Aimed at both emerging and established writers, the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference is back for a sixth year this autumn at Waterside in Sale.

The programme includes one-to-one advice sessions on writing and submitting short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction; workshops on creating scripts for TV and collaborating on graphic novels; talks and panel discussions on diversity, training and development opportunities for writers; and pathways to publication.

There will also be networking opportunities and book signings, and a keynote speech and ‘in conversation’ event by author Jane Rogers, who will give a preview of her new novel, Body Tourists, which comes out in November.

Jane is the author of nine novels, including The Testament Of Jessie Lamb, Man Booker longlisted and winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award 2012. The title story of her collection Hitting Trees With Sticks was a BBC National Short Story Award finalist.

Her other works include Mr Wroe’s Virgins (which she dramatised for the BAFTA-nominated BBC drama series) and Her Living Image (Somerset Maugham Award).

Jane is the latest in a roster of bestselling authors who have delivered the annual keynote speech at the Trafford conference, which is recent years has hosted talks by Joanne Harris, AL Kennedy and Will Self.

The full line-up of experts for this year’s conference has yet to be finalised, but joining Jane so far are writer and broadcaster Anita Sethi, who hails from Manchester – a UNESCO City of Literature.

Also providing advice are scriptwriter Lisa Holdsworth, author Peter Kalu, Will Mackie of New Writing North, editor Ian Daley of Route Publishing, graphic novel creators Dan Berry and David Gaffney, creative non-fiction expert Adam Farrer, and literary agent Louise Lamont.

“With support from Arts Council England and Trafford Council, this year’s Northern Lights Writers’ Conference promises to be our most expansive event yet – a day packed with talks, panel discussions, industry advice and drop-in sessions that will inspire and inform writers from across the region and beyond,” says festival Richard Evans.

Northern Lights Writers’ Conference is on Saturday 21st September from 10.30am-6pm. Tickets are £35 (£25 concessions).

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