Workshops 2013

Posted: November 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: courses, diary, events, writing | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s been a busy autumn of engagements but now I’ve got my head down and I’m totally consumed, writing the new novel. However, thought I should post a few dates for next week (!) and next year.

On December 1st  2012 I’ll be in Birmingham delivering a workshop thanks to Kate Cooper, creative force behind The New Optimists. If you’re aged between 18 and 30 and live in Birmingham and you’d like to attend this facilitated workshop on 1st December, co-hosted with the Birmingham Leadership Foundation, then sign up here. It’s free.

We’ll be making ‘narrativium’, multi-media stories from the future, all based on on info from regional scientists, people who have useful info and perspectives on what it takes to feed a city. You’ll be joining lively young Brummies, including a theatre guy, a musician and composer, a film-maker, a novelist and on-line author  . . . to list just a few.

On March 5th, 2013 I’ll be at Bath Literature Festival delivering a workshop called ‘Writing Online’ from 4.30 – 6pm at the Holburne Museum. It’s for age 13+ and costs £10

Here’s the blurb

Learn everything you need to know about how to get people reading your writing. Mez Packer, author of The Game is Altered, will explore with you the ins and outs of blogging, interactive storytelling and how to use social media to develop your work and get it noticed.

In April (5th-7th) 2013 I’ll be on the Isle of Wight with the Skyros team delivering a weekend of creative writing at The Grange. It’ll be my first time on the island and I’m looking forward to a bit of spring sightseeing and meeting the Skyros ‘home team’.

In July 6th-19th, 2013 I’ll be back on the wonderful island of Skyros – again with Skyros Holidays, delivering a full two-week creative writing  course entitled Aspects of Novel Writing. This will be my third year and I can’t wait for some serious sun, sea and scribbling.

That’s it. I’m determined not to accept any more invitations until the novel is written. But knowing me I probably will.


Are you a Reliable Witness?

Posted: September 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: events, exhibition, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I’m getting excited about Reliable Witness, a project I’ve been working on all summer. Along with another midlands-based writer, Rochi Rampal, I’ve been writing the scenarios and interactive scripts for a bold transmedia storytelling piece commissioned by the Birmingham Book Festival. Come and see the installation – 4th-13th October – Unit 10, Pavilions Shopping Centre, Birmingham, 10am-4pm daily. It’s going to be amazing! There will also be an initial performance piece at ArtsFest in Birmingham, September 8, Centenary Square. I’m not sure of the time yet but it’ll be in the afternoon.

Here’s some of the website blurb.

Meet Darren and Amy – a young couple in love finding their feet in their relationship.
As their trusted friend you’ve been there for them, giving advice and a sympathetic ear for years. You’ve relaxed in their company, shared jokes and have been known to crash out and stare at the TV together now and again. You’ve seen them through a few ups and downs. So far, your involvement in their relationship has been passive, easy. Your loyalty has been neither divided nor tested. That’s about to change.

Darren and Amy’s story is moving quickly. Are you watching?
Reliable Witness is the Birmingham Book Festival’s first ever commissioned interactive storytelling experience. Follow the characters on social media, become a spectator or participant in their life together. Meet and see them in the offline world. Look out for The Birmingham Book Festival team live at Artsfest on the afternoon of Saturday 8th September, previewing this literature event with a difference.

You can follow the initial story on Twitter hashtag #reliablewitness or visit the capture website – Reliable Witness.  You can also make friends with all the characters on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Darren Connor – @Iamdarrenconnor
Amy Bauer – @amyamybauer
Fiona OSullivan – @Fi_OSullivan
Clare Drummond – @claredrummond2
Nadine Fletcher – @fletcher_nadine

The interactivity is being produced by the expert geeky people at The Adhere Creative, project managed by the fabulously efficient women at Red Lantern Project Management Ltd, overseen by some serious digital enthusiasts at Birmingham Book Festival and funded by Arts Council England.

On the Edge…

Posted: August 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: authors, courses, writing | No Comments »

This autumn I’ll be On the Edge of the Warwick Words – Festival of Literature and Spoken Word. There’s a discussion on ‘How to Get Published‘ (Tuesday October 2nd at 7.30pm, Leamington Waterstones) with fellow Tindal Street Press author Alan Beard and senior editor, Luke Brown.

I’ll also be delivering a 3 hour workshop on ‘How to Write Contemporary Fiction‘ at a local hostelry;) There are 15 places available for the workshop and the cost is £22.50. Details below.


