Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series, releasing next month as a major motion picture by Disney, is confirmed as the keynote speaker for the Writers’ Weekend; a unique four-day virtual conference for writers of all abilities and genres, streamed live throughout the weekend of 9-12th July.
Asked how important are these events for emerging writers, Eoin says, “Writing festivals are vital for writers to get noticed; I first met my publisher at a literary festival in Ireland and events like these are without a doubt the best forum for all aspiring writers.”
The four-day event will offer over 800 virtual one-to-one appointments with literary agents and editors. Representatives from publishers such as Harper Collins, Hachette, Penguin Random House and Troubador will be available for talks and workshops as well as open mic sessions and author/agent/publisher panels.
“Writers who wish to take the next step with their work will have the opportunity to showcase their writing to a wide range of experts and interact with authors, agents and other writers in virtual networking rooms.” says event founder Sara Gangai.
Highlights of the 2020 virtual Writers’ Weekend include workshops with picture book author Chitra Soundar, novelist and memoirist Nick Barlay, fantasy and horror writer Cliff McNish, and crime fiction publisher Joel Richardson.
The Sunday keynote speaker is Lissa Evans, the best-selling author of five novels for adults, including Their Finest Hour and a Half (filmed in 2017 as ‘Their Finest’, starring Bill Nighy and Gemma Arterton), Crooked Heart and Old Baggage.
Moving the programme to a virtual platform has meant the event is paving the way for accessibility. With more and more literary events being cancelled or rescheduled, Eoin supports the digital transition: “I am disappointed that I won’t be able to talk to writers face to face but delighted that they will still have a platform to interact and showcase their work. Hopefully this means more writers from around the world will be able to attend.”
The Writers’ Weekend will be available to stream on tablet, mobile and PC with three full scholarships for writers aged 18-25 available plus bursaries for those writers needing financial assistance to attend.