Success on the south coast: A summary of our time at The Bournemouth Writing Festival

1st May, 2024

4 min read

Success on the south coast: A summary of our time at The Bournemouth Writing Festival

Success on the south coast: A summary of our time at The Bournemouth Writing Festival

Written by:

Alex Thompson

In the buzzing coastal town of Bournemouth, for the second year running writers from far and wide gathered for a celebration of all things writing from 26th–28th March – The Bournemouth Writing Festival. For three fantastic days, this festival transforms the seaside town into a bustling hub of all things writing, offering a huge variety of workshops, talks and networking opportunities that leave authors attending inspired and armed with practical knowledge.

Connecting with authors

One of the festival's standout features is its goal of connecting writers with industry professionals. Throughout the event, authors have the opportunity to engage with publishers, agents and fellow writers, forging invaluable connections that can help them in their writing careers. Troubador team members Alex Thompson, Business Development Manager, and Chloe May, Customer Services Manager, were located on a stand in the main networking space for the whole of Saturday to help authors who are exploring the world of publishing better understand the different routes to publication that they have available to them. 

Of the festival, Chloe said, “I really enjoyed connecting with authors at all stages of their publishing journey at Bournemouth. The whole event had an ambitious and optimistic atmosphere and everyone was so friendly and welcoming.” Alex agreed, saying, “I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the south coast for the festival. The variety of authors I met and the range of objectives and questions they had certainly kept me on my toes, but there were so many interesting authors to talk to both in my session and in the networking space.”

Helping authors differentiate traditional vs partnership vs self-publishing

As well as exhibiting at the festival, the Troubador team also hosted two separate talks in the main theatre throughout the day. The first was hosted by Alex and focused on helping authors differentiate between traditional, partnership and self-publishing. 

For many authors, the decision of which publishing route to take is a daunting one, fraught with uncertainty and indecision. Traditional publishing offers the allure of prestige but often comes with a high barrier to entry and a loss of creative control. Partnership publishing strikes a balance between traditional and self-publishing, offering authors a collaborative approach to publishing their work, but it can be difficult to find the right publisher. And then there's self-publishing, which empowers authors with unparalleled creative freedom but requires an investment of time and resources. 

At the festival, authors attending Alex’s hour-long session gained insights into each publishing option and left the session with the knowledge they needed to make informed decisions about their writing careers. We received some great feedback from those attending both on the day and afterwards.

Alex hosting his session in the main theatre at the festival

Real-world insights from published authors

Another session was hosted by Chloe May alongside Troubador author Jude Hayland and The Book Guild author Steve Couch. Attendees gained a real-world perspective on both partnership and self-publishing routes from two authors who have been on that journey themselves. Through candid discussions and personal anecdotes, Jude and Steve offered a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing process, sharing the triumphs and challenges they encountered along the way to publication, and offering their key advice to authors looking to go on their publishing journey. 

Whether it's the thrill of seeing their book on shelves or the frustration of navigating the intricacies of marketing, these authors provided a window into the reality of life as a published author, offering invaluable advice to aspiring writers seeking to follow in their footsteps.

As well as co-hosting the session alongside Chloe, both Jude and Steve’s books were on sale in the festival bookshop. Both authors sold copies of their books with Jude selling copies of her latest Troubador-published title The Odyssey of Lily Page and Steve selling out completely of all the copies of his debut novel Dead Man Singing!

Chloe, Jude and Steve just before their conversation began

Same time next year?

As the dust settles on another successful Bournemouth Writing Festival, writers depart feeling inspired and with their minds buzzing with ideas about how to enhance their writing journey. Armed with newfound knowledge and a network of fellow writers and industry professionals, they return to their desks with renewed vigour, ready to tackle the blank page with confidence and creativity. 

For writers seeking to hone their craft, connect with like-minded individuals, and chart their course through the ever-changing landscape of publishing, the Bournemouth Writing Festival is an unmissable event, and we sincerely hope to be a part of such a great event next year.