Aspiring authors opportunity to pitch their works to powerhouse literary agents

29 April 2014

Aspiring authors will have the rare chance to pitch their works to some of crime fiction’s most influential names in publishing.

‘Dragons’ Pen’ is the culmination of the day-long creative writing workshop as part of Europe’s biggest celebration of crime fiction, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, at The Old Swan Hotel.
The workshop offers the opportunity to pitch concepts to two powerhouse literary agents, Jane Gregory (pictured above) of Gregory and Company and Juliet Mushens of The Agency Group, and two highly esteemed publishing professionals, crime editor at Faber & Faber, Katherine Armstrong, and Publisher for Transworld Publishers, Bill Scott-Kerr.
The literary version of the popular TV show, the Dragons’ Pen is not for the faint-hearted. Attendees have two minutes to convince the panel their synopsis and first chapter are worth reading. Places to pitch to the Dragons are limited; participants need to register their interest when booking to be in with a chance to pitch.

Guardian/ UEA Masterclass tutor and award-winning crime novelist, Laura Wilson
Guardian/ UEA Masterclass tutor and award-winning crime novelist, Laura Wilson

Gemma Rowland, Literature Festivals Manager, said: Everyone thinks they can write crime, it can be formulaic and it can be popular, but in fact to write crime well is a rare skill, which is why our Creative Thursday workshop is in such demand. It’s taught by authors and publishing professionals at the top of their game – so gives a valuable and rare insight into how to write successful crime fiction.

Creative Thursday precedes the prestigious Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson and the official opening party for Europe’s biggest celebration of crime fiction.
Up to 80 authors gather from around the world at the annual celebration of the crime genre. This year’s Special Guests include JK Rowling as Robert Galbraith, Ann Cleeves, John Harvey, Sophie Hannah, Lynda La Plante, Laura Lippman, Peter May, Val McDermid, Denise Mina, and S.J. Watson.
Attendees will be welcomed by the 2014 programming chair, Steve Mosby, before workshops begin with Guardian/ UEA Masterclass tutor and award-winning crime novelist, Laura Wilson. Her intensive writing workshop, ‘How to Create a Murder’ will outline how to create memorable, psychologically complex villains with plausible motives.
Bestselling novelist and Arvon creative writing tutor Melanie McGrath will focus on exercises to come up with original story scenarios, developing believable characters and classic story structure in ‘Getting Started’. And leading detective trainer, Ian Sales, will give insight into police procedures to add edgy realism to your writing in his interactive session: Modern Day Detective.
Price – £109 per person.

For more information or to book your place contact the festival office on 01423 562 303 or email

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