Write Now Live – An overview

The day was comprised of panel sessions; Q and A sessions with authors, agents and publishers; and spread through the day, one-to-one time for the selected writers with a Penguin Random House editor.

50 selected writers took part in the day in Manchester. At the beginning, Nikesh Shukla set small writing tasks to help break the ice. A good way to get a room full of nervous writers a bit more relaxed!

The first session, publishing de-mystified, was a panel that took us through the process by which books are published: from writing the manuscript, to finding an agent, to finding a publisher and marketing the book. We heard from children’s fiction author Malorie Blackman, who gave us an insight into what the publishing process looked like for her.

We were invited to part in smaller sessions with Literary Agents, where they discussed covering letters, synopses and answered audience questions. According to the panel, one of the biggest errors writers make when sending off their manuscripts to agents, is in the letter. So how to write a letter was a particular focus.

Lunch provided the writers with some energy and they were able to connect and engage with other writers, even rub shoulders with authors such as Malorie Blackman, Lynsey Hanley, Imran Mahmood, Bali Rai, A.A Dhand, John O’Farrell, Polly Ho-Yen, Matthew Todd and Nikesh Shukla. After lunch, two simultaneous sessions gave writers an opportunity to ask these authors questions. The panels were split into Writing for Children and Writing Fiction & Non-Fiction for Adults. The purpose of the sessions were to draw out the processes and experiences of these authors.

Distributed throughout the day were one-to-one sessions with editors. All the writers had submitted a sample of their work and this was their opportunity to talk to editors and receive editorial feedback.

The day ended with Nikesh Shukla asking the writers what they felt the barriers were preventing their publication. He asked, on behalf of Penguin Random House, for practical steps the industry could take on to address the barriers.
The Write Now project’s goal is to make sure that books and publishing reflect the society we live in.

From the 150 writers selected by Penguin Random House across the UK, 10-15 will be chosen to be mentored for a year by Penguin Random House editors.

For more details on this visit: http://www.write-now.live/