We are running a ‘How to get Published’ session at the Groucho Club from 10.30am-5.00pm on Saturday 25th May.
The session is with CCWC founder and tutor Maggie Hamand, and Natalie Butlin from Christine Green Author’s Agents, and there will be a talk from bestselling author Gaile Parkin about the experience of publishing her successful debut novel, “Baking Cakes in Kigali”.
The morning will focus on writing a synopsis, a covering letter and how to format your manuscript, and the afternoon on how agents and publishers operate, the current publishing scene, and the talk from Gaile.
If you attend the whole day, the cost is £90, including tea and coffee, and there is an option just to attend the afternoon for £45.
Do let us know if you’d like to attend – there’s a maximum of 10 places for the whole day and 16 for the afternoon.
Snow has fallen. Suddenly all our normal plans are suspended, events are cancelled, and we huddle indoors in front of a fire. The world has been silenced and in our back garden a pair of foxes scratch disconsolately in the snow. Even the usually noisy cars pass slowly and silently down the icy road, their engines muffled. Darkness falls, and all is still.
Write a snowy scene in your own novel. Think about how the snow might force some characters together, keep others apart. Plans might be changed, things that were going to happen might now be suspended. The coldness outside might reflect the coldness inside people’s hearts, or might instead provide a startling contrast to an inner passion. I think of Yuri Zhivago and Lara huddled together in the icy mansion at Varykino in Boris Pasternak’s magnificent novel.
If your plans have been cancelled, use this as an opportunity. Go out in the snow, walk a little, listen to the scrunching sound beneath your feet, the uncanny stillness and silence,breathe in the sharp air. And then go in and write.
Novelist Christie Watson, whose debut novel “Tiny Sunbirds Far Away” won the Costa Best First Novel Award last year, is joining us to teach an advanced course on Sunday afternoons at The Groucho Club from 27 January.
Christie recently gave our students an inspiring talk about how her novel came to be written and published and about the long and arduous path from first putting words to paper to getting the book into print.
We are delighted to have Christie joining the team and look forward very much to working with her.
Starting a new term always gives me a spurt of enthusiasm for my own writing. Perhaps it’s the sight of keen new faces or the magic of creativity which is generated in the group. Some of the exercises work so well that while I’m teaching them I’m itching to try some of them out for myself and see what comes up.
Even if you’re not signed up for a course, this is a good time in the year to get down to writing. The evenings are getting short, the weather is miserable, and there’s nothing quite so appealing as settling down for the evening with a notebook and a warm drink or a glass of wine and forgetting the outside world. After all, when you’re writing, it can be summer in your head, you can be thousands of miles away across the sea, and you can completely lose track of where you are and all the messy complications of everyday life. What could be more appealing than that?
I came away to France for most of August and thought I had packed everything I needed – but as always vital things got left behind, like my swimsuit and the login and password for this blog! I thought about how we both forget the things we really need – like the swimsuit, as without my daily swim in the sea I am quite miserable – and the things that perhaps we would rather not remember, like things connected with work.
I thought about how much we can learn about a character by the things they leave behind them and the way they deal with the loss.
Write about your character forgetting things – large things, small things, important things, trivial things. How does the character deal with having lost or misplaced something? Are they irritated, distressed, angry? Does it bring something up from the past – a time when something else was lost? Do they try to immediately replace the thing, or try to do without it? What are the impacts on the story of forgetting something? Small actions in fiction can have enormous consequences, both for the characters and the plotline.