This was a panel event chaired by Michaela Butter (Attenborough Arts). The first half had a focus on the Leicester literature scene and speakers were Bobba Cass of Pinnng…K!; Farhana Shaikh of Dahlia Publishing, The Asian Writer and Leicester Writes monthly meet-ups and festival and Matthew Pegg of Mantle Lane Arts.
Emma Lee, President, spoke for Leicester Writers’ Club who meet every Thursday at Phoenix Square in Leicester’s cultural quarter. Leicester Writers’ Club’s core business is feedback on works in progress and sharing publishing and marketing tips. The latter becoming more important as publishers are expecting writers to do a lot more marketing – gone are the days of long lunches and publishers putting together marketing plans. The Club also offers advanced masterclasses, talks from industry speakers such as literary agents, social events and a writers’ retreat. Members are novelists, poets, short story writers, scriptwriters and spoken word artists who are widely published in the UK, Europe, North and South America, Africa and New Zealand. Members have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Prize and Philip K Dick awards and prize-winners in, e.g. Writing East Midlands Aurora and Leicester Writes competitions. Members have also judged short story and poetry competitions.
Leicester Writers’ Club Is not insular. The Club itself has held events for Everybody’s Reading, Leicester Writes and takes a stall at States of Independence. Members have performed at most of Leicester’s spoken word nights including Shindig, Word!, Anerki; Novel Exchanges, Cultural Exchanges, The Journeys Festival and supported Refugee Week programmes. Members teach at Writing School East Midlands, lecture in Creative Writing at De Montfort University and two members have set up a writer development service to help writers achieve their goals, The Writers’ Shed.
Two Club members have supported Leicester Writers’ Showcase from its inception and all 12 events have featured at least one Club member.
After the interval, attendees heard from Henderson Mullin, CEO Writing East Midlands and James Urquhart, Relationship Manager Arts Council England.
There will be follow up meetings likely to take place in July and December 2018.