2014 Conference Programme


Friday, 13 June 2014

Welcome Note


Keynote by Cory Doctorow and Q&A


Author and renowned digital publishing pioneer, Cory Doctorow will inspire, inform, and challenge in a dynamic opening talk about his creative experiments on and offline, and address head-on the thorny question of ‘Intellectual Property in a Digital Age’.

#TLC14 Industry Snapshot

With Nielsen Book presentation


Steve Bohme (Nielsen Book), James Gill (United Agents), Stephen Page (Faber & Faber), Diego Marano (Kobo Writing Life) and The Guardian’s Claire Armitstead (Chair) will reflect on another huge year of change for the book trade – one which has seen the firm establishment of self-publishing as a required consideration for all book businesses. As the ‘normalisation’ of digital within publishing continues, what levels of disruption and continuation can we expect in the year to come?

Lunch break


Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

Authors, publishers, and lessons from the past


The author-publishing industry relationship is often fraught. The digital revolution, however, has arguably given more power back to the author, who now has the choice to ‘go it alone’. This panel chaired by Claire Squires (Professor of Publishing, Stirling University), will explore the author-publisher relationship, with Alexandra Pringle (Bloombury), Alison Baverstock (Publishing, Kingston University), and Rebecca Abrams (award winning author and journalist).

Funding for Writers

Grants, awards, and other opportunities for writers

14:45 – 15:45

The UK is fortunate in that it still enjoys a relatively high level of arts funding. It is not always obvious, however, where writers should go if they are seeking financial support for worthwhile projects. This practical session, chaired by Nico Macdonald (Media Futures) invites in speakers including Gemma Seltzer from Arts Council England, Sarah Baxter from the Society for Authors, and Joanna Ellis from the Writing Platform to bring you up to date about what kinds of funds and awards are available.

There will be a limited number of one-to-one sessions during the day (on both Friday 13 June and Saturday 14 June) with Gemma, where you’ll be able to pose questions and ask for advice. You should come with a particular project under development to discuss. Attendees will be emailed with booking options from 24 MarchPlease take a look at the Grants for the Arts guidance notes for literature in advance.

The Age of Possibility

Making the words go further


A panel of key publishing visionaries will demonstrate how new business models and technologies are making it possible to produce the same stories across a range of different formats, taking advantage of new (and sometimes old) technologies to tell stories in different ways. Chaired by Jon Slack, speakers are David Varela, Frances Bickmore (Canongate) and John Mitchinson (Unbound).

Drinks & Networking



Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Writer In The Machine

The different writers who self-publish, and how they do it


In this critically useful session for all interested in how self-publishing really works, Orna Ross (Chair), pioneering founder of The Alliance of Independent Authors will be joined by author and marketing guru Joanna Penn and self-published writers Rachel Abbott and Polly Courtney, to examine three different types of writer capable of achieving success without a mainstream publishing house. You will be given a chance to discover where you fit in to the new publishing picture, whether you are a writer, or another literary professional.

Keynote by Piers Alexander with ePubli

12:15 – 12:35

Piers Alexander, author and serial entrepreneur, will describe his adventures in publishing since winning last year’s Pen Factor Writing Competition. We are delighted to welcome him back, and look forward to sharing his top ten tips with the audience. Piers also launches his book The Bitter Trade on 26 June 2014, but will have exclusive advance copies at the Literary Conference.

12:35 – 13:00

Jörg Dörnemann, CEO of ePubli, chosen publishing platform of Piers Alexander, will tell us how they work and how you should think if you want to break into a foreign language market, with specific reference to the German language market.



Pen Factor Winners (sponsored by Kobo Writing Life)


TLC Manager Aki Schilz and Diego Marano from Kobo Writing Life will summarise findings from the Pen Factor competition and announce the winners. Short-listed writers will benefit from an industry feedback session on Sunday, 15 June 2014.

Whose Opinion Is It Anyway?

Book reviewing in the 21st century


Bloggers have increased their influence and readerships exponentially in recent years, meanwhile various reviewing platforms have undergone intense scrutiny. This key session will consider the full range of reviewing options for writers, including the traditional, with a panel made up of book blogging’s First Lady, Dovegreyreader, writer Sam Leith, founder of ReadySteadyBook, Head of Digital for Quercus Books , Mark Thwaite and Chair, bibliophile, Paul Blezard.

Canon Tales


Canon Tales is a rapid-fire look at the stories behind the UK’s top players in the world of literature and digital: Kamila Shamsie (author and journalist), Max Porter (Granta Books), Maggie Fergusson (Director of the RSL and author), Chris Gribble (Director of Writers’ Centre Norwich), Daniel Cooper (Former Amazon Head of Kindle Publishing and self-published author), Katy Darby (Liars’ League),  Hannah Sheppard (DHH Literary Agency) and graphic novelist/film writer Mike Carey (DC, Marvel Comics). These inspiring industry players will talk about what has motivated their careers using 20 images each lasting precisely 21 seconds each.

Closing Statements & Networking



Sunday, 15 June 2014

Bonus Day


In an exciting new development for 2014, all conference ticket holders will also be entitled to a third bonus day. This will run between 10:00-14:00 and will include:

The day will end with a walk, for all who are interested, to the South Bank Centre on the Thames, so we can continue the literary conversation, stretch our legs, and end up with a late lunch or cup of tea by the river.

All confirmed delegates will receive an email with information on how to apply for sessions on the bonus day.


*The Masterclass caters for a maximum of fourteen people:
– Six spaces will be reserved for members of the Royal Society of Literature;  
– Eight spaces will be on offer to conference delegates for free.



The Literary Consultancy reserves the right to change the conference speakers and schedule, in case of illness or other conditions beyond its control.