Thursday, January 18, 2007

NAW - Day 3

3rd day was a lot better - I've sat and chatted with most people now, and just got to know Sophie Ward, who's also on the course - actress in things like Heartbeat, Peak Practice and played Elizabeth in the Young Sherlock Holmes movie back in the 80s. I had real difficulty not blabbing, 'I fancied you when I was a kid... er... I still do... er...' Fortunately/unfortunately her partner is also on the course. Anyway - in the morning we had Barry Turner - writer of nonfiction and editor of the Writer's Handbook, and chairman of the NWA. He gave us a really uplifting discussion on how to go about applying to agents, what to write, market research etc... (He looks like Peter Ustinof's brother and wore a spangly bow tie)... I mean, it was all stuff that we've covered over and over in Litopia - like a lot of things we've done, but you can't complain when someone like Barry says: 'If you need any help, any questions, then please drop me a line.'Er... okay. How's that for networking?It's crazy in a way, when you consider how many creative writing courses there are across the country, and this is the one all the pro's want to support. The big thing is that other courses focus on a lot of English literature related dissection of text, essays, and the stuff that takes you away from writing. This one is geared specifically towards writing in some form or another.So, in the afternoon we had two people from Murdoch's News International - there was an almost audible gasp from everybody at hearing that news. Christ! News International is funding the course. We've sold our souls to the devil. Faust! Faust!But, again, the chief publisher for the Times was really interesting, and again offered her services. Everyone is under the impression we're going to be the almighty - the NGA - who did the press release that ended up in the Guardian came too to discuss festivals and funding for us to showcase our work in Birmingham. It's crazy and it's scary. I came to write my novel, not create some perfoming arts venture, floating down the river with banners adorning buildings and my words printed upon them!Between you and me. We're not all that special at all. Our writing really does shift between the good and the bad - the newbies and the established amatuers who just need that kick to sort it out.Blogs are good fun - I'm going to paste this text into mine - save me writing more. Maybe remove the bit on Sophie being gay though - she already said she scoured the internet for info on her fellow learners - which irked me! Seeing as I felt kind of guilty for doing it to her.

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