As many of you know I spent one day this week attending a writing workshop with one of my new favourite authors, Kirsten Tranter whose first novel, The Legacy was a big hit with me when I read it a few weeks ago.
During the first part of the workshop Kirsten spoke about the process of obtaining a literary agent and sending in submissions of your work to agents for review. Kirsten's mother is actually quite a successful literary agent in Australia and Kirsten has worked for her agency reading and reviewing manuscripts in the past so it would be obvious to think that she had a significant leg up in the publishing world but it was interesting to hear her talk about her own process of finding an agent and how she did not automatically go to her mother. I found hearing about the whole publishing process really interesting and it led to a revelation for me - as others in the class were asking about how they could get themselves and their writing accepted by an agent I just found myself wanting to hear more about the selection, editing and publishing process. I realised I am much more of a reader than a writer! This felt like such a liberation to me! I do love writing but I realised I do not have a deep desire or life time goal to have a book or piece of writing published as many others in the workshop did. I realised I do want my next career to be in the book industry though and I am planning to do further study to pursue this goal next year - I just have to decide what course to do now...
Kirsten spent time talking openly about her process of writing The Legacy and I found this really interesting too. The Legacy is an interpretation of The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, a book I had read long ago in my university days but am now very keen to re-read. Kirsten also spoke about some of her favourite authors such as Kate Atkinson and John Banville and their writing techniques that she finds effective and engaging.
Overall I found the workshop interesting, informative and inspiring - exactly what you want a workshop to be!