What I don’t understand

Submissions are now closed for the Nineworlds writing workshop. I have sent out all the submissions to the teams of critiquers and to the submitting authors, so that everyone has time enough to look at all the pieces that will be in their groups. I’m looking forward to the discussions, to hopefully inspiring one or two writers to reach for that next level. My critiquing teams includes two authors whose works are currently on the bookshop shelves, two other agented writers and an award-winning editor. Every critiquer has several years (at least) experience of critting.   

What I don’t understand is why the workshop is only half full. This is free to anyone who is coming to Nineworlds. I don’t know how many people are signed up for the con, but I’m guessing the organisers are hoping for well over a thousand people; that’s what the last Eastercon at Heathrow drew. There are discussion panels featuring major UK agents and editors, recently published authors revealing how they got their deals, discussion panels on the craft of writing; in short a whole thread designed for the aspiring writer.

So why are only 7 people putting forward work for the workshop?


Workshop getting closer

There are still 6 places left in the Nineworlds workshop, we have some great writers and critiquers lined up for you to work with so don’t hold back.

Elsewhere my good friend author Patrice Sarath wants to know what readers want in a book. Why don’t you drop by and tell her, the website is here: http://www.patricesarath.com/patrice-sarath/what-readers-want/

The Australians were poor this week. After a really tight first match England blew them away in the second test with great batting by Ian Bell and Joe Root. Maybe the Aussies should reverse their batting order as the guys down at 9,10 &11 seem to find batting fairly easy and are outscoring the guys whose job it is to make runs.

No news from my agent and the sequel crept forward a bit more.

I took a night out last week to teach my 16 y.o. niece to cook moules mariniere. She has developed a liking for seafood and it is something I cook reasonably often. A successful evening, I think, and I look forward to her cooking it for me sometime. 

Workshop ahoy!

Last week I finally got the go ahead from the organisers of Nineworlds, a new convention running next month in London, for the writing workshop. This is going to run exactly like the workshops that the T-Party have run at Eastercon for the last few years. There are twelve places for writers to get their work critiqued by published and agented writers from the group. This is at no extra cost to members of the convention. As I write this there are 8 places left, submissions close on July 29th so spread the word.

I spent a lot of last week following the 1st Ashes Test Match at Trent Bridge. What a great game, one of the all-time classics. It was so tense that I couldn’t bear to listen to the commentary after lunch. I’m delighted England won, but also delighted that Australia have found some form and proved worthy opponents. It’s no fun beating them when they’re rubbish.

No news about the novel out on circulation, the sequel has grown by about 1,000 words in the last week.

Ready for the market?

I didn’t get much of my own writing done this week, instead I was reading two novel openings and a short story for the T-Party workshop yesterday. The short story and one of the novel openings were submitted by fairly new members of the group; the other novel opening by one of our agented members who had worked on it with their agent. So could you tell the difference in the writing between them? The two newer writers have both passed our audition process so they write well, but both submissions had plenty of room for improvement. I could think of nothing to say about the agented piece except good luck with this. It was that well done.

There is a lesson here for aspiring writers, particularly those who aren’t currently able to interact with published writers. The necessary standard to be a contender for pro publication is high, higher than you think. 


Congratulations to Andy Murray, the first British winner of the Wimbledon Men’s Singles for 77 years. All the hard work has paid off and you richly deserve your victory.

And there is a lesson here too for writers – two things get you there, talent and persistence.