Workshop and Agent Q & A

Saturday May 21,  10am – 6pm

Private House, Kintbury, West Berkshire

Cost: £180 early bird rate, £240 late entry

Full Day Workshop with Emma Darwin:  Voice, Dialogue and Prose – Bring your Characters and Story to Life

Q&A and Afternoon Tea with Literary Agent:  Bookseller Rising Star 2021 – Charlotte Seymour, Johnson & Alcock

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.

Words on the Page:  Prose, Voice & Dialogue

You can have a brilliant premise for a story, wonderful characters and a gripping plot – but none of that is any good if the words that you put on the page don’t bring them all to fresh and vivid life. Agents and editors talk about the voice of a novel, but if you want to develop as a writer and sustain your career, you need a wider, deeper, richer understanding of the business of writing prose.

In this practical, all-day workshop led By Emma Darwin, we will dig deep into every aspect of how you choose which words get onto your pages: not only the all-important narrative voice, and characters’ voices and dialogue, but the underlying craft and technical skill which will raise your writing to a new level.

You should leave feeling stretched and inspired, with a notebook full of exciting experiments – some full of potential, some more polished – and a stronger sense of the possibilities that you, personally, want to explore and develop in the future.


Literary Agent Q&A

Over afternoon tea Charlotte Seymour, literary agent and Bookseller Rising Star 2021, will talk about what she is looking for in debuts and will go through the submission process commenting on cover letters and synopses with tips for what to include and what to avoid. She will share her thoughts on industry trends and the commercial side of the business.

In an increasingly competitive market, it’s more important than ever to be well informed and prepared when seeking representation.

Emma Darwin

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.

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Charlotte Seymour agent at Johnson & Alcock

Charlotte Seymour

Charlotte began her career in publishing as a literary scout at Eccles Fisher Associates. Following six and a half years as an agent at Andrew Nurnberg Associates, in 2022 she joined Johnson & Alcock, representing fiction and non fiction, and selling UK rights on behalf of US publisher Other Press.

Charlotte represents authors whose works have been Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers, and won or been nominated for prizes including the Goldsmiths Prize, Northern Book Prize, Dublin Literary Award, White Review Short Story Prize, National Book Awards (US) and PEN America Literary Awards, and international prizes including the Prix Goncourt, Swiss Book Prize and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Charlotte was a Bookseller Rising Star 2021. See here for more about what Charlotte is working on and enjoys reading.

You can find Charlotte on Twitter at @ce_seymour

Emma Haynes

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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Give me the details

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 Charlotte Seymour

Book soon to avoid disappointment. Limited number of early bird prices available.

Can I stay overnight?

Overnight accommodation – supper, bed and breakfast available for 5 -7 writers, COVID-19 protocols permitting.

Additional cost: £120 for single occupancy with own bathroom 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

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?

The full day workshop, literary agent Q&A, lunch and afternoon tea. Overnight accommodation – supper, bed and breakfast is an additional charge.

Will the sessions be recorded?

The sessions will not be recorded.

Cancellation due to COVID Protocols

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.

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Need more information?

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

Overnight accommodation – supper, bed and breakfast – COVID-19 protocols permitting.

Cost £100- £120 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.

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