editorial · events · publishing · writing

Virtual Book Events in 2020

So for fairly obvious reasons, very sadly a lot of the festivals I was looking forward to taking part in this year have been cancelled. I feel so badly for all the amazing organisers who had worked so hard to set them up – but just think how much fun we will all have when things are calmer and festivals can run once again! 2021 will be the best festival year yet.

However, so many amazing people are organising virtual events, and I wanted to list all the ones I am taking part in below. If you’re around and able to tune in, please do so – of course, from the comfort of your own homes!

My VLF Author Panel: Crime Fiction, April 22nd, 7pm. This is a panel event between me, Emily Koch, Lucy Atkins and AA Abbott, and in it we discuss our upcoming new books, the writing process, and how it feels to have a book publishing during a global pandemic. You can register to watch it here and we will also do a live Q+A afterwards (at about 7:50pm) where we will answer any questions about writing or publishing you might have.

How to Get Published, I Am In Print event: May 2nd, all day. This is a full day of talks so have a look here for the whole schedule. My specific talk is at 3.30pm and is on commercial fiction – how to find your hook and pitch your book to agents or editors. You can book for it here. It will cover:

  • Commercial fiction – unravelling the genres
  • Different imprints within one of the Top 5 UK publishers
  • How the submission process works inside a publishing house
  • How to pitch – the importance of your hook and first three chapters
  • What to expect once you sign a book deal – how each part of the business works together.

Noir at the Bar, May 13th, 7.30pm. Details to follow – it will probably be me reading from my new book The Babysitter and discussing it a little, but you can sign up for free to hear more here.

Publication day chat with Pigeonhole readers, May 28th, 5.30pm. I will be doing a Q+A and session with the readers who have kindly joined me for the serialisation of my book – really looking forward to this! They will be tweeting about this soon, so keep up to date on their Twitter page.

Women’s Writes Instagram Live, June 2nd, 7pm. I will be discussing The Babysitter, writing, working in publishing, tips for getting published, and more! It’s a free event and all you have to do is visit Instagram from the comfort of your own home – what could be easier?! Come join us here.

The Writing Institute Instagram Live, June 7th, 6pm. We will be discussing books and publishing, and all you need to do is come along to the live page at that time.

How to Write a Page-Turner, June 24th. I will be a guest speaker at an online writing course run by author Caroline Green and the Writers’ and Artists’ Group – tickets here!

The Literary Consultancy Writing Workshop, July 8th, 6-8pm. This will be a workshop called Edit That Book, and I will be discussing some of the books I have edited, how the process works, and how you can apply editorial techniques to your own writing. My experience is in commercial fiction so do bear that in mind! There are lots of other events as part of this which you can check out on their website. Tickets are available here.

Virtual Writers’ Weekend, July 11th, 4.30pm. My talk will explore what makes a commercial fiction bestseller. It will include discussion of different genres, the importance of a hook, your structure and characters, and the steps to getting published, as well as information about what editors and agents look for and why. Info and tickets here.

The Jericho Writers Summer of Writing, Commercial Fiction workshop with Q+A, 26th August, 7pm. This will be a partially interactive workshop focusing on what commercial fiction is, and what editors look for. We will focus on how to hook a publisher, and help you hone your writing to ensure it stands out. There will also be an opportunity to ask any questions about the fiction publishing process. Tickets here.

And a few of the events I have already done can be watched back, too!

Here is a talk between me and my brilliant author C.L. Taylor, as part of the Avon Book Fest, where we discuss her new book, the Sunday Times bestseller Strangers, the writing process, how writing can help anxiety, and much more (NB my internet was dodgy for the first minute so skip past that!) I also mention how you can submit your book to HarperCollins.

I also took part in the Stay At Home Literary Festival, and the recording will soon be available to watch back on their website. In my talk I discussed my new book The Babysitter, how I juggle being both editor and author, and how you too can get a publishing deal.

There are a few more in the pipeline so I will keep this page updated as and when details come through. It is so brilliant how so many people have embraced this strange situation we are in and taken the initiative to host these events online – I am in awe of every festival organiser! A lot of events are either free or fairly low-priced, so do come along if you can and I would love to see you there!

I always post about new events on Twitter too so if you follow me there you can stay up to date.


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