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The National Writers’ Conference

July 16, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT

9.30am registration (for a 10am start) – 4pm

£50 / £45 (concessions & WWM Friends), includes buffet lunch,  tea and coffee

Booking has ended. We may still be able to arrange tickets without lunch- please contact emma@writingwestimidlands.org or caroline@writingwestmidlands.org: 0121 246 2792

Writing West Midlands introduces its first ever National Writers’ Conference, to succeed the annual Writers’ Toolkit.

In partnership with the University of Birmingham, this day of talks, discussions and presentations brings together individuals and organisations with the knowledge to help writers get the best from their talents.

Mixing inspiring keynote speeches with smaller breakout sessions on specialist subjects of interest to writers of all genres, the National Writers’ Conference is your chance to learn more about your craft – as well as meet fellow writers from the region and beyond.

We’re delighted that, for the first time, we’re also able to offer a very limited number of one-to-one sessions with an agent, a bookseller and a literature festival programmer. These will be allocated by ballot and will be highly sought-after, so don’t miss your chance to get a space.


Anticipation for the conference.

We asked some attendees what they’re looking forward to.:

“The National Writer’s Conference is the bubbling epicentre of all things literary in the UK. I love schmoozing, mixing, chatting and arguing with writers of all shapes, sizes and talents. It’s invariably a joyous, challenging, informative and revealing event with a fine array of guests and an equally fine array of nibbles on sticks.

“I would urge anyone with a love of ink or keyboard or both to come along and throw their hat into the ring with the rest of us. It creates a valuable and long-standing network of writers, instills and expects professional standards, opens expectations and creates possibilities. And they do nice nibbles on sticks. See you there!” 
Ian Billings

*we cannot guarantee that this year’s nibbles will be on sticks.

“Writing is a lonely business. A tough one, too. That’s why I’m going to the National Writers’ Conference. I’ve been to Writers’ Toolkit in the past, and whilst there have been many speakers giving practical advice, or offering inspiration, who remain in the memory long after the event, the best thing of all is to meet other writers, peer-to-peer.

“We share our experiences, offer support and encouragement, and, dare I say it, a little competitiveness, too. I know I’ll leave with a spring in my step, renewed resolution, some brilliant ideas, and a sustaining sense that I’m part of a community of writers.”  Yasmin Ali

“I can’t wait to attend the National Writers’ Conference. There’s never enough time to attend everything because there’s so much choice of things to do – I wish I could attend all the panels!

“There’s always something for everyone, whether they’re new or more experienced writers. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, making new connections and am especially looking forward to meeting the panelists. I know I’ll come away revved up for writing.” Raj Lal

“There’s a fantastic energy at The National Writers Conference which I’m very much looking forward to being a part of once again. Having made some great connections in the past, I’m keen to utilise this opportunity in order to take my writing to the next level, and I’m sure I’ll be saying the same next year, there’s always so much to learn. It’s pretty special.” Stephen Morrison-Burke

Feedback from last year’s event

“This event was hugely useful, and very reasonably priced. All the sessions I attended were good, and I loved the venue too. It was a great opportunity to meet people and ask a lot of questions. The main thing I took away was encouragement, as my writing is still at an early stage of development. Thank you, WWM, it was helpful to hear from such a diverse range of writers, and especially agents, about what I need to do to improve and succeed as a writer.”

“The writers toolkit is completely brilliant and it’s invaluable in supporting my writing in very direct ways such as networking and learning more about marketing my work.”

“I had wondered having attended the previous year if it would be more of the same. It wasn’t! Thought provoking informative and very useful. Even the writing for broadcasting had a different spin to the previous year. Very very good. I liked the fact that all sessions were in the same building.”

As a new initiative this year we will be offering a limited number of one-to-one sessions with the following industry professionals:

·         Antonia Byatt – Director, Cheltenham Literature Festival

·         Stuart Bartholomew – Regional Manager, Waterstones Birmingham

·         Carrie Kania – Agent, Conville & Walsh Literary Agency

Places will be allocated by ballot from those booked by 30th June 2016. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a one-to-one session with one of our three experts.

Each expert will conduct three one-to-ones, and you will be expected to provide material for them a week in advance. Failure to do so will result in you losing your slot.

Please note that the one-to-one sessions will take approximately 20 minutes and will be run during the panels. If you are successful in the ballot we will contact you on 7th July to confirm the time of your one-to-one.

We will also be inviting a range of literature organisations to display information about their work and there will be a bookshop selling books by contributors to the Conference.

How to Book:
Tickets: £50 / £45 (concessions & WWM Friends), includes buffet lunch, tea and coffee

Book your place through Eventbrite by clicking here.

Booking ends: 30 June 2016

Please ensure you indicate any dietary requirements you may have at the time of booking as changes will not be possible subsequently.

One-to-ones will be allocated by 7 July 2016.

From 4.30pm to 6pm, we will be celebrating the achievements of our Young Writers at an awards ceremony with presentations being made by special guest Bali Rai. All are welcome to stay for this part of the day to celebrate the next generation of writers.


Bramall    University of Birmingham


Bramall Music Building
The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston
Birmingham, B15 2TT
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