New Adventures

At York Literature Festival, on 16th March, we will have a very special Writing Tree event. It’s been really exciting to plan this, and our own event at such a well-established Festival marks an important landmark for us. Over the past year, alongside our usual services, we have been developing a modest publishing portfolio, and plans for an in-person writers’ club in York, both of which will be launched at the event. These developments are focused on our usual mission of supporting writers, including those who are less often catered for in mainstream writing activities.

Our Writing Club will be an opportunity for writers of all levels of experience and with all kinds of writing goals to meet like-minded others. We want to offer a range of activities, including space to share writing tips, develop projects and socialise. Many writers are nervous to join local writing groups, especially if they don’t yet feel comfortable sharing their work; yet they are keen to meet other people who enjoy writing as much as they do. The Writing Tree Writers’ Club aims to provide a place where this can happen. The York branch will be a pilot project, and we hope to offer clubs in other places in the future. 

Similarly, as an emerging Independent Publisher we aim to cater for writers who might otherwise find it daunting to get their writing out there into the world, and lack a voice as a result. We aim to open for general submissions in the future, but at the moment we are working with carefully selected partners while we hone our publishing model. 

Our first such partner is Converge, a project based at York St John University, which provides high quality education for people recovering from mental illness. Last summer we published ‘Creative Writing Heals‘, an anthology of work by their creative writing students. We are currently preparing to bring out their second volume, as the first was so successful that annual sequels are planned. 

Meanwhile we are about to launch our second in-house anthology of fiction written by our own writers, teachers and editors. Ocean will be available from the 16th March, and you will be able to read an excellent bonus story from Ekaterina Fawl here on our blog from Tuesday. Don’t miss it!

So, we’ve been very busy behind the scenes, but over the coming months we’ll be back here on the blog, bringing you ideas and advice to help develop your writing. If there’s anything you’d like us to talk about, do say so in the comments and we’ll do our best to oblige!

Happy writing,

The Writing Tree Team.

Festival season is here!

by Helen Kenwright

This Friday, 16th March, the Writing Tree are delighted to be providing a ‘Writing for Fun’ workshop at York Literature Festival.

I’m feeling a great sense of excitement –  and not just our event, but because the Festival is one of the highlights of my year.  There are over 350 literary festivals held in the UK each year, and I always look forward to York’s Festival, which takes place from 15th to 26th March at various venues across the City.  This year there’s an added sense of excitement for us, as the Writing Tree not only makes its debut at the Festival with the workshop, but also with a spot at the HUB Bookstall on 19th,  where we will be officially launching the paperback of ‘Forest‘.

As writers it’s easy to become isolated and invisible, and a festival is a great opportunity to see that we’re not alone, but part of a thriving creative community. For a couple of weeks each spring, I do my utmost to tap into the opportunity to be inspired, to learn and to find new friends in the world of local writers.

The Hay Festival (referred to by The Guardian as “the Glastonbury of literary festivals“) is now regularly televised for its interviews with famous authors.  I’m looking forward to York’s headliners, including TV historian Lucy Worsley talking about Jane Austen, local MAN Booker nominated writer Fiona Mozley and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, author of ‘The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain’. But what inspires me even more are the ‘fringe’ events: the workshops, the stand-up poets, the open mic events, the opportunity to hear from the small indie publishers and self-published authors who one might not discover otherwise. I always come away with new ideas, new skills and a refreshed appreciation of how many talented writers there are out there. We may not all have that top spot at Hay in our sights, but we share a love for our craft, for books and writing, and the opportunity to celebrate that each year is precious.

If you can’t join us in York, I hope you have a similar event you can get to in your own locality. Or if not, we will do our best to inspire you here at the Writing Tree all year long!

New Branches

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This is a very exciting week for the Writing Tree, as we launch our publishing branch, Writing Tree Press, with a collection of short stories from brand new writers, ‘Forest’.

The stories cover a range of genres, including fantasy, horror and romance.

You can buy Forest as an e-book on Amazon or Smashwords, with a print copy available in February. We hope you enjoy!

We’ve also relaunched our website with information about all the services we now offer, including one-to-one tuition, coaching and editing services, along with our Creative Writing Kickstart course, which is now open for enrolments for a start in April.

Have a browse and a read, and we hope you enjoy all the new shoots on the Writing Tree have to offer!