March 08, 2010

Writing, Workshops & Revelations


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!

7 comments:

verity said...

How fantastic to go to a writing workshop with an author who you've not only read recently but really admired!

savidgereads said...

Wow this sounds like it was a wonderful and really insightful event. I think more readers should go on these so they see how hard it is!

Molly said...

Sounds like an informative workshop, but how wonderful that you discovered your true calling! I look forward to hearing the steps you take to realize this goal.

Karen said...

Hi Verity - I know! I couldn't believe my luck when I saw it advertised - and to be in my home town too!

Hi Simon - It is an amazingly insightful thing - I've been going to workshops and writer's festivals for a few years now and it always amazes me how normal author's are!

Hi Molly - It was liberating!! I just have to make it come true now!

Tamara said...

Ahh.. it's just beautiful to hear your inner excitement as you have found a sign, a reassurance, that your decisions for next year are good for you. it's so true that we should follow our instincts - like you desire to be in that workshop. I'm so looking forward to seeing the bookish you come out more....

Kirsten Tranter said...

Karen, thanks for coming to the workshop and for your kind words about The Legacy - glad you enjoyed them both.

Karen said...

Hi T - Thanks! It is a really good feeling. We will have to see what comes of it...

Hi Kirsten - Thank you so much for your inspiration!