Monday, 22 February 2010
How To Write Your First Novel
Today was one of my favourite days of the year - the Writers In Prison Conference.
This year the February conference was in Leeds when all the scribes who like myself, lead a writing residency in a UK jail, meet up to share our experiences.
We are an ecelctic bunch as you can imagine.
There are a few of us journalists and then there are poets, playwrights, novelists, storytellers and screenwriters.
I have written about our group before.
And again here.
I work in a men's category B prison but some of the writers work with young offenders, vulnerable prisoners, maxium security and female offenders.
Our jails vary in size from just over a hundred to well over a thousand offenders.
There is always a workshop and this year it was a singing/songwriting workshop with Em Whitfield Brooks of Sing Up.
I must admit I was a little apprehensive.
While I love to write I am totally tone deaf.
I was thrown out of the school choir because I couldn't sing.
But it was a wonderful few hours.
We started with copying sounds and by the end we were belting out Ghanian rounds.
I haven't enjoyed myself so much for ages.
It was also good to meet up with my old pal Jane Bidder who writes novels under the pen name of Sophie King.
Jane has a new book out called "How To Write Your First Novel."
The book is a collection of everything she has learned as a bestselling author, divided into straight forward chapters with lots of exercises from finding the idea to getting published.
There is also plenty of useful advice from famous authors like Colin Dexter, Jilly Cooper and many more.
I read the book while I made the return journey and have to say it is one of the best "How To" books I have read.
As for the clothes.
I just love this black cardigan and the way it drapes.
I need to get another long cardigan and am thinking about this one.
Today I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Dress - Next
Cardigan - Tesco
Coat - Per Una