I’ll have to give you all a wee break from The Ride and blog about this excellent opportunity instead. I realise that for many of you, Inverness is far, far away (no Shrekian pun intended).
Still, the beginning of June may just be the time when you make the long and perilous quest up the A9, for XPO North takes over the town on 8th and 9th of June! That’s right, the (already very creative) population of Inverness is about to be joined by delegates from the British and international creative industries.
Here are my top five:
1.On both days, XpoNorth Writing & Publishing‘s panel of publishers and agents will hear unpublished submission pitches from selected writers who submitted to our call earlier this year. I didn’t try my hand at this as, happily, I have a publisher for Fir for Luck. Still, I absolutely can’t wait to witness other writers testing their persuasive powers against the panel. Compulsive viewing, I’m sure, plus I’ll be looking to learn a thing or two about how to pitch in a concise and engaging way. Bring it on!
2. Picture Hooks Masterclass: How To Write A Picture Book. In 2013, together with literary agent Lucy Juckes, Vivian French – author of the Stargirl Academy series and lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art – set up Picture Hooks as a project to support emerging Scottish illustrators through mentoring, conferences and exhibitions. Here French describes the process of how to write a picture book for children – an imaginative literary world where images are often as important as words. I have met Vivian French briefly and can’t wait for this – I’ve tried my hand at picture book texts a good handful of times!
3.Services For Authors: A Buyers’ Guide. From cover design to editing and proofreading, the growth and success of professional independent authorship and self-publishing has sparked a major demand for services for authors. But how do authors select the right professional suppliers? In this session, Ricardo Fayet, co-founder of Reedsy, the largest international market place for professional authors services, and Ben Galley, indie author and consultant, address these key issues, and introduce Reedsy and its services. Not a route I have gone down, but good to be informed, right?
4. From Concept To Creation – Children’s Media In Scotland. Harry Potter, Peter Pan, The Gruffalo… All these world-famous children’s brands started with a spark of an idea from someone living in Scotland. This session looks at how to develop an idea into something that children will find fascinating and enjoyable. It will also ask if Scotland’s children’s media industry – on the rise, particularly in the Highlands – can learn from the success of its counterpart in Ireland and mainland Europe. The panel include Lindy Cameron, Joanne Carmichael, Damien O’Connor and chair Mick Cooke.
5. Looking for a way into freelancing? Scottish Magazine Publishing: A Global Industry could be the event for you. Magazines come in all shapes and sizes – digital and print, newsstand and free, consumer and B2B – and publishers are making money in increasingly diverse ways. With data and social media now key to any successful business, global opportunities have grown exponentially as publishers become bolder and more determined to succeed. This session sets out the magazine scene in Scotland, as key figures from this thriving sector reveal how they’re taking the world by storm (Fraser Allen, Nick Creed, Nikki Simpson).
And man, that’s just the start – back to back new film showcases, live music, events on all sorts of interesting things like the making of the programme Highlands – Scotland’s Wild Heart (I’m interested…), crafts, networking and an awesome range of 1-2-1s.
Full programme here: https://xponorth.co.uk/festival-programme
Oh, and free. FREE! All of it. Did I mention that?
See you there.