Busy times indeed! The Edinburgh International Book Festival opened on Saturday 15 August and I was privileged to be invited to the opening night party. As a committee member of the Society of Authors in Scotland (the Scottish branch of the UK-wide trade union representing writers) I give up a significant amount of my time for no remuneration but I do get to meet many interesting people and attend a variety of stimulating events.
On Sunday I attended the launch party for crime writer Lin Anderson‘s Final Cut. Lin is also a member of the SoAiS committee. It is likely that Final Cut will soon appear as a three-part drama on ITV!
On Monday 17 August I attended Mark Le Fanu’s talk on writing in a recession. Mark is the General Secretary of the Society of Authors and so is well placed to comment on the impact of the economic downturn on the literary scene.
The SoAiS AGM on 18 August, at which Nicola Morgan retired as our chair to be replaced by Angus Konstam, was followed by our summer party. The members of the SoAiS invited various national and international literary figures to this event, and, to judge by the feedback, it was hugely successful. Thanks to al the members involved with setting it up, stuffing the goody bags, serving the food and drink, and tidying up afterwards!
On Tuesday afternoon I attended Lin Anderson’s stimulating talk on how to structure a story. Lin used a gripping anecdote about her experience in a small plane in Nigeria to illustrate some of the points she made. Both engines failed…
On Wednesday evening I chaired Nicola Morgan’s excellent “How to Make a Publisher Say Yes” event. As I explained in my introduction, it is hard to imagine anyone better qualified than Nicola to give such a talk. Not for the first time in my blog I refer all readers to her excellent blog, Help! I NEED a Publisher!
One of the topics Nicola deals with is the perfect covering letter, which brings me to my latest news: I have just finished helping this amazing commissioner write the three first chapters and synopsis of her biography so will soon be working on covering letters as we submit it to publishers and agents.
Other festival/fringe events I have attended include Utter, Capoeira Knights and Nick Pynn, all highly recommended. The first is a free literary lucky dip, the second features astounding athleticism and the third is a display of gob-smacking multi-instrumental musicianship (and you get a glass of wine with your ticket!)