Publishing and Industry Day – 23 March 2024
This event is now SOLD OUT. Spare tickets and returns may become available. If you would like to join the wait list for one of these tickets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Writing South’s Publishing and Industry Day brings together some of the best agents, publishers and experts in the industry to offer insights into the publishing process. The day is designed to demystify the industry, to provide insightful and practical information and give delegates the chance to put their questions directly to industry professionals. This day will be invaluable for anyone interested in getting an agent, getting published and setting up their author brand.
The day includes guests from agencies including DHH Literary Agency, Curtis Brown, The Good Literary Agency and Andrew Nurnberg Associates, and publishers including Trapeze, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Dialogue Books, Hodder, Bloomsbury, époque press, and bookouture.
A ticket includes lunch, as well as tea and coffee throughout the day. The venue is South East Dance.
Put your publishing questions to the most creative and forward-thinking agents, publishers and publishing experts in the UK today.
As always, discounted bursary places are available for writers who would struggle to pay full price. Find out more.
9.30 – 10.00
Registration with tea and coffee
10 – 10.30
Opening Keynote: The Changing Face of The Publishing Industry with Katie Packer
10.30 – 11.45
Agent Industry Panel with Abi Fellows, Silé Edwards, Amandeep Singh and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, hosted by New Writing South’s Artistic Director Anna Jefferson
Agents are some of the first gatekeepers in the publishing industry and are receiving more submissions than ever. But how can writers get their attention? This panel, hosted by Anna Jefferson, will ask agents from some of the UK’s top literary agencies for their top submission tips, to explore the mistakes that writers commonly make when submitting, and what they’re looking for. You’ll have the chance to ask them your questions, so come prepared!
11.45 – 13.00
Lunch and networking break
13.00 – 14.15
Publisher Industry Panel with Katie Packer, Seán Campbell, Billi Jones, Steve Jones and Mireille Harper hosted by author Katy Massey
There are more avenues to publication than ever before: from the big 5 to independent presses, innovative digital-first publishers and more. This panel, hosted by author Katy Massey, will cover the different ways that publishers are commissioning and marketing, how they work editorially with authors and agents and what they’re doing to promote inclusivity in the industry. Come ready with your questions.
14.15 – 14.45
Break (tea and coffee available)
14.45 – 16.00
From Pitch to Publication with Anna Caig, Beth Miller, Tanya Byrne and Christina Demosthenous chaired by literary agent Abi Fellows
How do you make yourself stand out as an author? How do you develop your brand? How do you connect with your readers and promote your work? This panel, hosted by literary agent Abi Fellows, will ask authors Beth Miller and Tanya Byrne to share their top tips on pitching and self-promotion, while marketing consultant Anna Caig will give her advice on building your author brand to make your books impactful and successful. Christina Demosthenous will join this panel to speak on launching a debut author and what publishers look for in an author.
Closing Keynote and New Writing South’s Commitment with Anna Jefferson
Meet New Writing South’s new Artistic Director, Anna Jefferson, and find out how New Writing South can support you in your writing and publishing journey in 2024.
About the participants
Davinia Andrew-Lynch joined Curtis Brown in 2023 and represents children’s/YA writers and illustrators across the genres, and a growing list of commercial adult fiction. A complete 90s child with a love of film and TV, she’s been shaped by the storytelling of the time – big, bold and pacy but with characters you can’t help but love. She’s looking for stories that smack you between the eyes, capture your heart, make you laugh (no matter the story or genre) and genuinely reflect the world in which we live. Above all, she wants to give writers and illustrators the space to tell the stories that they want to tell. Prior to CB, she founded and ran boutique agency Andlyn and was formerly a film/TV agent. She also co-founded, in conjunction with Faber Children’s, the FAB Prize which aims to discover unpublished children’s writers and illustrators from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds (www.fabprize.org).
Tanya Byrne is an award-wining author. After eight years at BBC Radio, she left to write her debut novel, HEART-SHAPED BRUISE, which was published by Headline in May 2012 and earned her a nomination for New Writer of the Year at the National Book Awards. Since then, she has written four novels and has contributed to several short story anthologies including A CHANGE IS GONNA COME, which was named Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week. Her next novel, IN THE SHALLOWS, is out in February.
