The National Creative Writing Graduate Fair 2018

On Friday the 2nd November, Comma held our fourth National Creative Writing Graduate Fair in partnership with The Manchester Writing School and Manchester Metropolitan University. The fair's programme consisted of a keynote speech from award-winning short story writer Eley Williams, panel discussions on topics such as 'How To Get Noticed As a Writer' and 'Beyond the Book: Writing and Adapting for Film, Radio and Games' featuring high calibre publishers, writers and producers, workshops ran by professional authors in a range of creative writing forms, and last but certainly not least, pitching opportunities for each attendee with top London-based literary agents. 

Emily Oldfield of 'HAUNT Manchester' and 'I Love Manchester' was reporting on the event and has written the following blog for The Manchester Writing School website, capturing the excitable atmosphere of the day: 

"The day’s events provided a welcoming platform to put difficult industry questions out into the open... delegates enjoyed a keynote speech from Eley Williams – whose collection of short stories Attrib. And Other Stories (Influx Press) won The James Tait Black Prize 2018 and The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2018. Williams talked to a packed-out audience about her influences, insecurities and aspirations as a writer in a highly inspiring opening address."

" 'The Grad Fair was one of the best opportunities I have ever been given. It was such an entertaining day, with lots of advice all from people in the industry, that made me feel a little bit more secure in my career path,' writer Abbie Peace told us."

Agencies and editors in attendance included members from Canongate, Marjacq Scripts, Madeleine Milburn, LAW Agency and Jonathan Ruppin of the Ruppin Agency, who reflected on the event: “It's important, particularly outside London, to open up the publishing world to new writers, to give them insight into how it works and what routes to publication might be open to them.”

The National Creative Writing Graduate Fair runs annually. Our fifth fair will be held early November 2019.