Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Edinburgh International Book Festival and Rejection

For the last couple of days I've been running workshops at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF). The EIBF, for those that don't know, is quite a big deal in the UK. The gardens of Charlotte Square in Edinburgh are, for a few short weeks, transformed with a series of giant tents into a paradise for book lovers. The place throngs with readers, would be writers, agents, publishers, writers, politicians and journalists. Everything that is most current in publishing in the UK is represented here and you never quite know who you are going to run into next.

Yesterday I ran a workshop on Dealing with Solitary Creativity. I had a great group of active participants and at the end a flurry of positive comments. I also had an industrial spy. Perhaps the term is a little strong, but at the end one of my participants told me that the chap sitting next to her couldn't contribute to the paired elevator pitch exercise as he was in PR at Random House and was scoping out the workshops. However, he did give some excellent insight into how she should pitch her book.

Then I had tea with John Prescott. 

To be precise John Prescott and I were both drinking tea about three feet apart, but actually I was talking to his sign language interpreter for the day, Kyra. So technically I had tea with John Prescott. The author's yurt (and it really is a yurt) is open to all participants at the festival, so you frequently end up mingling with the famous. On Saturday the Prime Minister was there, but I wasn't. 

Today's workshop was about dealing with rejection - the bottom line of which was
  • it happens to everyone
  • it hurts
  • it's not personal
  • it's something you can learn from
  • it can be the start of a relationship (ie no we don't want this, but your writing is interesting.
To be a writer is to be a paradoxical creature. It's to be someone who happily spends hours in their own imagination creating worlds and who must also fully engage with life. 

Today I am also guesting at The Lyrical Press Blog - where I talk a lot of about print versus ebooks having spent the week so far surrounded by print focussed people. 


Snap2Grid said...

I was one of the participants of the Solitary Creativity workshop. I gained a lot from it and met some nice people. I hope you'll be hosting some workshops next year! Next time I'll remember to bring a pen.

Caroline Dunford said...

Hi Steve,

I'm glad you found the workshop useful. There have been comments about my doing workshops again next year, so I may well see you then!