Anna Caig trains creative people to market their own work. She works with The Society of Authors, Jericho Writers and The Literary Consultancy, as well as one-to-one with many writers. She has worked in communications for 20 years, specialising in media relations and strategic marketing campaigns, and is an experienced and engaging public speaker. Anna also writes historical crime fiction and her debut novel was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger prize. She reviews books for The Sheffield Telegraph and on her blog. The former Head of Communications at Sheffield City Council and tutor on The University of Sheffield MA Journalism course, Anna began her training business to support writers to build their brand and reach more readers. She now works with traditionally, indie and self-published writers, as well as helping creatives in any discipline find a wider audience.
Seán Campbell is the founder and editor in chief of époque press, an independent publisher of literary fiction. Their books include the Barbellion Prize winning title What Willow Says by Lynn Buckle and the Republic of Consciousness Prize longlisted The Beasts They Turned Away by Ryan Dennis. époque press was established in 2018 and is focused on finding the very best in literary fiction. Seán is always on the lookout for authors who have a strong and unique voice, those who are not afraid to be different and who have a narrative flair that will engage the reader. In addition to the main imprint, époque press also hosts a regular online é-zine which features work in many different mediums; ranging from poetry, short stories, spoken word, music, visual art, animation and even short films. Seán loves building close working relationships with authors and engaging them in every stage of bringing their work to publication.
Christina Demosthenous heads up the brand-new commercial imprint at Dialogue, Renegade Books – an exhilarating opportunity to create an imprint that meaningfully breaks the mould. Renegade Books are dedicated to radical and ambitious inclusion, pairing real commercial ambition with our activist core to publish the very best fiction and non-fiction and, of course, Books that Break Rules. Before joining Dialogue, Christina was Publishing Director at Bookouture, where she was nominated for Editor of the Year at the British Book Awards.
Silé Edwards was named a Trailblazer by London Book Fair in 2021 for her passion, dedication, resilience and commitment to her authors and is also a trustee for award-winning mentoring charity Arts Emergency. She began her career at the Publishers Association, supporting their campaigns and communication functions. She then moved to Curtis Brown as an assistant in the Book Department, where she supported deals for an extensive and eclectic list of clients before joining a boutique agency where she built a list of her own, brokering deals for debut novelists, content creators and experts writing commercial non fiction books on their specialty. Silé joined Andrew Nurnberg Associates in 2022, bringing with her the dynamic list of authors she’d built in just two years including debut author Kuchenga, writer-activists Natalie and Naomi Evans, co-founders of EverydayRacism, architect and TV presenter Laura Jane Clark, birthing coach Illiyin Morrison and food-writer Denai Moore.
Abi Fellows is a literary agent with over 20 years’ experience in the publishing industry, having started in bookselling at Blackwell’s in 2001. After a stint on the sales team of Faber and Faber, Abi began her agenting career with Georgina Capel Associates, spent several years as a literary scout at RR Ltd and returned to agenting at The Good Literary Agency, building a list focused on amplifying and championing writers from backgrounds that had traditionally been marginalised. In 2023, Abi joined DHH Literary Agency. Abi also has experience as a school governor with particular involvement in the schools literacy programmes and their work with children who have special educational needs and are disabled. She is currently a Trustee for New Writing South.
Mireille Harper is Editorial Director of Tonic, a non-fiction lifestyle imprint at Bloomsbury. Outside of her job, she is also a writer, sensitivity reader and communications consultant. She is the author of Timelines from Black History and a contributor to Timelines of Everyone, The Black History Book and Migrations (all published by DK). Her essay, ‘Why Passivity Will No Longer Do’ is published in Feminist Book Society’s anthology, This Is How We Come Back Stronger. Her writing has been published in British Vogue, GUAP, Nataal, Digital Spy, Good Housekeeping, PORT Magazine and more. As a communications consultant, Mireille has worked on campaigns for Bad Form, Punch Records, Content is Queen and BYP Network. Mireille is a trustee of And Other Stories, Africa Writes and Être Girls.
