Summer Festival of Writing 2022

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Summer Festival of Writing 2022
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A group for everyone who's participating in this year's Summer Festival of Writing to discuss events, share links and ideas and recommendations!  

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So great to sit in on the interview with Paula Hawkins. I wish I'd had the opportunity to thank her for inspiring me to write. The Girl on the Train was the first book I read after many years-long drought. It taught me that even when I was a single mum I could make time to read, and to write. Love her work and can't wait for her WIP to be released. Thanks Elsie, for guiding us through that, and thanks Jericho for your amazing SFOW!

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Aaaaaaa I just spoke to THE Paula Hawkins for an hour! Off the back of that, I'd love to talk about character. 

Although this was thriller specific advice, I think it could apply to any genre. So, what is it about your character(s) that would make a reader invested in your story? 

(I'd also love to hear in general what you liked & if anything Paula said struck a chord with you. Let me know!) 

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Just wanted to pop Paula Hawkins' current reads here so we don't forget them!

- The Family Remains, Lisa Jewell 

- The Old Woman With the Knife, Gu Byeong-mo

- 1979, Val McDermid

- Fight Night, Miriam Toews

A x

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No more events until next week, so I'd love to know - what are you writing this weekend? Is there something you've learned from a session so far that's given you an idea on how to continue (or what to change?). 

For me, I want to continue planning/plotting my psychological thriller - with some better police procedural knowledge thanks to Graham Bartlett's session and a stronger understanding of conflict from Jacquie Blouse's session. I've also had some brainwaves about characterisation while mulling it over on my head, so I'm excited to get some thoughts down on the page/screen.

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Hi Elsie! I'm afraid I missed all but the last 2 minutes of today session and I had been really looking forward to it. I've been all over the website and see mentioned a couple times that replays will be available but can't find a link nor does the search bar turn up a result for a replays page. Maybe in the Summer Festival FAQ where it says there will be replays, you could get a link added there? Or...anywhere. Are you able to point me in the right direction?

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Thanks to everyone who came along to Sarah Mahfoudh's event on THE POWER OF LANGUAGE. Let me know in the comments how you could relate your novel to the session. Has it made you want to change anything? Has it made you more aware of particular characters that you're writing? Let's chat!

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Annnnnnnnndddd breathe. I loved hearing Ross's techniques for combatting nerves. What do you do to stay calm before public speaking?

I like to remember:

– It's PR not ER

– It's a bad day not a bad life 

– No one is here for you to fail

A x

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Hey guys, just popping in to say that unfortunately Friday's event on Psychology in Fiction with Maxine Mei-Fung Chung has been cancelled. We'll do everything we can to reschedule! (In the meantime, we'll see you tonight for a talk on combatting nerves, and on Wednesday to discuss the power of language.) 

In the meantime, let's have a chat anyway! Are you writing a psychological thriller? A historical novel with massive internal conflict? A story that deals with mental health? Let me know the ways in which psychology appears in your writing - and the challenges you face while writing... 

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How utterly fab is Louise O'Neill. I'd love to know what you thought of our conversation and what you'll be taking from it moving forward in your writing!

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Thank you to everyone who came to Sarah and Manjeet's wonderful In Conversation event today. If you're writing for young people, I'd love to know what the pitch for your book is and what you learned from these two fab writers.

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Thank you to everyone who came to Jacquie's event on Blending Fact and Fiction to Create Historical Characters with Depth. I'd love to know about conflict in your WIPs: What is your protagonists' internal conflict, relational conflict and external conflict? Alsowhat major incident shaped your main character and made them the person they are? I highly recommend Jacquie's book – THE FRENCH HOUSE – which you can buy from Fox Lane Books!

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What are you submitting for Friday Night Live*?

With the deadline to submit less than a month away (July 4th), I'm getting so excited to see the writing we get this year. With at least two of last year's shortlist now signed with agents, it'd be silly not to give it a go... In the words of Sarah Mahfoudh, one of last year's shortlistees, here's why you should absolutely enter your work:

Just go for it. There's nothing to lose and everything to gain. I am terrible at putting myself forward. I almost didn't enter FNL because I thought I didn't stand a chance. At the very last minute, I decided to be brave and just go for it and I'm so glad I did. For me, just entering a competition was an achievement. It was such an incredibly proud moment for me when I received the email to say I had been shortlisted but even if I hadn't received that email, I would still have been proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and being brave enough to try.

So what are you submitting? What are you nervous about? Let's have a chat about everything FNL in the comments - I can't wait! 

*Remember, if you're going to the York Festival of Writing too, you can only submit to one FNL!