Writers & Artists Present: Getting Published: Which Route Do I Take?

There’s a conference on self-publishing in London in July that, while focusing on the written word, might be of interest to any comic creator who is releasing their own work direct.

Writers & Artists Present: Getting Published: Which Route Do I Take? takes place on 12th July 2014 at the Wellcome Collection, London and is organised by Writers & Artists.

The organisation has brought together a group of speakers they say are the most knowledgeable publishers to tell emerging writers about self-publishing, traditional publishing and the most successful new publishing ventures, including subscription and crowd-funding.

“This is a day to inspire, inform and help new writers choose which publishing route is best for them,” says a spokesperson.

The conference will showcase what’s new in the publishing world and offer an insight into which publishing routes are available to suit the needs of different writing projects. Award-winning speakers will look at the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing; agents Jo Unwin and Charlie Campbell will explain how best to submit your book; John Mitchinson will give insight into Unbound, the crowd-funding publishing company he founded; Stefan Tobler reveals the success behind young publishing house And Other Stories; The Bookseller‘s Tom Tivnan will guide you through choosing a self-publishing platform; PR guru Preena Gadher explains how she makes writers famous; and Polly Courtney reveals why she chose self-publishing over traditional publishing.

The day will be rounded off by thrilling young writer and journalist Laurie Penny taking attendees through her story from blogger to a traditionally published non-fiction author.

With a chance to ask questions, learn from industry experts and networking with fellow authors, join us at the Wellcome Collection for this invaluable conference.

Speakers include:

Laurie Penny
Laurie Penny is a writer and journalist. She writes for Vice, the Guardian and many other publications, is a columnist and Contributing Editor at the New Statesman magazine and Editor-at-Large at cult New York literary project The New Inquiry. At the age of 23 she was the youngest person to be shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing for her blog ‘Penny Red’ which, like her first feminist book, Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism, was a word-of-mouth hit. She has reported on radical politics, protest, digital culture and feminism from around the world, working with activists from the Occupy movement and the European youth uprisings. She has 75,000 followers on Twitter and in 2012 won the British Media Awards’ ‘Twitter Public Personality of the Year’ prize, which she accepted in absentia with a speech about the ongoing harassment of women on social media. Laurie describes herself as a nerd, a nomad and an activist. She is 26 years old and lives in London.

Tom Tivnan
Tom Tivnan is features and insight editor at The Bookseller. Prior to joining the magazine in 2007, he was a freelance writer and a bookshop manager at Blackwell’s in the UK and Barnes & Noble in the US. He has written on publishing and the book trade for a variety of outlets including The Independent, Harper’s Bazaar, The Times and BBC Focus. Represented by Charlie Campbell at the Ed Victor Literary Agency, he is the author of the non-fiction title Tattooed by the Family Business (Pavilion) and is currently working on his début novel.

Stefan Tobler
Stefan Tobler is the publisher at And Other Stories, a young publishing house whose titles include the Booker shortlisted Swimming Home by Deborah Levy and the Guardian First Book and Oxford-Weidenfeld shortlisted Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos. Before And Other Stories, Stefan Tobler worked at NGOs and in business. He is also a literary translator from Portuguese and German. Recent translation work includes All Dogs are Blue by Rodrigo de Souza Leão, Água Viva by Clarice Lispector and Antônio Moura’s poetry. Visit @andothertweets and @stefantobler

Alysoun Owen
Alysoun Owen is a publisher with over 20 year’s experience as a commissioning editor and running her own publishing consultancy business. She has been the Editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook for three years and is a regular speaker on how to get published at literary festivals and writer events.

Preena Gadher
Preena Gadher is the MD and co-founder of the award-winning literary agency Riot Communications. Her career in PR began at Penguin Books where she climbed the publicity ranks until deciding it was time for a brand new challenge. She and her publicist business partner Anwen Hooson set up their own PR agency, and five years later Riot Communications continues to flourish. Clients include Penguin, Waterstones, Random House, Transworld, Puffin, OUP and Booktrust. They are the most decorated agency in the field and the only one to have scooped Best Publicity Campaign of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards.

John Mitchinson
John Mitchinson is a writer and publisher. He was Waterstone’s first marketing director before becoming MD at the Harvill Press and then Cassell & Co. In 2001 he joined TV producer John Lloyd to set up QI Ltd. They are currently working on the 12th series of the BBC TV show, and their bestselling QI books have been translated into 29 languages. John also writes a weekly QI column in the Saturday Telegraph and is a Vice-President of the Hay Festival. His latest venture is co-foundingUnbound, the UK’s first crowd-funded publishing house which won the 2011 Futurebook Innovation Award for Best Startup and was shortlisted as Independent Publisher of the Year at the 2013 and 2014 Bookseller Awards. John has published a diverse list of authors that includes The Beatles, Michael Palin, Haruki Murakami, Alan Garner, Richard Ford, Jonathan Meades and last year’s surprise Christmas bestseller, Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note.

Polly Courtney
Polly Courtney is author of six novels as well as a regular commentator on TV and radio. She made her name in 2006 with Golden Handcuffs, a semi-autobiographical account of life in the Square Mile. Her subsequent page-turners have tackled sexism, racism, lads’ mags, fame culture and the wealth divide. In late 2011, on the publication of her fifth novel, Courtney famously walked out on her publisher, HarperCollins, frustrated by the ‘chick lit’ covers assigned to her books. She went on to self-publish Feral Youth, a compelling story set during the London riots and told from the perspective of a disenfranchised 15-year-old girl.

Cressida Downing
Cressida Downing has been working in the book industry for more than twenty years. Starting as a bookseller in charge of the children’s department, she went on to work in publishing, back to bookselling, and now works as an editorial consultant. Her clients include Orion, a number of literary agents, and working directly with authors. She blogs for www.writersandartists.co.uk and gives workshops and talks on various aspects of publishing. A passionate reader, she is committed to getting the best out of every writer.

Jo Unwin
Jo Unwin became a literary agent in 2008, leaving behind a successful career as an actress, screenwriter and film scout. Jo was in a shortlist of three for the Bookseller Industry Awards Literary Agent of the Year in 2010, and was picked out as one of the Bookseller’s Rising Stars in 2011. In 2013 she set up her own agency JULA, based at and working in close association with Rogers, Coleridge and White. Jo represents authors of literary fiction, commercial women’s fiction, Young Adult and children’s books (though not picture books) as well as narrative non-fiction and comic journalism.

Charlie Campbell
Charlie Campbell has worked at Ed Victor Ltd for over nine years, both as a literary agent and handling film, TV and serial rights for the agency’s authors. He is also involved in the speakers bureau and the publishing imprint, Bedford Square Books. Previously, he worked at Johnson & Alcock, and before that he was deputy editor at Literary Review. His book, Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People, is published in the UK and US by Duckworth Overlook and he captains the Authors Cricket Club in his spare time.

• Tickets cost £95 and the conference is a full day from 9.30am to 5.30pm. To book go to www.writersandartists.co.uk

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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