I agreed some time back that I'd be a delegate/presenter/whatever at the 2011 Alt.Fiction weekend being held in the Quad in Derby over the 25th/26th June and now the timetable has landed on my computer.
The first slot I'm down for is the 10 am one on the Saturday where I'm to give a one hour Workshop. Now it'll be a miracle if any bugger turns up but I've been giving some thought to what I'll do if they do. I'm going to dedicate the session to 'That Killer First Page'. In one conversation I had with my agent John Jarrold he advised me that he could tell whether a submission was worth reading by the end of the first page (and often by the end of the first paragraph) so I guess that first sheet is something worth putting a little thought into. I mean, getting that knockout open sentence must be worth a bit of sweat mustn't it? Here's mine: ANYONE COMING TO MY WORKSHOP WITH AN OPENING PAGE OF A BOOK WILL LEAVE THE WORKSHOP WITH A BETTER ONE!
Next up is the 12 Noon gig which is a panel discussion and PodCast (wow!) entitled 'Breaking into Writing'. This makes getting published sounds like a felony but there you go. I'm to be aided and abetted by Guy Haley, Colin Harvey and Pat Kelleher so it should be fun. My aim I think will be to dissuade people from attempting said breaking in on the grounds that there's too much competition as there is.
Finally I get to do a reading in the 'Participation Space' (which sounds moderately revolting and something people making bondage gear are into) from 3pm, my partner in crime being Tony Ballantyne. I'm a tad worried about this as The Demi-Monde contains a lot of swearing, but fuck it ...
Anyway if Alt.Fiction 2O11 is as good as 2010 (which I attended as a punter) then it'll be excellent. Highly recommended and if in doubt try http://altfiction.co.uk/altfictionfest.