Wednesday 3 October
Sozzled Sausage, Regent Street, Leamington Spa
10.00am – 1.00pm

This workshop led by award winning author, Mez Packer, is aimed at giving participants a clear understanding of the technical and creative aspects of writing contemporary fiction. Along with exercises to get you going (drawing on experience, memory and place) the workshop will focus on plot, character and voice as well as other elements that drive a narrative forward and keep the reader wanting more. Using examples we won’t forget prose-style and dialogue either. Finally, there will be opportunities for sharing work and receiving feedback on the day.

Tickets: £22.50
There are only 15 places available for this workshop. Please book in advance.

Free workshop at Coventry Book Festival

Posted: May 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: authors, courses, The Game is Altered, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I’m running a FREE writing workshop at Coventry Book Festival on June 16th at 11am. The workshop, ‘Finding Your Voice’, is two hours long and is being held in Coventry Central Library. Bring pens, paper and an open mind. For ages 16 and above. Use the link to book your place:

I’ll also be taking part in a panel discussion with other local authors on June 14th at Sidney Stringer Academy Theatre. You can book for this on the same link.

More online scribblings

Posted: March 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Patrick Bateman is one of my Top Ten Loners

My mum always said, ‘It’s the quiet ones you have to watch,’ bolstering an age-old belief that if you aren’t naturally gregarious then you must be hiding worrying neuroses.

Writers however, have always been drawn to these quiet ones (and their issues). The main character in my new novel, The Game is Altered, is such a character.

Lionel Byrd is detached from society and estranged from most of his family. He doesn’t fit in. As with Lionel, the loners I chose for the Top Ten piece on the Untitled Books site don’t necessarily avoid all human company, but they consider themselves different from everyone around them. They are psychologically isolated and often suffer strange delusions or compulsions. That’s why I like them so much.

Have a read.

Techno-phobia and the Modern Writer

Posted: March 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Why don’t writers write novels that involve technology? Well, they do – just not often. Prescient themes of privacy, artificial intelligence, alternate reality, identity and gaming all come together in my new  novel The Game is Altered – a super-contemporary piece of techno-fiction that asks the question: where do the boundaries of reality now lie? Read my recent article, on the Writers’ Hub, about the problem of reconciling technology and literary fiction.

Tindal authors on World Book Night

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: authors, events, The Game is Altered, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

A bunch of Tindal Street Fiction Group authors will be chatting about books, inspiration and the fabness of World Book Night at Solihull Library on Monday 23 April, 2012 – 6-8pm.

Come and enjoy the literary stylings of Fiona Joseph, Gaynor Arnold, Andrew KilleenSybil Ruth, Amanda Smyth – and me. Tickets are free but need to be booked here. And Fiona has set up a Facebook page for the event here.

It’s arrived

Posted: September 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: authors, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The wait is over and the advance copies of The Game is Altered have arrived. I’ve noticed a few typos already (and that’s only with a quick scan) so there are some updates and additions to be made. The cover’s come out rather dark, too, and there was a neon sign on the left hand side (see the publicity version on the right) that gave it some softness/ambiance that this version is missing – but hopefully all these things will be ironed out before publication. Anyway – here it is:

Skyros Writers’ Lab

Posted: July 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: courses, diary, events, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Thursday 21 July – Sunday 31 July: Aspects of Novel-writing

Skyros Centre, Greece

The beautiful Greek island of Skyros is home to the world-famous Writers’ Lab (rated as one of the very best creative writing holiday destinations). Nestling on the hillside at the edge of Skyros village the Writers’ Lab is a stone’s throw from the village’s cobbled streets and restaurants and ten minutes walk from the long, sandy beach. Later this month I’ll be running a ten-day course at the centre aimed at developing writers – from beginners to those with a finished novel under their belt. We will cover aspects of novel-writing such as plot, structure, character, voice, as well as the nitty-gritty of prose-style. I will be offering feedback on individual projects and advice on how to find representation and getting published.

The cost is £945 (not including transport). Booking is made through the Skyros website.

Tindal Street Press to publish novel #2

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: authors, writing | Tags: , | No Comments »

I’ve been slack. I can’t seem to find the time to update this blog, what with teaching, family and writing… However I am very pleased to report that Tindal Street Press will be publishing my new novel in February 2012.

I’ve already begun editing (corrections and rewrites must be finished by the end of July apparently) and Luke – my editor – is as thorough and relaxed, as last time. However I’ve suggested three titles and Luke hasn’t jumped at any of them. This worries me. But as soon as I know what it’s called I’ll post it here.

The novel is set in the near future (but it’s not Sci-Fi). It’s about a young man called Lionel who is mixed race, adopted and obsessed with MMORPGs (online role playing games). The novel switches between a real world and a virtual world and explores notions of identity (cultural, digital, gender etc.). Once I get the blurb from the publisher I’ll post it here too.