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"Crack the code & get published" Mumsnet Academy

(7 Posts)
syncing Wed 10-Oct-12 11:32:37

PatrickMumsnet asked us to review this course which I attended several weeks ago so here goes.

This was a two day course run at the Faber Academy, which seemed to be aimed at those who had written a book of any type, and weren't sure what to do next.

Something I hadn't anticipated was how much I'd enjoy attending a course with other mumsnetters. Although the amount of writing talent in the room slightly intimidated me to start with, it soon became clear that it was a supportive environment in which no-one need compete for attention.

The specialisms of the teachers were mainly literary fiction and thrillers, or at least these are what they referred to the most. For those writing non-fiction, or for children, or romance, etc... the information was less pertinent, and came with caveats of "this isn't really my area...". The genres we were writing in hadn't been asked in advance, and had they been, it may have helped the teachers.

There were apparently spaces for 30, but only 13 booked on. The teachers (a publisher from Faber and an agent) adapted their plan to better suit a small group. To be honest, if there were 30 people there I don't think I'd have learned much, given that I wasn't writing in their specialist areas. It would have stayed very general, with info on publishing that can be gleaned from websites. BUT, due to the small numbers (and the excellence of the tutors) it turned into an excellent opportunity. They drilled down into our individual works in several different ways; our first 2 pages, our title and a 20 word pitch.

The weekend culminated in a short individual session with the two of them (replacing the planned general Q&A) which for me was incredibly helpful and encouraging. I got two pieces of advice in particular, that I couldn't have read online as they are particular to my work/life. I've started to follow them since the course and it seems they could well lead to me landing an agent.

I've done several things of this type now, and this was definitely the best of them. I will consider other Mumsnet Academy courses in the future, though will check with Patrick first that attendance numbers aren't too high and that the material covered would fit in with my work/area of interest.

Punkatheart Thu 11-Oct-12 13:54:07

What they need is people to review the courses - to give it free or at a reduced cost...and then to spread the news through Mumsnet and viral marketing.

(Hint hint volunteer writer here)

syncing Thu 11-Oct-12 14:59:38

I think they did give some places out for free when they first started.

I got the impression that most of those on the course I did were signed up to mumsnet but not active on the boards. (Certainly there wasn't much reaction to in jokes.) Which explains the lack of reviews I guess.

Punkatheart Thu 11-Oct-12 20:27:13

What they didn't know about Center Parcs? What kind of people were these? grin

syncing Thu 11-Oct-12 22:39:39

Oh I wish I'd thought to mention centre parcs grin (I can't even think about it without ever so slightly squirming though!)

Not many people reacted to a pom bear joke though.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 14-Oct-12 10:19:53

Hi syncing,

Thanks so much for posting. I am chuffed to bits that you took so much away from the Publication Weekend and that you would consider taking another one of our Mumsnet Academy courses in the future. If there is a specific course that you and others would like us to organise, please get in touch and we will set it up. We want the courses we run to be courses you want.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and keep spreading the word about the Mumsnet Academy!


syncing Sun 14-Oct-12 18:48:47

You're welcome Patrick.

I forgot when I posted that there is a Mumsnet Academy section. If you want to move this thread to there then that's fine of course.

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