Enter the Novel Slam 2019!

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Off the Shelf and into KOMMUNE

The Novel Slam 2019 returns on Tuesday 22nd October 2019 at KOMMUNE. This year, the Novel Slam is an official part of the main Off the Shelf programme for the first time, so please come along and give us your support.

Pitching Workshop

To help you to polish your pitch for your novel, we have a free event as part of the Writers’ Hub launch from 2-4pm on Saturday 12th October 2019 at the Writers Hub at Kurious Arts, Castle House, Angel Street, S3 8LS. For more details, follow this link https://www.offtheshelf.org.uk/event/pitch-publish-party-2019/

Enter the Novel Slam 2019!

This year, the Novel Slam takes place at KOMMUNE, a new space for eating, drinking and cultural experiences in the former Co-Op department store in Castle House on Angel Street. The building is also the home of the new Writers Hub. https://kurious.art/writershub

The event is on Tuesday 22nd October and starts at 7.00pm. Get there early to make sure that you hear all the novelists – the audience gets to vote on their favourite pitch.

To enter the novel slam as a competitor, please follow the link on the Writers Hub website. Tickets for entrants cost £10. Novel Slam Competition Entrance Fee Tickets

To attend the event as an audience member, tickets are £5. You can book a ticket via the Off the Shelf website: Novel Slam at Off the Shelf or you can pay on the door. Audience members are very important as their votes influence who goes through to the next round.

Please come along and support this fantastic event! All aspiring novelists are invited to perform, and everyone is welcome at this event!

The Facebook Event for the 2019 Novel Slam is: https://www.facebook.com/events/718233671952958/  Please share and tell your friends about it!

Prepare for the Novel Slam

  • The aim of the Novel Slam is to provide a supportive forum where you can really sell your book in front of a live audience and professional writers.
  • We know how important it is for you to showcase your work. It’s also a great opportunity to get feedback from professional writers and meet other novelists.
  • The Novel Slam is also an entertaining evening and we want everyone to have fun.
  • You need to prepare a one minute pitch for your book.
  • Base your pitch on the most gripping blurb you’ve ever read on the back of a book – something that would make you pick it up and buy it. Time yourself. If you go over 60 seconds, a Klaxon will sound!
  • You will be asked to read the first line of your novel. Make sure it’s a good one!
  • In case you get through to the second round, please prepare a three minute extract from your novel to read. If you do get voted through to the second round, here are some extra tips:
  • To reel in your audience, it is probably advisable to read from your first chapter. However, feel free to read from any part of your novel, especially if it’s dramatic, action-packed or funny. Avoid spoilers and scenes with lots of characters that won’t mean anything to an audience hearing an extract from your novel for the first time.
  • This could be your chance to ensure that the opening of your novel is exciting and engaging. Agents, publishers and most importantly, readers, want a fantastic read from the very start.
  • Practise – and time your pitch and your reading – and rehearse it in front of friends and family – or even in front of the mirror.
  • You will be using a microphone on the night so, if possible, practise using one!

At the Novel Slam

Round 1:

  • A timed one minute pitch of your novel. Don’t forget to tell us the title of your book, your name (or pen name).
  • Read the first line of your novel.
  • The audience and the judges vote for their favourite pitches.
  • There will be a short break while the scores are added up.
  • Eight writers will get through to the next round.

Round 2:

  • The eight novelists to get through to Round 2 each read their three minute extract from their novels.
  • The judges will give constructive feedback to each writer, and will award scores secretly, to be given out at the end.
  • The judges will retire to add up their scores during a short break.
  • First, second and third places will be awarded to the judges’ three top choices.
  • There’s also an audience prize, for a writer who didn’t get through to the final three.

The Prizes

Kate Shaw founded the Shaw Agency in 2019 after eighteen years as a literary agent at Aitken Alexander Associates and The Viney Agency.

During Kate’s career in books she has promoted Booker-shortlisted authors, discovered Sunday Times-bestselling writers and represented multiple award-winning books that have sold millions of copies worldwide in dozens of languages and been optioned for film & TV.

Kate has brought her clients with her to The Shaw Agency and her mission is to continue to inspire them to be the finest writers they can be, to negotiate the best deals for them across the world and to discover and nurture new authors.

