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THE I AM WRITING VIRTUAL FESTIVAL IS HERE!

We have a fantastic virtual line-up for those of you who are unable to join us in-person at the University of Winchester. These talks can be attended live between 4 – 8 June 2022 for the best interactive experience or session recordings will be available until 8 July 2022.

The Virtual Festival Ticket includes the following 11 online talks

MARKETING YOUR WAY TO A BESTSELLER

NICOLA MAY | TALK (REF:V01)

9:30 – 10:30 | SATURDAY 4 JUNE 2022

​In a digital world, authors – however they are published – are increasingly having to market themselves, and that can be daunting. But with various routes to publishing and self-publishing easier than ever, it can work to your advantage. Join No 1 eBook bestselling author Nicola May to learn how it can work for you.

Nicola May - I AM Writing Festival
More about Nicola May

Nicola May is a rom-com superstar. She is the author of fifteen romantic comedies, all of which have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. Two of them won awards at the Festival of Romance, and another was named ebook of the week in The Sun. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK, across all genres, in January 2019, and was Amazon’s third-bestselling novel in that year. Described by Winifred Robinson of BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours as ‘the invisible bestselling author’, Nicola campaigned successfully for the introduction of ebook charts in the publishing trade press.

She lives near Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.

THE DEBUT AUTHOR, THE IMPOSTER-SYNDROME-SUFFERER AND THE PUBLISHER

ZOE ANTONIADES | TALK (REF:V02)

16:00 – 17:00 | SATURDAY 4 JUNE 2022

What happens when you do secure that book deal? What’s it like working with a real publishing house for the first time? And when do you realise you should celebrate your right to be there and stop feeling like the newbie? Find out about the process of taking that initial book deal idea to final print – developing your book alongside an editor, copy editor, art director, illustrator and marketing team – just as Zoe has done with her series of books about twins Cally & Jimmy with Andersen Press.

More about Zoe Antoniades

Zoe Antoniades was born in West London of Greek Cypriot parents. She graduated from the University of Hull with a degree in English and Drama and later trained as a teacher at the Institute of Education (UCL).

Zoe writes collaboratively with young people and has published four anthologies of short stories: Invincible Voices – Long Shorts, Medium Shorts and Short Shorts which were launched at Waterstones, Chiswick in 2017. The fourth book in the series, Invincible Voices – Winter Shorts, was published in September 2018. Zoe has also written a memoir, Tea and Baklavas which won the Winchester Writers’ Festival Memoir Prize, 2015.

Now signed with Andersen Press, Zoe has written the hilarious and heartwarming series about London-Cypriot twins, Cally & Jimmy. The first title, Twins in Trouble was published in September 2020 the second book, Twintastic, in April 2021 and the third, Twins Together in
February 2022.

Zoe also works as a creative writing workshop leader providing interactive classes and author talks online as well as visiting schools and appearing at libraries, bookshops, festivals and events nationwide and even in Cyprus.

Zoe Antoniades - I AM Writing Festival - Winchester

PICTURE BOOKS: BEYOND THE FIRST DRAFT

EMILY ANN DAVISON | TALK (REF:V03)

13:00 – 14:00 | SUNDAY 5 JUNE 2022

So, you have the first draft of a picture book? Congratulations! But now what do you do?

In this session, Emily will be discussing how to edit your picture book text to make it stronger, and take it from a first draft to a perfectly polished picture book text.

More about Emily Ann Davison

Emily Ann Davison is a picture book author whose passion for picture books knows no bounds! She trained as an Early Years teacher, which is where her love for children’s books grew and grew and GREW. One day, a story idea POPPED into her head and now the ideas won’t stop popping!

When she isn’t writing, she can be found tinkling on the piano, having adventures with her family or daydreaming about what stories she can write next.

Emily’s debut picture book ‘Every Bunny is a Yoga Bunny’ published this year with Nosy Crow, and her second picture book publishes early next year with Andersen Press.

She is never seen without a cup of tea.

Emily Davison - I AM Writing Festival - Winchester

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVITY IN PUBLISHING

ZOE ANTONIADES, NEEMA SHAH AND ALEXANDRA SHEPPARD | TALK (REF:V04)

17:00 – 18:00 | SUNDAY 5 JUNE 2022

Join three authors talking about the importance of under-represented backgrounds appearing on the bookshop shelf.

