But have no fear!
You are going to have a brilliant day, packed with useful writing advice and valuable insight into the craft. You'll also meet lots of lovely people who read books, write books and love books.
I attended my first Edge-Lit last year and I would love to share my wisdom with you. I hope these five tips will help you get the most out of your day.
1. Get there early (ish) - The workshops are fiendishly popular and assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. Attendees write their name on various sign-up sheets at the registration desk. Once a sheet is full, the workshop is full. Maybe don't get there as early as I did (an hour before the doors opened!) but expect a modest queue about 15 minutes beforehand.
2. Workshops are a great way to meet people - The workshops are a small, close-knit, hands-on affair, with roughly 15 people in each session. Most have quick, interactive exercises in which you work with a partner or group. For this reason, workshops are a fantastic way to make friends if you are attending the event by yourself.
3. Talk to everyone - Readers, writers and bloggers are friendly people, but statistically we are an introverted bunch, unless you are an attention-seeking only-child like me. Take comfort in knowing that most people are feeling a little shy and nervous too, but someone has to break the ice first. My advice is to go for it, talk to a stranger. If it all goes wrong at least you'll have good content for your next short story! And when I say talk to everyone, I do mean everyone. International best-sellers are people too. Buy them a cookie to thank them for sharing their imagination with the world.
4. Put your hand up - There are a lot of panels - hourly, in fact - packed with charming, insightful folk. Make the most of the smorgasbord of talent sat in front of you and ask a question when the time comes. Pick their brains. Mine their gold. Satisfy your curiosity. Just one caveat: keep the question short. There is nothing worse than an audience member rambling through their life story before getting to the question!
5. Bring food - Such was my enthusiasm for the hourly sessions that I denied myself time to eat for fear of missing valuable content. So, yes, snacks are advisable, and make time for lunch too. The ground floor cafe is delightful. Coffee! Cake! Beer! There is also a Greggs around the corner and a Nando’s opposite. And so many great pubs for post-Edge shenanigans. Rejoice.
See you on Saturday 13 July. Say hello and I may just buy you a coffee!
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