I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic literary event recently which brought together some amazing literary talent and experts in the literary field. The whole event was hosted by New Writing North – the writing development agency for the north of England.
NWN opened in 1996 and celebrates everything there is to do about literature, reading and writing in the North East. I have written about their Read Regional Campaign on this blog before and I will do so again since I am so proud of my literary heritage. We have some fantastic talent in the North East and I am proud to be, an observer for now, and hopefully a writer amongst them in the not too distant future.
The list of speakers was impressive – all were very funny and provided some interesting anecdotes.
One such anecdote was from a literary agent who described the role of an agent as a ‘fun sponge’. It was from her in particular that I learnt what an agent does, what they are looking for and what the literary process looks like from their side of the street. Their descriptions of their some time frustration and then pure joy at discovering a story that speaks and resonates with them was insightful on so many levels. Writers take note – this is not just about us, it’s about them too – and the publishers – in fact we are but one part of a train but if all the carriages are lined up, we’re all in for one hell of a literary journey.
I realised that I had never really understood the greater part of the literary process – on Saturday I came away with a new found respect for it and thrilled that I had met some amazing people with interesting stories to tell.
It inspired me one day to want to tell my own.
Thank you New Writing North and thanks to all the speakers on the day. I hope every region has the opportunity to value and nurture its talent in this way.