How To Get Published – Fiction & Creative Non-Fiction

4th June 2024 6:00pm to 6th June 2024 8:30pm, Online

Are you a writer looking to develop your craft, and work towards publication? Do you want to understand more about what it takes to write a fiction and/ or creative non-fiction book that is ready for publication, and gain insight into the publishing process?

We’re delighted to be partnering with the Open University to offer this online conference which runs across two evenings: 4th June and 6th June. You will get the chance to hear from fiction and creative non-fiction authors who will each share their top writing tips, help develop your craft, and offer guidance on how to ensure your work is ready for publication (as well as insight into their own publishing journeys). 

Our line-up, which includes acclaimed writers Rowan Hisayo BuchananKaty Massey and So Mayer, has been purpose-built to provide a range of guidance on the writing craft across both fiction and creative non-fiction, as well as insight into the world of publishing. A panel of literary agents and publishers will end the conference by shedding light on the process of getting your work published, and answering your questions.

A particular focus of this event is character and structure, and how to use both to your advantage when writing fiction and creative non-fiction  We hope that the inspiration, information and writing advice on offer will encourage you to return to your work-in-progress with renewed optimism.


Tuesday 4th June

6:00pm -  Agent and Publishers Panel with Safae El-Ouahabi (RCW), Neil Griffiths (Weatherglass Books) and Kerry-Ann Bentley (The Good Literary Agency)

7:00pm - Comfort break

7:15pm - Seminar - Fiction with Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Thursday 6th June

6:00pm - Seminar: Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction with Katy Massey

7:00pm - Comfort break

7:15pm - Seminar: Creative Non-Fiction with So Mayer

A Slack channel will be made available in the lead-up to the event, as well as throughout the live sessions. This is a space for attendees to discuss topics raised, ask questions, and network with your writing peers.

Find out about our speakers below. Further speakers to be announced soon!

Speaker profiles
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the author of Harmless Like YouStarling Days and The Sleep Watcher. Rowan is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She has won The Authors’ Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award and has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Her work has been a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and an NPR Great Read.

Her short work has appeared in several places including GrantaGuernica, The Guardian, The Harvard Review, and NPR’s Selected Shorts. She is the editor of the Go Home! anthology and Dog-Hearted.

She has received residencies/fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The Millay Colony, Hedgebrook, Gladstone’s Library, The Asian American Writers Workshop, and Kundiman.

Katy Massey

Katy Massey was a journalist for many years before studying for an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. Her memoir, Are We Home Yet? was published in 2020 and praised by Bernardine Evaristo as ‘a gem’. It was shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize and the Portico Prize. In addition, her fiction and nonfiction has been widely anthologised, including Common People edited by Kit de Waal, The Place for Me from Scholastic, and speculative collection Glimpse. All Us Sinners is her first novel and will be published in March 2024 by Sphere, an imprint of Hachette. Currently getting excellent reviews, it is an unusual take on the crime genre, featuring Maureen, a tough but tender-hearted brothel-keeper in 1970s Leeds, who is unexpectedly drawn into the killing of a friend’s son. These events take place against the disturbing backdrop of the Yorkshire Ripper’s murder spree. A second book in this series will appear in 2025.

So Mayer

So Mayer is a writer, publisher, bookseller, organiser and film curator. Their first collection of short stories Truth and Dare is out now from Cipher Press, and was long listed for the 2024 Republic of Consciousness Prize. Their recent books include A Nazi Word for a Nazi Thing, a book-length essay on queer films, bodies and fascism for Peninsula Press, and their most recent collaborative projects are Space Crone by Ursula K. Le Guin (Silver Press), The Film We Can’t See (BBC Sounds), Unreal Sex (Cipher Press), and Mothers of Invention: Film, Media and Caregiving Labor. So works with Silver Press, Burley Fisher Books and queer feminist film curation collective Club Des Femmes. 🐦@Such_Mayer.

Safae El-Ouahabi

Since joining RCW in 2019, Safae El-Ouahabi has been working alongside Claire Wilson and Jon Wood across the children's and YA fiction and commercial adult fiction and non-fiction lists. She also takes on the role of Digital and Communications Manager at RCW, while actively building her own list. Her taste is wide-ranging, but she has a particular interest in dynamic, voice-driven narratives that carry a sense of urgency—stories that are emotionally impactful and have a strong hook without being overwritten.

