Those of you who have visited my site in the last few days know that I attended Woman’s Weekly Live! last Friday, at Event City, Manchester. Although this was primarily to take advantage of the fiction workshops and talks, I would have happily paid a visit just to take in the plethora of stalls selling distinctive and original goods. These stalls sat comfortably alongside a number of other workshops and demonstrations offering advice about cookery, gardening and a variety of different crafts.
My chosen workshop involved a ten minute one-to-one feedback session of one of my short stories with the lovely Della Galton, who I might add is surprisingly tall when you meet her in person and, enviously, very slim. She puts this down to her lifestyle choice, as detailed in her best-selling book How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim which she wrote with her co-author Peter Jones, and about which she was recently interviewed by Steve Wright, on his Radio 2 afternoon show. I have since purchased a copy, and am now looking forward to the return of my svelte former self from over twenty years ago.
I digress… back to the workshop. The feedback Della gave was really encouraging and boosted my confidence, enormously. She pinpointed areas of my story that might benefit from a revision, and highlighted the publications she felt would best suit my material. This is the second time I have had a critique by a professional author, the other being from Morgen Bailey who gave me an in depth analysis of two of my stories – proofreading, editing and offering advice – which I feel have already had a beneficial effect on my writing.
As well as the one-to-one and other workshops, the fiction editor, Gaynor Davies, gave an excellent talk about Writing short stories and serials for Woman’s Weekly, as did Della Galton when she spoke about 21st-century romance – writing with passion, but more on that in later posts.
I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet Jane Wenham-Jones in person, but I did watch the second part of her pilot television show Wannabe a Writer? the other night on You Tube, featuring the talented Katie Fforde. I do hope the pilot is taken up as a series. The tips and insight proffered by successful authors and literary agents alike, would prove invaluable to writers like myself, who are struggling to step onto the bottom rung of the literary ladder.
I’ve been distracted, again, haven’t I? I hope some of you out there managed to get along to Woman’s Weekly Live! and have a similar positive experience to me but if not, make sure you put it in your diary for next year.
Whilst I’m here, I should also mention that my partner and I were fortunate enough to acquire VIP tickets to hear Jo Nesbo talk at Manchester’s Town Hall, on Friday night. Although he is billed as headlining the Manchester Literature Festival, this doesn’t officially start until the 7th October, through until the 20th.
Nesbo was interviewed by a fellow writer and journalist, Barry Forshaw, about his latest book release Police, and his rise to fame as Norway’s most famous export. He is certainly a charismatic character, driven and determined to reach the top in everything he does: footballer, economist, musician, and now writer, and it isn’t just crime he’s turned his hand to. He’s also written a series of children’s books, and is the author of several plays. His achievements are endless and, frankly, exhausting.
If I’m honest, the crime fiction genre isn’t usually my bag but under the circumstances, I thought it only polite to give one of Mr Nesbo’s novels a go. With that in mind, I started The Redeemer, a book passed on to me by my late father and, to my surprise, I’m actually enjoying it. You never know, this little foray may encourage me to explore other authors in this genre. As they say, variety is the spice of life!
Please feel free to return to my blog later this week when I will post my scribblings from the talks given by Della Galton and Gaynor Davies.
See you soon!
Image credit: bwl / 123RF Stock Photo