Sarah Juckes | Head of Membership | Jericho Writers

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My name is Sarah (Ann) Juckes. I work on the team at Jericho Writers as the Head of membership, and you'll see emails in your inbox from me from time to time. I look after new exciting stuff for members, so let me know if there's something you'd like to see in the membership, and I'll do my best to make it happen. 

I was writing for 12 years before I stumbled across Jericho Writers. They introduced me to an agent at their Getting Published day, and that agent ended up securing me a publishing deal for my debut novel 'Outside' with Penguin. What?! Since then, Outside has found its way onto a few prize lists and my second YA novel 'The World Between Us' will soon be published in five languages and counting. 

Looking forward to getting to know you!

Sarah Juckes | Head of Membership | Jericho Writers Discussions
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I wrote for a good six years before I called myself a writer. If people asked me, I’d tell them that…
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I – like many writers – struggle with feeling confident about my writing, books and career as a whol…
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This time last year, the Jericho Writers team stopped sleeping and set to create the largest online …
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  •  · Sarah Juckes | Head of Membership | Jericho Writers Hi Sarah, I know the early bird period has passe…
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I wrote for a good six years before I called myself a writer. If people asked me, I’d tell them that I wrote stories and had written a book once, but would laugh it off as a non-serious hobby. Even though secretly, I always had serious dreams about an eventual writing career.  

Chatting to other writers, it seems like I’m not alone in this. Something about saying ‘I am a writer’ sounds big. Like to be a ‘real’ writer you have to have some sort of qualification – like a publishing deal, or maybe just be better than you think you are.  

This is imposter syndrome at its finest. The truth is that you are a writer if you write. You are a writer if you write short stories for your local writing group, in the same way that you are a writer if you’re an international bestseller.  

If you’re reading this – chances are that you are a writer.  

At some point, we need to own that. And once we do, things start changing. We start to feel more confident about our abilities and more positive about our future careers. We also might start introducing ourselves as writers to our new neighbours, or filling the ‘occupation’ box on a form with ‘writer’ (always an exciting moment). It all starts by simply believing it yourself.   

Owning your ‘writer’ title can start today! Comment below with "I am a writer" - whether this is the first time you've said that, or have been saying it for years. 

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Summer has officially started

It’s the first of June, which means today is the first day of the Summer Festival of Writing 2021! In this newsletter, we look forward to three months of brilliant online writing events and feature a special guest takeover from our Event Manager, Anna Burtt. It’s not too late to bag your super-last-minute ticket – get yours here!

If you’ve already got your ticket, head to your ‘My Summer Festival’ area to get started here.

EVENT: The Summer Festival of Writing – June to August 2021 

Gain exclusive access to 35+ online events with some of the biggest and best writing tutors around the world. Join live from your living room or catch up on replay in your own time. Everyone is welcome! 


Introducing the Summer Festival of Writing TODAY. 

Join the Jericho Writers Events team as we talk through the programme, answer any questions you have about the events and introduce ourselves. 

Get your ticket here.

In Conversation with Caleb Azumah Nelson 

3 June. We're kicking off our Summer Festival with one of this year's bright young debut novelists, Caleb Azumah Nelson. Read his novel, Open Water, ahead of the event and come armed with questions! 

Get your ticket here.

In Conversation with Mark Dawson 

4 June. Mark Dawson is arguably the most successful self-published author working and writing today. We'll be quizzing Mark about his writing, his books, and how he started his self-publishing empire. 

Get your ticket here.

A FESTIVAL FOR EVERYONE - by Anna Burtt, Head of Events

Sarah has allowed me to take over her newsletter this week. My name is Anna and my role at Jericho is to programme, plan and implement our events. It feels like only yesterday that I sat down to think about what I wanted from this year’s Summer Festival lineup and it starts tonight at 19.00BST! 

My aim when programming was to create an eclectic, diverse programme full of events where you could sit back, relax and be inspired, as well as ones that’ll get you writing there and then. With sessions on both non-fiction and fiction and a list of writers who are some of the best in the game, I wanted there to be something for everyone. Of course, I can’t cover everything in one summer, but that’s why our weekly monthly member events are great; there are twelve bonus events over the summer including: Writing your Non-Fiction proposal, Self-Publishing a Series, Author Branding, Building a Picture Book and Honest Authors Live amongst others. Check out the full Member Event programme here.

