Do we need to support new writers?

Do we need to support new writers?

Running a book festival undoubtedly entails an unbelievable amount of challenges, but in the whirlwind of logistics and coordination, one of the most gratifying aspects lies in our deep engagement with authors, particularly those who are just starting out on their writing journeys.

Writing, as many know, is a pursuit fraught with obstacles: it's solitary, financially demanding, and often riddled with uncertainty. These challenges are further amplified for marginalised writers, who often face additional barriers in accessing funding and support systems.

But even before they get to the stage where they are looking for funding, new authors are faced with the daunting task of navigating the intricacies of the publishing industry 

Questions abound: How long should their book be? Do they need an agent? If yes, when and how? Who designs the cover? What about editing? The questions are endless and internet searches give more questions than answers and there has been an increase of scammers around, leaving writers vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous individuals

In an industry where there is so little representation for marginalised groups it can also be difficult to trust those who say, "It's easy, just do it like this."

We want to support writers, not just the bestsellers of today but also the emerging authors – tomorrow's bestsellers. We are constantly asking ourselves, How can we do that?

This year, we've made a deliberate effort to dedicate an entire day to writers, offering a comprehensive programme designed to address every facet of the writing process and the industry at large. From workshops aimed at providing guidance and accountability to platforms for emerging authors to showcase their work, and from panels featuring seasoned authors and industry professionals to networking opportunities and personalised sessions tailored to individual needs, our goal is to equip writers with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to thrive.

We recognise that if we are to effect meaningful change and improve representation in the literary world, we must invest in and amplify the voices of the next generation of writers. By nurturing diversity and inclusivity, we aim to create a literary landscape that is truly reflective of the rich tapestry of human experience. So, let's raise a glass to the future luminaries of the literary world: the bestsellers of tomorrow, whose journey begins right here at the Brighton Book Festival 2024.

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