Zoe Antoniades - I AM Writing Festival
More about Zoe Antoniades

Zoe Antoniades was born in West London of Greek Cypriot parents. She graduated from the University of Hull with a degree in English and Drama and later trained as a teacher at the Institute of Education (UCL).

Zoe writes collaboratively with young people and has published four anthologies of short stories: Invincible Voices – Long Shorts, Medium Shorts and Short Shorts which were launched at Waterstones, Chiswick in 2017. The fourth book in the series, Invincible Voices – Winter Shorts, was published in September 2018. Zoe has also written a memoir, Tea and Baklavas which won the Winchester Writers’ Festival Memoir Prize, 2015.

Now signed with Andersen Press, Zoe has written the hilarious and heartwarming series about London-Cypriot twins, Cally & Jimmy. The first title, Twins in Trouble was published in September 2020 the second book, Twintastic, in April 2021 and the third, Twins Together in
February 2022.

Zoe also works as a creative writing workshop leader providing interactive classes and author talks online as well as visiting schools and appearing at libraries, bookshops, festivals and events nationwide and even in Cyprus.

Neema Shah - I AM Writing Festival
More about Neema Shah

Neema Shah is an author and marketer. Her debut novel Kololo Hill (Picador) is now out in paperback. It won The Literary Consultancy Pen Factor Live, and was shortlisted for the Bath Novel Award and DGA First Novel Prize.

Alexandra Sheppard - I AM Writing Festival
More about Alexandra Sheppard

Alexandra Sheppard is a children’s author from London, UK. Her debut novel ‘Oh My Gods’ was published by Scholastic and featured in Buzzfeed, Refinery29 and The Guardian’s Summer Reading List. It was also shortlisted for the Bristol Teen Book Award 2019.

Her short story was featured in the Knights Of anthology ‘Happy Here’ and her debut middle-grade novel is coming soon. She loves to write funny, fantastical stories about quirky families with a twist of magic.

HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON

SCOTT PACK | TALK (REF:V05)

17:00 – 18:00 | MONDAY 6 JUNE 2022

Join writer and publisher, Scott Pack, as he publishes a book, both in digital and print editions, on the Amazon website. He’ll share his screen as he formats the document, navigates the Amazon KDP platform and sends the finished book off into the world.

A great way to learn more about self-publishing before you venture into it yourself.

More about Scott Pack

Scott Pack is now in his third decade working in the book world. During that time he has been head of buying at Waterstones, worked for publishers big and small – including a lengthy spell at HarperCollins – and taught numerous workshops on classes on all aspects of writing. These days he splits his time between writing his own books, editing other people’s, teaching the editors of tomorrow as part of the Oxford Brookes University MA in Publishing, and he is one of the question setters for BBC’s Mastermind. His latest book, Tips from a Publisher, is out now.

Scott Pack - I AM Writing Festival

CHASING DOWN THE ANTAGONIST

NEIL LANCASTER AND MARION TODD | TALK (REF:V06)

19:00 – 20:00 | MONDAY 6 JUNE 2022

The creation of a believable antagonist is vital in creating tension, and that all important page turning quality. Marion and Neil will discuss how to bring an antagonist to life and the art of crafting a duel with the protagonist.

Neil Lancaster - I AM Writing Festival - Winchester
More about Neil Lancaster

Neil Lancaster‘s 30+ year law enforcement experience ranges from specialist surveillance in the Forces to Metropolitan Police detective. He now lives in the Scottish Highlands, a well-established author with his first series Going Dark about agent Tom Novak a No.1 digital bestseller, and the first book in his second series Dead Man’s Grave, longlisted for the 2021 William McIlvanney Prize for Best Scottish Crime Book of the Year. His fifth novel, The Blood Tide is out now. As a covert policing specialist, he used a variety of tactics to obtain evidence against murderers, human traffickers, drug dealers and fraudsters and his crime and thriller novels draw upon that experience. He is a key expert on two Sky Crime TV series, Meet, Marry, Murder and Made for Murder. Neil is represented by Robbie Guillory at Underline Literary Agency. Find Neil (and his delightful dog Peggy!) on Twitter @neillancaster66, Facebook www.facebook.com/@NeilLancasterCrime and visit his website: www.neillancastercrime.co.uk.

