Killer Women by Tara Lyons
I faced a difficult debate: do I stay in the confines of my writing cave for the day (and hopefully not get distracted by social media and the mountain of housework) or do I attend the first Killer Women festival of crime writing in London last weekend? As I hate to miss out, I chose to go.
The founders of Killer Women (a group of crime writers mostly from London), Melanie McGrath and Louise Millar believed London didn't have its own crime writing festival and so created this one day event in Shoreditch Town Hall. As most of you will know, I'm still learning and soaking up the information I need to succeed as a writer, so I'm always happy to learn, and there were some elements of the programme that really interested me.
|Photo courtesy of reader Timea |
I think people's opinions are divided when it comes to writing festivals like this. Do you actually get anything beneficial from them? Well, I have quite a few pages of notes after listening to veteran murder detective David Swindle and Detective Chief Super. Jackie Sebire, who spoke for an hour about the building blocks of solving a real life murder. There were points I'll definitely be using in a future novel. It also sparked some new and interesting directions I can take my characters and plot lines... and that can't be a bad thing! I also met some amazing women (and men!) and have added them to my reading list; it was inspirational to hear some of those authors speak about their books and their personal journey.
So, what do you think? Have you attended festivals like this and how did you feel after? As a reader and/or blogger, do you find days like these beneficial? I'd love to know. It's definitely something I'm interested in and would consider going again if there's one next year... I'd just have to plan my time better to ensure I visited the right workshops and discussions for me and my books.
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I found this when, after decades of being the only writer I knew, I joined the Scattered Authors Society and was suddenly in contact with scores of generous, witty, interested and interesting people who also happened to be writers.
You gain perspective from them and you learn about the craft and the trade. I'd say to any writer, beginner or not: If you can scrape the cash together for a conference, go.