Writer's Retreat

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Images

As part of Bristol's Festival of Literature they ran their first writer's retreat on Sunday 21st October 2018. This consisted of 4 different, one hour sessions:

  1. Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy with Gareth L. Powell 
  2. Refine Your First Draft with Alice Jolly
  3. How to Promote Your Writing Online with Amy Morse
  4. Choose Your Publishing Path Panel. Chair was Michael MacMahon joined by Jane ShemiltKate Frost, Richard Jones of Tangent Books and literary agent Katie Greenstreet of London agency C&W


It was held in Ashton Court. It was a long day with a start made challenging by a full car park. However, for £25 it offered excellent value on a sunny day with exotic food stands outside. 

Gareth provided his top ten tips. He was asked if there were any tropes in sci-fi and he thought there none. He suggested that all sci-fi reflects the moment it was written.

Alice Jolly is a creative writing lecturer who gave a concise lesson in editing tips. She provided several handouts. There were examples of point of view. She emphasised the idea of thinking where is the camera. Jumping from head to head should be avoided. We also looked at active verbs and how to balance picking words that are more interesting without going over the top. 

Amy Morse replaced Tom Mason who was unable to attend. She gave a good overview of the best ways to promote your writing. In essence, Facebook, Twitter and maybe Instagram. She uses a website that isn't her name. Instagram could be challenging for writers so we'll have to be creative.

The panel provided a good overview of the two main paths to getting published. The hybrid method will be covered this Sunday.