Marion Todd - I AM Writing Festival - Winchester
More about Marion Todd

Before becoming a full-time writer, Marion Todd worked as a lecturer, candle-maker and hotel lounge pianist, a job which provided rich material for her novels. In 2018 Marion was long-listed for the Sunstory Award and the Scottish Arts Council Short Story Award and in 2019 was short-listed for Dundee Rep’s Stripped programme. More recently, Marion has turned her hand to crime fiction and found representation with Hannah Weatherill at Northbank Talent. In 2020 Marion was shortlisted for the prestigious Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year award with her novel See Them Run, the first in the DI Clare Mackay crime series. Published by Canelo, the series has gone on to achieve critical acclaim with thousands of 4-5 star Amazon reviews and can now be enjoyed in paperback too.

Follow Marion on Twitter @MarionETodd, Instagram @mariontoddwriter or visit her website: www.mariontodd.com/.

THE EDITOR’S TOOLKIT

HELEN CORNER-BRYANT | TALK (REF:V07)

13:30 – 14:30 | TUESDAY 7 JUNE 2022

The book world can seem off-limits to new writers trying to break into it so this workshop looks to de-mystify the whole thing with a straightforward guide to how it all works. It will look at the life-cycle of a book, from manuscript to bookshop, explaining each stage in the process, as well as a guide to the various business models writers will be faced with during their careers. There will also be a section on the mathematics of publishing, exploring how many copies books sell, what it costs to produce them and the sort of money authors can expect to make. The more you know about the industry the better equipped you will be when you try to navigate it, and this class looks to make sure you are as well-informed as possible.

More about Helen Corner-Bryant

Helen Corner-Bryant spent a number of years in editorial at Penguin before setting up Cornerstones Literary Consultancy in 1998. In 2016, she opened Cornerstones US, creating the world’s first transatlantic literary consultancy. Cornerstones is known for teaching self-editing techniques, providing feedback on all types of genres, scouting for agents, and launching many writers such as: Ayisha Malik, Sarwat Chadda, Ava McCarthy, Kate Glanville, Victoria Selman and Emily Gunnis. Helen is a guest lecturer at writer conferences and leading universities including UCL Centre for Publishing and the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University. She is co-author of On Editing: How to Edit Your Novel the Professional Way (John Murray, 2018) and director of the Edit Your Novel online course.

Helen Corner-Bryant - I AM Writing Festival

DEMYSTIFYING BOOK PUBLICITY

ANA MCLAUGHLIN | TALK (REF:V08)

19:30 – 20:30 | TUESDAY 7 JUNE 2022

Ana’s workshop will give an insight into how publicity works within trade publishing. It will help writers understand how to present themselves to agents and editors as someone whose work is promotable. It will cover:

  • What makes an author promotable, in a publisher’s view
  • What the publicity process is when you’re traditionally published: what your publicist will do and what you can do yourself to work most effectively with them (this would also apply to working with a freelance publicist if you hired one, for example, while self-publishing.)
  • How to be your own publicist if you’re self-publishing / querying / seeking to gain a wider readership outside the traditional publishing model
More about Ana McLaughlin

Ana McLaughlin has worked in book publicity for over twenty years and currently job shares the role of Deputy Publicity Director at Quercus. She has worked in both independent and corporate publishers and as a freelancer on literary and commercial fiction, memoirs, serious non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, gardening, cookery and lifestyle titles, business books, celebrity books, activity and humour titles. Her campaigns have included Storyland: A New Mythology of Britain (shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year), The Final Revival of Opal & Nev (longlisted for the Women’s Prize), the Christmas Number One bestseller Where’s the Meerkat?, The Wagamama Cookbook and autobiographies by Succession star Brian Cox and Sir Roger Moore. In the course of her career she has carried a cargo of slowly defrosting grouse carcasses to Crewe, toasted pine nuts in John Lewis, dressed her colleagues up as zombies, built a snowcastle, run events for 500 schoolchildren, read her teenage diary on the One Show and analysed people’s doodles for Take A Break magazine. She moonlights as a poetry anthologist, under the name Ana Sampson.