Anna Jefferson is Artistic Director at New Writing South. She is also a fiction writer and playwright, having written for stage and screen since 2005. She has published three novels, Winging It (2020) and Nailing It (2021), both published with Orion and The List for Living, published with Penguin Random House, Germany (2024.) She is currently writing her forth novel. Anna is founder and co-director of Broken Leg Theatre and has written and toured five plays nationally. She Co-directs Writing Around the Kids, delivering creative writing workshops with mothers of young children, in partnership with museums and cultural organisations.
Billi-Dee Jones is a Commissioning Editor at the dynamic digital publisher Bookouture. An avid reader of commercial fiction, she was thrilled to join the editorial team in 2021. A creative and enthusiastic editor, Billi is always on the hunt for standout hooks and gripping writing across all genres, from heart-pounding crime and thrillers to swoon-worthy romantic comedies. Passionate about platforming unrepresented creatives, Billi has also edited and written for Bad Form and the Publishing Post.
Steve Jones is Publishing Director at JKP, with particular responsibility for Social Care and Mental Health. He is also involved in leading the strategic development of the acquisitions team, and in developing new partnerships and acquisitions. He has over 20 years of industry experience, spanning social sciences and education. He is on Twitter at @Steve_JKPbooks.
Katy Massey was a journalist for 15 years before studying for an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. Her memoir, Are We Home Yet? was published in 2020 and shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize and the Portico Prize. In addition, her fiction and nonfiction has been widely anthologised, including Common People edited by Kit de Waal, The Place for Me, and Glimpse. All Us Sinners, a crime novel set in Leeds in the 1970s against the backdrop of the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe, is her first novel. It is published by Sphere, and out in March 2024.
Beth Miller is an expert in pitching books. She’s the author of six novels, including the bestselling The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright (2020). Her most recent novel, The Woman Who Came Back to Life (2022), will be published in seven languages. Her seventh novel will be coming out in Summer 2025. She has also published two non-fiction books. She is a tutor on the Creative Writing MA at West Dean College, and also teaches regularly for Arvon. She has worked with many writers on their submissions to agents, both in her role as an independent book coach and for The Literary Consultancy. She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Brighton University.
Katie Packer is an Editorial Director at Trapeze where she publishes bold and brazen books which create space, takes risks and start conversations. She started working at Hachette six years ago and since then has published an array of agenda-setting and bestselling titles. As well as the Sunday Times bestsellers Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola, Keep the Receipts by The Receipts Podcast and The Girls Bathroom by Sophia Tuxford and Cinzia Baylis-Zullo, she has published and commissioned high profile authors, activists and gamechangers including Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Tarana Burke, Kwajo Tweneboa and Paula Akpan. In 2021, she won the Hachette UK Harry Barker staff award and was shortlisted for the 2021 LBF Trailblazer award. In 2023, she won the FutureBook Award for Future Leader of the Year after spearheading the Changing the Story Freelancer Training Programme to diversify publishing’s pool of freelance editors. Beyond publishing, she has worked with underrepresented business founders at Hatch Enterprise, mentored writers through Black Girl Writers and co-hosted the Main Characters Podcast. She also writes herself, tweets too much, and tries to support publishing hopefuls as often as she can.
Amandeep Singh is an agent at TGLA. She began her career at Hamish Hamilton before working at innovative digital publisher Canelo. Keen to work even more closely with authors, she became an assistant at The Blair Partnership before joining Ebury, HarperCollins and Penguin Press, where she collaborated on books by Greta Thunberg, Grace Dent and Nikita Gill. She published only debut authors during her time at HarperCollins: Taz Alam, Dr Vanita Rattan, Oloni and Bretman Rock. Her passion for championing debuts, amplifying underrepresented voices and working in-depth editorially led her back to agenting. She hopes to work with writers who enjoy collaboration; as a French and Italian (and rusty Punjabi) speaker, she is also interested in voices and topics that cross borders.