Margate Bookie 2017 – Day 4

We have reached the end of the Margate Bookie. Our heads are weary, our feet are sore, but our minds are open and free!

Another day of fully booked sessions, amazing weather and exceptional presentations and authors. The day kicked off with spectacular form with the outstanding historical novelist Alison Weir in the Turner Contemporary. To an over-packed room, her presentation was nothing short of a wonder, with readings, a Q&A like no other, and the tale of her own literary journey through time during the course of her research.

This set the bar for the entire afternoon, as Ms Weir was followed closely by the Murderous Women session, as presented by Anna Mazzola, Sophia Tobin, MJ McGrath and SD Sykes, four of the top writers of our time. Their read-out extracts of their amazing works was met by clamorous applause, and their stories of how history has inspired them and their writing simply astounded.

Over at the amazing venue that is the Sands Hotel, a similarly exceptional day was being had, which was an epic journey in itself. Returning Margate Bookie presenter and friend Vanessa King, took us on a tour of the ways that happiness and personal well-being can bring about profound changes in a persons outlook to life, whilst renown Faber & Faber author Elise Valmorbida explained that these techniques can directly influence, and be influenced, by our writing and the way we write. They demonstrated that the world around you is not something to be ignored and the exploration of your senses is a necessity for our on-going awareness.

Coincidentally, this has been the driving force behind the recently self-published book ‘Senses – An Anthology’ from the Creative Writing Society at Canterbury Christ Church University. Our exploration of the five senses we all use day-to-day (Touch, Taste, Smell, Hear, See) and the associated emotions that accompany them has led to the publication of our book on Amazon ( ).

Our afternoon’s journey continued with Norah Perkins (Curtis Brown) and The Unforgotten author Laura Powell, and their masterclass in grabbing the attention and finding a literary agent. Their detailed explanation of what an agent wants in a submission, the pros of having an agent, and the ways to write and shape an appealing cover letter and synopsis gave all a rare insiders view of the publishing world and how to go about it. The Q&A afterwards and my conversations after the event revealed some of the ups and downs of rejections and the necessity of having an agent, such as the amazing people at Curtis Brown.

It was also very pleasing to observe the passing around of business cards during the talk, with members of the audience trading personal information and connecting on social media. Far from the thoughts that the epoch of social media and technology is ruining the world of social interactions and the destiny of the paper book, it seems to be bringing people with the passion for its continuation closer together and learning to live alongside an era of sharing and caring within the world of publishing.

With that sense of the traditional and technological harmony, the final session of the afternoon began. PR specialist and Margate Bookie’s very own Gemma Pettman teamed up with author and ghostwriter Philip Whiteley to share their experiences and expertise of finding and keeping an audience for your writing. Their practical tips on making contact with and building a relationship with your readers neatly and concisely merging the worlds of conventional writing with the arrival of websites and pages set up specifically to allow the sharing and publishing the work and words of the writer. Their analysis of the different ways to sell yourself, share your work and the different forms this can take allowed for a truly inspirational end to the Margate Bookie. The comments given at the end of the session and the many people who had no prior understanding or desire for certain aspects of the marketing side of writing, gave for amazing hearing as they had been transformed by the words and the wisdom of the day.

As said previously, I assisted and attended the 2016 Margate Bookie, and made certain that I was involved in this year’s one as well. I have not been disappointed in my assertions that this years would be bigger and better than the last, and although last year’s event was spectacular, the 2017 Bookie has blown it out of the water. I would like to thank the Bookie’s creator and Founder Andrea Loizou and his outstanding right arm Gemma Pettman for another amazing year for the Bookie, as well as thanking all those involved in the Margate Bookie for their spectacular work. I have now committed my on-going support for the Margate Bookie and know that the years to come will be as memorable and mind-blowing as the last two have been.

I leave you with a quote from a poem written with good friend Lucy Hudson at the beginning of this year. I feel it has significance to all those who write and I leave it as a salute to all those that do.


These words remain our legacy,

For everyone to see.

The record of our great works,

Reminding you all of me.




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