Someone once said that if you want to learn to write then write. Well, of course, it’s good advice. But whether you’re thinking about putting an idea down on paper for the first time or you’re an established writer, we can all benefit from the experience of others.
Let’s face it, no-one knows it all and the ‘writing industry’ is changing at such an ever increasing pace that to keep up to date with new opportunities it’s worth immersing yourself now and again in the knowledge of those who have been there before, or at least gone that bit further along the road!
That’s why the Society of Authors in Scotland has created what is expected to be one of the most exciting events in the writing calendar. ScotsWrite is a three-day conference that provides the chance to expand your knowledge in your chosen field not only of the craft but of the business of writing. Unless you intend to put what you produce into a drawer then there is a business side to being a wordsmith that needs to be understood in order to be successful.
Irrespective of whether you’re a writer of fiction or non-fiction, a translator, children’s author, poet or writer for the media, ScotsWrite will address the challenges of breaking through your creative, financial and promotional barriers. A great deal of thought (by a committee made up of writers) has gone into putting together a format and programme that meets the needs of writers, regardless of what stage they’re at.
Keynote speakers include Joanne Harris, Joanna Penn and Jane Johnson.
Keynote speakers include successful authors Joanne Harris, Joanna Penn and Jane Johnson, while the many talks and workshops will be chaired by experts in a wide variety of areas such as marketing, self-publishing, changing genre, technology, health and wellbeing, and ergonomics.
There’ll be one-to-one access to publishers and agents plus a host of experienced folk giving advice on subjects ranging from how to put together that perfect submission to that sometimes-thorny topic of how to get paid properly!
There are a few more vital ingredients going into this writing feast. One of them is our conference them of the ikigai, a Japanese concept that means ‘a reason for being’ and is similar to the French phrase ‘raison d'être’.
The Ikigai’s notions of passion, mission, vocation and profession form the four strands of ScotsWrite to address all the things that make us writers in all aspects our lives.
Another ingredient is… FUN. Crikey, the committee has spent more than a year working on ScotsWrite and we don’t intend to go there and not enjoy ourselves!
We want everyone else attending to enjoy it as well, which is why there are plenty of coffee/tea breaks for networking, chatting to follow delegates plus the companies exhibiting and attending the many book signings that will be taking place. There’s even a ceilidh on the Saturday night (the food and 5* facilities also look good).
ScotsWrite will take place from 22-24 September 2017 at the Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort in Cumbernauld, near Glasgow. We expect there to be delegates from across Scotland and further afield. There’s a lot more information yet to be given out so keep an eye on #ScotsWrite17 on Twitter.
Hope to see you there!
I (Philip) Paris is an author, playwright and journalist living in the Highlands of Scotland. He is best known for his historical fiction and non-fiction books on the Italian chapel built during WW2 by Italian POWs in Orkney.