Nottingham Workshop: When & where?

When? Saturday 29 September 2018, 10.00-16.30
Where? Conference Centre at Nottingham Trent University City Campus, Nottingham NG1 4BU

With special thanks to our sponsors - Nottingham Trent University



Not only does Write Now provide talented writers with a unique opportunity to improve their skills and confidence, it is also an important platform... which affords writers like me an opportunity to demonstrate the validity of lives less ordinary." Christine Brougham, mentee




What's on offer?

You'll be one of 40 writers or 10 illustrators joining us for the day. Talks will include:

One-to-one feedback from an editor or designer

For writers: We have a team of Penguin Random House editors excited to meet you and to read your work. You’ll spend 20 minutes talking with an editor about your book and your writing style, as well as suggested next steps for you personally. We'll ask you to send us up to 5,000 words before the workshop so that our editors can come ready with suggestions and constructive feedback.

For illustrators: You’ll spend 20 minutes chatting with a Penguin Random House designer from our Children’s team. You’ll get feedback on your artwork for Jack and the Beanstalk which you will have submitted with your original application. We’ll also ask you to bring a few examples on the day of art or design work which you’re most proud of to discuss. This could mean anything from a sketchbook of original drawings to photographs on your phone of your paintings.

Publishing, de-mystified

We know that the publishing industry can sometimes seem like a 'closed shop' and that it can be confusing to understand how the word document saved on your laptop could top the bestseller list. To help give you an insight into what it's like to be a Penguin Random House author or illustrator, we'll follow the journey of a book from manuscript to bookshelf by hearing from:

  • The Author: it all starts with you and your book. You'll hear from a debut novelist.
  • The Illustrator: you’ll also hear from a published picture book illustrator.
  • The Agent: a literary agent and illustration agent will explain the role they play as the key link between authors, illustrators and publishers, as well as working with writers to develop their manuscripts or with illustrators to develop their artwork
  • The Editor: a commissioning editor will describe their role, from the acquisitions process (deciding which books to buy) to working together with an author and illustrator to get a finished manuscript ready for publication.
  • The Designer: an expert from our Children's design team will describe their role in matching illustrators with picture book writers, and helping shape the final book.

You'll also hear a little more about how a publisher works with an author or illustrator after a book has been acquired, including how we design a book's cover, how we create a 'buzz' around our books by connecting creators with their readers, and how we work with customers, from small independent bookshops to the likes of Asda and Tesco.


WriteNow Bristol 2018


What’s it like to be a WriteNow mentee?

You’ll hear from one of the writers who are currently part of our mentoring programme. They’ll speak about their experiences so far and any tips for how you can make the most out of your day with us.

How to write a covering letter & synopsis

We know that often pitching your book to a literary agent can be a real challenge. This session will give you practical tips on how to write the best possible covering letter and synopsis to capture their attention. This interactive session will be hosted by a literary agent. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Writing: an author’s perspective

Join authors in conversation. Discussion will focus on authors’ experiences of getting published, their own writing style and approach to their own craft, how they make a living from their writing, and the advice they would give to writers starting out.  You can read more about the authors coming to WriteNow Nottingham below.

Illustrator break-out

Budding illustrators will join an interactive session where they will have the chance to hear from published illustrators and an illustrator agent, together with Penguin Random House designers and editors who specialise in picture books for young children. You’ll find out more about the publishing process and what we’re looking for in a children’s illustrator.


We'll make sure you get the chance to speak to our editors, designers, agents and authors (as well as one another) more informally throughout the day. After the event has taken place, we’ll also invite you to join our WriteNow Facebook group which will act as a permanent place for you to connect with other new writers and illustrators.

Writing non-fiction/ Writing for children and young adults (optional)

We’ll have two break-out sessions designed specifically for writers of non-fiction, or those writing for younger readers. You’ll hear from editors and authors working in these genres and will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

How to get support as a writer (optional)

Our partners, Writing East Midlands, will host an information session on the support available for writers both nationally and regionally - from bursaries which will give you the time to write, to prizes which will get your work noticed.

Meet an author, illustrator or agent (optional)

A little like speed dating but hopefully less awkward - you’ll have a 5 minute chat with an author, illustrator or agent so you can ask them any burning questions you might have.


Authors: our line-up so far


Mahsuda Snaith

Nadia Shireen


Rowan Coleman

Photo credit Carolyn Mendelsohn

Dapo Adeola


Literary Agents:

The Good Literary Agency