Writing a novel?  Struggling to edit your manuscript?  Interested in developing a plot line?
Eager to find an agent or publisher?

The Virtual Writers’ Weekend is for writers working at all levels and in every genre who want to improve their writing, get their manuscript published, and network with agents, published authors, and other writers.  Due to the success of the 2020 virtual event, we’ve decided to hold the 2021 Writers’ Weekend as a virtual event again. We are based in the lovely and historic city of Winchester, England, but due to the virtual nature of our event, you can attend from anywhere in the world! Booking opens on Monday, 22 February, but the programme is available now!

Welcome to the 2021 Writers’ Weekend!

We’re delighted to welcome two exceptional keynote speakers: Diana Gabaldon and Chris Riddell, plus a slew of bestselling and award-winning novelists, including Robert Fabbri, Kate Mosse, Lissa Evans, Tracey Corderoy, MG Leonard, Derek Miller, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Helen Fields and Ness Wood, to name a few, as well as top literary agents who will give talks on the craft of writing and how to get published. The programme is overflowing with ways to learn, discuss, ask questions, be inspired and entertained, and meet others.

There are over 600 virtual one-to-one appointments waiting to be filled and Group Chat rooms for topic-driven small-group discussion. We’ve also added Writers’ Circles, which are virtual writing groups for peer feedback that kick-off on 16 May with a session on how to run an effective writing group, and ending with a one-to-one for each person, plus much more!

And, as a wonderful way to close the programme on Sunday evening and send you on your way, we’ve added a panel discussion given by international best-selling author Kate Mosse, novelist Abi Daré and literary agent Lucy Morris. Read all about it in the programme!

We’re also offering more packages than ever so that you can pick and choose what you’d like to get out of the event, as well as what fits your budget. And, to ensure you don’t miss a minute of the programme, the one-to-ones and recordings of sessions are included in the packages, giving you even better value for money. 

And if your finances are limited, please do apply for a £75 bursary or one of our scholarships. We want to reach as many writers of diverse backgrounds and different experiences as possible, so talk to us to find out how we can help you.

So get comfortable and click on the 2021 Programme tab at the top to see all that is on offer. And for detailed explanations, go to the ‘What’s It All About’ page.  Booking opens on Monday, 22nd February and we suggest that you book early to ensure that you get your top one-to-one choices.  Enjoy!

Introducing our
2021 Keynote Speakers

Diana Gabaldon
Best-selling author of the Outlander series
Chris Riddell
Award-winning illustrator and author of books for children

Diana Gabaldon

Diana’s hugely popular Outlander series, set in 18th century Scotland, merges multiple genres, featuring elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure, and science fiction. The first novel in the series was published in 1991 followed by seven additional New York Times hit novels with more than twenty-eight million copies in print world-wide and published in 26 countries in 23 languages, and includes The Outlandish Companion, Volumes One and Two.

A television adaption of the Outlander novels premiered in 2014, with Diana serving as co-producer and advisor, and quickly developed a devoted world-wide audience. She has also written several books in a sub-series featuring characters from the main series and a graphic novel titled The Exile set in the Outlander universe. Diana is in the process of completing the ninth book in the Outlander series, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone

Diana holds three degrees in science: Zoology, Marine Biology, and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Behavioural Ecology, and spent a dozen years as a university professor with an expertise in scientific computation before beginning to write fiction. Her varied writing career includes scientific articles and textbooks and numerous comic-book scripts for Walt Disney!

Diana will talk about her journey as a writer and answer your questions on Saturday, 26 June.

Chris Riddell

Chris is an illustrator, author and political cartoonist for the Observer. He has enjoyed great acclaim for his books for children which have won a number of major prizes, including the prestigious CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal an unprecedented three times and the Costa Book Award in 2013 for his book, Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse. Between 2015-2017, Chris served as the UK Children’s Laureate and in 2019 he was awarded an OBE by the Queen for his services to children’s literature. 

His previous work includes the award-winning Goth Girl and Ottoline series, The Cloud Horse Chronicles: Guardians of Magic, Once Upon A Wild Wood, The Emperor of Absurdia, and last year he illustrated the new edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Macmillan Children’s Books). Alongside his middle-grade fiction and picture books, Chris also enjoys poetry and has edited and illustrated a series of best-selling poetry anthologies including Poems to Live Your Life By, Poems to Fall in Love With and Poems to Save the World With (Macmillan Children’s Books). 

Chris has also collaborated with many highly acclaimed authors and illustrated many of their books including Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book, Pirate Stew), Frances Hardinge (The Lie Tree), Paul Stewart (The Edge Chronicles), Francesca Gibbons (A Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth), Michael Rosen (Honey for You, Honey for Me) and JK Rowling (Beedles and the Bard). This year, Chris has illustrated a gorgeous new edition of Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll in celebration of the 150th anniversary of its publication and the 42nd special anniversary edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. 

Chris will give the keynote and answer your questions on Sunday, 27 June.

Part of the Festivals in Winchester group
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