By Jacqueline Smith, Client Services Manager at The Writing Coach
The Perfect Venue
On a beautiful spring day in May, we were delighted to host our first Getting Published Day in London. The choice of venue was a top priority, as we wanted to create an enjoyable day for our attendees, many of whom are loyal members of our online writing community. Also, this was our first big in-person event since before the Lockdowns and so we wanted it to be special!
We landed on the beautiful Asia House in central London and it lived up to our expectations. It was the perfect setting for a day of meeting other writers and learning more about the different routes to publication.
Mapping out a Path to Publication
After welcomes and introductions, accompanied by delicious coffee and pastries, Jacqui started focusing our thoughts on mindset and confidence – two vital qualities needed by writers seeking publication. It’s a tough world but with the right tool kit and approach, there’s no need to be intimidated. This led quite naturally into an exploration of the different routes to publication. Attendees started to map out their personal paths to the end goal…
After a short break, Jacqui turned our attention to pitching and marketing. Those of us on the team here who submit to agents regularly know how a poorly written pitch can destroy any chance of agent interest, so it’s important to get this right. It’s also tricky as we found out when some of us tried to crystallise our stories into a few mere sentences! Obviously, time is needed to perfect this and we do offer a submission service for this reason to clients who have worked with us. However, Jacqui offered some very useful advice and examples to help us get started, or to check that our strategy was already sound.
Lunch was wonderful and gave everybody a chance to talk to other writers, make connections and assess their own position on what could otherwise be a lonely journey. Working and discussing with others is central to what we do at The Writing Coach. We realise writers can feel disconnected and alone – our Literary Community is full of dedicated writers who benefit from the connections that the membership brings.
Meeting the Agents
It was an absolute pleasure to welcome our two guest agents in the afternoon, Kate Barker and Jonathan Ruppin. Both Kate and Jonathan have considerable experience in the ever changing world of publishing. Jacqui chaired a discussion with them, followed by an open Q and A. The interviews gave a fascinating and realistic view into the everyday life of a literary agent and Kate and Jonathan were direct but supportive in their responses, both of them happy to receive submissions from all who attended our event.
Throughout the day, we were honoured to be joined by the wonderfully talented caricaturist David Lewis (who happens to be Jacqui’s husband!). David catalogued the day’s proceedings in a brilliant and funny series of cartoons, which we will share in a future blog post.
When it was time to go home, many of us had made new contacts, enjoyed seeing our ‘online’ friends and gained the energy and excitement to move forward with our projects. Here’s looking forward to celebrating the success of our clients in the world of publishing. Since the day, one of our clients has already secured a publishing deal!