Crime Fiction at London Writers’ Club

It’s been a very busy but throughly enjoyable week, and I’m sure there will be some reading time over the long weekend ahead, but most of the evenings this week have been spent at bookish events.

On Wednesday evening, having spotted an event which sounded of interest on that modern oracle of all things, twitter, I went online and purchased a ticket for my first visit to London Writers’ Club.

Despite initial concerns as to what the first rule of Writers’ Club might be…maybe not to write about Writers’ Club, I was really looking forward to the event as it was a talk by Rachel Rayner (@thecrimedesk) from Harper Collins about all things Crime Fiction.

Sliding off a little early from the day job to catch train into London, I made my way to the venue, Clerkenwell House in Hatton Garden and arrived in plenty of time.  The event room was the top bar area of the property and very nice it was too (other than a kitchen area which would have been better if a little quieter at times).  There was half an hour to get to know other people there, most of whom were midway through their first or had several novels under their belts and it was great to finally meet Ilaria from Hersilia Press (@hersilia_press) there too.

Rachel gave the group a good overview of the processes by which a novel can reach Harper Collins and then the in-house decision-making processes and considerations that go into selecting books to pursue to the next stages and, hopefully, to publication and great success.

As a case model, she proudly (and rightly too) displayed some of the promotional products used to spread the word about recent new release SANCTUS by Simon Toyne (see review here) – for that book there were promo magazines produced and handed out by monks at railway stations and a whole series of fantastic mini-movie trailers (you can read all about the launch on Simon’s Sanctus website).

Then conversation turned to cover how established series authors work with Harper Collins (which is clearly a core part of the business as Sanctus was the only new acquisition for them in nearly two years!) and then, after a drinks break, to areas of help that members of the group wanted with their own work and submission guidance.

A thoroughly enjoyable event and I’m sure I’ll be returning to London Writers’ Club again soon – maybe to hear another publishing professional speaker, and possibly with a few more pages of my own book written by then too.

If you enjoy writing or are interested in the publishing world and its processes, I’d strongly recommend booking up for a future event here.


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