Launch day

Excitement has been building in the Festival office this week…

After months of planning, the new Festival Programme for 2017 launches on Monday 20 February. I hope you’ll take a look and like what you see – we’ve dozens of new speakers, opportunities, treats and surprises, as well as firm Festival favourites and the return of many good friends.

If you’ve not attended before (or even if you have…) you may find the following tips and pointers helpful.


  • Some one-to-one slots book up quickly. However, while we don’t want you to miss out on your first choices, do take your time to read the programme in full and consider all the options.
  • Speakers’ bios give quite a bit of information, but it’s useful to research their websites too.
  • If a speaker says they are ‘not looking for…’ they mean it!
  • If you are ready to pitch in a one-to-one, then make this clear in your cover letter.
  • If you are simply looking for feedback and advice on any aspect of your work-in-progress or the current market, then this is fine too. Editors and agents will be happy to talk to writers who don’t have finished projects, but it is helpful to let them know that this is what you are seeking.
  • When we receive your booking, we will email you with confirmation of your appointments.
  • You don’t need to send the work for review straight away, but we do need to receive it by post by 24 May. We will send you instructions on how to send the work.

All-day courses and workshops

  • These are carefully designed to include a variety of stimulating learning activities, focused writing exercises and opportunities to share your writing with the tutor/others in the group. You will have an hour’s break for a two-course buffet lunch, and there are coffee and tea breaks, too.
  • Friday courses have a maximum 25 participants. Sunday workshops have a maximum of 15 participants.
  • Tutors know that you may have to pop out of your course on Friday afternoon for one-to-one appointments. This is expected.

So sit back with a coffee and enjoy browsing. If you have any questions or queries, don’t hesitate to contact myself or Sara Gangai, events manager, by phone or email.

Finally, please spread the word to all your writing friends!