Creative Writing

The creative writing track is brimming with discussions, panels, workshops and socials on all aspects of honing your craft and having a whole lot of creative fun. We'll be talking about writing your own fantasy language, giving alien perspectives, and creating mysteries for the modern age. We're looking forward to inspiring new ideas and helping the next Ray Bradbury or Robin Hobb find their feet. From our "Battle Rapping Monsters" kids' session, to "Creating your Own Fantasy Language", to our late night "Smut Slam", we've got something for everyone!

All in County A.

Geek Dictionary Corner: All Weekend

All cultures have their own unique languages, and geekdom is no different! Catherine Sangster, from Oxford Dictionaries, invites you to come to County A and help us tweak definitions, debate pronunciations, propose meanings, and get geek words and meanings in the dictionary.


10.00am - 11.15am
The Writers' Process: an adapting, evolving, creating and editing masterclass
Join Abigail Nathan, freelance editor, for a master class on editing. Whether you're looking for better ways to catch your bad habits early, or want to restructure your work for a better read, Abigail will point you in the right direction. Practical advice to sharpen and improve your writing from the ground up! 

11.45am - 1.00pm
Putting the Geek into Poetry, Putting Poetry to the Geeks
Join spoken word artist and poet Dan Simpson to explore the geeky side of poetry. Write, edit, share, perform your words.

1.30pm - 2.45pm
Writing the Inhuman - crossover with All Of The Books
From Frankenstein's creation to Lady Stoneheart, literature is constantly probing the the boundaries between the human and the inhuman to ask: who is the true monster?
Panel: Pete Sutton, Adrian Tchaikovsky, David Mumford, Laure Eve, Jennifer Williams

3.15pm - 4.30pm
Writing LGBTQ+ Characters in SFF
Laura Lam, author of the award winning Pantomime & Shadowplay (which has an intersex, bisexual and genderqueer protagonist) shares her insights and experiences of writing characters from the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

5.00pm - 6.15pm
Fight Choregraphy For Writers - with Retro Fandom
We all hate a badly edited fight scene, whether on screen or on the page. Experienced tie-in and historical novelist, martial artist, and swordsman David A McIntee leads this roundtable discussion of creating realistic fight scenes in writing and for stage and screen combat. We'll look at how to make every fight scene unique, explore character and motivation, achieve perfect pacing, and address the fact that fight scenes are not just for the ‘tough guys’.

6.45pm - 8.00pm
Writing for Transmedia - crossover with All Of The Books
Because a story can also be an app, computer game, vlog, fanvid, web series, docu-drama, interactive ebook, diary comic, inter-sensory experience or any other format currently existing or yet to exist not listed here. Kind of against the spirit of the thing, if you ask us. Guess you'll just have to go to it in person.

8.30pm - 9.45pm
Geek Lust: How To Write A Sex Scene
A practical workshop offering guidance on writing smart, seamless, effective sex scenes. Whether you want to spice up your sci-fi or construct a complete erotic narrative, experienced authors Zak Jane Keir and Kristina Lloyd will advise on creating sizzling prose and avoiding common pitfalls. We’ll look at speculative fiction’s potential for the creation of highly original, explicit action, along with the popularity of fanfic as a vehicle for literary explorations of the erotic.

10.15pm - 11.30pm
You know what a poetry slam is, and maybe you know about story slams, too. Now it’s time for a smut slam! Smut slammers sign up on the night to tell a 5-minute piece of smut/sex/erotica and a lucky eight to ten names will be drawn at random. Our judges will decide the winner based on who has served up the most sizzling, scintillating smut of the night!


9.00am - 9.45am
Poetry For Breakfast
Grab some food, OJ and an extra helping of freshly-toasted words. Start your day right with geek poems and spoken word from your Creative Writing track heads.

10.00am - 11.15
Putting Sherlock in your Pocket
Writer David Varela talks about working with Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Steven Moffat, and Mark Gatiss to create the chart-topping mobile adventure, Sherlock: The Network. The all-new story was developed with the TV show’s creators and involved shooting original scenes and audio with the core cast, on set.
David will talk about how he worked with Hartswood Films and the app’s developers, The Project Factory, to allow fans to step into Sherlock’s world, join the homeless network, and get within sniffing distance of the great detective. The app is available on iOS right now and on Android from August.

