We have received much interest in how we will run the I AM Writing Festival this year. Thank you for all the supportive messages, encouragement and belief expressed by so many in public and private messages. For those of you wondering how the festival will operate in a changed world, we have attempted to answer your questions as best we can.
At I AM in print Ltd we pride ourselves on putting the Writer’s Experience first, so our events, whether online or in-person, are designed for everyone to learn in a safe, supportive and fun environment. So rest assured, we have approached piecing this festival together with you, the writer, in mind. For the first time ever, this festival will run as a hybrid event with both in-person and online elements, enabling writers everywhere to feel included. We have also opened up Pay-As-You-Go sessions on Sunday 12 June 2022, so if you can’t enjoy a full day or weekend package, you can still book a class and soak up the energy within this supportive writing community.
We have nine, yes 9!, package options available for you to choose from, depending on how much or how little you’d like to attend, or spend, from wherever you are in the world. We have kept our prices very much in line with inflation and they range from as little as £37 for an in-person workshop or 11 online talks, to £597 to Access ALL Areas of learning, both online and in-person.
I’m not very good with technology. Is the Virtual Festival easy to access?
Yes, absolutely. You will receive email confirmation of your booking and closer to the festival dates you will be sent another email containing links for all the virtual talks. Click the link at the right time and enter the online room. There is a chat facility for you to interact live with the host for a fully immersive experience.
Can I watch the online talks after the live event?
Yes, if you purchase the Virtual Festival Ticket, Virtual Package or Access All Areas you will have access to the recordings until midnight 8 July 2022.
I can’t access an online #Agent121 without buying a ticket for the whole Virtual Festival. Why is this?
At I AM in print we provide opportunities throughout the year to meet with agents for feedback online, weekly and through quarterly #Agent121 Weekends. The I AM Writing Festival is in addition to these opportunities and #Agent121s are therefore offered as part of the Virtual Festival package. Just so you are aware though, by purchasing a Virtual Festival pass, you will receive access to a whole host of online talks AND a discount is given on our usual #Agent121 cost.
Why travel to Winchester when there is so much choice at the Virtual Festival?
The beautiful city of Winchester in the south of England has a lot to offer. Well-known for its world-famous medieval Winchester Cathedral, 17th-century Morley Library, and links to King Arthur’s round table, plenty of writers live in and around the area too, and a number of them have been discovered at the festival in previous years, including a number of our author guests who have gone on to achieve a great many things since being discovered at the festival! And, for those of you that don’t know, it is at the university that we first came up with the idea for I AM in print back in 2018 so if we can find inspiration here, we are confident you will too. We love online events and run them to keep the writing community connected when it isn’t possible to meet, so we have put together a fabulous programme for you to join in live from home. But the Winchester in-person workshops will be exclusive to those that attend the university, and with over 45 onsite classes to choose from the experience will be one we hope you cherish. In addition, the festival is being held this year in a brand new sustainable building on the West Downs Campus, Romsey Road, not its previous location on the King Alfred site, and we cannot wait for you to see it and share the new space together.
The morning keynotes start at 9am. Is there somewhere to stay if I need to be onsite early or if I am staying late for the dinner?
You can book a basic room with en-suite located at the West Downs Student Village for £51.80 per person per night. It is within a moment’s walk of all onsite workshops and activities so you will be at the heart of the action when the day begins. You can book this by visiting our Accommodation
page or click here
For the Friday and Saturday one-day or two-day packages tea, coffee, and lunch is included in your package price. The evening dinner is priced separately and includes a meal and entertainment surrounded by bestselling authors and literary agents. Book dinner for Friday or Saturday evening here
. On Sunday we have kept our prices as low as possible and events are ticketed separately. It is possible to purchase a packed lunch onsite, or bring your own lunch, according to your preference.
Why is dinner not included in the price?
We understand that not everyone will want to take up a space at dinner so the evening meal is optional and therefore not included in the package prices, giving everyone the choice to attend or not. Book dinner for Friday or Saturday evening here
I have quite a lot of food allergies. Can these be catered for?
If you let us know in plenty of time, any dietary requirements you have will be passed to the catering staff in order to ensure you enjoy the meal provided, whether lunch or dinner.
Stairs are a problem for me. Is there a lift?
