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


  1. I love this outfit! Great dress peeking out from the cardi, superb coat, and divine scarf & gloves combo!

  2. Hi there-a lovely outfit, which the pops of pink compliment perfectly!!

  3. Gosh, you were in Leeds and didn't tell me! Approx 35 minutes from here. Naughty naughty! We could have met for a coffee! Well, I suppose being in a conference you wouldn't have time anyway. Let me know next time you're not far from here. Lovely outfit. Ciao. A.

  4. What a fab event! I'm also mesmerized by your gingham backdrop.
    you look lovely too x

  5. Aw Antonella I wish I had time. They booked my tickets and there wa sno time to catch my breath. I arrived at 10.45am and my train out was 5.08pm.
    Maybe next time?

  6. PS Love scarf and gloves too? Where are they from? Cheers. A.

  7. You are friends with Sophie King... amazing!!!

    Love the burst of fuschia in this ensemble. xoxo

  8. Hi! Cool coat! I want this! I am envious! hehe

  9. lovely color combo- the pink at your face is really pretty with your skin tone :)

    I'm so glad to hear you had so much FUN! :)

  10. sounds like something I should order from Amazon!