LitCamp = cool bananas! (Aka how many links can I fit in one post?)

LitCamp took place yesterday, and it was a really fun and buzzy day. I gave a tiny talk on the usefulness of blogging as a writer, so I figured I’d better update the blog!

It is always good to see Vanessa Gebbie, she was interesting as ever. It was the first time I have ever met Lane, who organised the whole thing, and hats off to her. It was an ambitious event, and she must have worked phenomenally hard to get it all to come together. I came home exhausted, I can’t imagine how wiped out she must be, but I’d like to offer public thanks for this fabulous unconference.

I was thrilled to meet Kellie in “real life” as we have been chatting away for years without having ever met face to face. She was even lovelier than I had imagined!

I had the pleasure of meeting Julia, Alison and Kerry who all work at The Fiction Workhouse., and were all delightful, and I hope we can get together again some time for a big old writerly natter.

I also bumped into Jacqueline Applebee. We first met a couple of years ago at the Chichester writing festival and I was pleased to hear that she is now enjoying success as an erotic fiction writer.

There were lots of different panels and talks going on: writers, agents, editors and teachers.

Stephen Moran was offering post-it note critiques of short stories, I handed one in, and he thought it was missing a story! Oops.

In the evening there were some really great readings. Jay Bernard is a poet that I was entirely unfamiliar with, but whooo, she was brilliant.

Gavin Ingliss read a very funny story that may or may not have been called “Mr Shoe.”

Farahad Zama read an extract from his debut novel “The marriage bureau for rich people” He was a cool guy with a very business like approach to his writing. He writes on his twenty minute train commute, and really makes a mockery of wafty, faffy types like me who protest that we don’t have enough time.

I was sorry that I had to leave before hearing all the readers, but travelling home took about 2 1/2 hours and I had to work today.

Apologies also for not mentioning all the people I got to meet, listen to, and see, but there were soooo many.

I came home thinking quite calmly “well, i’d better get on and write some good stuff then” which surely has to be a very positive outcome from an event like this! But before I do that…sleep!

Bullet points (mainly Buffy!)

Bullet points! What a horrible expression. I wonder how that originated, but can’t be bothered to google.

* It is 2.37 a.m, and I am up, not sleeping, fretting about the fact that I have to officially get up at 7 and start the day. I am tired, but frazzled – can’t switch my mind off, fed up of laying in bed twitching.

* I am going to LitCamp on Friday. Hurrah!

* We are now “on” Buffy season 4, and I had previously intended to write up each season as we went, but abandoned that due to lack of ability to see things through!

So very briefly:

Season 2

Thank god for Spike. First time round I entirely missed his genius. I was a strict Angel fan, but now I see how he brought light to the dark. He’s very funny, very witty. A bit pathetic and bumbling. Kendra! Crap! The whole Jenny Calendar story is pretty good, and of course, Angel turning bad is tragic, but enormous fun for the viewer. Oh, and is it this season where Oz catches sight of Inuit Willow? I love that scene, so cute.

The end is uber tortured and angsty.

Season 3

This is where it all really gets super excellent.
Faith! Wow. So cool, so wrong, so dark, so hot. It’s a great thing to have an opposite Buffy. I love Willow’s reactions too, they seem eminently believable. Oz and Willow are sweet. First showing of Anya, whoo hoo! Two great relationships; Buffy and Angel and their DOOMED love, and Faith and the Mayor, which somehow manages to avoid anything icky and inappropriate and is warped but touching.

The end is the perfect counterpart to Season two’s close.

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:

LitCamp
Programme
10.30-11.00
Arrival/Coffee/Intro/Sign-up for Evening Session/10-minute Zone

11.30am-1pm
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.

1.30-2.30pm
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.

2.30-3.30pm
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

3.30-4.15pm
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

5pm-5.45pm
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.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