Tuesday 11th June 2013

Julian Unthank – screenwriter

‘Hidden in Plain Sight – The Secret Structures of the Screen Story’

Julian UnthankThe talk explained the basic seventeen structural beats of a successful screen story and how, once the audience is aware of them, they’ll see them repeated time and again in everything from feature films such as JAWS, HARRY POTTER and THE GODFATHER, reality shows like THE APPRENTICE, shorts such as my Oscar shortlisted film LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT and even in very short form television commercials such as the recent DULUX ads.

Read the report here.

Tuesday 14th May 2013

Madelaine MilburnMadeleine Milburn – Literary agent from The Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV and Film Agency: www. madeleinemilburn.com

‘Why Do I Need a Literary Agent in the Digital Age’

Madeleine as the Head of The Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency has a well-established track record of launching new writers internationally in a variety of media.

Read the report here.

Tuesday 9th April 2013

Reid and StannardJulian Stannard & Christopher Reid – poets

Christopher Reid’s most recent collection of poems is Nonsense (Faber and Faber, 2012). Among earlier volumes, his A Scattering (Arete Books) was named Costa Book of the Year 2009, while The Song of Lunch became a BBC2 film starring Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. He was the editor of Letters of Ted Hughes (2007).

Read the report here.

Tuesday 12th March 2013

Jane Wenham-JonesJane Wenham-Jones – novelist

‘What a way to Earn a Living!’

Novelist, journalist, broadcaster and author of books for aspiring writers including the hilarious and informative wannabee a writer? On experiences of being a columnist, novelist, interviewer, author’s agony aunt and recognised expert on the hazards of Writer’s Bottom. Jane illustrates her mantra: Everything is material…

Read the report here.

Tuesday 12th February 2013

James McConnachie – professional reviewer, traveller and part-time historian: www.mcconnachie.net

‘Writing to Order – and when to strain against the leash’

James%20webJames McConnachie is the author of an acclaimed biography of the Kamasutra, The Book of Love (Atlantic, 2007), reviews regularly for The Sunday Times, and has written numerous travel titles for Rough Guides. James studied English Literature at Jesus College, Oxford, and began his career researching for the historian Theodore Zeldin. Updating Rough Guides to Venice, Florence and Italy led to presenting a five-part BBC TV series on Italian language and culture, Italy Inside Out, and stints on the sofa with Richard and Judy. He is now the co-author of Rough Guides to Nepal, Paris and the Loire, and makes frequent trips to keep his books up-to-date.

Most recently, James has tried to restore some dignity to two esoteric subjects. His Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories (2008), co-authored with Robin Tudge, exposes the truth behind over a hundred conspiracy canards, and explores whether there is a conspiracist version of history. The Book of Love: In Search of the Kamasutra (Atlantic, 2007) puts India’s most extraordinary ancient book in its true context, and reveals how it was eagerly smuggled into the West in the nineteenth century. William Dalrymple, writing in The Times, called it “elegant and stylish”, and it won him a nomination for Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2008. He followed this with an all-encompassing Rough Guide to Sex (2009), taking in history and culture as well as practical, hands-on advice; he has still not quite lived down being labelled a “stud muffin” in the Observer.

Read the report here.

Tuesday 8th January 2013

Graham Hurley – novelist

‘Taking Liberties: Adventures in the Writing Game’

ghurley portraitAll fiction is trespass: other people’s heads, other people’s hearts, other people’s lives. How does the writer turn what he sees and hears around him into a page-turning read? How to you tease interest, suspense and a worthwhile ending from the busy chaos of real life? And why embark on such a journey in the first place?

Graham Hurley is an award-winning documentary film-maker who has devoted the last twenty years to full-time writing. His first stand-alone thriller, Rules of Engagement, became a six-part ITV drama series, whilst another stand-alone, Sabbathman, is currently under development for Channel Four. More recently, his 12-book D/I Faraday series, set in Portsmouth, has won international acclaim. French TV are currently adapting the books at feature film length, and the first two transmissions (on France2) drew impressive audiences. Graham is currently working on a spin-off series set in the West Country, where he now lives with his wife, Lin. Their mutual passion? Offshore rowing.

Read the report here.

Tuesday 11th December 2012

0551-Charles-Dickens-in-1868-q75-355x500Rosalinda Hardiman – from the Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum

Steve Teasane – Performance Artist

‘Several Shades of Dickens: A Festive Celebration’

Read the report here.

Tuesday 13th November 2012

Nicolette Jones – journalist, writer and broadcaster: www.nicolettejones.com

‘Up to the Plimsoll Mark: on Writing and Reviewing’

NJWithPrizesWhat does a critic look for in a children’s book today? & The background to her award winning book, The Plimsoll Sensation.  Nicolette Jones is a writer, journalist and broadcaster specialising in literary and arts journalism, who has worked for national newspapers and the book trade press. She is the children’s books editor of the Sunday Times, and wrote the text of a critical anthology of the work of Raymond Briggs, Blooming Books (Jonathan Cape). Her book about the Victorian philanthropist Samuel Plimsoll and his campaign to save lives at sea, The Plimsoll Sensation (Little, Brown/Abacus) won the Mountbatten Maritime Prize and the international division of the US Maritime Literature Award, and was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. She has been a judge of various adult and children’s book prizes from the Orange Prize to the Branford Boase Award, has directed the children’s programme at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival (2010-2012), works part-time as a children’s books scout (for the Louise Allen-Jones Agency) and has been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at University College, London (2010-2012).

Special guest: Cllr Frank Pearson – Mayor of Winchester and Ann Pearson

Read the report here.

Tuesday 9th October 2012

Marc MorrisMarc Morris – author, historian and broadcaster: www.marcmorris.org.uk

Marc is an historian who specializes in the Middle Ages. He studied and taught history at the universities of London and Oxford, and his doctorate on the thirteenth-century earls of Norfolk was published in 2005. In 2003 he presented the television series Castle and wrote its accompanying book, and after that he spent several years writing a biography of Edward I, published in 2008 as A Great and Terrible King. His latest book is The Norman Conquest.

Special guest: Professor Liz Stuart

Read the report here.

Tuesday 11th September 2012

P.D. James – Baroness of Holland Park, Crime Fiction Author: www.randomhouse.com/features/pdjames/

‘Murder and Mystery: The Craft of the Detective Story’

pdjamesP D James will describe how she came to write detective fiction, the source of her inspiration, her choice of detective, the creation of characters and the process of the book from the first idea until the manuscript is ready to be sent to the publishers.

P. D. James was born in Oxford in 1920 and educated at Cambridge High School for Girls. From 1949 to 1968 she worked in the National Health Service and subsequently in the Home Office, first in the Police Department and later in the Criminal Policy Department. All that experience has been used in her novels. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Society of Arts and has served as a governor of the BBC, a member of the Arts Council, where she was Chairman of the Literary Advisory Panel, on the Board of the British Council, and as a magistrate in Middlesex and London. She is an Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. She has won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature (US). She has received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983, and was created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected President of the Society of Authors.

Special guest: Simon Eden, Chief Executive of Winchester City Council and Becky Bagnell of the Lindsay Literary Agency

Read the report here.

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