Writers' Day 2020 | Free Word

20 June 2020
10:00 - 16:00

Presented by:
The Literary Consultancy


A day of talks and workshops by inspiring expert speakers

A day of inspiration and practical advice, for writers wanting to know more about how best to navigate the changing landscapes of writing, editing and publishing.


9:30am – 4pm (includes lunch and tea breaks).


Crowdfunded Publishing: The New Frontier with Joelle Owusu

Unbound is at the forefront of the crowdfunding movement disrupting publishing, with a mission to empower authors to bring to life ideas that don’t necessarily fit the mold. Find out how crowdfunding can reach, and include, readers in the building of a book.


The Science of Writing Characters with Dr Kira-Anne Pelican

In an illuminating talk, find out why rounded or psychologically-credible characters are the most engaging; place the Big Five dimensions of personality at the core of characterisation; and take part in a short writing exercise that begins to look at how to create memorable characters.




Special guest reading by Stephanie Scott


TLC Pen Factor live pitches with industry guests


Publicity on a Shoestring with Maria Garbutt-Lucero

Publicists are often the unsung heroes of books that are the biggest hits with readers, creating connections and building momentum. Hear from an award-winning publicist about how she builds campaigns, and gain insight into how to apply big scale publicity strategy to small scale projects, to help build buzz around your work.



20 June 2020
10:00 - 16:00
£60 (+ VAT)

The Literary Consultancy


Joelle Owusu

Comissioning Editor, Unbound

Joelle Owusu is British-Ghanaian writer living in London. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a BSc in Petroleum Geology and now works as a Commissioning Editor at Unbound, the world's first crowdfunding publisher. Books she has commissioned for Unbound include This Party’s Dead by Erica Buist and How to Come Alive Again by Beth McColl. She is a regular contributor on BBC Radio 5 Live and her own work has appeared in Nasty Women (404ink, 2017), Mind Matters: Part II (Forward Poetry, 2017), and Inspirational Idols (Forward Poetry, 2016).

Dr Kira-Anne Pelican

Script Consultant & Author

Kira-Anne Pelican is a writer, researcher and script consultant, specialising in understanding how psychological techniques may be used to create more believable and engaging fictional characters. With 25 years of experience working in the British and American film and TV industries, Kira-Anne has worked for film directors including Stanley Kubrick, the Wachowskis and the Coen brothers. She has also written screenplays that have been optioned by the BBC and ITV. She is the author of The Science of Writing Characters: Using Psychology to Create Compelling Fictional Characters (forthcoming from Bloomsbury, 2020).

Maria Garbutt-Lucero

Senior Campaigns Manager, Penguin Random House

Maria Garbutt-Lucero is a multi-award-winning publicist specialising in literary fiction and non-fiction with ten years of experience at some of the UK’s leading literary imprints including Allen Lane, Vintage, Faber and Hamish Hamilton. She has devised debut launch campaigns for Sally Rooney and Édouard Louis, worked with Man Booker Prize-winner Anna Burns on Milkman and Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk, built campaigns for a dozen bestsellers, and planned national tours for Zadie Smith, Sophie Mackintosh and Irvine Welsh. She won Publishers' Publicity Circle awards for her work on Sally Rooney’s Normal People and the Best Newcomer Award for Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise. Her non-fiction PR work includes Emilie Pine’s Notes to Self, and Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens and Lewis Dartnell’s The Knowledge, both of which were shortlisted for PPC Awards. In her spare time she runs Baboy Club, a Filipino supper club featured in TimeOut, Refinery29 and Lecker Zine.

Stephanie Scott


Stephanie Scott is a Singaporean and British writer who was born and raised in South East Asia. She read English Literature at the Universities of York and Cambridge and holds an M.St in Creative Writing from Oxford University. Stephanie was awarded a British Association of Japanese Studies Toshiba Studentship for her anthropological work on What’s Left of Me Is Yours and has been made a member of the British Japanese Law Association as a result of her research; an early draft of the manuscript also won the A.M. Heath Prize, the Jerwood Arvon Prize for Prose Fiction, and runner up in the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award. What's Left of Me Is Yours is her first novel and Stephanie was recently selected as one of The Observer’s 'Ten Best Debut Novelists of 2020'.

Davinia Andrew-Lynch

Literary Agent, ANDLYN

Davinia Andrew-Lynch is the founder of ANDLYN, a boutique agency dedicated to finding storytellers whose material can not only exist on the page but can also find an outlet through other media territories. Davinia was previously an associate agent at a highly reputable film and television agency, and worked simultaneously as a freelance children's fiction editor and reader for various publishers and literary agencies. She is a regular reader for TLC.

Ailah Ahmed

Publishing Director, Little, Brown and Virago

Ailah Ahmed is Publishing Director at Little, Brown and Virago. Her authors include Chigozie Obioma, shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019 and Andrew Sean Greer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2018. She has worked in publishing for over a decade, including previous roles at Tindal Street Press, Canongate Books and Simon & Schuster.

Hattie Grünewald

Literary Agent, The Blair Partnership

Hattie Grünewald is an Agent at The Blair Partnership. She represents commercial and upmarket fiction – including women’s fiction, crime and thriller, historical and book club fiction – as well as some non-fiction in the areas of lifestyle and personal development. Before joining the Blair Partnership she was a literary agent at Blake Friedmann Agency, where she worked for six years. Hattie has a degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and she is also a poet.

Leslie Gardner

Literary Agent, Artellus

Leslie Gardner co-founded Artellus Ltd in 1986 after extensive work at American publishing houses, London Management, Columbia Pictures and The National Theatre. She handles writers internationally for fiction, non-fiction, film and periodicals. Leslie set up critically acclaimed TV drama 'Tenko'; after editorial work with Salman Rushdie she landed a deal for Midnight's Children; she worked closely with Anthony Burgess during his career and handles the estate of eminent writer of spooky stories, Robert Aickman. Leslie Gardner holds an MA from the University of Iowa’s International Writers Workshop and a PhD in Rhetoric. She is a fellow at the Dept. of Psycho-social and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex.



Practical training for requesters

Presented by Campaign for Freedom of Information

The Nightcrawlers: screening and conversation

Presented by Reporters Without Borders

Exclusive screening and conversation with director Alexander Mora and Veronica Pedrosa

Creative Writing and Wellbeing

Presented by The Literary Consultancy

Are You With Me?

Presented by ARTICLE 19

Kevin Boyle and the rise of the human rights movement