Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Red Magazine event: How to write a bestselling beach read



Red Magazine does not only provide their readers with a diverse and informative publication and online outlets, but they also host specially themed networking events which provide women with the opportunity to pick the brains of an expert panel.

Last Monday (September 9th) Red's tenth event, How to write a bestselling beach read, was held at the beautiful Institute of Contemporary Arts. Attendees arrived to a buzzing atmosphere and were welcomed into the Victorian building's foyer with a glass of chilled champagne. The next thirty minutes provided an opportunity to mingle with the other guests and it quickly became evident that it didn't matter if you'd arrived by yourself or with a group of friends as the conversation with likeminded people flew easily.

The experts on the night consisted of three published writers, Flic Everett, Lisa Jewell and Tasmina Perry, and Red Magazine's very own literary editor Viv Groskop, who was chairing the panel. The first forty minutes of the panel just flew by as they addressed one fascinating publishing experience after another. The women in attendance were all ears, and many even took notes, as Viv led the discussion with wit and ease.


From 'Deciding your author name' to 'How to stay friends with people you've subconsciously written into your novel', and from 'Approaching an agent' to 'The differences between traditional publishing and self-publishing', a wide variety of topics were covered in the quick fire discussion. The answers from the published authors were honest and insightful, making the event a definite asset to anyone present wanting to break into the industry themselves. After 45 minutes it was time for the budding writers to ask the guests their own burning questions and the comments from the audience were equally intelligent and enlightening.

One of the most prominent pieces of advice that surfaced on the night is that it is extremely important to write, write, write. Tasmina simply told the audience, "Bum on seat", and Lisa added, "Being on Twitter is not writing a novel". Flic, as the only self-published author on the panel, was able to give an insight into the still fairly new medium. She said that while a definite advantage is that nobody stands in your way (you don't have to please the publisher and/or agent or write a specific genre), it also means you don't get an advance, there is no guaranteed money and you have to do your own marketing.

When the final questions had been answered satisfactory there was more champagne for the attendees to enjoy while they also got the chance to pick the authors' brains about their individual writing processes and experiences one on one. In all, it was a very well organised and insightful evening that made us certainly interested in attending another Red networking event in the not too distant future.

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