Guest Speakers

My creative non-fiction colleagues and I enjoyed an inspiring and informed afternoon on Friday in the company of the lovely and talented Kate Summerscale (The Suspicions of Mr Wicher, The Queen of Whale Cay) and her agent, the equally lovely and talented David Miller of RCW Literary Agency.

It was interesting to hear a published author discuss some of the things we have been looking at in class and in our personal mentoring, in particular the importance and the function of structure. Kate described shape and structure as the space around the facts of non-fiction where she can discover her own creative manoeuvring – which I loved, and David Miller was very clear: ‘structure; that’s where it is’.

There was a lot of discussion around proposal writing, which gave me more confidence about my final assignment for the Creative Non-Fiction module where I have to deliver a research plan, a proposal and a synopsis.

What threw me slightly…ok greatly, was after both David and Kate explained how wonderful their working relationship was as agent and author; lots of lovely, long creative lunches, they admitted this was the exception and not the rule. What the…? Kate hurried to soothe us by explaining that other writers she knew had similar relationships with their editor, or perhaps their publisher, or a lover, or in my case, the old drunk on the park bench who yells about his penis when I walk past.

Having missed the morning class on Friday, I missed Adrian Mead talk about networking and working/living as a professional writer. Apparently his advice included turning off the internet and not drinking. Clearly he is insane, but I’ll try anything once. I’ll let you know how I get on.

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