Creative Industries Trafford presents

Northern Lights Writers' Conference

£35 FULL / £25 CONC

This event is supported by Arts Council England as part of our year-round Northern Lights Writers’ Programme.


CIT’s popular writers’ conference returns for its sixth incarnation featuring a mix of talks, masterclasses, panel discussions, practical sessions and drop-in advice for writers. With guests including Mslexia Magazine, New Writing North and many more to be announced.


11:00 - 17:00


Sup Bar

10.30 - registration

Robert Bolt Theatre

11:00 - 11:40

Panel Discussion: Diversity in Publishing - writer & broadcaster Anita Sethi (Common People) and author Peter Kalu (Silent Star) discuss under-representation of writers of colour within publishing.

11:45 - 12:45

Keynote speech with Jane Rogers: The Writer As Time-Traveller

Jane explores the reasons for setting fiction in other time periods, and consider what the writer might gain from doing this. She’ll also point out the pitfalls awaiting the time-travelling writer! And along the way she’ll consider the thorny question of genre. Historical fiction, science fiction, literary fiction - if you’re writing any of these, this talk is for you.

12:45 - 13:30 - lunch

13:30 - 14:20

Jane Rogers In Conversation

Jane discusses her career and inspirations and reads from her forthcoming novel, Body Tourists (published by Spectre in November 2019).

14:20 - break

14:30 - 15:15

Panel Talk: Support for Writers - Will Mackie of New Writing North, Debbie Taylor of Mslexia Magazine explore development opportunities for writers. Where are the best resources, which opportunities should writers look out for and where can writers find essential training at each stage of their careers?

15:15 - break

15:25 - 16:20

Panel Discussion: Pathways to Publication

Editor Ian Daley (Route Publishing) reveals what a publisher looks for when your manuscript is complete, the standard a writer needs to have their work at before submission and how a publisher works with a writer during the publishing process.

The Chambers

13:30 - 14:20

Writing & Illustrating Graphic Novels with David Gaffney & Dan Berry

What’s it like as a comic book artist to draw stories using someone else's words? or as a writer to see your words turned into comic books? How do these collaborations work in practice and how can two artistic visions be blended together to form a cohesive whole?

David Gaffney and Dan Berry have produced one successful book together already - The three rooms in Valerie’s head (Top shelf 2018)  and are currently working on their next, Rivers.

What makes these partnerships work? What are the advantages and the barriers to making good work together. Join David and Dan as they discuss the perils and the joys of cross-artform collaboration and gives tips on effective working methods for those new to the process.

14:30 - 15:15

Writing for TV with Lisa Holdsworth

A guide to getting into writing and pitching your script for television, with Lisa Holdsworth (Emmerdale, New Tricks, Midsomer Murders, Waterloo Road). She won the 2011 Writer of the Year award in The RTS Yorkshire Awards 2011 following a 2009 nomination. This session looks at taking your idea from development through to the process of how writers work with TV companies in getting a project ready for broadcast.

15:25 - 16:20

Creative NonFiction with Adam Farrer

A guide to writing creative nonfiction with Adam Farrer of The Real Story. In a realm between journalism and creative writing, how can writers use literary skills, prose and language to tell true stories? This practical session introduces explores the skills and approaches needed to bring creative techniques to revealing factually accurate stories.

Sup Bar

13:00 - 15:15 - Drop-in advice sessions.

Discuss your work and writing questions in these informal 20 minute slots with writers Tania Hershman, Amy McCauley and Adam Farrer. No advance booking, please register for these sessions on arrival. We regret that, due to demand, we cannot guarantee a place for everyone but our writers will do their best to speak to as many people as possible.

Please note:

More sessions to be added soon.


@WatersideArts @CITrafford


  1. Sept. 21, 2019, 11 a.m. → Book Now