Any way, back to the Summer Festival… Want to unlock poetry? Get into travel writing? Revise your whole book in an hour? Use questions to enhance your plot? Hear from a bookseller whose been in the business for almost forty years? You’ll be able to unlock all of this and more with over 35 great events aiming to teach, empower and galvanise. 

One of my favourite things about last year’s festival was the camaraderie between the delegates, which started in the chat box and continued over to our Community, and to Twitter using the hashtag. I saw a group of enthusiastic, talented writers come together to do one of the most important things you can do as a writer: create a community.

We’re also bringing back Jericho’s Friday Night Live Competition where you can send in the first 500 words of your book to be in with the chance of winning a manuscript assessment, an agent one-to-one in your genre and eternal Friday Night Live glory. There are only two weeks left to enter and once you have your ticket, you can do so here. Read some of our success stories here.

I can’t wait to meet new delegates, see familiar names in the chat and learn with you. Pop over to The Community to tell us what events you’re excited about. 

As always, happy writing and remember, you can contact our customer service team on +44 (0) 345 459 9560* or for any writing-related advice.

Anna Burt

Head of Events | Jericho Writers

*or if you're in the US, give us a call on +1 (646)-974-9060

Plus, don’t miss:

Writing For Children Tutored Course (10% discount available)

Starts 4 June. Last spots remaining on this six-week online tutored course with an intimate class of international students. Book fast to avoid disappointment! 

Agent 1-2-1 sessions (10% discount available)

Bag yourself a fifteen-minute call with an agent or a book doctor to talk exclusively about your work. Now booking throughout the Summer Festival of Writing. 

Manuscript Assessment (10% discount available)

Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. 

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I – like many writers – struggle with feeling confident about my writing, books and career as a whole. And as feelings go, this one is entirely unproductive. It makes me less likely to write, which makes me less likely to finish, which in turn makes me less likely to achieve my goal – and the cycle goes on.  

But there are ways we can break this cycle and start thinking about ourselves as successful writers – even when we might never have had any success before. Some of these are techniques borrowed from Sophie Hannah’s brilliant Dream Author program. Some are from writing friends, and some are my own.  

1) Stop expecting perfection. No writer gets it right first time. First drafts are meant to be awful – the point is to just get the words down.  

2) Stop defining success as something you don’t have. Have an idea you’re excited about? Success. Finished a draft of a book – WELL DONE. Give yourself credit and stop moving the goalposts before allowing the confidence you gain from achieving a goal to sink in.  

3) Stop reading your work back all the time. What you wrote yesterday doesn’t define what you will write today.  

4) Stop telling yourself you can’t do this. You can. It might be hard, but everything worth doing always is.  

5) Go.  

What are your tips to feeling confident in your writing? Share them below!

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This is a strange thing to admit, but I used to collect writing tools. Not in a cool way I might add – I don’t have a collection of antique pens to show you (although like a lot of writers, I have more notebooks than I know what to do with). I just love finding fun ways to use digital tools as a way to procrastinate from my writing, whilst also sort-of staying on task.  

So here are the best ones in my personal collection.

1) Diagram software

If you’re stuck in your plot or are planning your novel, diagrams are great tools to help you visualize your thoughts. You can draw these by hand, but I like to use software just as Gliffy to keep them on screen with my work. 

2) Avatar creators  

If – like me – you can’t draw, think about what your characters look like by creating them using an avatar designer. There are plenty of free ones online like this one (and they can be quite fun to use).  

3) Pinterest

Not an app that’s widely in use anymore, but it still remains a useful way to think about a story aesthetic and create a visual depiction of characters, settings and themes. Here’s one I made earlier.  

4) Cloud backup

You only lose all your work once. These days, I save all my work straight to the cloud (I use Box) as well as emailing it to myself frequently too. This can also be a handy way of accessing your book across multiple devices too.  

5) Graphic Design tools

Need to create some marketing assets but have no idea what you’re doing? Thankfully, graphic design apps such as Canva exist to make things a little easier. You can even find eBook cover templates on there! 

