The National Creative Writing Graduate Fair is a must for anyone with a passion for creative writing. The opportunities the fair will provide you with are hard to come by anywhere else. The fair is an all-day event with an exciting line up of agents, panel speakers and workshops. The event is there to assist writers who don’t know how to get published.
There will be a key-note speech from best-selling author Kit de Waal, as well as:
- panel discussions on recent trending publishing topics;
- advice from the professionals within the industry on key skills such as self-promotion, staying motivated and finding an editor;
- workshops covering blogging, creating the perfect submissions package, adapting your writing form and more;
- and finally the most exciting: pitch your book ideas to leading literary agents and editors from a range of companies, including Penguin Random House, Eve White Associates, Curtis Brown, etc.
The pitching sessions are a great opportunity, and one that possibly won’t come around again for a long time. The agents will give you pitch advice and guidance, so it’s a wonderful way to showcase your ideas but also learn how to improve on them.
To help you prepare for these sessions, we asked our agents to provide some advice ahead of the day to ensure that you make the most out of your pitching sessions. Julia Silk, MBA Literary Agents, has been an editor for 15 years, and so her experience is not limited. Here is her best advice for the day:
“For me, the main thing is that people come prepared, that they’ve really thought about how to use their fifteen minutes.
I’d like to hear a solid, brief pitch of a few sentences that encapsulates the story so I have a clear idea of what the novel is about. I’m not particularly interested in hearing about themes…
I also like to hear about the context of the work – why someone is writing this particular book and what else they are working on/planning.
Also it’s a good opportunity to get expert advice about publishing so they should feel free to ask questions – it’s a bit of a minefield so they shouldn’t feel self-conscious about asking anything they like about the process – no question too silly.
We’ll be posting more top tips from our attending agents on The Comma Press Blog in the run up to the #NCWGradFair. Tickets are selling fast and booking is set to close at the end of this week, so don’t miss out! For tickets and to book onto the day: