Winchester Writers’ Conference

The Winchester Writers’ Conference is held in June/July annually at the University of Winchester. It is a series of talks and workshops for writers of all abilities and interests. The conference actually starts with a series of week-long workshops, then the conference proper runs for the weekend. Friday hosts a series of one-day ‘mini courses’; there are workshops that start Friday night and continue Sunday morning, and then on Saturday there are talks by a variety of speakers on a variety of subjects. Delegates can decide which of these aspects of the conference they wish to attend, and pay accordingly.

I first attended Winchester three years ago, after hearing from other writers about how useful it was. One of the most invaluable aspects of the Winchester conference, in my mind, are the ‘one-to-ones’ where you get fifteen minutes with the agent or editor of your choice, to talk about your manuscript. Naturally these book up really quickly. Last year I was too slow in sending back my booking form, and all the agents and editors I wanted to see were already booked up.

This year I was much quicker off the mark, and as soon as the programme was published on the website I was perusing all the people available for one-to-ones. I noted something interesting in the process of doing this. Horror, it seems, is gaining ground again.

I have now got confirmation that my booking form has been received and my first choice for one-to-ones are available. Hurrah! It seems it’s the year for my horror novel to take the spotlight. I am seeing two editors who say they are actively looking for horror. I also have a one-to-one with a published crime writer, who hopefully can give me some advice on the other finished novel, the crime one.

So it’s time to dust off the horror novel, which has been for the most part languishing in a drawer for a while, as I have been told repeatedly for quite a long time that horror doesn’t sell. Seems if you hold out long enough, everything comes back into vogue.

Now I just have to work on my pitch!


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