First Draft to Final Draft with Emma Darwin
Ask An Agent with Katie Fulford, Bell Lomax Moreton
Sessions will be interactive with writers invited to share their elevator pitches with the group for feedback. Emma Darwin will set exercises for writers during her workshop.
The Away Day will have limited numbers of like-minded writers at a similar stage in their writing journey. The event is in a beautiful country house in a garden setting. Costs include lunch and afternoon tea.
First Draft to Final Draft – Workshop with Emma Darwin
Do you get the first draft of a novel or creative non-fiction down fairly easy, but find it hard to move on to the next stage? Does your motivation sag – or does your plot – when you start revising? Do you struggle with integrating researched material or feedback, or lose track of all your different versions, revisions and files? Are you daunted by keeping yourself ‘on task’, or do you lack the confidence to tackle more complex projects for fear of getting in a terminal muddle?
In this Away Day, we will explore what a writer needs to do to move on from that first-draft stage without losing touch with the passion that makes you want to write this story. We’ll consider ways to tame a novel that’s got out of hand, and how to keep going for yet another draft, and end by considering how to tell when you’ve finished the final draft, and the book is ready to go out.
There will be plenty of time for writing, thinking and questions, and you should take away some new energy for the next stage, as well as practical tools to help you see a project all the way to that final, polished draft.
Pitching Your Novel: Q&A with Katie Fulford
Over afternoon tea, Katie will give you the inside track on the submission process as well as industry insights. Writers will be invited to share with the group their elevator pitches for feedback from Katie and BPA’s Emma. In an increasingly competitive market, it’s more important than ever to be well informed and prepared when seeking representation.
Emma’s memoir, This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin, was published in 2019. Her 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.
Katie spent the last 25 years at HarperCollins in a variety of roles including Group Rights Director, Managing Director of Collins non-fiction and senior positions in William Collins and 4th Estate, Fiction and Children’s. She was Executive Producer on Channel 4’s 2019 critically acclaimed TV adaptation of the much loved classic The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr which was awarded an international Emmy. Her extensive and varied experience across a range of publishing and rights management, puts her in a unique position to be able to work with an author to offer representation and guidance across all media and in all markets.
Emma is responsible for BPA’s bespoke programme of literary events and retreats as well as managing the First Novel Award and Pitch Prize competitions. With a background in communications and special events she has an eye for detail and a desire to give writers the best possible experience in an imaginative programme involving creative writing tutors, best selling authors and leading literary agents as guest tutors.
Blue Pencil Tutorials
Here’s what past clients have said
I have been trying to get my novel completed for the last 5 years having started it 10 years ago. Despite re-writes and getting feedback etc I must have been over it more than 30 times. The seminar with Emma Darwin was outstanding. It’s the best event I have attended and made total sense! So many…
Thank you so much for Saturday. It was an inspiring day, especially the evening, and the timing was perfect for me as I get back into writing after my summer break. I felt very lucky to be in the company of so many talented writers, and I thought you did a fabulous job hosting the…
Thank you Emma, for a wonderful experience at the away day and overnight at your stunning home. It is always nice to spend time with writers, but especially like minded creatives out in the deep woods of writing their novels. Both you and your husband were exquisite hosts, taking care of every need. The quality…
Just a quick note to thank you so much for yesterday. It was wonderful to meet you and the workshop was fantastic! I very much enjoyed the exercises and meeting all the other attendees.
The quickest of notes to say ‘thank-you’ for a very enjoyable and very useful session last night. I should also say it was great value for money! I’ve emailed, said the same thing to Emma Darwin, but for you and BPA to initiate, organise, and host such an event is extraordinarily supportive for new writers.…
I’m really enjoying these and a great way to stay ‘connected’ with a writing community so thank you so much for keeping them coming!
Frequently Asked Questions
The BPA Away Day for Novelists will be taking place at a private home in Kintbury, West Berkshire.
A full day workshop with writing tutor Emma Darwin will be followed by an informal Q&A with literary agent Katie Fulford. Writers will be invited to share their elevator pitches with the group and gain valuable feedback.
Book soon to avoid disappointment. Limited number of early bird prices available.
Overnight accommodation – supper, bed and breakfast available for 5 -7 writers, COVID-19 protocols permitting.
Additional cost: £120 for single occupancy and £100 for double occupancy.
There are limited spaces on site but there are some lovely pubs and guest houses in Kintbury and Inkpen. Contact us for details
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.
The full day workshop, literary agent Q&A, lunch and afternoon tea. Overnight accommodation – supper, bed and breakfast is an additional charge.
The sessions will not be recorded.
If we can’t go ahead with the event in person we may postpone or reschedule online at a reduced cost. In the event of cancellation full refunds will be given.
Need more information?
If you have any other questions about our retreats please fill out the form
Overnight accommodation – supper, bed and breakfast
Cost £150 per person. Limited numbers so please get in touch to book a room
Kintbury village has a train station with hourly trains from London Paddington and Reading. It’s conveniently located off the M4 between junctions 13 & 14.