Festival of Writing

Run by The Writers' Workshop, The Festival of Writing is the UK's largest writers' conference.

The WW Festival of Writing is not a 'literary festival' but a festival run entirely by writers for other writers. They have designed the festival around giving writers everything they need to break into print including the ability to pitch directly to agents and publishers.

The festival will take place from 7th to 9th September at the University of York, with comfortable on-campus accommodation. You can learn more about the festival and book tickets at

As a member of NWUK you can access a Writing Group Discount of 15% -- just quote GRP on your booking form.

Here’s an overview of their programme:

Friday 7th September

13.00 - 14.00
Registration for those attending Mini Courses
14.00 - 18.00
Mini courses (optional)
How to Write a Novel, with Harry Bingham
Self-editing your Novel, with Debi Alper
Children's Authors Do It Differently, with Nicola Morgan
Creativity masterclass, with Andrew Wille
Historical Fiction, with Emma Darwin
Be a Professional Self-Publisher and Succeed, with David Gaughran and Talli Rowland
14.00 - 18.00
Registration and collection of room keys
16.00 - 17.00
Afternoon tea - dip out, drop-in
Bar opens Come along to meet agents, editors and fellow writers.
20.45 - 21.15
Literary Night Live
Your chance for a panel of experts to hear and evaluate your text. Terrifying, but useful. More details to follow soon. Last year's winner ended up with an agent! The one before got an agent, got published - and is one of the guest speakers this year.

Saturday 8th September

Registration for Saturday arrivals
9.10 - 10.10
Festival Welcome & Keynote Address - JoJo Moyes
Author of 9 novels, JoJo has been a full time novelist since 2002, when her first book Sheltering Rain was published. Her last novel, the critically acclaimed The Last Letter From your Lover, won the 2011 RNA Novel of the Year award and has been translated into eleven different languages. She also writes regularly for The Daily Telegraph.
10.10 - 10.40
Coffee break & JoJo Moyes booksigning
10.40 - 11.40
Workshops - Session 1
See workshops for more info. When you book your Festival ticket, you will be asked to select your workshop choice.
11.50 - 12.50
Genre Panel/ Q&As
Your chance to learn from the experts and ask the questions you want answered. Choice of (no prebooking required):
  • Literary Fiction
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Children's/Young Adult
  • Women's Fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Crime/Thriller
  • Script Writing
In nearly all cases, panels will include both authors and agents/publishers.
Buffet Lunch
14.00 - 15.00
Key note address: The Agent & The Publisher
Bill Massey, Deputy Publishing Director, Orion Books
Gillian Green, Editorial Director (Fiction), Ebury/Random House
Alan Mahar, Publishing Director, Tindal Street Press
Jim Gill & Simon Trewin, United Agents
15.10 - 16.10
Workshops - Session 2
See workshops for more info.
16.10 - 16.40
Afternoon Tea - plus author book signings
16.40 - 17.40
Workshops - Session 3
See workshops for more info.
18.45 - 19.15
Gala Dinner Reception ~ Drinks ~ Come along to meet agents, editors and fellow writers.
Gala Dinner & Competition Presentations
After-dinner speech:

Sunday 9th September                                                                                                

Registration for Sunday arrivals
09.20 - 10.00
10.10 - 11.10
Workshops - Session 4
See workshops for more info.
11.10 - 11.40
Coffee break & author booksignings
11.40 - 12.40
Workshops - Session 5
See workshops for more info.
Buffet Lunch
14.00 - 15.00
Workshops - Session 6
See workshops for more info.
15.10 - 15.50
Keynote Address with Stuart MacBride
Stuart MacBride is the bestselling crime fiction author of The Logan McRae series, including Shatter the Bones, which reached No. 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller list. The McRae novels have won him the CWA's Dagger in the Library, the Barry Award for Best Debut Novel, and Best Breakthrough Author at the ITV3 crime thriller awards. Stuart's other works include Halfhead, a near-future thriller, Sawbones, a novella aimed at adult emergent readers, and several short stories.
15.50 - 16.00
Wrap-up & farewells


Writing Reviews for Publication

Writing Reviews for Publication with Ian Douglas

9 May–6 June 2012 (5 weeks), Wednesday evenings 7–9pm

at Nottingham Writers' Studio, 32a Stoney Street, Nottingham Lace Market

Whether you want to write about books, theatre, movies, travel, or products, this course will help you write reviews to a professional standard. You'll be looking at markets for your work, like magazines and online, and advice will be given on submitting to editors. There'll also be opportunities to study published reviews and to produce your own compositions, with peer critiquing, editing and re-writing. The emphasis will be on a relaxed and creative atmosphere. Be ready to write!

The course fee is £40, or £30 for members of the Nottingham Writers' Studio. Find out more on their website, or contact Robin on 0115 959 7947 or to book.


From Political Agent to Epic Adventure Novelist

Nottinghamshire Author Unleashes a Stunning Tale

Author Jim Costello’s life has been filled with diversity. Working in an array of occupations throughout his life, Jim’s knowledge is vast, something that is certainly evident in his new novel Adongiva.
One of the most crucial aspects of his past, and something his writing has benefitted from hugely, is his extensive political background. Working in the Civil Service in Edinburgh before becoming involved with the Young Conservatives, he rose to Conservative Party Agent in 1979 – just in time for the historic election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister.

Jim worked in a number of constituencies, was Norman Tebbit’s agent when he was Party Chairman, and became Deputy Central Office Area Agent for the Greater London Area and for the West and South of Scotland. He worked closely and on a first name basis with many Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament and Members of the House of Lords, including the successful authors Edwina Currie, Jeffery Archer and Michael Dobbs. However, after the disastrous election defeat of the Conservatives in 1997, many Central Office Agents were made redundant, including Jim.

That led Jim to pursue a number of alternative jobs, including door-to-door salesman and a driving instructor. Although he originally hails from Scotland, Jim Costello now proudly calls Nottinghamshire home, where he currently works for the Royal Bank of Scotland. Now sixty-four years old.

Jim has recently found his prowess as a writer and his first novel,  Adongiva, is a testament to his own unusual and unpredictable life.

Adongiva is the story of an ordinary man’s brush with fate as protagonist Hiram Montgomery suddenly finds himself in an extraordinary situation. Suddenly widowed, Hiram discovers the winning lottery ticket bought by his wife before her death. He has also recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Deciding to spend all his money on a unique and groundbreaking boat where he can spend his remaining days, Hiram is soon overwhelmed by political interest and the world’s leading companies fighting to be a part of this project.

Jim’s bureaucratic awareness and understanding of human nature shines through in

Adongiva. His eclectic experience has provided him with the ability to communicate clearly, and tell a good story!

Adongiva (£10.99 ISBN 9781906236762) is a SilverWood Books title, available in paperback directly from the publisher at, from Amazon, and of course from your local bookshop.
Jim Costello will be officially launching Adongiva on  Friday 27th April in the WI hut, Station Road, Bingham, NG13 8AQ, from 7pm to 9pm.
With readings, book signings, bubbly and nibbles, come along to help him celebrate.