Kate’s passions are literary and commercial fiction, crime fiction, powerful and quirky non-fiction, teen and children’s books.

The Shaw Agency has a first look deal with the Golden Egg Academy.

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Kate Shaw

More fantastic prizes include:

  • A read through of the first three chapters of your novel and feedback from author Daniel Blythe
  • A professional coaching session
  • Local authors’ book giveaway

Bonus Prize:

  • A month’s free membership of the Writers Hub

Urban Tiger Radio

On the night, Urban Tiger Radio will be looking out for promising authors to record podcasts for their Soundscape Magazine for original music and literature. It’s a great way to promote your novel. https://soundcloud.com/rbanigeradio

Meet the Team

The Judges – a lovely selection of Sheffield writers – definitely not as scary as X-Factor!

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Stacey Sampson

Stacey Sampson: Stacey is an actor, writer and facilitator from Sheffield. Her work as a performer and scriptwriter spans theatre, television and film. She won the first ever Novel Slam and since then her novels have gone on to win the Arvon Award, Norther Writers’ Award and the Mslexia Novel Competition.

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Daniel Blythe

Daniel Blythe is a writer of 10 novels for children and adults, as well as non-fiction books on diverse subjects and short novellas for reluctant readers, and is published internationally in the UK, Europe, the USA, South America and Asia. He has worked with over a dozen different publishers in 25 years and is represented by a leading UK literary agent (Rupert Crew Ltd). He has written several of the official Doctor Who books licensed by the BBC. Daniel’s first ‘literary’ book was 1999’s The Cut (Penguin), followed by Losing Faith and This is the Day. In 2012 his first supernatural fantasy novel for young readers, Shadow Runners, was published. Emerald Greene and the Witch Stones (for age 9-12) was published in 2015 and a sequel Emerald Greene: Instruments of Darkness in 2017. His new novel for older teenagers, a sci-fi mystery called Exiles, has just been published and will be officially launched at Kommune in Sheffield in November 2019. Daniel has worked extensively in schools with pupils of all ages and has taught on the M.A. in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. He also mentors, advises and edits writers of all ages through various literary consultancies. He has two teenage children and lives in the wilds of rural Sheffield.

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Bryony Doran

Bryony Doran is a novelist, poet and short story writer. Graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with an MA in Writing, Bryony went on to win the Hookline Novel Award with her debut novel, The China BirdHer other published works are: A short story collection, The Sand Eggs and a poetry collection, Bullet Proof, included in Home Front, a quadrilogy of modern war poetry published by Bloodaxe.

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Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence: Gavin’s latest novel, The End of Time, came out this summer, a story about the epic journey of two teenage refugees from Syria. The author of best selling novels The Universe Versus Alex WoodsThe Mirror World of Melody Black and The Empathy Problem, he is an alumnus of the University of Sheffield and is the patron of Walkley Carnegie Library, supporting reading and creativity in the community.

The Compere

Iain Broome
Iain Broome

Iain Broome is the author of A is for Angelica, a novel about a middle-aged man struggling to care for his seriously-ill wife while obsessing over the lives of his neighbours.

Having worked for many years as an agency copywriter, Iain is now a freelance writer and content producer. He has previously edited literary magazines, co-organised a successful monthly spoken word event and maintained a popular website and podcast about writing.

Iain currently publishes This From The Writing Shed , a weekly email newsletter for writers, readers and people in publishing.

He lives in Sheffield with his wife, daughter and identical twin boys.

The Organisers

Beverley Ward
Beverley Ward

Beverley Ward is a writer, coach and facilitator. She is the curator of the Writers’ Hub at Kurious Arts, Sheffield. Her latest book is coming out in 2020. Dear Blacksmith is part love story, part grief memoir, recounting the author’s brief and unconventional love affair with ‘Blacksmith Paul’, a maverick who lived out on the moors in the Peak District – and the heart-rending details of her grief after his sudden death, just eight months into their relationship. coming out 2020.

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Anne Grange

Anne Grange is a writer, editor and creative writing tutor and facilitator from Sheffield. She is the author of Distortion, a novel inspired by her love of music and festivals. She runs the Sheffield Novelists writing group every month, giving writers the chance to get feedback on their work in a supportive atmosphere!

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