FAQs

We've compiled the most frequently asked questions we receive with their answers here. If yours isn't here and you still want to get in touch, you can do that via the contact page.

General

Why do you focus on women and non-binary writers?

We champion women and non-binary writers because we believe these voices deserve to be heard. We recognise women and non-binary writers face barriers not encountered to the same degree by writers of other genders. We aim to both counterbalance and catalyse change around this inequality by providing dedicated spaces, events and opportunities for women and non-binary writers to develop their craft and confidence, share their work with new audiences, and connect to a supportive, celebratory community.   And for the record, when we say women, that absolutely includes trans women. If you have a problem with our being trans-inclusive, we are not the org for you.

How are you funded?

By you! We don't receive any external funding from any public bodies, private trusts or the Arts Council. We're totally self-sustaining, meaning we fund all our projects using the money we generate from live events, workshops and retreats. That means that when you come to any of these, you're playing an essential role in ensuring our continued existence and work, and allowing us to support other women and non-binary writers, now and in the future.

How can I support you?

Come to our events, workshops or retreats. Follow us on our social platforms (@forbookssake on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). Recommend us to your friends. If you've got spare cash and want to do even more, you can sponsor a place for a low-income women or non-binary writer to attend one of our upcoming workshops or events - there are links to do this on each of our event pages. Represent an organisation and want to do even more? Get in touch to discuss.

Can we collaborate?

Maybe! If you've got an idea for a collaboration, use the contact page to get in touch.

Do you have any vacancies, internships, work experience or volunteering opportunities?

We honestly love that you want to get involved. Thank you! Since we're completely self-funded at this stage, none of our team take a salary from For Books' Sake, and we all have other jobs and commitments alongside our For Books' Sake roles. That means that – at the moment - our capacity and budget for taking on other team members, or training and managing volunteers is non-existent. The occasional exception to this is that we sometimes have opportunities for volunteers to help out at our live events. You can use the contact page to get in touch with the relevant event host if this is something you'd like to discuss.

When’s your next book coming out and how can I submit to it?

At the moment, we have no plans for any future publishing projects. In the past, we've had the privilege of producing some incredible books, but these projects are massive undertakings that take massive amounts of time, energy and money. With so many other brilliant independent presses, literary journals, zines and other projects doing amazing work in the sphere of spotlighting and sharing new work by women and non-binary writers, we've decided for now to focus on opportunities to connect with our community face-to-face, through our nationwide programme of live events, workshops and retreats.

Can you help me promote my book, event or other project?

We promote books, events and projects by or championing women and non-binary writers on an ongoing basis in our newsletter and on our social channels. You can submit yours to us for consideration via the contact page. Please be aware, though, that we receive a lot of these requests and can't guarantee inclusion. We prioritise the people, publishers and projects we have ongoing, mutually supportive relationships with, so please bear this in mind too.

What other literary organisations and resources do you recommend?

Loads! Since we started in 2010, we've seen the birth of countless incredible organisations, publishers and projects focusing on supporting women and non-binary writers, and we're thrilled to get to work alongside them. We share details of events, opportunities and submissions calls from these organisations on an ongoing basis, in our newsletter and on our social channels (@forbookssake). They're the best ways to stay up-to-date on who we're loving lately.

Live Events

Who performs at your live events?

Women and non-binary writers of all backgrounds and experience levels. We pride ourselves on bringing together a diverse mix of our performers at all our live events. We're honoured to champion and celebrate the writers already smashing it in their fields, and give our audiences the chance to see them in action. Alongside this, it's important to us that our events also give more emerging voices the opportunity to develop their craft, experience, confidence and community.

Who can come?

Almost everyone! Attendees of all genders are welcome. If you have any specific access needs, please get in touch with the host of that event and they'll be able to give details, advice and support as necessary. Most of the venues we use for live events have age restrictions based on their licensing requirements. These are out of our control and will usually mean that under-18s are not able to attend. If you're not sure, you can check with us by emailing the event host via the contact page.

What’s the asterisk in That’s What She* Said all about?

Good question! It's to acknowledge that although the event name contains 'she' in the title, not all our performers use she/her pronouns. The asterisk deliberately calls attention to that, and aims to allow non-binary performers and attendees feel more seen, welcomed and included.

What if I’ve never performed live before?

Then you're totally brave and amazing for considering it, and we're privileged you're thinking about trusting us with that process. We pride ourselves on creating a safe, supportive space performers – whether it's your first time or your thousandth. We've have lots of writers do their debut performances on our stages and we always welcome more.

Are there any rules about what I’m allowed to share?

By taking part in our live events, you agree to be bound by our community and content policy: sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, (dis)ableism or prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, gender presentation, body size or shape, language ability, asylum status, employment status or religious affiliation are against our core values, and will not be tolerated at our events. We also request that you use content warnings for any material that could be triggering or upsetting for our audience members.

How can I apply to perform?

