Online Writing Weekend for Novelists

Tutors: Emma Darwin, Alice Jolly, Nelle Andrew & Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Thursday September 24 – Sunday September 27, 2020

zoom writers workshop - Blue Pencil Agency

Afternoon Tutorials and Q & A sessions

One on One Editorial Review

Options listed below

Or Select All Weekend Event
With the One on One Editorial Session

Motivation & Inspiration with Emma Darwin
Point of View & Narrators with Alice Jolly
Agent Submissions Q & A with Nelle Andrew
The Writer’s Palette with Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
*BONUS* with One on One Editorial Session with a BPA Editor

The UK's Biggest First Novel Competition - Have you written a book? Looking to get your book published?

September 24

2.30 – 4.30pm

Motivation & Inspiration

with Emma Darwin

September 25

2.30 – 4.30pm

Point of View & Narrators

with Alice Jolly

September 26

2.30 – 4.00pm

Agent Submissions

with Nelle Andrew

September 27

2.30 – 4.00pm

The Writer’s Palette

with Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Thursday September 24, 2020

“Motivation & Inspiration” with Emma Darwin
Emma Darwin credit JPMasclet 0229

Emma’s memoir, This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin, was published in 2019; the Daily Mail described her account of three disastrous years trying to write an historical novel rooted in her family as ‘a fascinating journey…a masterclass’. Emma’s widely-read blog This Itch of Writing gave rise to Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction which publisher Scott Pack describes as ‘essential reading’. She has taught for the Open University and is a regular guest lecturer and workshop leader.


Motivation & Inspiration. Silencing the Inner Critic. We look at how writing needs both inspiration and perspiration, how they interact – and how what you need can change as your writing develops.

Get Writing and Keep Writing

Everyone knows about the terror of the blank page, but what about the terror of page 247? Or the terror of your second novel, while your first is out on submission to agents and publishers?

In this workshop we will look at how writing needs both inspiration and perspiration, how they interact – and how what you need can change as your writing develops. We’ll explore how to nurture confidence, what the whole ‘Muse’ thing is about, ways to make a space in your life for writing, and how to keep the seat of your pants on the seat of your chair. Along the way, we’ll check in with inner critics, anti-writing and must-write demons, and explore ways to keep them in their place.

There will be time for questions, and though we can’t promise that by the end you’ll have all the demons vanquished, you should have a deeper understanding of how to get going, and keep going, with your writing projects over the long term.

Friday September 25, 2020

“Point of View and Narrators” with Alice Jolly

A novelist, playwright and memoirist, Alice has won both the V S Pritchett Memorial Prize for short stories and the PEN/Ackerley Prize for autobiography. Her latest novel, Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019. She also teaches creative writing at Oxford University.

“Point of View” seems to get writers in more of a tangle than any other technical issue. In this workshop, author and creative writing tutor Alice Jolly explains how to get it right.

Do you know when you have changed view point? Why have you changed view point and are you sure you need to?

Whose story is it? Who speaks in your book and who does not?

Who has a voice and who is silenced?

Where does the reader make his / her emotional investment when reading your book?

Does it matter if we don’t like the main character in a book?

Does the main character always have to be the same as the narrator?

What is gained and what is lost when you have several different narrators in a novel?

Saturday September 26, 2020

“Agent Submissions” – Synopses, Cover letters and Insider tips with Nelle Andrew
Nelle Andrew - BluePencilAgency - BPA

Nelle Andrew, agent at Rachel MIlls Literary Agency was nominated for Literary Agent of the Year at The British Book Awards 2018, and was a Bookseller Rising Star (2016) Her career includes discovering Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers; award winning novelists as well as several Richard and Judy Book Club Picks.
She’s also a published novelist in her own right.

Think of your submission package as a job application for your book. You not only want to apply to the right people, the ones who have a passion for the books you write, but you want to present your book in such a way that they will easily see what your book has to offer.

Leading literary agent Nelle Andrew discusses the dos and don’ts of submitting to agents, how you can make your submission stand out from the pile, and what you should be asking a potential agent. You’ll go home with practical tips for how to find the perfect agent for your book, what to include (and leave out) in your cover letter, how to write a clear synopsis, how long and in what format your manuscript submission should be and the tools you need to hone your elevator pitch.

Nelle will answer your questions and hopefully point you in the right direction for a successful submission.

Agent to best selling authors such as Sara Collins, Jing Jing Lee and Elizabeth Day, Nelle signed two of the shortlisted authors for our 2019 First Novel Award and is actively looking for debuts. So if you are looking for representation, this workshop will be invaluable.

Sunday September 27, 2020

“The Writer’s Palette” with author and screenwriter, Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott –
Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott - Blue Pencil Agency - BPA

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Kelleigh lives between Los Angeles and London. She is an award winning screenwriter as well as winning accolades for her debut novel Swan Song.

Whether describing everyday events, love and loss, complex plots or mystery drama, when used effectively, the writer’s palette paints a vivid and vibrant picture in the mind of the reader evoking emotion and engaging the reader in a new experience.

Kelleigh’s background in screenwriting gives her work a very visual and strong sense of place and time and her characterisation is highly nuanced. Her debut novel Swan Song, a fictionalised reimagining of the later life of US author Truman Capote tells of the writer’s last years in the voices of the society women or “Swans” whom he befriended and then betrayed. The novel won this year’s McKitterick Prize, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the Goldsboro Award. Kelleigh is currently adapting Swan Song as a limited series for television.

Kelleigh will also talk about her journey to getting published.

Frequently Asked Questions

Give me the details

The four tutorials are part of our Writing Weekend and priority will be given to writers signing up for the whole event which also includes a one on one editorial session with a BPA editor.

The cost of the four afternoon sessions and a one on one meeting on zoom with an editor is £300.

Writers attending the full weekend will be contacted with a submission request early September for the editorial review. We will assign a BPA editor depending on your requirements once we have read your submission.

How do I join and how will the session be run?

A couple of days before the session you will be sent joining instructions for zoom. If you haven’t received anything 24 hours before then please get in touch.

The sessions will be conducted with writers muted but if possible with the video on so that there is a sense of a group.

During the session writers may ask questions in the chat box and after the break, there will be a Q & A session. If your question is being answered then by all means unmute yourself if you wish to clarify a point.

Some sessions may have handouts which will be submitted either before or after the session as requested by the tutor.

Recording of the sessions is not available without prior arrangement. Writers unable to attend the session for which they have paid may be able to get a recording depending on the tutor’s agreement. The recordings are the property of BPA.

What do I need to have to hand?

We will let you know nearer the time what you need to prepare but in general it might be helpful to have some of your own work printed out. Then just a pen and paper if you want to make notes.

What’s included in the cost?

Tuition, Q & A and post event, any handouts. Recording of the sessions is not available without prior arrangement.

Will the sessions be recorded?

Recording of the sessions is not available without prior arrangement. Writers unable to attend the session for which they have paid may be able to get a recording depending on the tutor’s agreement. The recordings are the property of BPA.

Need more information?

If you have any other questions about our retreats please fill out the form

£300 for four afternoon group sessions and a one on one editorial review 

Contact us to check availability and reserve your place.

Payment is required in advance to confirm your booking.