This week brought another evening at Novel Nights in Clifton. I've only been to this event once prior to this week, but I've certainly been impressed by both! Novel Nights is a storytelling night, but in a different sense to others in Bristol like Talking Tales or Let Me Tell You a Story, Jack. It showcases local writers, dedicating the first half to readings of novel chapters or short stories, then the second half welcomes a professional speaker, hence the £5 door charge. The speakers I've seen - Nikesh Shukla (more details in a previous blog post) and this week, Kate Johnson, have been insightful, personable and enjoyable.
Let's put it this way, it's definitely worth spending a fiver if you're a writer.
This week's speaker was literary agent Kate Johnson from Wolf Literary Services LLC. As somebody who has battled over a novel for a number of years and attempted to send it off to a few agents who of course ignored me, I am likely to be one of the many writers who sees literary agents as some kind of demi-Gods. So an opportunity to have a Q&A session with one of these mythical creatures is pretty darned good. Kate was happy to answer all the audience's questions about getting an agent and the publishing industry, and it was clear there were a lot of keen novelists in the audience. If you missed it, here's a useful article I found about starting the uphill trek into literary agent land...How to get a literary agent without dying of old age.
Kate was kind, charming and positive, something needed in the writing world. Writers have to find a lot of faith in themselves to keep going through the rejection letters (though sometimes there're better than just being ignored) so it's refreshing to have somebody like Kate who was willing to listen and answer. She even stayed behind after to chat to people individually, and listened to me ramble on after a few wines about how my book really isn't sci-fi, honest.
Novel Nights presents itself differently to storytelling nights for this reason - it's primarily for writers to read or listen, but also to learn. It may not be the night that all your non-writer mates want to come along to, but for writers it's an opportunity not to be missed. This week saw THREE of Stokes Croft Writers - Christie, Nick and Steph, all reading the first few pages of their novels/novella, which is a pretty sweet opportunity in front of a literary agent! Nerve-racking for sure though, so I applaud them and the other readers, Susie and Judy.
I recognised Judy from a previous episode of Speechbubble, a BBC Radio Bristol comedy show which I recently preformed on too. My performance was on episode 5 which was broadcast on Friday 26th June, and will be available soon on iPlayer. I read a slightly shortened version of 'A Pocket Guide to Earth'. The original version is published on Zusterschap here. I also recently wrote another piece for them on Writing Inspiration which you can check out here.
When my segment on Speechbubble is available I'll post more info, but for now why not have a listen to Judy Darley.
One of the events I missed this weeks as National Flash Fiction Day, held yesterday at Foyles. Hope it all went well and look forward to hearing about it soon!
If you like flash fiction, check out Stokes Croft Writer's very own Andy Melhuish. He treated us to some of his flash fiction at the last Talking Tales - you can read some here.
So what's coming next?