23rd February 2019 - 9:30am to 4:30pm
Are you the next Julia Donaldson? If you want to write for children or young adults, learn from the best with a day of writing workshops and panel discussions with leading children’s publishers and literary agents.
Meet experts of children’s publishing, and find out how to improve your writing and how best to increase your chances of getting published.
The day includes: a two-hour writing workshop with an author; plenty of opportunity to network with speakers and fellow delegates; informative and interactive panel discussions with literary agents looking for debut authors to add to their lists.
In the morning, three successful children’s authors offer advice on how to improve your writing with engaging and interactive workshops full of practical exercises. The afternoon sessions help navigate the current market, warn of what to avoid in a submission to an agent, and give insight into the minds of leading publishing industry figures.
09.30-10.00 Welcome coffee and tea
10.00-10.20 Introduction to the world of children's publishing with Alysoun Owen, Editor of the Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook
10.20-11.15 A writing workshop of your choice: either writing picture books with Joseph Coelho, writing for middle years with Peter Bunzl or writing YA with Katherine Webber
11.15-11.35 Short break
11.35-12.55 Writing workshop continued
12.55-14.00 Lunch break (lunch not included but teas and coffees available)
14.00-15.00 Keynote talk from Alex T. Smith
15.00-16.00 How to submit your work to an agent: panel discussion with leading literary agents Josephine Hayes, Felicity Trew and Chloe Seager
Katherine Webber is the author of Wing Jones. She was born in Southern California and studied Chinese literature and language at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and comparative literature at the University of California, Davis. She has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Hawaii and Atlanta. She currently lives in London with her husband. Travel, books and eating out are her favourite indulgences. She also spends far too much time on Twitter. Come and say hello to her @kwebberwriters. Only Love Can Break Your Heart is Katherine's second novel.
Peter Bunzl grew up in South London in a rambling Victorian house with three cats, two dogs, one sister, an antique-dealer dad and an artist mum. He is a BAFTA-winning animator, as well as a writer and film-maker. Like Lily and Robert, he loves adventures and reading penny dreadfuls, but wishes dearly that he had a mechanical fox called Malkin. Skycircus is his third novel in the Cogheart series.
Joseph Coelho is a performance poet, children’s author, and playwright. His debut poetry collection Werewolf Club Rules (Frances Lincoln) won the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award (CLiPPA) 2015. His second collection, Overheard in a Tower Block (Otter-Barry Books), is shortlisted for this year's CLiPPA, was longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2018, and awarded Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week. Joseph has also been included on The Guardian’s 2018 list ‘Fresh Voices: 50 authors you should read now.’ Joseph's debut picture book, Luna Loves Library Day, illustrated by Fiona Lumbers is published by Andersen Press, and his non-fiction title How to Write Poems is published by Bloomsbury.
Joseph has written plays for the Polka Theatre, Soho Theatre and the Unicorn Theatre. He nationally tours his own dynamic poetry theatre for young people, as well as performing with the UK's top performance poetry organisation, Apples and Snakes. Joe has also been a guest poet on Cbeebies’ Rhyme Rocket.
After many years spent honing his world class skills in eaves dropping and people watching Alex T. Smith turned his hand to illustration, graduating from Coventry University in 2006 with a 1st Class Honours Degree. Since then, Alex has gone on to create a clutch of best-selling and award-winning picture books with numerous publishing houses. He's been the recipient of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the Sainsbury's Book Award and the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, UKLA Picture Book Awards and World Illustration Awards. Alex was crowned World Book Day Illustrator in 2016.
His much- loved bestselling Claude series, about a little dog's adventures with his sidekick, Sir Bobblysock has achieved stratospheric success, published worldwide in over 14 languages and now a series of 8 books including a doodle book and picture book for younger readers. The Claude books caught the eye of Belfast based animation production company Sixteen South who lovingly adapted the books for the small screen in a series of over 50 animated episodes now being aired on Disney Junior UK, delighting ardent Claude fans and introducing this magical pair to a whole new audience.
Josephine Hayes is an agent at The Blair Partnership. She is predominantly on the look-out for exciting new voices in commercial children’s fiction for all ages, particularly pacey and adventurous middle grade and teen fiction with lots of heart. She’s after strong characters and unusual heroes that you fall in love with and worry about when you’re not reading, and gripping plots that keep you totally engrossed.
Talented, enthusiastic and energetic, Felicity Trew is keenly building up a list of children’s writers and illustrators at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency. Clients she already represents include Joseph Coelho, Swapna Haddow, Sheena Dempsey, Sandra Dieckmann, Zehra Hicks and Yuval Zommer. Felicity has a particular love for quirky and imaginative children’s books. Dream projects to arrive on her desk would be: a spellbinding novel of our time, a bold UK teen voice to rival the likes of John Green and Holly Smale, an accessible, well-plotted (and don’t hold back on the funny!) middle grade book, and a picture book classic of the future à la The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Felicity is also on a mission to find extraordinary illustrators who capture the life of their characters and have a real love of story-telling at the heart of their artwork. Felicity was nominated one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars of 2016.
Chloe Seager is responsible for the agency’s children’s and young adult book business as well as science fiction and fantasy. In children’s, Northbank Talent Management represents all genres of young adult, middle-grade and age 5-8 fiction and non-fiction. Chloe is herself a published author of young adult fiction, with her first novel Editing Emma published by HQ in 2017 and the sequel Friendship Fails of Emma Nash published in 2018.
Further speakers to be announced shortly.
The event will be held at Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP. Doors will open at 9.30am, with teas and coffees provided upon arrival.
The talks will begin at 10am prompt, finishing at 4.30pm for refreshments.