Jilly: Gollanczfest

Are you doing anything special this weekend?

While some of the other Ladies are NaNo-ing, I’ll be spending a chunk of November in writing craft workshops, and I’m kicking off the fun this weekend by attending the Gollancz Festival—a celebration of all things science fiction and fantasy hosted by the publisher and supported by a galaxy of their authors.

I’m writing this post early, because I plan to spend Saturday in London at the Gollancz Writers’ Day—a day of workshops and talks focused on the mechanics and skills needed by the modern writer.

According to the blurb, my day will include the following:

  • Insight into the Life of an Agent from a top literary agent;
  • Creative Writing Masterclass by Joe Hill and Joanne Harris;
  • Panel debate on Planning vs Pantsing with Alastair Reynolds, Pat Cadigan, Aliette de Bodard and Adam Roberts;
  • Insight into the Publishing Process by the Gollancz staff;
  • Creative Writing Masterclass by Justina Robson and Tricia Sullivan;
  • Panel Debate on How to Create Compelling and Realistic Characters with Ben Aaronovitch, Suzanne McLeod, Mark Barrowcliffe and Tom Lloyd;
  • Morning and Afternoon Speed Writing Advice/Q&A sessions where attendees will break into small groups of 3-5 and have the opportunity to sit round a table and discuss any aspects of their novel, the writing process, or ‘how to get published’ with some of their favourite authors.

When we’ve absorbed all of the foregoing, the plan is to buy a book or two and then go to dinner and talk over everything we’ve learned.

If you’d like to join in the fun, there are updates and live streams @Gollancz all weekend on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

This will be the first non-romance writing conference I’ve been to for a few years. I’m expecting the tone to be different. I’m busy writing a list of questions. I hope to glean some new ideas and return inspired.

If I get the chance, I’ll report back in the comments.

So…that’s my weekend in a nutshell. What have you been up to?

10 thoughts on “Jilly: Gollanczfest

  1. Wow, that sounds like fun! Have a great time! Looking forward to hearing all about it.

    For myself, tomorrow I’m starting chapter 3 (I know, Jenny would hate that) of the new WIP! Ya-hoo!!

  2. I’m eager to hear about the differences and similarities between the two! (-: I remember the name quite fondly, because all of the early Pratchetts I bought had the Gollancz imprint. And those wonderful Josh Kirby covers that are probably too crazy for a thumbnail in this day and age . . . .

    • I have a shelf full of those Pratchetts too, Michaeline! You’re probably right about the covers being too crazy to work in thumbnail, but I have noticed that there’s still room for some amazing cover art (and artists) in the brave new publishing world. I’m keeping a file of the ones I really admire in the hope that one day I’ll be able to afford something like them for myself 🙂

      • I think the trick might be to have a great overall-image that shows up in thumbnail and is recognizable, but then add bonus features for the reader in the close-up. For example, I have a vision of “The Golden Years of Nixie Voss” — a woman in a green sequined halter-top gown, cradling a pot of gold about where her womb it. Very color-blocky and like it was cut out of construction paper. But when one clicks on the closeup, the artist could do delicate things with the black pot (visions in a crystal ball?) or the dress. It would show up as pattern in the thumbnail, but as meaning in the enlarged version.

        LOL, next trick will be finding an artist who can do that! Since I have almost no talent myself (I almost flunked kindergarten because my scissor skills were so bad!), I will have to trust the professionals.

        But . . . if I get into merch, I’d really like to do a series of paper dolls where you can dress them. (-: Kind of like cosplay, but easier! Nixie, Jack and Thom are all very stylish, and while Olivia isn’t a clotheshorse, she’s no slouch. Especially since Jack likes buying her pretty things . . . .

  3. A quick report: the event was great. The atmosphere was welcoming and I had an excellent time. I already made a diary note to go again next year if I can get tickets. I picked up some new tricks and tips, too–enough to make it worth writing up a post next Sunday, I think. More to follow…

  4. Pingback: Jilly: What I Learned at Gollanczfest – Eight Ladies Writing

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