National Creative Writing Day

National Creative Writing Day

Eleanor Hill, Marketing and Production Assistant at Comma Press introduces National Creative Writing Day which takes place on November 1st at The Metropolitan University, Manchester.

The National Creative Writing Industry Day, now in its fifth year, is the largest conference of its kind taking place in the North of England. Drawing over 150 delegates annually, the event is run in partnership with The Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, and is designed for all new writers aspiring to publication to gain an insight into the publishing industry from its experts, and to help them hone their skills needed to enter it.

This all-day event includes an opening keynote speech from an acclaimed author, morning panel discussions, and an afternoon split into two halves, in which delegates attend a workshop of their choosing led by esteemed writers and organisations, and are given the opportunity to pitch their work to two literary agents/editors in the genre/s that best describe their work (selected upon booking).

The event contains a workshop titled ‘(Re) Connecting to your Poetry’ which will be hosted by award-winning poet Nadine Aisha Jassat and aims to help participants explore their voice in poetry. Nadine, who won the Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s award in 2018, has been published widely both online and in print, including in It’s Not About the Burqa (Picador) and 404 Ink’s highly-praised Nasty Women. Her debut collection Let Me Tell You This was published by 404 Ink in March 2019.

Attendees at the Industry Day will have the opportunity to pitch their work one-to-one to scholar, poet and critic Michael Schmidt from poetry publisher Carcanet Press, who can offer constructive criticism and advice. Further to this, the event is hosting a panel titled ‘I’m a Poet, take me seriously’ which aims to discuss the challenges a new poet faces as well as the various and growing platforms that are now available for aspiring poets. Notable speakers on this panel include renowned poet Andrew McMillan, whose debut collection physical was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award, Publisher at Verve Poetry Press Stuart Bartholomew and founder of spoken-word label Nymphs & Thugs Matt Abbott.

This annual event, previously known as the National Creative Writing Graduate Fair, has offered invaluable help to many aspiring authors and poets on their way to being published. Former delegate turned panellist 2018 Helen Taylor noted in her testimonial that the day provided her with the ‘invaluable opportunity’ to pitch her novel, which is now published by one of the publishers from the event, to agents and industry representatives. Similarly, former delegate James Ellson also now has a publishing deal, and contends that this event ‘proved to be the pivotal moment in my writing career’.

The National Creative Writing Day is organised and ran by Comma Press, an independent publisher based in Manchester. Comma specialise in the short story and translated fiction, as well as working in writer development with short story courses and conferences such as this one. Comma Press are pleased to be partnering with Manchester Metropolitan University on this event.

More information can be found on the National Creative Writing Industry Day website:

Tickets and programme for the day can be found here:

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