Promising to be bigger and better than ever before, the National Creative Writing Graduate Fair is back for a fourth year, organised once again by Ancoats-based publishing house Comma Press in partnership with The Writing School, headed up by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and taking place in Manchester Metropolitan University’s Geoffrey Manton Building on the All Saints Campus.
NCWGradFair is dedicated to up-and-coming writers (and not just creative writing students or graduates) looking to get their work published, and is a brilliant opportunity to rub shoulders with authors and editors and make connections with leading publishers and literary agents, making the whole process of approaching them with your manuscript just that little bit less daunting.
You can expect a day packed with networking opportunities, one-to-one pitching sessions, panel discussions with professionals and experts, and workshops exploring writing, editing, performance and marketing, and it’s the perfect place to pick up top tips and inspiration. Following on from Luke Kennard and Kit de Waal, the keynote speech this year is Eley Williams, whose short story collection, Attrib. and other stories (Influx Press), was listed among Best Books of 2017 by The Guardian, The Telegraph and The New Statesman, and was chosen by Ali Smith as one of 2017’s best debut fiction at the Cambridge Literary Festival. She is one of the contributors to We Were Strangers, the Joy Division-inspired anthology just out with Manchester indie Confingo.
Throughout the afternoon you’ll get the chance to pitch to two different agents or editors (the final list is still being shaped – watch this space!), who you’ll be paired up with depending on your chosen genre. And when you’re not pitching, there will be various masterclasses and talks to head to, from putting together a bang-on synopsis to getting to grips with the art of self-critique.
There will also be stalls from booksellers, societies and publishing organisations, and post-event drinks in the evening, great for winding down and sharing what you’ve gleaned with other delegates.
£45 per person or £40 per person for groups of 5+. Tickets are open to everybody, regardless of whether or not you’re a student. Registration on the day is from 8.45am; the first event starts at 9.30am.
National Creative Writing Graduate Fair at MMU Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester