Now in its 36th year, the three-day Festival is open to emerging creative writers working in all genres. It offers 17 all-day master courses and workshops, 28 talks and over 700 one-to-one appointments with around 70 literary agents, editors and critically-acclaimed authors, scriptwriters and poets.
This year’s keynote address is to be given by Meg Rosoff, multi-award winning author of fiction for Young Adults including How I Live Now, Just In Case and Picture Me Gone. Her new novel for adults, Jonathan Unleashed, was published earlier this month to international acclaim.
“Meg’s address, titled What it means to have a voice and where to get one, explores a fundamental concern for all writers,” said Judith Heneghan, Festival Director and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing. “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome such an esteemed author to the University. Meg’s writing is always sharp, clear, full of wit, wisdom and a warmth that speaks directly to the reader. Her speech is sure to invigorate and inspire us all.”
This year, there are 10 Festival Scholarship places available to young writers aged 18-25 from across the UK enabling them to attend for free, participate in workshops and make contacts with industry professionals.
“We’re also pleased to launch a new competition,” added Judith. “Skylark Soaring Stories is open to writers of middle grade and young adult fiction, and prizes include editorial consultations with the competition sponsor and adjudicator Skylark Literary, who are looking for an intriguing concept and a remarkable writing voice.”
Additional highlights for 2016 include:
Shelley Harris – whose novels have been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and a Richard and Judy Book Club selection – hosts an all-day course on The Shape of Your Novel on Friday 17 June. Later that evening, there are free events open to the public including literary readings, an agent panel Q&A and an open mic.
Saturday 18 June offers emerging writers the opportunity to attend talks with, amongst others, Nick MacKinnon, winner of the Forward Prize for best single poem; Winchester graduate Claire Fuller, winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize for a debut novel; and literary agents John Berlyne (Zeno Agency), Gill McLay (Bath Literary Agency), Jenny Savill (Andrew Nurnberg Associates), Becky Bagnell (Lindsay Literary Agency) and Jessie Botterill (Janklow & Nesbit).
Mark Byford, former Head of Journalism and Deputy Director General with the BBC, talks about his first book – A Name On a Wall: Two Men, Two Wars, Two Destinies – at the Festival Dinner on Saturday evening.
New workshops on Sunday 18 June include Writing Fantasy with Rebecca Alexander and Writing Picture Books with Andrew Weale.
The University of Winchester Writer’s Festival takes place from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 June. Attendees may book to attend one, two or all three days. Those booking both Friday and Saturday are entitled to four one-to-one appointments. Tickets are also available for Meg Rosoff’s keynote address only – What it means to have a voice and where to get one takes place at 9-10am on Saturday 18 June in the Stripe Auditorium, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR.
Further information about the Festival Scholarship Scheme and all competitions are also available at www.writersfestival.co.uk
A print-ready image of Judith Heneghan and Professor Joy Carter with the Festival programme is available to download by clicking here