National Writers’ Conference 2021: Keeping Going in Extraordinary Times

Bramall Music Building
University of Birmingham, Edgbaston

General Admission + Packed Lunch: £45 / £40 (concs) Ticket includes packed lunch, tea and coffee.
General Admission (bring own lunch): £39 / £34 (concs) Admission and tea and coffee only, ticket holder provides their own lunch

Booking closes: Thursday 2 September 2021, 12 noon.

Presented in Partnership with University of Birmingham and supported by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society and Arts Council England

Following our enforced absence in 2020, the National Writers’ Conference returns with a day of information sharing with industry experts.

Our theme is keeping going in extraordinary times, and our sessions will look at many aspects of the writing sector.

We will also be celebrating ten years of Writing West Midlands’ Room 204 Writer Development Programme.

Come along, ask questions, share answers and be part of a vibrant network of writers from across the country, working in many forms and genres.

At a glance:

• Keynote Address from writer Professor Thomas Glave, Binghamton University, State University of New York

• Keynote Interview with Dr Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive, Arts Council England

• Industry Knowledge – panel sessions on Working with Publishers, Writing for Audio, TV & Film and Submitting to Writing Magazines

• Personal Development – panel sessions on Finding Funding for Writing Projects, Working as a Writer Online and Keeping Going in Extraordinary Times

• Information & Inspiration – showcase of writers from Writing West Midlands’ Room 204 Writer Development Programme

• Further Speakers & Panelists include Malachi McIntosh (Editor, Wasafiri Magazine), Kit de Waal (writer & Producer: Portopia Productions), Andrew Kidd (CEO & Artistic Director, Arvon), Peter Stones (Relationship Manager, Literature, Arts Council England), Candida Lacey (Publisher, Myriad Editions), Romalyn Ante (Harana Magazine) & Lee Thomas (film/TV producer)

• Bookshop – our friends from Bookshop on the Green will be selling books by all speakers plus a selection of other books, including some by Conference delegates

Ticket sales end: Thursday 2 September 2021 (noon)


Full programme now available:





A full programme will be available online nearer the time of the event.

All times are BST / UTC +1

09:15 – 10:00Registration & refreshments

10:00 – 10:10Welcome & Introduction – Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive, Writing West Midlands

10:10 – 10:30Keynote Address – Professor Thomas Glave, Binghamton University, State University of New York

10:30 – 11:00How Publishing Works – What you need to know about the Publishing industry

11:00 – 11:10: Comfort / Refreshment Break

11:10 – 11:40Writing for Audio, TV & Film – Approaches to writing for these formats

11:40 – 12:10Keynote Interview – Dr Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, in conversation with Dr Asha Rogers

12:10 – 13:00: Lunch Break

13:00 – 13:30Literary Magazines – Submitting to them, working with them

13:30 – 14:00Working Online – running and participating in events, workshops and mentoring online

14:15 – 14:45Funding for Writing – Arts Council England and other sources of funding

14:45 – 15:15Keeping Going in Extraordinary Times – writers reflect

15:15 – 15:30: Comfort / Refreshment Break

15:30 – 16:00A Decade of Writer Development – Room 204 writers in conversation

16:00 – 16:15Farewell Notes – Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive, Writing West Midlands



Covid-19 precautions:

This event is presented under the guidelines adopted by University of Birmingham for public events in their spaces. To minimise close contact all presentations will take place in the Elgar Concert Hall in the Bramall Music Building.

Registration, Comfort/Refreshment Breaks and Lunch Break will be managed to provide the maximum amount of well-ventilated space.

We ask that those attending use a mask at all times while in the building.

We offer a packed lunch option and will provide socially distanced seating. Attenders are welcome to bring their own packed lunches.

Although we ask that people are committed to attending when booking, we will offer a refund if cancellation is related to Covid-19 concerns.

In the event of a change in circumstances we may be forced to transfer the National Writers’ Conference to an online platform.


We are grateful for the support of the many individuals and organisations who have helped make this event happen, including University of Birmingham, Arts Council England, Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society, Wasafiri Magazine, Portopia Productions, Bookshop on the Green, Arvon, Myriad Editions, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Wolverhampton Literature Festival.

More Info

Book Now


Bramall Music Building
The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston


04 Sep 2021