LitCamp – Yay!

Lovely, lovely Pulp Net are organising a fantastic event on 12th September at London Metropolitan University. The programme is packed full of writerly delights:

Arrival/Coffee/Intro/Sign-up for Evening Session/10-minute Zone

The first page
Bridget Whelan offers a confidence-building session that allows you to discover the writer within. Imaginative exercises to help you to find inspiration in the ordinary, create characters that live and breathe and encourage you to take risks with your writing. (prose – all levels)

Getting inside the editor’s head
Rosalind Porter, senior editor with Granta magazine, Laura Barber of Portobello Books, and Tom Chalmers of Legend Press open the lid on publishing from the editor’s Point of view. Later in the session we hear from agent Hannah Westland of Rogers Coleridge & White about where she, as an agent, fits into that process. (fiction – advanced)

Finding, or inventing, the right place for your work
Dr Sarah Law, poet and tutor at London Metropolitan University, talks with Les Robinson, director of Tall Lighthouse Press, and poet Maggie Butt about innovative ways for young poets to drive their careers forward, including poetry in galleries. (poetry)

Buffet lunch provided. Time to meet and mingle, browse the book table, take part in the 10-minute Zone, or use the Writing Room – perhaps even draft a fresh piece for the Evening Session.

10-Minute Zone
A space for informal discussion on writing related topics of relevance to LitCampers. Signup on the day, or just show up. Speakers have 4 mins, then it’s open to the floor for debate, questions. Change of topic every 10 minutes. Runs at lunch /recesses, or whenever, for people seeking an interactive space. Powerpoint accommodated.

Writing Room
A quiet space open all day for a break, reading etc. Laptops may be used, internet access tbc.

From Wannabe to Published
Not every would-be writer successfully manages this transition, but Jane Wenham-Jones has done. The novelist, freelance journalist and non-fiction author has lots of very realistic tips to offer writers who are just starting out. (cross-genre)

DIY Book: a self-publisher’s story – Paul Ewen
Paul, whose short fiction book London Pub Reviews is stocked in indie bookshops across London, shares his experiences. This session covers the basic steps you must be prepared to go through if you choose the self-publish route. Come prepared to work hard! (short fiction)
“Paul Ewen is the funniest new writer I have read in years. Join him on his one man Campaign for Surreal Ale.” – Toby Litt

Poetry workshop with Sarah Law
An exercise based workshop designed to strengthen writing abilities for anyone new to poetry or needing fresh inspiration. Sarah Law has published two collections of poetry with Stride. Her third, Perihelion, is published by Shearsman Books. (poetry – all levels)

The short story path to success – Vanessa Gebbie
A writer who has won many awards for her stories and whose first short fiction collection Words From A Glass Bubble was recently published by Salt Books, Vanessa shares ideas on developing your writing strategy, the importance of networking, and whether to blog. (short fiction – all levels)

How to make a living while you write
Earn a living while you draft and revise your magnum opus. Bridget Whelan teaches at City Lit and Goldsmiths College, London. Her first novel A Good Confession is soon to be published by Severn House and she is also the author of a short book Make Money from Your Writing. (cross-genre)

4.15-5pm Coffee break + 10-minute Zone continues

Willesden Green Writers Group
The very first time that this group published a book of its members’ work, they won a prestigious award. Here to share practical methods for how to set up a successful writer-led group are Anne Mullane and Bilal Ghafoor who is editing their next book. (cross-genre)

The Last Page
Farahad Zama and Nicholas Hogg discuss the challenges of completing a first novel, and ways of managing plot to ensure the final cut is one that works for readers. Nicholas is the author of Show Me the Sky, and Farahad’s forthcoming novel The Marriage Bureau for Rich People will be published in 2009 by Little Brown. (novel)

Drinks reception sponsored by London Metropolitan University

The Evening Session
(6ish-8pm) Katy Darby (of Liars League) introduces an eclectic mix of writers drawn from LitCampers whose names we’ve yet to discover. Sign up early to get a spot. Also featuring: Paul Ewen, Jay Bernard, Farahad Zama, Vanessa Gebbie, Bridget Whelan, Anne Mullane, Nicholas Hogg, Maggie Butt, Bilal Ghafoor…

Tickets, inclusive of refreshments, cost £36 full price, or £27 for the early 25% off rate (quota-based). Places are limited, to ensure your place please complete sign-up.

Hope you noticed that friend of this blog Vanessa Gebbie will be sharing some of her wisdom on the day.

Brilliant post by Jenn Ashworth

I read this today over at Every Day I Lie A Little. 

MA in ‘Creative’ Writing.

I am starting a MA in creative writing. You can apply for it by emailing me and if I accept you, you will be allowed to drink my tea at my house and do all the modules. It will cost £3085 and the learning will be ‘experiential’.

Module 1: Dealing with Rejection

I will lock you in my cellar and scream ‘you are crap’ at you at random intervals. Sometimes I will throw things. Every now and again I will come down into the cellar and give you a cuddle and stroke your hair. I will say, ‘such talent!’ and when you are relaxed and smiling I will quickly punch you in your stomach and say ‘but still crap!’

Module 2: Writing Process

I will tie you to my writing chair. I might let you have a cushion. You are allowed to get up to go to the bathroom and to drink water. But nothing else. Your phone will beep a lot and eventually the friends you are ignoring will get angry with you, give up, and go away. When you are trying to write I will randomly delete paragraphs of your work and whisper things like ‘all your friends think you are a pillock’ into your ears.

Module 3: Drafting

Every time you write something I will print it out and show it to all my friends. We will sit in a pub and laugh at it. We will make notes on it in coloured pens. Everything we write will be instructions on how to make it better. We will send you back the pages. You won’t be able to read our writing. You will need to implement all the suggestions into future drafts, even when they are contradictory. We will print out your future drafts and take them back to the pub. This will take a very long time.

Module 4: Publicity and Promotion

I will teach you how to Google yourself. You will do this every day, until you are banned from using the computer at work. At the end of the course you will have to drink a bottle of gin and then read your work to me. I will talk loudly and send text messages to random people while you are reading. I will ask you to sign your book and then sell it on ebay. I will send you the ebay link. No-one will buy your book even though the bidding starts at 1p and the postage is free.

There might be some more modules. I am not sure yet. For the full MA experience I will loose your final submission and give you a certificate I made on MS Word and laminated at work. I will look you up a few years later and me and all my friends will tell you you can’t write because you did my MA course and you now sound just like everyone else who has done it. Then I will ask you for some more money in return for providing ‘editorial help’ with your manuscript.

Jenn Ashworth is very funny and clever, and this sounds like an excellent course for any budding writers. 
You can also find Jenn and her lies at Sh

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