What tools do you use? Add to the collection below!

Just an update on this - you can now see the map on your Dashboard and download it as a PDF. The new replays page is also live, so you can find a link to that under either the 'What's New?' section of your Dashboard, or via the main Member Event page. I hope that helps! Search coming soon x

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This time last year, the Jericho Writers team stopped sleeping and set to create the largest online writing festival we possibly could. We had no real proof of concept; no real clue how we were going to pull it off; and no way of knowing whether anyone would even turn up. We just knew that we wanted to capture the magic of the physical Festival of Writing in an online space, but make it bigger, better and open to more people than ever before.  

The result ended up being better than our wildest dreams. We had over 1,000 writers attend from every continent across the globe. We hosted huge names and found a new family of writers who immediately became friends for life.  

We’ve taken on your feedback from last year and are so pleased to be bringing the Summer Festival of Writing back for 2021. This year, we’re announcing earlier, with early-bird tickets offering a HUGE discount to those who book now.  

We’ve not announced the full programme yet, but ticket-holders can look forward to over thirty-five online events stretching from June to August. Our speaks feature an international rostra of names such as the incredible Mark Dawson; Caleb Azumah Nelson; CD Major; and Folio Literary Agency. Just like last year, all tickets also include an entry into Friday Night Live competition, which has previously launched too many writing careers to count! You’ll also be able to watch as many events as you want live, or catch up on replay until 30 September.  

To make it even more affordable, early-bird tickets are an additional 50% off for members and we’ll also be giving away thirty free places to deserving under-represented writers, like last year.  

So, will you be coming to the 2021 Summer Festival of Writing?! Those of you who came along last year, what will bring you back again? 

Hello I am trying to contact Jericho writers as I have paid twice for an early bird ticket by accident.  However, I have phoned twice, emailed and completed the contact form but no one has replied.  Please could someone let me know how I can contact Jericho? 

Hi Brigitte, yes that's right! So we have tagged all videos with things like tutor, topic, Summer Festival of Writing etc, but we plan to use the search data to regularly add to these to make things easier to search for. Our search plugin is being a bit difficult at the moment, so rather than delay the launch of the site, we thought we'd spend the next week or so working on it. It shouldn't be too long, and then you'll be able to use it to find specific videos alongside the topic pages. 

I know exactly what you mean, Duncan! We're on the map now and I'm hoping to have that and the new replays page up in the next few days.

Hi everyone, thanks for this! As with all new websites, there are some teething issues, so this feedback is all super-useful. 

For those struggling to get in, do pop an email to as Holly says here, and our team will get your logins reinstated as a priority. 

On finding the content - the new menu system will hopefully make searching for topics of interest easier long-term, but I completely understand that it makes it hard to navigate to recent things meanwhile! Here are a few things to note, which might be useful: 

1) Replays will be added to the topic page they relate to (eg: Psychic Distance with Debi Alper is a masterclass in 'Writing Resources' and then both 'Prose' and 'Character'). A link will also be added to the 'Member Events' page once it's available - the button under the event changes from 'Register Now' to 'Watch Replay' - so you can head there this month and see all replays from the Self-Publishing Month (the first event is there now, if you wanted to see).

2) We've gone live with a way for everyone to search blog articles, but are working now on a way for you to search videos too. This is a little complicated for lots of techy reasons, but we'll let you know when it's ready to use! Then you can search something like "Debi Alper" and see all videos with her featured, for example. 

3) I'm reading these and wondering if perhaps a map might help? I'll see if we can get one made up and available as a download from the Member Dashboard. That will show you what topics are where. 

4) I'm also going to make a page now specifically featuring replays from 2021, until the search is ready. Hopefully this will help navigation until that search button is live and I'll post an update here once it's live. I'll also link to it from the top of the 'Member Events' page. A possibly boring behind-the-scenes feature of this new website is that it enables our team to make pages themselves, so we should be able to do stuff like this quickly in the future (hurray!)

I'll get those broken links fixed and if there's anything else you can think of that might make things easier, please let me know! This is phase one of a many-phase site, so there are more improvements in the pipeline to come soon :) x

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