Event report

Conference 2013 - Diversifying Your Writing Career - Panel

Report published 01 August 2013

Diversifying Your Writing Career - Panel with Julie Cohen, Rowan Coleman, Miranda Dickinson, Kate Harrison, Tamsyn Murray and Cally Taylor

The panel was made up of six writers who, between them, write children’s fiction, young adult, romantic comedy, mainstream women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, non-fiction and robot erotica, as well as teaching writing and mentoring new writers.

Here are just a few of the main points:
• Teaching writing develops your own writing. Rowan Coleman commented that teaching encouraged her to audit her own craft.
• Writing in new genres can reignite your passion for writing. Miranda Dickinson talked about rediscovering why she “loved writing in the first place” by writing for her own amusement, while Julie Cohen described recapturing her “writing mojo.”
• Take risks. Cally Taylor took a risk to write a psychological suspense novel after having two chicklit stories published, and saw the risk pay off.
• Self-publishing and digital publishing provide new opportunities. You can publish more quickly, publish independently, publish shorter work, and also work outside your normal genre. Tamsyn Murray described the experience of self-publishing as “seductive.”
• We all have skills we don’t recognise or use that could lead to opportunities. It’s important to recognise those opportunities when they come along. Kate Harrison, who has published four books this year across fiction and non-fiction, summed this up: “Stay open to what might happen.”

Write up by Alison Maynard

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