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  • Writer's pictureBristol Lit Fest

The Bristol Festival of Literature 2020 Writers' Retreat

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

10am, Saturday 17 October

Online, Free

The Bristol Festival Of Literature Writers’ Retreat has become one of our most popular events in recent years so book your slot early to avoid disappointment. This event is aimed at writers who want to get published and comprises four separately bookable sessions with industry experts.

10am-11am: Writing And Polishing Your Novel.

Whatever stage you’re at, inspiration, story structure and self-editing are key. How much should you do yourself and what services should you buy in? Psychological thriller writer Jo Ullah explains.

Writer, artist and teacher Jo Ullah has written two psychological thrillers set in Bristol. Buy her books here. Go to Jo’s website and social media links here.

11.30am-12.30pm: Traditional Or Independent Publishing?

Hear from successful authors who have done both. Debbie Young chats with Jane Shemilt, Stella Wilkinson and Valerie Keogh.

Debbie Young writes warm, witty mystery novels set in the Cotswolds, and her seventh book was a finalist in the 2020 Bookbrunch Selfies Awards. You can buy her books here. Go to Debbie’s website and social media links here.

Jane Shemilt is an internationally-acclaimed, best-selling author of psychological suspense novels. Buy her books here. Go to Jane’s website and social media links here.

Stella Berry writes cosy murder mysteries and has also published several series of YA romance and paranormal romance under the pen name Stella Wilkinson.. Buy her books here. Go to Stella’s website and social media links here.

Valerie Keogh’s psychological thrillers and Dublin crime mysteries are published by Bloodhound. Buy her books here. Follow Valerie on Twitter. Find Valerie on Facebook.

2pm-3pm: Build Your Social Media Presence

Publishers expect authors to help them sell books. Whether traditionally published or self-published, you can connect with your audience online. Writer and social media specialist Tom Mason explains how.

3.30pm-4.30pm What Is Going To Sell?

We ask an agent, publisher and reviewer about the latest industry themes and trends. Michael MacMahon chats with Kate Hordern, Phoebe Morgan and Anne Cater.

Michael J MacMahon hosts a show on Bristol community radio station BCfm. He is also a coach, public speaker and writer of books about personal finance and wedding speeches. Buy his books here. Go to Michael’s website and social media links here.

Literary agent Kate Hordern set up KHLA, which represents about 30 published authors including crime, thriller, women’s fiction, non-fiction and children’s fiction writers.

Go to Kate’s website and social media links here

Phoebe Morgan is a bestselling psychological thriller writer and an Editorial Director at HarperCollins working on crime, thrillers, women’s fiction and saga. Buy her books here. Go to Phoebe's website and social media links here.

Anne Cater is a book blogger at Random Things Through My Letterbox. She is also a judge for the CWA Dagger Awards and reviews women's contemporary fiction for the Daily Express. Go to Random Things Through The Letterbox here or follow Anne on Twitter or Facebook.

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