11.45am - 1.00pm
Creating fantasy languages - talk and Q&A
Giving your fantasy setting a language of its own can help add a sense of depth and realism to your work. Join Matt Voice, Edmund Weiner and Catherine Sangster to discuss language systems, structures and how best to use them in your writing.

1.30pm - 2.45pm
Creating fantasy languages - practical workshop
This is an opportunity to bring your own fantasy languages to the experts. If you have a sample of your own fantasy language please bring it along. We have a pronunciation specialist on hand, so by the end you might even be speaking it! With Matt Voice, Edmund Weiner and Catherine Sangster

3.15pm - 4.30pm
How To Beat Writers' Block - with the T Party Writers' Group
Join the T Party writers for some games and exercises designed to generate ideas and inspiration when you don’t know what to write about. You never know – it might just light the spark that leads to the great idea for a novel! Maximum 30 places, so please arrive promptly.

5.00pm - 6.15pm
Putting The Science Into Sci-Fi
Calling on her wealth of experience in the civilian and military space programs (where she trained astronauts) as well as her years as a sci-fi writer, Stephanie Osborn is here to answer all your questions about space, the universe and everything – hear how to put the science into your sci-fi writing.

6.45pm - 8.00pm
Working With Artists - crossover with All Of The Books
How can artists get the best from their writers, and vice versa? Advice about making great things.
Q&A, with Sarah McIntyre, Emma Vieceli, Gillian Redfearn, Djibril al-Ayad, Adam Christopher

8.30pm - 9.45pm
Story Writing and Performance Panel
Your questions for the pros. Join Sidekick Books' editors and awesome poets Kirsten Irving and Jon Stone, co-founder of The Centre for Solo Performance and author of Creating Solo Performances Sean Bruno, and master poet Jacob Sam-La Rose, for a panel discussion and Q&A on practicing literature professionally. Facilitated by Dan Simpson.

10.15pm - 11.30pm
Feedback Among Friends
Bring any writing you've been working on along for some informal feedback, bring freshly-hatched ideas for some ideas-bouncing, bring your best expertise, tips, and constructive criticism to help others.


10.00am - 11.15am
Battle Rapping Monsters
Create your own monster and send them to rap battle against others! A writing and performance workshop. Suitable for 11+. With Dan Simpson.

11.45am - 1.00pm
Marketing crossover with All Of The Books
How do you get the word out about your book? How can events, social media, publicity and marketing work? Tips and tricks from the experts.
Q&A with Tom Hunter, Adam Christopher, Danie Ware, Sophie Calder and James Oswald

1.30pm - 2.45pm
How To Invent The Wheel: Why You Should Write Sci-Fi About Existing Technology
According to Isaac Asimov, science fiction can be defined as "that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology”. As sci-fi definitions go this one is interesting, because Asimov doesn’t specify that it has to be ‘future’ or ‘non-existent’ technology. In this workshop, we’ll be looking at why Singing in the Rain is a science fiction movie, the unexpected ways in which technology can change our lives, and how writing about the ways that real technology has changed us can help us write about imaginary technologies better. With Chris Farnell.

3.15pm - 4.30pm
Ask A Professional - crossover with All Of The Books
Experts from every walk of publishing life, ready and willing to be put to the test. Feeling shy? Tweet questions in advance to @booksnineworlds
Q&A with Alasdair Stuart, Juliet Mushens, Ben Smith, Ian Whates and Liz Gorinsky

5.00pm - 6.15pm
Applied Mathematics: Poetry for Geeks
Spoken word poet Dan Simpson (Glastonbury, BBC Radio, Canterbury Laureate) performs lively poems, smart jokes, and awesome flipchart presentations for geeks, nerds, and anyone who likes playing with words. Videogame verse and sci-fi-filled stanzas combine with meta-metre in an engaging show. "Charmingly geeky" (The Scotsman); “clever, frequently amusing” (Broadway Baby)

6.45pm - 8.00pm
Party / Open reading slam
Finish off your geekfest by sharing your creation! Take the mic for five minutes and share your Nine Worlds inspired poems, short stories, one-liners and writing.