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24 May 2022

The Literary Consultancy (TLC)’s Festival of Writing and Wellness

‘Wellness’ has been a hot topic in the media, and on social media, recently – particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns. It feels as if everyone is exhausted, and lacking in motivation and creativity. A recent survey from The Bookseller reveals that publishing is facing “industry-wide burnout” – with 89% of staffers reporting experiencing stress, and 69% burnout, during the course of their work over the last year.

TLC’s mission is to support writers at all stages of their professional development. So, when planning this year’s summer event, we looked for a way to remotivate writers. Thus, the Being a Writer Festival was born – to help writers be creative, feel well and thrive.

The Being a Writer Festival puts wellbeing and creativity at its heart, focusing on how to write well and feel well. It will provide writers with an event series that allows them to develop their writing craft and learn more about the publishing industry, while gaining ideas on how to really look after themselves, as they write.

Research-backed sessions, designed to inspire

The Festival programme embraces the themes and findings of Being a Writer, TLC’s membership community platform. The platform is designed to help writers sustain and protect their creativity and cultivate resilience in a range of settings. It spans events, interdisciplinary learning, research collaboration, podcasts, and digital content – including monthly writing clubs, workshops with inspiring tutors, prompts and courses hosted on the platform itself.

This content has been inspired by TLC's founding psychoanalytic principles ('Is There Anybody Reading Me', 1999, available as a free ebook), and our work as consulting partners on academic research into barriers to writing, including the Royal Society of Literature ('A Room of My Own', June 2019) and Kingston University ('What Makes A Writer', May 2019).

The central concept of these principles and research is that, in order to develop and flourish, writers need to have their work taken seriously by a sympathetic editor who gives constructive, objective advice. TLC also acknowledges the role of the publishing industry in this process, and that finding an audience (of any size) is a challenging goal for many writers.

In a world where competitive industry standards mean that the focus is often on what is written, Being A Writer instead helps writers understand why they write, and offers creative and practical solutions to help them to keep going.

The festival is structured to fit into the busy lifestyles of the writers we work with. Zoom fatigue is real, and overwhelm and burnout seem to be affecting many people, so moving away from a condensed format into one that gives writers more space to breathe between events, felt logical.

A stellar line-up of speakers

When choosing the speakers for the Festival, it was important to achieve a balance between the writing and wellbeing elements. With a wealth of talent to choose from, we were delighted to secure sessions with some top speakers. For example, professional psychotherapist Dawn Estefan specialises in therapeutic work with creative minds. Poet and creative facilitator Khairani Barokka will lead an interactive workshop to help develop better creative habits. Novelist and activist Nikesh Shukla will give a keynote on ‘How to Be a Writer’.

A Festival for anyone who wants to write well and feel well

The Festival is not just for members of our Being a Writer platform, but for anyone who wants to develop their writing craft, write well and feel well. You’ll learn tips and tricks to maintain a creative mindset as you write, and to live more sustainably and consciously as a writer, reader, and human being. Discover more about the author journey and the state of the publishing industry from demystifying sessions with publishers, agents and authors, and a roundtable with debut novelists. Even if you’ve never picked up a pen before, we think you’ll get a great deal out of the festival programme, to reawaken your creative self.

Joe Sedgwick

Joe Sedgwick is the Head of Writing Services at The Literary Consultancy.

Follow him on Twitter, @JoeSedgwick20 or @TLCUK. 

The Being a Writer Festival runs from 20 June to 21 July 2022.