Creative Thursday - a new direction
This year I'm chairing the programming committee for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Festival. This gives me the chance to celebrate my reading heroes and to influence the flavour of the festival. A great privilege, if a little time-consuming. But while it's wonderful to be able to offer writers the opportunity to appear at Europe's biggest crime-writing event, I'm sure that we'll have disappointed lots of fine authors, just because places are so limited. I know just how that feels and if you've missed out this time, please come along anyway because your presence in the bar and willingness to chat informally to readers is what makes the Festival so special. You'll find a new readership and make lots of new friends.
I have no mixed feelings about Creative Thursday however! I'm delighted to have pulled in some absolutely brilliant practitioners. I know and have worked with most of them and I'm convinced that participants in the day will come away with new skills, influential contacts and perhaps a new direction to their career.
This year we're focusing on the broadcast media. Kirsteen Cameron, who's been midwife to some of my favourite radio 4 fiction - she produced the Martin Beck series as well as adaptations of two of my own novels - will talk about writing short stories for the network. The BBC is one of the few commissioners of short fiction today and while it's tough for new writers to find a place, she is absolutely the person to talk you through the process of selection and recording.
Our leaders on the writing for radio workshop are Shelley Silas and Simon Brett, two of the best practitioners of the genre. Shelley has adapted from prose, including the celebrated Raj Quartet, and has written original drama. Simon is probably the most experienced writer in the business - After Henry started on radio 4 before moving to television and Simon is famous for his Charles Paris series starring Bill Nighy. Shelley and Simon have run workshops together before.
Isabelle Grey and Gaby Chiappe will lead the workshop on writing for television. They're both old friends of mine and I can't recommend them highly enough. Isabelle has written episodes for The Bill, Casualty, Wycliffe and Midsomer Murders as well as working with Jimmy McGovern on an episode of Accused. She's an experienced teacher. Gaby has worked on Eastenders, Casualty and Holby, wrote two of my favourite episodes of Vera and is lead writer on the new series of Shetland. She's also adapting Georgette Heyer's Regency novels for TV. You couldn't have better tutors!
Creative Thursday always ends with Dragons' Pen - which gives participants to pitch their ideas to 4 experts. Well, this year we bring you 4 of the most useful Dragons in the industry: Christine Glover and Rebecca Watson are experienced and established agents, Allegra McIlroy is a producer at BBC Radio 4 and Michael Dawson is an executive producer with ITV Studios.
So what are you waiting for? If you're a writer of prose who's always felt that your book would make a great radio or TV drama, a lover of short fiction or a complete beginner with an itch to write for the broadcast media you'll be very welcome. I know this day will sell out very quickly so do book your place as soon as possible.
More details and how to book.