Thursday, 10 May 2012

Write, Edit, Publish and Market your Book in an Inspiring Oxford College Setting

Trinity College Gardens
As there's only one week to go before I close bookings for Write It! and Edit It!, I thought I'd take you on a little tour of Trinity College, the wonderful venue for my Fictionfire day courses. You can discover more historical details about Trinity on the college's own website and on my Course Venue and Directions page, but I prefer to devote this blogpost to entrancing you with photos taken when the weather was kinder than it has been for the past few weeks!

Clarendon Building and Bodleian Library
Jackson Building, Trinity
Trinity College is on Broad Street, just along from the world-famous Blackwell's Bookshop, where you can browse at lunchtime and after your Fictionfire course finishes. It's also very close to the Sheldonian Theatre and the Bodleian Library. Oxford is a wonderful place to stroll around. I've lived here for decades and even now some tiny architectural detail will suddenly announce itself or I'll feel that rush of delight and sense of privilege that I actually live here! Writers who attend my courses can come for the day or stay longer in Oxford in order to steep themselves in the city's unique atmosphere, and feel as if they've strayed into the pages of Brideshead Revisited or Northern Lights, or wandered onto the set of Lewis. In fact, last year, an episode of Lewis was actually being filmed at Trinity while I was running a course and one of my students inadvertently strayed across Kevin Whately's eyeline and was glared at!
Trinity Gardens

Oxford has always been a city of inspiration, partly because of the sense, somehow, that you're on a retreat. You enter college gates, cross a quadrangle or two, mount the stairs to a wood-panelled room ... and the world, the real everyday world, fades away. Oxford is still a place of complacency and exclusivity, it's true - but it's also a place where reading, thinking, staring into space, formulating ideas, refining words, designing arguments and structures are all valued. Oxford in fiction opens routes into other worlds, worlds of the imagination - whether you knock on a front door in Hobbiton or pass through a wardrobe into Narnia or tumble down a rabbit-hole into Wonderland.
The Sutro Room

Grinling Gibbons carving in Trinity Chapel
I chose the Sutro Room at Trinity because I felt it had a wonderfully serene yet inspiring quality. It's on the first floor, with views of the chapel and front quad, and beside an archway which leads to Trinity's renowned gardens. It's a room associated with literary figures such as Graham Greene, with some fascinating artwork, letters and literary editions on display, as you'll see if you join us.

So, let me tempt you! On 19th May my Write it! course is designed to encourage you to explore your motivation,  bring characters to life, write good dialogue, compose your plot and create atmosphere with your setting. Everything an aspiring novelist needs, from finding ideas to finishing that first draft.
Trinity Chapel

On 20th May Edit It! will cover how to revise and polish your work before getting it ready to submit to agents and publishers.

Publish It! on 26th May will help you choose whether to aim for traditional or independent publication. We'll see what traditional publishers can still offer to writers and how the the publication process works. We'll examine how you can publish your own work in e-book and print formats.

Market It! on the 27th will advise you how to create your author 'platform' and how best to build a loyal readership and promote your work effectively.
Trinity Dining Hall

For Publish It! and Market It! I'm delighted that Ali Luke of Aliventures and Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn will be joining me. They have a wealth of totally up-to-date knowledge of the fast-moving and exciting digital publishing world to share with you and both are dynamic, enthusiastic speakers. You can find out more about them on my website at Course Dates and Details.

Finally, here's a very important note: I will close bookings for Write It! and Edit It! on the 17th May and for Publish It! and Market It! on the 24th, so don't leave it too long! Cross over to the site, read through full details at Course Dates and Details and make your booking!

Let Oxford cast its spell of inspiration over you. Pass through the doorway to another world ...
Above the entrance to the Sutro Room

The setting was superb. (Liz C)

I very much enjoyed the Fictionfire day last Saturday, because it was the right balance for me of stimulating teaching, having a go at writing and meeting other people with their unique perspectives. (Sarah D.)

Thank you so much for a really informative day! Not a second was wasted and I learned heaps about plotting which let me see the shape of my own work more clearly. Also, I appreciated the relaxed atmosphere in the class - there really was no pressure. (E.G.)