What’s On

2023 Festival

In conversation: Neel Mukherjee and Monica Ali

In this headline event, current University of Surrey Distinguished Writer in Residence Neel Mukherjee will be in conversation with former University of Surrey Distinguished Writer in Residence Monica Ali. This is an extremely rare chance to hear two literary giants discuss their own and each other’s work, reflecting together on literature and the writing life, so be sure to book you tickets now! There will also be a chance to ask questions of both authors in a question and answer session at the end of their discussion. 

Partners in Crime Writing

Ellery Lloyd in Conversation

Listen to the New York Times bestselling authors of The Club describe their writing journey.

 The Club, the latest novel by Ellery Lloyd, was selected by award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon as her March 2022 book club pick. The novel, due to be released in paperback in the U.K. on 25th May, centres around the secretive world of exclusive celebrity clubs, where the A-listers and staff serving them all have something to hide.

This is the second book they have co-authored, having previously written People Like Her: a sinister thriller depicting the world of social media influencers, which was tipped as one of the top reads of 2021 by The Guardian.

Writing for Performance

With Louis Emmitt-Stern, Annum Salman, Geneieve Grant-Thompson and Ellie Turner

From spoken word poetry to scriptwriting, this exciting event will discuss writing for all kinds of performance.

Whether you’re a playwright, stand-up comedian, spoken word poet, or an actor/writer who performs monologues on stage, this panel will enrich your creative knowledge by talking through different writing techniques for performance pieces.

Suitable for both established and new writers!

Lunchtime Open Mic

Chaired by Sharron Green

Always a popular feature of the festival, we are thrilled to welcome all attendees to share or listen to poetry or prose over the lunch break.

Our audiences are relaxed and appreciative, showing tolerance and respect for each other’s work.

Writers are also welcome to bring along their pamphlets and books to sell or swap

To sign up for a 3-minute slot – time for a brief introduction and a short piece, please email Sharron.Green@icloud.com , subject heading ‘SNWF Open Mic’ once you have bought your festival ticket

Workshop: Idea Generation Techniques for Unique Storytelling 

With Annum Salman

Ready to write but lacking inspiration? Want to discover tried-and-true methods for coming up with narrative ideas whenever you need them? Learn various methods for coming up with fresh ideas for stories in the Idea Generator Workshop, ranging from short cuts to fun techniques using senses, dialogue and character, and have the chance to put them to the test.

You’ll leave with a tonne of inspiration for a brilliant story for your next project as well as the means to create more.

Workshop: To Do, or Not To Do: An Introduction to Interactive Storytelling

With Leon Lynn

‘Suitable for both new and practised writers of all disciplines,  this intimate session will see games writer Leon Lynn introduce the core concepts of interactive storytelling. Writing alongside him, you’ll learn about the industry tools and techniques used to build game narratives around choices, which allow players to feel involved in stories that seem bigger than they are. What’s more, poets, playwrights and prose writers will discover how these techniques can build decision-making into their own non-interactive writing, and give their audiences a new way to engage with their work.’

Limited Spaces Available!

Paths to Publication

With, Melissa Addey, Margaret Buntrock, Farah Cook and Jane Hennigan

Gone are the days when ‘traditional’ was the only route to publish. A panel discussion on the many possible ways a writer’s work can be seen, and ultimately, published. Whether you’re half-way through your novel, haven’t even started yet, or perhaps have it ready to go, this session will provide you with invaluable advice from the people who’ve taken different Paths to Publication.

Workshop: How to make a living as an author

With Melissa Addey

This session is for you if you want to build a fulltime career as an author and are prepared to get entrepreneurial about it. We’re going to use five core pillars of a new approach to get rid of the ‘starving artist in a garret’ mythology so endemic in our industry and instead become thriving authors. Ideally you’d have a full manuscript ready (we will primarily focus on fiction, with references to poetry, non-fiction and children’s books) or you may already be published. In this session we’ll take you to the next level of your writing career.

We will challenge mindsets and then get really practical: from business and marketing plans to multiple income streams (including grants) to explore and case studies showing the difference an entrepreneurial approach can make to your income.

Come with a notepad and pen, leave inspired with a year’s worth of practical steps to take.

And yes, we are starting at 9am on a Saturday: because we are a different breed of author!

Visual Writing 

With Angela Szczepaniak, Leon Lynn and Jon Weinbren

This panel will see cross-genre and cross medium writer Dr Angela Szczenpaniak and virtual cinematographer/ jack-of-all-trades Dr. Jon Weinbren- chaired by video games writer Leon Lynn- enter into discussion about how they tailor their writing to fit in the visual mediums they work in.

For more information on the Author and their works visit the Meet Our Guests page!

The Surrey New Writers Festival is an annual event run by the University of Surrey’s School Literature & Languages (SLL).

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