Key note speaker at this year’s Literary Conference, Audrey Niffenegger, shares her latest projects, ideas and ingenious management of her own novels into ebooks in an interview with Free Word.
Only a few weeks before she kick starts our conference in June, Audrey’s latest project, a ballet adaptation of her story The Raven Girl, opens at the Royal Opera House on the 24th May. Click here to read the full interview with Audrey.
TLC is looking forward to hearing more from here at our conference on the 7-8th June. Click here to find out more about the conference.
The Literary Consultancy (TLC) is proud to announce the much-anticipated return of its cutting-edge conference for writers working at all levels. TLC in collaboration with Amphora Arts has again assembled a wide range of industry-leading partners including the Society for Editors & Proofreaders, The Literary Platform’s forthcoming Writing Platform, the Alliance of Independent Authors, Book Hackday, Contentment’s new e-book conversion platform BookFlower and the Free Word Centre. The overriding theme of this year’s conference is ‘quality in a digital age’ – and how authors can make the latest tools, platforms and opportunities available work for them.
Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the Early Bird offer of 20% if you book before March 31st, and the opportunity to take part in Audience Story-time and the Pen Factor Writing Competition run this year in association with Bookhack Day.
“TLC is a sharp observer of contemporary writing in Britain today, and this annual conference represents the cutting-edge: incisive, probing – with a hint of danger. It’s a great thrill to be involved.”
– Robert McCrum, The Observer
Jenny Downham’s manuscript Before I Die originally came to The Literary Consultancy via the ACE Free Reads Scheme. Tomorrow the film adaptation of her book, Now is Good, will be released in cinemas in the UK.
Jenny’s young adult novel, Before I Die, published by David Fickling Books in 2007, was listed for the 2007 Guardian Awards and the 2008 Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year. It was also nominated for the 2008 Carnegie Medal and the 2008 Booktrust Teenage Prize. In 2008, Before I Die won the Branford Boase Award.
The novel follows Tessa, a seventeen year old who is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Following the knowledge that her life will be cut short, she determines to use every moment, compiling a catalogue of what a normal teenager would experience. The screenplay of the novel was written by Ol Parker who also directs the film, produced by Blueprint Pictures in association with BBC Films and the UK Film Council. The film stars Jeremy Irvine as Adam and Dakota Fanning as Tessa.
Jenny writes: “TLC introduced my work to agents and publishers on my behalf. I suspect no-one would have looked at it otherwise.” We are delighted for Jenny and hope that the film will live up to the high expectations set by this fine and touching novel.
In October 2012, TLC offers another opportunity to join our writing tutors in a prime location for creative writing in the foothills of the Spanish Sierra Nevada. October 6th – 12th 2012, TLC will provide a week long intensive creative writing course in Andalucia and accommodation at Casa Ana. Writer and mentor Jacob Ross is returning for a second time to Andalucia and will lead the writing courses along with TLC director Rebecca Swift. Click here to find out more about Jacob Ross.
We still have rooms available, so don’t miss out on your chance to explore your creative writing abilities and be guided by TLC’s straightforward and honest standards for helping writers develop their skills. Click here to read Literary Adventurer Lindsay Waller Wilkinson’s blog about her experiences during the TLC holiday in 2011.
TLC’s conference, Writing in a Digital Age proved to be a great success and we would like to thank all of our speakers and delegates who were part of making it a fascinating and productive event. We will be collating more information about its highlights: podcasts, film clips and photographs, etc., so make sure to sign up for the TLC newsletter and follow us on twitter or Facebook.
Here are some of the latest articles about the conference from Bookbrunch, The Guardian, Gulf News, The Bookseller, The Times Literary Supplement, Intelligent Life, The Huffington Post, Publishing Perspectives and 1000heads.com.
June 8-9th 2012, TLC offers an up-to-the-minute conference to make sense of the many possibilities open to writers today, with practical sessions, workshops, case studies, working examples, debates and networking.
Speakers include leading authors and industry figures: HARI KUNZRU, KATE MOSSE, NICOLA MORGAN, SIMON TREWIN, MARIA REJT, CATHRYN SUMMERHAYES, LINDA GRANT, DAVID GODWIN, ROBERT KROESE, KAROLINA SUTTON, plus many more!
The discussions will explore the key issues facing writers, such as making and selling ebooks, choosing to self-publish or go via traditional routes, an exploration of the emerging international markets, how technology changes literary forms, social media and other promotional tools.
In addition, the second day will offer a fast-paced presentation hosted by ten of the most exciting and engaged publishers and agents in the country, who will talk about the stories behind the books and what drives their own work in the industry. To top it off, the conference also sees the introduction of our very own “PEN FACTOR”, an open panel critique of six fictional projects, submitted by delegates.
Click here for more detailed information about the conference and the full programme. or email TLC at: email@example.com.
EARLY BIRD OFFER – If you book for The Literary Conference before April 30th, you will be eligible to receive a TLC manuscript assessment at 50% off on 50 page extracts. Click here for more information.
Click here to book for the conference.
15th November the Costa Book Awards announced the shortlist for 2011, which includes Kerry Young’s new novel Pao. Pao is the story of a young Chinese boy and his family who move to Jamaica escaping the revolution at home. The Costa award is one of the UK’s most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year written by writers based in the UK and Ireland.
Kerry Young had a TLC assessment in October 2007 by TLC reader Chris Wakling and says, “the TLC read gave me a completely independent view of the book……not a friend or family member….but somebody completely outside of the process and my emotional journey who could be absolutely honest about the book and my abilities. It was feedback from someone who was really focusing on the work and whose only agenda was to offer constructive criticism that would help me to improve the book. It was fresh, it was honest, it was insightful. It was from someone ‘in the know’ about writing and publishing and that was important also.”
In February 2010 Kerry signed a deal with Bloomsbury. Guardian books describe Kerry “as a gifted new writer. Her novel is a blindingly good read in parts, both for its mesmeric story-telling and the quality of its prose.”
Click here to read the Guardian review of the shortlisted writers. TLC is delighted that Kerry is now working as a reader for TLC. We’re crossing our fingers that this powerful new novel leaves an impression in the minds of the Costa judges.
Click here to see a YouTube clip with Young talking about her new novel.
TLC is delighted to announce that Jude Cook’s novel Byron Easy has recently been picked up by Heinemann, Random House. Literary agent Anna Webber at United Agents, who first saw Cook’s work in TLC’s March showcase, sold his novel to Heinemann earlier this month.
Cook first came through TLC when he won the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Competition in 2007. He lives in London and studied English Literature at UCL, where he graduated with a first. Originally a musician and songwriter, his band Flamingoes released two albums 12 years apart: Plastic Jewels (1995) and Street Noise Invades the House (2007). In addition to the TLC showcase, his essays and short fiction have also appeared in Staple magazine.
Click here to read Jude Cook’s showcased short story and his marvellous essay about the contemporary writing experience or click here to read our October Showcase, featuring an extract from Kate Belcher’s young adult novel.
TLC looks forward to the publication and wishes Jude all the best of luck with his next writing projects.
TLC is delighted to announce that Bloomsbury recently published Kerry Young’s novel Pao, a portrait of Jamaica’s Chinatown. Young had a TLC assessment in October 2007 by TLC reader Chris Wakling. Young says, “the TLC read gave me a completely independent view of the book……not a friend or family member….but somebody completely outside of the process and my emotional journey who could be absolutely honest about the book and my abilities. It was feedback from someone who was really focusing on the work and whose only agenda was to offer constructive criticism that would help me to improve the book. It was fresh, it was honest, it was insightful. It was from someone ‘in the know’ about writing and publishing and that was important also.”
Young completed her revisions by summer 2008 and by the end of the year the manuscript was picked up by agent Susan Yearwood. After further revisions suggested by Bloomsbury editors, Young signed a deal with Bloomsbury in February 2010. In a recent Guardian books review Young is described “as a gifted new writer. Her novel is a blindingly good read in parts, both for its mesmeric story-telling and the quality of its prose.”
Pao tells the story of a young Chinese boy and his family who move to Jamaica escaping the revolution at home. In Jamaica they enter into a world that is far from peaceful, with murder, corruption, blackmail, kidnap and incest. The Independent writes: “Kerry Young’s energetic debut novel is a pacy but absorbing saga of domestic and gangland manoeuvring set against the violent backdrop of postwar Jamaican politics.”
Click here to see a YouTube clip with Young talking about her new novel.
TLC has helped thousands of writers over the past 15 years. Once in a while the editorial feedback leads to a swift sale or contact with an agent, but in most cases the journey is still long and winding. For many writers the exchange with an editor at TLC and the knowledge that they ‘can write’ encourages them to be persistent. In the case of Jim Powell his tenacity helped him to attain terrific results in a notoriously unpredictable industry.
Jim Powell writes: “the immense encouragement and sound practical advice I received from The Literary Consultancy proved to be the bridge between the dream of being a published author and the reality of becoming one.” Nearly ten years ago, when Jim was in his early fifties, he decided he wanted to write novels. He submitted his first novel to agents, but it wasn’t accepted. One agent, however, recognised its potential and suggested he send it to TLC for an objective assessment. Although his reader, Charles Boyle, was immensely positive towards the manuscript and TLC championed his work, agents still did not bite. Then in 2007, Jim sent his second novel The Breaking Of Eggs to TLC for another assessment by Charles. Again TLC was encouraging and after many more twists and turns, Jim was taken on by insightful literary agent Susan Armstrong at Conville & Walsh. She immediately sold the world rights for a six figure sum to Arzu Tahsin at Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The novel was published in March 2010 in the UK (hardback), and in July 2010 in the US by Penguin (paperback). In March this year it was chosen as one of the best 12 first novels of the past two years by the BBC’s The Culture Show.
The success that the novel attained was due to a combination of Jim’s strong-headed approach, TLC’s support en route, and the fact that in the end Conville & Walsh recognised the writer’s potential. Jim writes of TLC: “both critiques gave me a much better insight into what I had written and how it might be viewed. Most importantly, the process helped to give me the self-confidence to believe I could write novels, and the stamina to go on making submissions despite all the rejections, and thus certainly contributed to what happened later.” TLC encourages writers to be realistic in their goals and to seek an objective opinion of their work before self-publishing or submitting their work to agents.
Check out Jim Powell’s website for more information about his previous and current writing projects.