Whether in adult, YA, or crossover, she enjoys fantasy and speculative fiction books that draw connections to real-world issues, for example N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy, which blends fantasy with cli-fi elements, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower—a fusion of dystopia, speculative fiction, and Afrofuturism—and R.F. Kuang’s Babel, where fantasy intersects with historical allegory as it delves into the themes of structural oppression, colonialism, language and resistance. She is also drawn to Historical Fiction, enjoying books like Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

She is open to romantic fiction submissions with a fresh take on tropes like enemies-to-lovers, fake relationships, and forbidden love, while in the thriller genre, she looks for the same freshness, as seen in The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi—an inverted murder mystery offering a unique take on the crime-novel form. Her interests also span to Romantasy, and in general fiction, she likes books that straddle genres. In non-fiction, she leans towards mental health-focused works like What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo, an exploration of the science behind complex PTSD, as well as books investigating shocking scams, cover-ups and series of crimes.

Safae is actively building a translator list, representing Anton Hur, Clare Richards, Shanna Tan, Anam Zafar and Emily Balistrieri. She holds a B.A. in History from UCL and is a Creative Access alumni.

Her email address is 

Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths is co-founder and editor of Weatherglass Books. He is also founder of the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses. He has published three novels, two with Penguin: Betrayal in Naples, winner of the Authors’ Club Best First Novel; Saving Caravaggio, shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel 2007; As a God Might Be was published by Dodo Ink.


Weatherglass Books is an independent press founded by Neil Griffiths and Damian Lanigan (novelist and playwright).

Weatherglass was founded on a shared love of Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Blue Flower and a shared fear that it wouldn’t find a publisher today.

Weatherglass Books wants to clear a space for the next The Blue Flower.

“Running the Republic of Consciousness Prize I read hundreds of novels from small presses and loved a great many, but I did feel an absence of novels that were somehow exquisite at the simplest level: great story-telling built up from beautiful sentence-making.” Neil Griffiths, co-publisher

"We’re looking for intelligent, original, beautiful writing, and we're finding it. Additionally - maybe it's a reaction to the unhinged, fictional-seeming times we live in - we find writers trying to be truthful. It's a fascinating combination: writers who have extraordinary things to say, and are saying them with energy and style, whilst also trying to express something real and true about the world. It's bracing and exciting. It feels like the perfect time to start a literary press.” Damian Lanigan, co-publisher

Kerry-Ann Bentley

Kerry-Ann Bentley is a literary agent at TGLA. She is looking for literary, upmarket and commercial fiction, as well as narrative-led non-fiction, memoir, and select poetry. Kerry-Ann was previously an agent at Janklow & Nesbit, where she began her publishing career in 2020 in their New York office. She graduated from the University of Essex with a First in English & United States Literature and earned her Masters with Distinction in Caribbean Literature & its Diasporas from Goldsmiths, University of London. Read her manuscript wishlist here.

Study for an MA in Creative Writing with The Open University

Launched in 2016, our two-year Master’s Level course is taught by practising writers and is entirely online, giving students across the world access to workshops, forums and our acclaimed course materials. One of the most exciting aspects of the MA is its flexibility and the way it explores the relationship between genres, offering four distinct strands – fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and scriptwriting.

The OU’s Creative Writing modules and qualifications have attracted over 50,000 students since 2003, and our course materials have been praised by publishers, leading authors, and teachers in other universities. 

For more information about the MA in Creative Writing, click here. For more information on how Creative Writing is taught at the OU and our undergraduate modules, follow this link. If you are interested in studying for our BA (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing or BA (hons) Arts and Humanities (Creative Writing) see our Undergraduate degrees.

Booking & payment

The conference fee of £45 (incl. VAT) is payable in full online. Please note, all timings for the conference are UK Time.

Payment instalment plans are available for all W&A events, writing courses and editing services. Contact W&A Admin on so that we can find a payment schedule that works for you.

This is an online event. Joining instructions and full guidance will be provided by the W&A Team a week before the event start-date.

If this event is Sold Out, please look out for more How to Get Published conferences by visiting our Events homepage. If you would like to be added to the waiting list for this particular event, please email and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

To view our event refund and cancellation policy, please click here.

Open University student discount:

All Open University students receive a significant discount on attending the conference. Open University students will find details about the OU discount code on their module website. 

Accessible to All

It’s of real importance to Writers & Artists that our events and courses remain accessible to all.

  • This is an online course presented via Zoom video-conferencing software. Joining instructions and full guidance will be provided before the course start-date.

  • This event will include written text and visuals, both during and in the form of handouts from the sessions. Please contact us in advance so that we can make arrangements to be sure all documents appear in a format that works for you.

  • A recording of each session will be circulated to participants and remain available to view for a time-limited period.
  • If you’d like to attend but have any questions or concerns regarding accessibility, then please email

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