Ana Sampson - I AM Writing Festival

HELPING SHY WRITERS TO SHINE

NADIA FINER | TALK (REF:V09)

09:30 – 10:30 | WEDNESDAY 8 JUNE 2022

When it comes to the writing, you’re a pro! But, when it comes to actually talking about your work, and “putting it out there” you feel all kinds of resistance.

Allowing shyness to hold us back, causes us to miss out on opportunities, recognition and success. And when we’re silent, the world doesn’t get to hear our voice.

In this session, shyness expert and author of Shy and Mighty, Nadia Finer will share how she embraced her shyness to become shy and mighty. You will learn:

  • What shyness really is and how it happens
  • Why we need shy people
  • How to work with your shyness and turn it into a strength
More about Nadia Finer

Nadia Finer is the host of the Shy and Mighty podcast and a coach specializing in shyness. People call her the Shycologist. Nadia has spent the last thirteen years helping people of all ages overcome their fears and insecurities so that they can step out of the shadows and achieve big things, without changing who they really are.

She’s travelled the world, speaking at international conferences, and has appeared in the Guardian, Telegraph, Independent and on Radio 4 and BBC Radio London.

Nadia Finer - I AM Writing Festival

TEN THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOUR SIGN YOUR FIRST

(OR NEXT) CONTRACT

RHODA BAXTER | TALK (REF:V10)

13:30 – 14:30 | WEDNESDAY 8 JUNE 2022

Being a published author involves more than just writing; understanding the business side of today’s publishing world is all important too. During this session, Rhoda Baxter will encourage you to think of your novel as your Intellectual Property (IP), and publishers and agents as your business partners. As a writer Rhoda has been tempted to sign contracts in the past without being fully prepared and, now armed with lots of experience working with IP, she is here to help you ask the right questions before you sign a contract of your own.

More about Rhoda Baxter

Rhoda Baxter writes romantic comfort reads with a dash of fun.She also writes multicultural women’s fiction under the name Jeevani Charika. Her books have been shortlisted for various awards. Through her day job in IP and technology transfer, she has two decades of experience reading IP licensing contracts. One of her skills is explaining stuff in an easy to understand manner.

Leisa Stewart-Sharpe - I AM Writing Festival - Winchester

ASK THE AGENT

JADE KAVANAGH AND TANERA SIMONS |
TALK (REF:V11)

18:00 – 19:00 | WEDNESDAY 8 JUNE 2022

Writers often tell us that the submission process is a long and painful one. Sometimes they wait months to hear a standard rejection, sometimes they don’t hear anything at all. What is it that appeals to an agent and makes them ask to see your full manuscript? And how do you know if your story is even marketable? Jade Kavanagh and Tanera Simons, literary agents at Darley Anderson are here to help.  What makes a cover letter stand out for all the right reasons? How can you keep your synopsis succinct and on one page without narrowing the font to size 4? And what does commercial appeal look like in just 5,000 words? Join Jade and Tanera as they discuss what makes the perfect submission before they open up the chat to take your questions, live.

Nicola May - I AM Writing Festival
More about Jade Kavanagh

Jade is a Junior Agent at Darley Anderson Literary Agency. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of Westminster then went on to achieve her Masters in Modern and Contemporary Fictions. Alongside assisting Camilla Bolton on her list of clients Jade is starting to build her own list of crime, thriller, and suspense authors. Jade is particularly interested in gripping psychological suspense, commercial thrillers, and escapist stories with a vivid sense of place.

Kim Nash - I AM Writing Festival - Winchester
More about Tanera Simons

Tanera Simons joined Darley Anderson in 2017 with a view to building their women’s fiction list. She is actively looking for standout stories and compelling voices in all areas of the genre, but particularly enjoys contemporary rom-coms, uplifting love stories, and sweeping historical romances. Tanera currently represents authors Beth O’Leary, Sandie Jones, Mandy Baggot, Claire Frost, Lauren North, Nicola Gill, and Mary Hargreaves, to name a few. Collectively, her authors have Sunday Times top 5 bestselling status, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, and WH Smiths’ Fiction Book of the Year.

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