If you'd like to be considered for a headline slot, please contact the event host for the location you're interested in headlining via the contact page. Headline slots are usually for those with a track record of publication and/or live performance, so please tell us about your credentials when you get in touch. Please also be aware we usually programme our events several months in advance, so please give us plenty of notice if you're interested on doing a set to coincide with a book release, launch or tour. If you'd like to apply for a feature (15-minute) set, or one of our emerging voices sets (5-minutes), please fill in this form. We are particularly focused on championing writers who come from marginalised groups or communities, including but not limited to those who identify as queer, POC, working-class and/or disabled, so if you're comfortable to please mention any relevant details around this when you apply.

Do you pay your performers?

All our headline performers are paid. On occasion, we may be able to support other performers with expenses such as travel costs, but this is not guaranteed and must be discussed and agreed in advance.

What if I want to come but can’t afford the ticket price?

We offer a low-income price option for all our live events. If this is still not affordable for you, please get in touch with the event host via our contact page. We don't want income level to be a barrier to attending, so we set aside a small number of free tickets for every live event. These must be booked in advance (please don't just turn up and ask for one on the night!) and are subject to availability, but we'll happily put you down for one if we can.

Can you bring your live events to my city or town?

Maybe! At the moment, we have regular events in Manchester, Bristol and London, because we have team members based in each of these areas. We're open to collaborating with other venues and events organisers on one-off or more regular events in other places, but since we're a small unfunded organisation, we need support to make these happen. If you've got a collaboration idea, please get in touch via the contact page.

What if I’ve booked my place at an event, workshop or retreat but haven’t received a confirmation email?

Most communications issues that happen are due to overzealous spam filters and other mailbox settings. We recommend adding shop@forbookssake.net to your address book, whitelist or safe senders list (different email providers may use different names for this feature, but hopefully you know what we're on about) before booking. If you've whitelisted us, checked your junk folder and still have concerns about missing emails, please get in touch with us via the contact page, being sure to include: the name and email address you used to book, along with the date(s) and location.

Workshops

What structure do the workshops follow?

Most workshops follow a 90-minute, six-week or one-day format. The 90-minute workshops are one-off ad-hoc sessions on a range of subjects. The six-week format is a course of six sessions of weekly two-hour sessions. The one-day workshops are an intensive session for those who can't commit to or access the six-week format. For the six-week Write Like a Grrrl series, each workshop will have a specific topic focus (such as dialogue, setting, plotting or editing) and will usually involve a mixture of discussion, exploring extracts of other writers' works, and practical writing exercises. While there is recommended reading and suggestions for activities between sessions, these are not essential or mandatory. All materials will be provided, so all you need to bring is a paper and pen, or computer/tablet device if you prefer writing that way. We sometimes deliver other workshops in different formats, or focusing on specific subjects, but these will be listed in the event description, and you can get in touch using the contact page if you have any questions.

Can I take part even if I’ve never written before?

Definitely! We have lots of writers take part who haven't written since school. Our sessions are designed to suit a wide range of experience levels, and our tutors are always happy to answer questions if anything comes up that you don't understand.

Can I take part if I write non-fiction?

Absolutely. The Write Like a Grrrl 'Ignite' & 'Next Step' courses focus on fiction in terms of the examples and extracts used, but we believe the topics, skills, tools and techniques covered in the course are definitely transferable to non-fiction writing. We've had participants take their course to support their screenwriting, memoir, comedy writing and much more, and always had positive feedback about what they've learned during the process.

Can I take part if I write poetry?

You're very welcome, but the classic Write Like a Grrrl courses focus primarily on fiction writing. There is a dedicated poetry course which you might fancy more, and you can always contact the course leader via the contact page if you have any questions about whether the course is suitable for you.

Will I have to show my work to anyone?

Not if you don't want to! In 'Ignite' – the first Write Like a Grrrl course – there is no expectation or pressure to read aloud or otherwise share your work. In the follow-on courses, there is some peer workshopping and feedback of participants' writing, but this will always be chaired and supported by the workshop leader to make sure all feedback is given in a constructive, valuable way, and you'll always be given lots of notice so you can choose whether to participate and prepare accordingly.

What if I can’t afford it?

We believe in inclusivity, and pride ourselves on offering courses that are much, much more affordable than many other creative writing workshops. We price our sessions in line with fees you might expect from other adult education providers such as community colleges. However, we do have a small number of subsidised places allocated for those who could not otherwise take part, though this is subject to availability and not guaranteed. Please get in touch via the contact page if you believe you might be eligible and want to discuss this further.

What if I have specific access needs?

Please get in touch with us via the contact page and we'll help however we can. We're happy to provide adapted materials such as large-print handouts as require as long as we know in advance that they're needed.

What if I book my place then realise I can no longer attend?

Workshop places are not refundable, but they are transferable. If necessary, we will support you in trying to find someone you can transfer your place to, including via our waiting lists and social channels. However we can't guarantee we'll be able to find a buyer for your place. In some cases, we may be able to defer your place to a future workshop. But again, this is not guaranteed and is subject to availability.

