Festival of Writing 2017

Tue, Mar 14 2017 07:55pm GMT 1
Philippa
Philippa
1532 Posts
OK.... so I know this is way ahead of time, but is anyone else getting excited about FoW 2017?

More importantly, when do tickets go on sale?

I went for the first time last year and had the most incredible time. Can't wait to see you all again!
Tue, Mar 14 2017 10:15pm GMT 2
Debi
Debi
7154 Posts
Tickets go on sale in April!
Thu, Mar 16 2017 02:22pm GMT 3
Philippa
Philippa
1532 Posts
Hooray!
Fri, Mar 17 2017 07:17am GMT 4
Oddly
Oddly
163 Posts
ooh.
Fri, Mar 17 2017 08:58am GMT 5
Squidge
Squidge
2121 Posts
I am wondering whether to do York or a retreat this year...can't afford to do both. What d'you reckon?
Fri, Mar 17 2017 12:27pm GMT 6
Hil
Hil
1012 Posts

Do you have a particular retreat in mind, Squidge? Is it one that will give you time to focus on your WIP? Is that what you need, rather than the more general teaching and inspiration that you'd get from York?

But then, how can you not go to York, after all these years?! Besides, you'd be so missed :(

Fri, Mar 17 2017 05:08pm GMT 7
John Taylor
John Taylor
1719 Posts
I'll be there. Hardly surprising, since I've been to each festival since it started in 2010. Even if I become a gazillion-selling publishing sensation, that is unlikely to change Smile
Fri, Mar 17 2017 05:36pm GMT 8
bazbaron
bazbaron
1388 Posts
I hope to be going. Get's in your blood, doesn't it? Laughing
Fri, Mar 17 2017 08:20pm GMT 9
Squidge
Squidge
2121 Posts
Hil - that's the thing! I don't know what it is that's making me so undecided.

I have nothing to show book doctors and I've been to so many Yorks now, I'm not sure there would be enough new sessions to attend and learn from. I wouldn't enter any of the comps because I don't think I stand an earthly... So I would really only be going for the socialising and to meet up with my lovely cloudie friends - no bad thing of course, but I can't help feeling I should be getting more from the weekend for my writing (Oh, and I'd maybe flog a few books, because Kingstone will be out then. Assuming there's any interest in it.)

On the retreat front...it sounds like a grand idea to be able to just work on the WIP, but I'm not sure I'd actually be disciplined enough to get much done on it. Most of the really lovely retreats are also miles away from me and weekdays rather than weekends.

And yet... I can't imagine not going to York now I've been so many times.

Don't know what to do!
Sat, Mar 18 2017 08:22am GMT 10
Jill
Jill
493 Posts
Squidge, I've never been to a York Festival but understand its pull, having read the reports and felt the enthusiasm of Cloudies over the years. Wonder if 'handing your dilemma over to your unconscious' rather than think too hard about it would help with the decision. You may wake one morning soon with a 'Eureka' moment! Whichever you choose ~ enjoy. Smile
Sat, Mar 18 2017 09:50am GMT 11
Squidge
Squidge
2121 Posts
Thanks, Jill...woke this morning and realised that, depending on which weekend it's being held, I might not be able to go anyway!

Does anyone know what the date of this year's festival is, yet?
Sat, Mar 18 2017 11:49am GMT 12
Debi
Debi
7154 Posts
8-10 Sept. If you can make it, I wondered about using it as a retreat, as well as the chance to catch up with people. You could skip the workshops and spend the time writing. Lots of quiet places to do that. Best of both worlds?
Sat, Mar 18 2017 01:02pm GMT 13
Squidge
Squidge
2121 Posts
Thanks, Debi - yeah, I wondered that. Mind you, when I've tried before, there's always someone to chat to and it feels a bit rude to say 'go away, I'm writing!'

Although it now looks likely that I won't be able to go because we want to hold a joint 18th and 50th birthday bash in September before Squidgeling J goes off to uni and I have only two weekends to choose from...one is too close to the start of term for folks to want a weekend away, and the second is York...

Cry
Mon, Mar 20 2017 03:58pm GMT 14
Squidge
Squidge
2121 Posts
It's no good...I won't be able to go; Squidgeling's J last weekend at home before starting uni...