The new West Downs Centre is fully equipped for people with mobility issues so all climate-controlled classrooms, the dining area and the auditorium can be easily accessed without stairs. The #Agent121s are in a separate building to the class workshops but, again, can be easily accessed on one level / via lifts. Both buildings are a short walk from the car park.
Parking is at a minimum on the West Downs Campus and spaces will largely be required by our keynote speakers and workshop leaders. There is a bus service and a Park & Ride from the city centre, both of which drop off directly outside the West Downs on Romsey Road. A taxi from the local station is approximately £6 (March 2022).
I am a bit nervous about being out and about after spending so much time indoors. What if I feel overwhelmed by it all?
The new building at the University of Winchester has beautifully designed break-out spaces, such as the Gallery and the Terrace, perfect for those who want to get away from the humdrum for a moment’s meditation or to read or write peacefully. There are also options on the Saturday and the Sunday to sit quietly instead of attending a talk if you prefer. For those who want to mingle, the social areas will grant the opportunity to chat with other writers and agents during lunch breaks and at the bar which will be open in the evening.
Why is there a large gap between workshops on the Friday and Saturday?
While we can’t avoid #Agent121s interrupting the class workshops entirely as writers leave rooms to meet with agents, we have allocated time for the majority of appointments to take place over the extended lunch break. You can use this time as you wish; find a quiet space to read or write, perhaps spread out a yoga mat in the grounds, meet with friends in the dining area or continue your learning by attending one of the many talks we have provided. Our aim is to make everyone as comfortable as possible so we hope you find something to suit your own needs on the day.
Why do I need to select my workshops and talks now and not just turn up to something I feel like doing on the day?
With any large event the host has a responsibility to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone on site. By selecting your workshop choices now we ensure we allocate the correct size room to the person running the workshop or talk. In this way we hope to avoid over-crowded classrooms – learning can be difficult if everyone is too hot and fidgety or there isn’t enough table space! At the point of booking, you will be asked to select the classes and talks you would like to attend. If you consider making changes to your selection after you have booked, we would politely ask that you let us know in advance. If you have a change of heart on the day, you will need to speak to a member of the I AM Writing Festival team to see if a change is possible, but we cannot guarantee at this point that you can just switch rooms. Thank you for your understanding.
Is the Festival Covid-compliant?
We are governed by whatever legal restrictions will be in place at the time of the event. At the time of Going Live with bookings, the Festival is restriction free. Should the mandate change, we will, of course, make the necessary adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety while onsite.
What are the deadlines for the in-person #agent121s?
If your package includes in-person #agent121s we will notify you of your agents by 7 May 2022 but will do our best to give you as much notice as possible. The deadline for submitting your submission package for in-person #agent121s is 20 May 2022.
What are the deadlines for the virtual #agent121s?
The deadline for submitting your submission package for virtual #agent121s is 13 May 2022.
Where do I send my submissions for both in-person and virtual #agent121s?
- Prepare your submission by putting the covering letter, synopsis and part of the manuscript as requested by your agent in a single word document. Address your covering letter as if you were sending it directly to the agent. Be careful to check the correct spelling of their name and also include your telephone number on your letter.
- Add your name and agent one-to-one date to the header of the document.
- Email your submission to email@example.com by the stated submission deadline.
And finally, what do I need to bring?
We would advise wearing comfortable clothes that you don’t have to fiddle with or feel restricted by – learning is always better when you feel at ease. Definitely bring notebooks and pens (or a laptop if you prefer) for making all those notes during workshops! Because we care about the waste generated by large groups of people, it might be an idea to bring a reusable cup or flask for refilling with your tea/coffee and a reusable water bottle. There is an evening bar for pay as you drink refreshments and, if coming on the Sunday, you will need payment for your lunch, if not bringing your own. And what would a writing festival be without books? The local bookseller will be on site so don’t miss the opportunity to have the keynote speakers and workshop leaders sign all the books we hope you can add to your To Be Read piles!
What is the cancellation policy?
The deadline for being able to cancel your booking and receive a full refund is 20 May 2022.
Where is the I AM Writing Festival?
The I AM Writing Festival is located at the West Downs Quarter (26 & 28 on map) at the University of Winchester. For information about accommodation at the West Downs Student Villiage click here