Well, well, well, it's that busy time of year again. Here's some of what I'm doing, alongside writing a novel, teaching for the Open University, blogging, tweeting, cluttering up the forums at WriteWords... and occasionally remembering to breathe and feed the family. If you're free and feel like coming along, do come and say hello:
FACT AND FICTION: the role of the historical novelist Thursday 22nd September, 7.30pm, United Reformed Church Hall, Havant
How can history be used to illuminate the present? Why did Shakespeare ruin the reputation of Richard III? These and many other questions will be discussed by Stella Duffy, (Theodora; Empress, Actress, Whore), Emma Darwin, (A Secret Alchemy), and Michael Arnold, (Traitor's Blood). Books will be on sale for signing by the authors at this event.
THE MOOT COURT READING: Emma Darwin Friday 30th September, 6.30pm, The Moot Courtroom, Ty Crawshay, Treforest Campus, Pontypridd
The first of a new series of public events at the University of Glamorgan. The residential workshops of the MPhil in Writing were the birthplace of Emma's own debut novel, The Mathematics of Love. Emma returns to read from a range of her work and discuss her writing in general and historical fiction in particular. Free event, and books will be on sale for signing at the end.
ONE DAY CONFERENCE Saturday 15th October, 9.30am-5.30pm, followed by launch party, Royal Overseas League, Picadilly, London
You've written a manuscript. Perhaps you're just a few chapters in. Or perhaps you've already spent months revising, tweaking and polishing. You need to send your stuff to agents ... but is there a market for your work? Is it ready to send out? How do you find the right agents? What are they loking for? Where can you get feedback on your covering letter? The good news is that there IS a strong market for new work. The bad news is that the market is tough, competitive and hard to access. Emma will be Book Doctoring and taking part in Slushpile Live, and the day brings together leading agents, publishers and book doctors to give you a short, expert and truthful introduction to everything that you need to know.
GETTING TO GRIPS WITH HISTORICAL FICTION: a workshop Thursday 13th October, 2.30-4.30pm, The Electric Theatre, Guildford
How do you root your fiction in history without getting stuck in the mud? How do you tell a great story when you need to look everything up? In this practical workshop Emma will draw on her own experience of writing novels and stories set at periods from 1460 to 1976, to help you tackle the challenges of setting your fiction in the past.
THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS Monday 17th October, 2.30pm, The Electric Theatre, Guildford
Why do readers love to inhabit the past, and why do so many novelists love writing it? Is it really just an escape from the mundane present, or is it about looking at the present through a different lens? From medieval London to 1860s St Petersburg, by way of Restoration Somerset and Revolutionary France, Rose Melikan, Roger Morris, Emma Darwin and Maria McCann all root their fiction in history, and they talk to Elizabeth Buchan about how they work with the past. Books will be on sale for signing by all four authors after the event.
HALLIE RUBENHOLD: AUSTEN'S WOMEN Tuesday 18th October, 2.30pm, The Electric Theatre, Guildford
Jane Austen's characters have come to represent an image of the Regency woman, but how accurate is this, and what wasn't Austen telling us about the experience of being female in the late Georgian Era? Social historian and novelist Hallie Rubenhold is the author The Covent Garden Ladies, and Lady Worsley's Whore; An Eighteenth-century Tale of Sex, Scandal and Divorce. Here she examines the fact and fiction, and discusses with Emma Darwin the historically accurate adventures of the heroine of her new novel, Mistress of her Fate. Books will be on sale for signing by Hallie Rubenhold after the event.
6-WEEK ONLINE COURSE Monday 24th October- Sunday 4th December
So you've completed your novel or are close to doing so. So what next? This course is designed to give you the self-editing skills you need to ensure your novel is as good as it possibly can be, before you start pitching to agents. Debi Alper and Emma Darwin have much experience of teaching together, and will guide, support and stretch you to make your novel as good as it can possibly be, and give you tools and insights for all your future writing. The exercises and feedback will mainly be based on your own novel, so you can see how to apply our advice specifically to your book.
ONE-TO-ONE ONLINE COURSE Start any time
Over ten weeks, best-selling novelist Emma Darwin will get you started with your historical novel, working on research, voice, characterisation, plot, and above all how to root your fiction in history without getting stuck in the mud.
THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS Saturday 12th November, Elmbridge, Surrey
Why do readers love to inhabit the past, and why do so many writers love writing it? Is it really just an escape from the mundane present, or is it about looking at the present through a different lens? From medieval London to 1860s St Petersburg, by way of Restoration Somerset and Revolutionary France, Rose Melikan, Roger Morris, Emma Darwin and Maria McCann all root their fiction in history. They talk about how they work with the past; what drew them to the different periods they write about and the different genres they work in; how they research; and above all how they leave the facts behind to reach the might-have-been of fiction. Books will be on sale for signing by all four authors after the event.