Is there a follow-on course to Ignite?

Yes! The 'Ignite' course has two follow-on options: 'Inspire' – which looks more in-depth at advanced fiction techniques such as plotting and pace; supports participants to workshop each other's work; and features a Q&A with an industry professional – followed by 'Thrive' – which combines feedback on work-in-progress with in-depth sessions on topics such as how to write happiness, sex, humour and drama, and guidance on maintaining or getting back into a regular, sustainable, joyful creative practice.

What’s the relationship between Write Like a Grrrl and For Books’ Sake?

Write Like a Grrrl was founded in 2013 by Kerry Ryan. In 2014, Write Like a Grrrl teamed up with For Books' Sake, with For Books' Sake taking on the role of delivery partner to increase awareness of and access to the Write Like a Grrrl courses. Since then, hundreds of women and non-binary writers across the UK and beyond have graduated from the courses, creating a global community for ongoing mutual support, inspiration and celebration. For more information on the history of Write like a Grrrl, see: www.writelikeagrrrl.com

Can you come and do a workshop at an event I’m organising?

Possibly. But since we're an unfunded organisation, we don't have budget to cover the costs for these ourselves, so you'll need to be prepared to cover our facilitators' fees, materials and travel/accommodation expenses. If you've got budget and want to chat further, please get in touch with Jane via the contact page.

What if I’ve booked my place at an event, workshop or retreat but haven’t received a confirmation email?

Most communications issues that happen are due to overzealous spam filters and other mailbox settings. We recommend adding shop@forbookssake.net to your address book, whitelist or safe senders list (different email providers may use different names for this feature, but hopefully you know what we're on about) before booking. If you've whitelisted us, checked your junk folder and still have concerns about missing emails, please get in touch with us via the contact page, being sure to include: the name and email address you used to book, along with the date(s) and location.

Retreats

Who are the retreats for?

Women and non-binary writers over the age of eighteen. If you fit those criteria, you're more than welcome. You don't need to be published. You don't need to be working towards publication. You should be comfortable and confident working independently on your writing, although some retreats are more structured in terms of workshops and direction (see below).

What happens on the retreats?

It varies! Details of the planned activities for each retreat will be listed on the page for that retreat. Some retreats focus exclusively on providing you with the time and space to write, while others are more structured and include workshops and other activities. Some are themed, but not all. Essentially, though, the retreats aim to create space for you to connect to your writing, whether you're using the time to develop new material or working on an existing project. You'll also have opportunity to spend time with your fellow writers and the facilitator(s), exchanging ideas, advice and support. Our current retreat venue is ideally placed for outdoor activities such as walking, running and even wild swimming (weather dependent!), though these are not part of the official programmes and are undertaken at your own risk.

How do I get there?

Our current venue for our writing retreats is Thirkelow Cottage, in the Peak District. You'll find the venue on Google Maps and we recommend using this for planning your route. There is free parking on-site for those coming by car. Buxton is the nearest train station, followed by a 10-minute taxi ride. The nearest airport is Manchester, followed by train to Buxton then cab.

What if I have specific accessibility or dietary needs?

We will do our utmost to meet all accessibility needs, but please discuss these with us before you book your place. The venue is wheelchair accessible, including toilet, and has one bedroom with accessible en-suite wet room on the ground floor for anyone who would find it difficult to access the upper-floor bedrooms. In terms of dietary requirements, we work with a prize-winning independent local cafe to cater the retreats, and so far they've always been able to meet our attendees' dietary needs. You'll need to let us know of any allergies or dietary restrictions in advance of the retreat, and we'll be in touch to confirm these with you once you book your place.

What if I can’t afford it?

We're a tiny non-profit that receives no external funding, which means we have to cover our costs in order to deliver retreats like this. Payment plans are usually available to anyone who can't pay the full balance in one transaction, and we'll be happy to discuss this with you further if needed. If we have any sponsored places or bursaries available for retreats, this information will be detailed on the main retreat listing.

What if I book my place then realise I can no longer attend?

Retreat places are not refundable, but they are transferable. If necessary, we will support you in trying to find someone you can transfer your place to, including via our waiting lists and social channels. However we can't guarantee we'll be able to find a buyer for your place. In some cases, we may be able to defer your place to a future retreat. Again, this is not guaranteed and is subject to availability.

What if I’ve booked my place at an event, workshop or retreat but haven’t received a confirmation email?

Most communications issues that happen are due to overzealous spam filters and other mailbox settings. We recommend adding shop@forbookssake.net to your address book, whitelist or safe senders list (different email providers may use different names for this feature, but hopefully you know what we're on about) before booking. If you've whitelisted us, checked your junk folder and still have concerns about missing emails, please get in touch with us via the contact page, being sure to include: the name and email address you used to book, along with the date(s) and location.

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