University of Birmingham

WGGB at National Writers’ Conference

By WGGB West Midlands rep William Gallagher

Writing West Midlands in association with the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) presents the first national conference for writers across screen, stage, radio and publication. It’s about getting in, staying in and getting on with writing – whether you’re new or looking to move to different disciplines.

The National Writers’ Conference takes place at the University of Birmingham (pictured above) on Saturday 16 July 2016. It’s about the practicalities and the money of writing, it’s about the art and the new opportunities in our business.

Panels include writers, editors, publishers and broadcasters on subjects including: funding via residencies, developing your career, and changing the world for yourself – and for the world.

I will join producer Clare Eden and BBC Radio Radio 4’s Jeremy Howe on a special WGGB panel to discuss writing for broadcast radio and for podcasts.

In other panels, Antonia Byatt will advise us all on how to engage with literature festivals and organisations. And keynote speaker Bali Rai will talk about multicultural Britain, plus branching out from one writing career into another.

Not to take anything away from any of these fine people, but the real worth of this conference is in between the many, many sessions. It’s with your fellow writers.

The National Writers’ Conference is borne of the longstanding Writers’ Toolkit annual conference where WGGB has had a regular presence. Meeting other writers is not a chance by-product of the conference, it’s the explicit purpose and the organisers have taken steps to make sure this is key.

I say steps. Really it’s one step: the number of attendees is capped. When you get to the rather beautiful Bramall Music Building at the University of Birmingham, you’ll see they could have readily fitted in more people but they won’t. It’s a great thing because of this, making it exactly the right size to create an excellent and conducive atmosphere. It also means you need to book right now to get in under the cap (bookings end on 30 June 2016).

View the full programme
Visit the bookings site