Just settling back into the office routine and getting myself back immersed in Alt.Fiction after a rather chatoic week or so of freelance working...
Saturday 9th I was over in Loughborough organising the 'Writing Industires Conference', a day event looking at the nuts and bolts of making a living as a writer/performer. We actually had things sold out about 3 weeks in advance, which was great as it meant there was no marketing to worry about! I saw relatively little of the day myself, spending most of my time running around the reception area, but the reports have all been good! I was pleased to have two very well known figures in SFF, Graham Joyce and John Jarrold, taking part in the day- John was offering agent one-to-one advice to selected writers and it was very interesting to see people walking in terrified and then emerging enthused and excited!! That was unanimous to all the agent sessions throughout the day really- I think people build up an impression of agents as rather scary, which is completely misguided!!
After a rather more relaxing Sunday, I was off to Oldham on Monday evening to take part in a three day writing project with gifted and talented Year 9s. We had 30 kids taking part and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed myself- the enthusiasm the kids showed was amazing and we had an SFF feel to the event with Tony Ballantyne and his wife Barbara (who were both crucial in making the event happen!) as well as Mark Morris, Juliet McKenna, Conrad Williams, Chris Beckett and Justina Robson taking part. I managed to see every session and there were some really interesting ideas coming out and some great writing. There was also the opportunity for some rather nice meals out in Oldham, which never goes amiss! The next step is going to be an anthology of the kids' work, which I'm really looking forward to getting involved in.
Back to Alt.Fiction, it's very much reaching that nitty-gritty stage of sorting out all the practical aspects like programming, catering, hotels etc etc. The flyers have arrived and look rather lovely, and if you'd like to receive one (or a bundle) give me a nudge in the office at firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall be happy to oblige. Marketing will be on the forefront of my mind for a while, and it's a process that I rather strangely enjoy...
I'm also delighted to announce three new authors for the bill in the shape of Ramsey Campbell, Juliet McKenna and Tony Ballantyne. This adds even more to an already great line-up and I'm hoping to have an agreed schedule of events out there within the next couple of weeks.
Anyway, got a fair few bits to crack on with after the break from the office, but feel free to get in touch if there's anything else you'd like to ask- you can get me at the email address as above or in the office on 01332 715434, Wednesday to Friday.
Thanks a lot!!