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How To Get Published - Denman College

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8th September 2018 - 9:00am to 5:00pm


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Writers & Artists are delighted to be working with Denman to bring a day of getting to grips with the practicalities of writing. The day includes: a two-hour writing workshop with an author of your choice; plenty of opportunity to network with speakers and fellow delegates over lunch; informative and interactive panel discussions with publishers and literary agents looking for debut authors to add to their lists.

In the morning, three successful writers offer their advice on how to improve your writing with an engaging and interactive workshop on either historical fiction, crime or children's fiction. After lunch, we'll be joined by a wonderful keynote author discussing the path to publication and the following afternoon sessions will help you navigate the current market, warn you of what to avoid in a submission to an agent and give insight into the minds of leading publishing industry figures. 


09.00-09.30: Registration and welcome teas and coffees

09.30-10.00: Introduction and publishing industry overview from chair Alysoun Owen, Editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and the Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook

10.00-11.00: A writing workshop of your choice: writing historical fiction with Tim Pears, writing crime fiction with William Ryan, and writing children’s fiction with Natasha Farrant

11.00-11.15: Short break

11.15-12.00: Writing workshop continued 

12.00-13.10: Lunch break (lunch included)

13.10-14.00: Keynote talk with Rachel Joyce 

14.10-15.10: Publishing industry discussion with Bella Pearson, Publishing Director at David Fickling Books and Alysoun Owen, Editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and the Children's Writers & Artists' Yearbook.

15.10-16.10: How to submit your work to an agent: practical tips from literary agents Lydia Silver, Kate Nash and Elinor Cooper. Chaired by Alysoun Owen.

16.10-17:00: Networking reception

Speaker Profiles 


Tim Pears is the author of eight novels: In the Light of Morning, In the Place of Fallen Leaves (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award), Wake Up, Blenheim Orchard, In a Land of Plenty (made into a ten-part BBC series), A Revolution of the Sun, Landed (shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2012 and the 2011 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, winner of the MJA Open Book Awards 2011), and Disputed Land. He has been Writer in Residence at Cheltenham Festival of Literature and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, and has taught creative writing at Ruskin College and elsewhere. He lives in Oxford with his wife and children.

Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey, and a collection of interlinked short stories, A Snow Garden & Other Stories. Her work has been translated into thirty-six languages. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Rachel was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards ‘New Writer of the Year’ in December 2012 and shortlisted for the ‘UK Author of the Year’ 2014.

Rachel has also written over twenty original afternoon plays and adaptations of the classics for BBC Radio 4, including all the Bronte novels. She moved to writing after a long career as an actor, performing leading roles for the RSC, the National Theatre and Cheek by Jowl.

William Ryan’s novels have been shortlisted or longlisted for numerous awards, including the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, the Crime Writers Association’s Steel, Historical and John Creasey Daggers and the Irish Crime Novel of the Year (three times). William has taught on the Crime Writing Masters at City University in London and he will be a Teaching Fellow on UEA’s Crime Fiction MA in 2017/18. His novel, The Constant Soldier, was described by The Daily Mail as “Subtle, suspenseful and superb and as “a modern classic by a master storyteller” by the Lancashire Evening Post and was shortlisted for the HWA Gold Crown for Historical Fiction. His next novel A House of Ghosts will be published on 4 October with Bonnier Zaffre.

Natasha Farrant is the author of numerous books for children and young adults, including The Things We Did For Love, the Bluebell Gadsby series (Faber) and Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice (Chicken House). Her latest book, The Children of Castle Rock (Faber), has been described by the Observer as “like the Secret Seven on steroids” and by the Telegraph as “a gem”. Her work has been shortlisted for Branford Boase award and the Queen of Teen award, and longlisted for the Guardian Book Prize. She is currently working on a collection of brand new princess stories, and lives in London with her husband, daughters and an enormous tortoiseshell cat.

Bella Pearson spent most of her childhood with her head buried in a book, which has stood her in good stead ever since. After working in an independent children's bookshop and completing an MA in children's literature, Bella joined David Fickling Books in 2001 and was lucky enough to work with him for the next twelve years on a huge number of wonderful and award-winning books for children.

Lydia Silver recently joined the Darley Anderson Agency and is looking to build the children’s list. She loves middle grade and YA fiction and is particularly looking for magical middle grade adventures, funny contemporary stories and YA novels with an unusual voice. She loves working editorially with writers and is always on the lookout for new talent. Before joining Darley Anderson, Lydia worked in the editorial team at a children’s publishers, where she worked across a large range of children’s books and acquired several titles. She has a BA in English and French from the University of Sheffield, which means that she is constantly talking about books in two languages.

Before joining DKW in 2015, Elinor Cooper worked at Rochelle Stevens & Co as a literary agent. She represents writers of literary and commercial fiction, non-fiction including memoir and politics, writers and illustrators of children's books across all age ranges - from picture books to YA - and graphic novels. She loves working with her clients editorially, often giving in-depth feedback and support, particularly with debut novelists.

She began her career at A P Watt, where she spent eight years, working with Caradoc King across his varied list, and beginning to take on her own author and illustrators. Before that, she was a bookseller in Manchester, Brighton and on London's Charing Cross Road. She has a degree in English and American Literature from the University of Manchester.

As a former author, publisher, publicist and marketer, Kate Nash has seen every side of publishing and set up her own literary agency so she could do "the best job in publishing". Kate's reading tastes - from romance to thrillers - are highly commercial. Kate has a degree in History from the University of York and later garnered two undergraduate modules in Creative Writing and Literature from the Open University

Our chair Alysoun Owen is a publisher with over 20 years' experience as a commissioning editor and running her own publishing consultancy business. She has been the Editor of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook and the Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook for five years and is a regular speaker on how to get published at literary festivals and writer events.

Event Details

The event will be held at Denman, New Rd, Marcham, Abingdon OX13 6NW. There is ample parking on site and the building is fully accessible. 

 Doors will open at 09.00am, with teas and coffees provided upon arrival.

Booking and Payment

The price for this event is £95. 

Bookings can be made by either clicking on the 'Book' buttons at the top and bottom of this page, or by calling 0207 631 5985.

Price inclusive of standard VAT.

Please note that this is not a ticketed event, so you don't need to bring anything on the day as your names will be on our guestlist.

About Denman 

Denman is the Women’s Institutes centre for learning, offering a wealth of opportunities to learn new skills on day schools and residential courses in the field of cookery, craft and lifestyle.

Book sales

Mostly Books

2019 editions of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook and Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook, a selection of writing companion guides, and titles from each of the speakers appearing at the conference will all be available on the day courtesy of Mostly Books


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