National Writers’ Conference 2022: Getting Together as Writers

Bramall Music Building
University of Birmingham, Edgbaston

General Admission + Packed Lunch: £55/ £45 (concs) Ticket includes packed lunch, tea and coffee.
General Admission (bring own lunch): £50 / £40 (concs) Admission and tea and coffee only, ticket holder provides their own lunch.

Booking closes: Wednesday 6 July 2022, 5pm.


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

Getting together as writers has never been more important. Join us for a friendly day of presentations and panel discussions, focusing on how writers can develop their talents.

Our subjects will include how publishing works, working as a writer in residence, writing for television and film, and many more. Come along, ask questions, share answers and be part of a vibrant network of writers form across the country, working in many forms and genres.

Catering can be purchased as part of the ticket price, and will be a simple packed lunch, but you are welcome to bring your own food. Tea, coffee, water will be provided for all across the day.

At a glance:

• Keynote Address from writer and editor Kasim Ali, author of the recently published Good Intentions (Fourth Estate)

• Keynote Interview with Jane Rogers, award-winning author of ten novels, screenplay writer and radio dramatist and creative writing teacher

• Industry Knowledge – panel sessions on How Publishing Works, Writing for Television and Film and Making New Things Happen

• Personal Development – panel sessions on Developing Your Creative Practice Funding, Marketing Yourself as a Writer, Being in Residence (as a writer or translator)

• Information & Inspiration – showcase of writers from Writing West Midlands’ Room 204 Writer Development Programme and launch of British Council funded new writing and animation project, Winds of Change

• Speakers & Panellists include Silé Edwards (Literary Agent, Mushens Entertainment), David Chikwe (Producer: Three Tables TV), Gillian McAllister (best-selling novelist), Ellie Hughes (publicist, Penguin Random House), Deborah Alma (founder of The Poetry Pharmacy) & Abda Khan (screenplay writer)

• 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



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

All times are BST / GMT +1

09:15 – 10:00:             Registration & refreshments

10:00 – 10:10:             Welcome & Introduction – Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive, Writing West Midlands [& Professor Tom Lockwood, University of Birmingham]

10:10 – 10:30:             Keynote Address – Kasim Ali, writer, on representation

10:30 – 11:00:             How Publishing Works – Ellie Hughes, Head of  PR, Penguin Random House, in conversation with Gillian McAllister, writer, on what you need to know about how publishing works

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

11:10 – 11:40:             Writing for TV & Film – Annabel Brightling, screenplay writer; David Chikwe, Founder/Producer of Three Tables Production; Carol Harding, film/TV producer, and Hayley McKenzie, CEO of Script Angel, on how to approach writing for these industries and how the sector works

11:40 – 12:10:             Keynote Interview – Jane Rogers, writer, in conversation with Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive, Writing West Midlands

12:10 – 12:30:             Winds of Change – Annabel Brightling, screenplay writer, introducing the launch of a new Zimbabwe-based digital writing project

12:30 – 13:15:             Lunch Break

13:15 – 13:45:             Making New Things Happen – Jane Commander, Founder/Editor, Nine Arches Press; Kate Innes, writer/publisher, and Deborah Alma, Founder, The Poetry Pharmacy in conversation about the fine art of setting up writing projects and making them pay

13:45 – 14:15:             Marketing Yourself as a Writer – Ben Davis, children’s writer; Leena Normington, poet, YouTuber, and Abda Khan, novelist and activist, in conversation about getting the message right on social media and beyond

14:15 – 14:30:             Comfort / Refreshment Break

14:30 – 15:00:             Developing Your Creative Practice – Roya Katiblou, writer; George Ttoouli, writer, editor, mentor, and Andrea Mbarushimana, poet, with hints and tips on successfully applying to Arts Council England

15:00 – 15:30:             Being in Residence – Jo Bell, poet, activist; Sarah Letza, Translator in Residence at Aston University, and Isabel Gallimore, poet, with advice on finding residencies for writers and translators

15:30 – 15:45:             Comfort / Refreshment Break

15:45 – 16:15:             How Writers Keep Writing – Sara-Jane Arbury, writer, performer; Maeve Clarke, novelist, playwright, and Samiir Saunders, mixed-media poet, with the inside story from Writing West Midlands’ Room 204 Writer Development Programme

16:15 – 16:30:             Farewell Notes – Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive, Writing West Midlands



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

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Bramall Music Building
The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston


09 Jul 2022


From £40