September 5th, 2014

First, thanks to Susan for last Friday’s blog. It just shows that you really can create a niche market for your writing if you specialise in something.  Plus, you probably get a lot more pleasure out of your work because it’s something you’re interested in – you’re not just ‘writing to order’.

Plus I had to smile at Phil’s Wednesday blog. My son’s a lot older than his, but he’s determined to drag me kicking and screaming into the digital age. First it was his old smart phone to replace my trusty old Nokia (yes, I had one too).  Then on Mother’s Day he proudly presented me with Chromecast. I smiled sweetly, said thanks, and then wondered if I’d done something truly dreadful to him as a child and he was getting his own back.  What was wrong with flowers, chocolates or a  good book? But, you know something, I’ve found it really useful and it’s taught me a lesson – one that all writers need to learn – you’ve got to keep an open mind!

According to T S Eliot in The Waste Land  ‘April is the cruellest month…’ but looking at the calendar this year, it looks as though October is the ‘Lit Fest month’. Some of the most prestigious will be held shortly and they’re spread across the country.  There’s Beverley Literature Festival, Birmingham Literature Festival, The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Chester Literature Festival and Durham Book Festival. Plus there are many more smaller ones – so there’s sure to be one near you.

Lit fests are great if you just want to dip in and dip out. I recently went to listen to Giles Brandreth talking about his Oscar Wilde novels. I’m sure he’s done that spiel many times in front of different audiences but it was still witty, funny and fresh – and he made the effort to customise it to the local area.  So if you do get chance to go along and listen to a well- known author, whose books you enjoy, take it!

Our latest Writers Bureau Competition is now open for entries.  We’re doing something a little different this time – Flash Fiction. So you’ve got to tell your story in 500 words or less.  The first prize is £300 plus the choice of any one of our Writers Bureau Courses; second prize is £200 plus a year’s subscription to Freelance Market News and third prize is £100 plus a year’s subscription to FMN. Flash Fiction seems to be the flavour of the moment; so it’ll be interesting to see how popular this competition will be.

My guest blogger next week is Student Advisor, Emily Ashton – saying her farewells as she moves away from Writers Bureau and starts her career in teaching. We wish her all the best!

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