A guest post by Philip Monks
The West Midlands branch of the Writers' Guild held their very successful Writing For Publication event on Friday 22nd January at Birmingham Rep Theatre. It was a great way to welcome in a new year of writing. The event was well-attended, with 50 people coming along from across the region to hear what the panellists had to say, to put questions and to chat afterwards. The audience was fairly evenly divided between members and non-members and covered poets, novelists and other writers, both established and aspiring, as well as those just interested to find out more.
Novelist Helen Cross deftly chaired the event and her upbeat style and positive tone was echoed by the panel, who talked about the opportunities as well as the difficulties of the different fields of publication. Both Laura Longrigg (literary Agent at MBA) and Alan Mahar (Publishing Director of Tindall Street Press) looked at current trends in the fiction market and there was an interesting discussion about marketing and the power of the various outlets.
On the poetry side, both Jane Commane and Matt Nunn from Nine Arches Press and Jacqui Rowe from Flarestack talked about their current initiatives and publishing policies and showed examples of recent publications. Rounding off the panel, Dave Reeves explained how Radio Wildfire is developing and the opportunities for online publishing that he can offer.
A very enjoyable and encouraging event overall, with much positive discussion and sharing of knowledge and opinions.