Monday, 5 September 2011

Pocket Novels Workshop

Sally Quilford, Queen of Pocket Novels, has put together a workshop to share her experience and advice re writing these novels. Full details below. If you're interested in writing pocket novels this workshop will be well worth attending!

Pocket Novel Workshop

Saturday 22nd October 2011
Chesterfield Market Hall, Chesterfield, S40 1AR
Cost: £35.00 to include unlimited beverages and biscuits!

How to Write Pocket Novels for My Weekly and Peoples’ Friend

Sally Quilford, the author of six pocket novels (to date) will talk you through the process of creating a 50,000 word romantic novella for My Weekly and Peoples’ Friend.

The workshop will cover:
The basic requirements: format, word length, characters, structure, narrative, dialogue etc
Writing a traditional romance – the conventions
The Morality of Pocket Novel World
Approachable Heroines
Rewarding Heroes
The First of a Million Kisses
Compelling secondary characters
How to come up with plots and sub-plots
After your pocket novel is published: Going into Large Print

(The running order of the workshop may vary from above but will cover all these points and more)

Requirements: The workshop is open to both men and women. If you have not done so already, try and read at least one novella from each line (My Weekly and Peoples’ Friend) before you arrive so that you have some familiarity with them. They are available to buy at Tescos, Sainsburys, Asda, WHSmiths and larger newsagents and cost around £1.99 each.

More details and how to book and pay for workshop

Send a message via Sally Quilford’s contact page at


Quillers said...

Thanks darling!

Anonymous said...

Personally I'd steer clear of a course offered by someone who can't even get the name of the magazine right. It's The People's Friend. See where the apostrophe is? You'll have Lynne Truss after you! And what's more, someone who it appears from comments elsewhere hasn't had any acceptances by one of the magazines in question. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

This is a rather sour and glass-half-empty view of things. If you look at Sally Quilford's record of publication, you can see she's deveoping a solid career, starting from the world of short stories and now moving into pocket novels. She has several in print under her belt already, and has no doubt been studying other markets from the one that already knows her. Why on earth not benefit from what she's learnt and is willing to pass on?

I think we all know the annoyance of seeing what a publisher can do to our copy after it's left us - punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and even choice of words can be mangled. The content in the handout probably didn't come from Sally's hands, to judge from most of her writing.

Bernadette said...

Well, that's your prerogative, Anonymous, but I think Sally's publication record speaks for itself.

Having written, and had published, as many pocket novels as she has in such a short space of time, I'm not surprised she has currently stuck to submitting to the one where she has built an editorial relationship - there are only so many hours in the day!

And, yes, the apostrophe's in the wrong place in a blog post. Oh, well.

I'm sure that those of Sally's blog followers and readers who are interested in writing in this genre will appreciate how much good advice she has to share.

Quillers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quillers said...

Oh well at least now I know anonymous is not one of my friends, as they'd have contacted me privately to point out the typo, rather than publicly declaring it as reasons for my apparent ineptitude. It was my mistake. I'll put my hands up to that.

Regarding my ability to run a workshop, given that the majority of the workshop will be on the conventions of writing traditional romantic novellas, I feel it's a subject I'm well-versed in, having had six published ... so far. It is, of course, up to people whether they wish to pay to attend or not. I'm not holding a gun to anyone's head, nor am I pretending to be something I'm not. But a quick google of my name and writing credits should set their minds at rest. I would not be doing this if I did not feel I had something to offer.

And for the record, it isn't that I've failed to have a novella published by People's Friend, as you seem to suggest with your words 'hasn't had any acceptances'. I haven't subbed a novella to them. Yet. It's the next goal on my list. But I've read plenty, whilst researching markets, and I know the style well enough to include it as part of my workshop.

Incidentally, My Weekly Pocket Novels and People's Friend Pocket Novels are not magazines. They're novellas. The clue is in the imprint titles

womagwriter said...

I think it's just as well the first Anonymous is intending to steer clear of this workshop, as she or he would no doubt spoil it for everyone else.

Sally has a proven track record not only in writing and selling pocket novels, but also in teaching and leading workshops. Everyone who attends this course will undoubtedlt get a huge amount out of it.

Elaine Everest said...

I support the other comments here, in fact we at The Write Place have requested that Sally repeats her workshop in the south of the country next year so our students can make use of her vaste knowledge.

Quillers said...

I can't wait, Elaine. Mainly because it will be great to meet you at last!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Sally's workshop will be amazing, but even presuming that I could squeeze 50,000 words out (i'm a 1-2,000) word kinda gal I wouldn't venture into pocket novels because of the poor remumeration. Perhaps (and i'm not asking) once you have sold one or two the payment goes up, but if not, then the work is woefully underpaid.
By the way, Sally, if you are reading this - i'm a fan.

Quillers said...

Thank you, third anon! Unfortunately the fee doesn't go up as you write more. It's £300 no matter how long you've been doing it. But you can sell them on to large print publishers Ulverscroft for £400, and then claim Public Lending Rights when they hit the libraries. So the amount does go up eventually. I haven't experienced this myself yet, as mine haven't been in libraries for long, but I've been told that it can work out at a total of £1500 for each book adding what's paid by MW or PF, Ulverscroft and then PLR. So it looks a bit more attractive at that.

I agree it's underpaid though, but I saw it as a challenge to have one published, as well as good experience for learning to plot and pace a novel ready for when I finally write the big one. But of course, we're not all the same and I respect your reasons for not wanting to do so.

womagwriter said...

Sally - you're coming south?! Let me know when and where. Mind you Kent (for Elaine) is probably as far from me as Chesterfield is...

Quillers said...

I'll let you know, Womag! I'll probably have to stay overnight, so hopefully will get chance to see you.

It'll probably be the New year as I'm worried about the weather.