Ah well, there'll be other years.
Mon, Mar 20 2017 04:33pm GMT 15
Debi
Debi
7154 Posts
We'll miss you *so* much. Can you send a hologram?
Mon, Mar 20 2017 05:22pm GMT 16
bazbaron
bazbaron
1388 Posts
I'll wear a Rainbow jumper in her absence, Debi, will that do? Wink
Mon, Mar 20 2017 07:57pm GMT 17
Squidge
Squidge
2121 Posts
Baz - I will want photographic evidence! Wink And Debi - a cloning machine would be better. Then I could be in two places at once!

I'll miss all of you - nothing beats being hugged by crowds of cloudies! - but York will happen next year, no doubt. Squidgeling J going off to uni will only happen once.

On the upside, I'll be able to justify spending my York money on that retreat instead. Wink
Tue, Mar 21 2017 01:13pm GMT 18
Hil
Hil
1012 Posts

Oh, Squidge, who will I encourage to get off the bus at the wrong stop and traipse with through the campus pulling heavy suitcases?

xxx

Tue, Mar 21 2017 02:03pm GMT 19
Raine
Raine
874 Posts
Oh Squidge, it won't be the same without you!

That's assuming I'll be there. Which I think I will. I hope. It's in the diary...
Tue, Mar 21 2017 03:05pm GMT 20
Squidge
Squidge
2121 Posts
Hil - give me one more week and I'll be doing the same in *fingers crossed* Bristol!
Raine - maybe I need to deliver one of those life-size cardboard cutouts of myself to York, then I can at least be in the photos?!
Mon, Mar 27 2017 08:55pm IST 21
Indiana
Indiana
5 Posts
Never been to York, but to be fair I'm new to all literary events - sounds like it's really worthwhile though....
Tue, Mar 28 2017 10:36pm IST 22
Julie C
Julie C
177 Posts
I can't wait - so looking forward to my third FOW. Love the atmosphere and everyone is so generous with their advice and encouragement. It's acting as a spur for me to make sure I've edited at least one of my two first drafts.

My question is whether it is better to stick to book doctors for my 1:1 sessions, to polish the prose, and then make submissions to agents afterwards. I've found agents haven't been very willing to give feedback on my writing if the story idea doesn't work for them. One last year was also expecting a covering letter rather than the synopsis that we were told to provide.

Any thoughts please?
Tue, Mar 28 2017 11:15pm IST 23
RichardB
RichardB
1118 Posts
I guess you need to decide exactly what you're looking for. Book doctors will naturally tend to concentrate on the quality of the writing, agents on marketability, though there'll be some crossover.

For what it's worth, on my first visit last year I chose one of each. The book doctor session was very encouraging, but the agent, I thought at the time, didn't quite 'get' what I was trying to do. But in the months since then my WIP has taken on a form it wouldn't have if I hadn't had that conversation, and I believe it's the better for it.
Wed, Mar 29 2017 08:46am IST 24
Squidge
Squidge
2121 Posts
Julie, when I first went to York, I went for agents, sure and certain I'd written a blockbuster. (Yup - was that naive!)

As Richard says, it depends what stage your MS is at. If you're after a general feeling about whether your style works, I'd say go book doctor. If you think you have something unique and well written that an agent may - possibly - be interested in, do one of each. If you're presenting something you've already had feedback on and are sure that this is it, go agents.

Last year, I didn't bother with any 1-2-1's because I didn't have anything worth showing...
Wed, Mar 29 2017 10:23am IST 25
John Taylor
John Taylor
1719 Posts
I've varied my bookings depending on where I was with my ms, Julie. Including an editor as well has worked for me, several times, in that you get a direct book trade view, which can, surprisingly, be more positive than an agent. Agents are gatekeepers, who will look for reasons not to represent you. Editors, who are not realistically going to take anything on unless it's outstanding, can be more open to discussing where your book sits, and how you can make it more of an attractive proposition without loosing its essence.
Sam Eades and Sophie Orme in particular were very helpful in previous years. And of course, with book doctors, Emma, Debi, Julie Cohen and Andrew Wille are outstanding.

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