Calcot & Spa
Near Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Calcot & Spa
Near Tetbury, Gloucestershire
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Limbering up for this year’s Cheltenham Literary Festival (5th-14th October) we have invited a trio – well-versed in the literary landscape – to explain how a writer’s work comes to being published.
The publication of ‘Shelter’ – a World War Two novel about a young woman who flees the bombed-out city of Coventry to become a lumberjill in the Forest of Dean – saw literary agent, Juliet Pickering (Vice Head of the Book Department at Blake Friedmann) bringing writer, Sarah Franklin with publisher, Eleanor Dryden (Publishing Director, Bonnier Zaffre).
An engrossing tale of transformed lives in difficult times, ‘Shelter’ is set in 1944. After her family home is blitzed, Connie must survive alone. She is also hiding a huge secret. She meets Italian P.O.W., Seppe, and Amos, who has never left the forest but is mourning his son who has. These three compelling characters weave a special bond in extraordinary and testing circumstances and create a new family for Connie, but when her secret is revealed she must decide whether to stay or run – and who to leave behind.
When Eleanor Dryden snapped up ‘Shelter’, at auction, in a two-book deal, she said, “I am so, so thrilled to be publishing Sarah Franklin. I fell for ‘Shelter’ completely. Sarah’s characterisation is exquisite and she delivers delightful and thought-provoking surprises at every turn.”
How did Juliet discover Sarah and why did she think her debut novel might appeal particularly to Eleanor? What exactly are their individual considerations and how then do their specific roles fuse? What is the secret to their success as a trio? Do things alter when a debut novelist writes their next book?.. and what would they advise anyone with a manuscript to do next?
Sarah Franklin grew up in rural Gloucestershire and now divides her time between Oxford and London. She has written for the Guardian, Psychologies magazine, The Pool, the Sunday Express and the Seattle Times. Her creative non-fiction has been published in anthologies in the USA and appeared on radio affiliates there. Sarah is founder and host of popular Oxford literary night, ’Short Stories Aloud’, a Senior Lecturer at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies and a judge for the Costa Short Story Award. She was awarded a mentorship under the Jerwood/Arvon scheme to workon her debut novel, SHELTER, published by Bonnier Zaffre in July 2017.
Juliet Pickering worked for Waterstones as a bookseller and fiction buyer before starting at A P Watt in 2003. Juliet joined Blake Friedmann in 2013, becoming Vice Head of the Book Department in 2017, and her authors have been shortlisted for Booker, Costa, and Guardian First Book Awards, won the Whitbread and Green Carnation Prizes and, in 2015, the prestigious French literary award Prix Femina Etranger. Her fiction interests range from literary through to book club, and she enjoys commercial novels with fresh, contemporary and feminist central characters. She also represents many non-fiction writers across the board, including memoir, pop culture, social history, current affairs and political commentary, cookery and food writing, humour, and all sorts in-between. Broadcaster, Sue Cook; actress, Sarah Crowe: Lucy Mangan (see 22nd October’s event), the Women’s Institute and the Estate of Ted Allbeury are among the various names she represents.
Eleanor Dryden is publishing director at Bonnier Zaffre, with overall responsibility for female-led commercial and reading group fiction – one of the areas that the publishing house has identified as a growth market. She publishes chart-topping authors such as Louise Pentland and Rosie Goodwin, and acclaimed novelists such as Stephanie Butland and Ayisha Malik, as well as Sarah Franklin. Her focus is fiction that foregrounds strong, compelling women with powerful, emotionally intelligent and engaging stories to tell. She has worked at HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Orion, and Waterstones and with authors such as Jeffrey Archer and Kate Mosse.
The talk will take place at the end of the lunch and round off with questions from the audience. A book sales and signing session, arranged by Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, will then follow.
Guests are invited from 12 noon with a 12.30pm start for lunch. Price includes a two-course lunch with a glass of wine. Tickets to be booked in advance
Why not make a night of it and cosy up in one of our individually designed rooms? A special all-inclusive B&B rate of £200 per night* including breakfast, use of spa facilities and a Mr B’s book voucher worth £25 redeemable at the event or at Mr B’s in Bath is included.
*(subject to availability, excluding Fridays/Saturdays)
Fancy holding your next book club evening at Calcot’s newest addition The Barn? Then why not get in touch with our dedicated events team at [email protected] to discuss how you can review your latest read in inspired and relaxing surroundings.
Priced from £15 per adult to include a cocktail and nibbles