The Writers’ Conference returns to Nottingham.

We had a brilliant conference in 2017, with inspiring words from all our speakers.

If you’d like to hear about next year’s conference or our other activities, please do join our mailing list.

“A unique, inspiring, vitally necessary event” 

Writing East Midlands was delighted to be bringing The Writers’ Conference back to the University of Nottingham on Saturday 25th March 2017. Now in its fourth year, the conference has earned its place as one of the must-attend writing events for the Midlands.

“Excellent speakers and choices of sessions”

This one-day conference gives the East Midlands’ writing community access to leading professionals from the industry. Panel events, debates, seminars and activities cover a range of writing disciplines including fiction, crime writing, poetry and scriptwriting for screen & theatre, and explores topics and trends on all aspects of writing and publishing, from, ‘Writing the Personal and the Political’, ‘Promoting your Work as a Writer’ to  pitching your work to an agent. Whether you’re an established or emerging writer, The Writers’ Conference is an invaluable opportunity for you to make new contacts, learn more about getting published, take part in workshops, be guided through the murky waters of funding, and apply to have your work read by a nationally-acclaimed literary agent or critiqued by a professional writer.

Get ready for The Writers’ Conference with the 2017 Programme!

Our programme this year is filled once more with inspiring workshops and stimulating panels, and of course opportunities to network, chat and find out about what’s happening in the writing and publishing worlds.

Do you want to learn about what happens after you’ve been published, how to apply for a creative writing PhD, or what’s happening in our poetry landscape? Or are you interested in the role of the writer in our changing times, or how understanding archetypes can help your writing?

Click on the panellists image (right) or the link HERE to download our programme.

2017 Keynotes Announced

We are delighted to announce our Keynote Speakers are Alison Moore and Nikesh Shukla

Alison Moore’s first novel, The Lighthouse, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Awards, winning the McKitterick Prize. Both The Lighthouse and her second novel, He Wants, were Observer Books of the Year. Her most recent novel is Death and the Seaside. Her short fiction has been included in Best British Short Stories and Best British Horror anthologies and collected in The Pre-War House and Other Stories.


Nikesh Shukla is the editor of Rife Magazine, an online magazine for young people and the author of the novels Coconut Unlimited (Quartet) which was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and Meatspace (Friday Project). He is the editor of the acclaimed collection of essays about race and immigration by 21 writers of colour, The Good Immigrant (Unbound), for which he was shortlisted for the Liberty Human Rights Arts Award and won the reader’s choice category at the Books Are My Bad Awards.

The Writers’ Conference took place on Saturday 25 March 2017
at The Portland Building, The University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD.

Arrival and registration was from 9.30am. Conference ends at 5.30pm

Ticket prices were:

Full price ticket: £60
Full price concession*: £55
Early Bird offer (on sale until 16th December 2016): £50
Early Bird offer concession* (on sale until 16th December 2016): £45

Tickets include lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

*Concessionary rate available to pensioners, students and those in receipt of benefits.
Please note, all bookings are subject to a 4% PayPal booking fee.
Please complete one form per person, should you wish to book a ticket for someone else.

Lunch and refreshments are included in the ticket price as is the opportunity to submit your work for an Agent or Editor one-to-one.


As part of The Writers’ Conference we are pleased to offer the chance to have your work read by and pitched to a literary agent or editor at one of our Agent or Editor One-to-Ones. These one-to-ones will be taking place throughout the day.

In an Agent One-to-One, you will be able to discuss your work, address any issues you may be having and assess where your work is placed in the current literature and genre market. You will be given feedback on your work and get their advice on how to develop it. This is a very rare opportunity to have your work assessed first hand by a leading agent or editor in their field.

The application process for the Agent and Editor One to Ones closes 27th January 2017 at 5.00pm

Please indicate below if applying for and Agent or Editor One to One is something you will be interested in.

A One-to-One is not available if booking after 27th January 2017, as we need to shortlist and pass the work to agents/writers ahead of the Conference. You will be notified on 27th February whether you have been successful or not.

Please note that simply booking for the Conference does not guarantee you an Agent or Editor One-to-One, as places are very limited. All applications will be read by the Writing East Midlands team and will go through a selection process. Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to offer feedback on submissions.

Places for the Agent and Writer one to ones are allocated through a submission process for ticket holders, and this will open on the 24th October. 

Please see here for a full listing of the terms and conditions for the conference, to include refunds and data protection:
If you would prefer to pay by cheque or phone, please call the Writing East Midlands team on 0115 959 7933.

Some of the highlights from Conference 2017 at Loughborough University.

  • mike-gayle

    Mike Gayle, Keynote Speaker

    Keynote Speakers: Sophie Hannah and Mike Gayle. 

  • Agent and Writer One-to-Ones

  • From Pitch to Publication with Carole Blake

  • The Art of Shouting Quietly seminar

  • Breaking Into the Children’s Market panel

  • Kill your Darlings: Writing Crime Fiction panel

  • The Authentic Voice panel

  • Working with an Editor seminar

  • Networking Lunch

Crime Fiction Panel, including Keynote Speaker Sophie Hannah, Stephen Booth and David Mark

Crime Fiction Panel, including Keynote Speaker Sophie Hannah, Stephen Booth and David Mark.

parking icons-01Where to Park? Parking is FREE ALL DAY on the day of the Conference (Saturday 25 March) in the designated car parks at the University Campus. There are also a number of Blue Badge parking spaces near the Portland Building. Please visit the university website on: for more information.

thNO CLOAKROOM. Unfortunately the University of Nottingham is unable to offer cloakroom facilities for The Writers’ Conference so please be aware of this (and here’s hoping for a sunny Spring day so you won’t need a big coat!)

About our sponsors

The Writers’ Conference is brought to you by Writing East Midlands in partnership with the University of Nottingham. We thank and acknowledge Arts Council England and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) for their support and sponsorship.

The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham. It was founded as University College Nottingham in 1881 and was granted a Royal Charter in 1948. Its alumni have been awarded a variety of prestigious accolades, including three Nobel Prizes, a Turner Prize, and a  Gabor Medal and Prize.



The ALCS is the British collecting society for all writers. It collects money from all over the world, then pays it to its members. So far ALCS has paid a total of £450 million. It also campaigns to ensure writers’ rights are recognised and rewarded, and teaches people what copyright is all about. ALCS was started by writers in 1977 and has around 90,000 members. It is a not-for-profit organisation.



Arts Council England was set up in 1946, by Royal Charter, to champion and develop art and culture across the country. It is governed by an executive board and national and area councils. ACE invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives, and supports activities across the arts, museums and libraries.