Dragon’s Pen


Q. How many dragons (3) and whose individual pen? As in has one dragon (whose pen it is) invited the other two dragons along for the evening? My obsession with the correct use of apostrophes makes me ask the questions.

I’m pitching my novel “The Curse of Scotland” a mystery/thriller with added comedy at the Dragon’s Pen event on Thursday 26 August at the Speigeltent of the Book Festival. 9-11pm.

It is unusual for an author to pitch their work verbally. The classic method is to send an initial inquiry, followed by a synopsis and first three chapters by post or email.

I’m delighted I’ve been given the opportunity to present my novel to a panel of three: Francis Bickmore (Canongate), Lucy Luck (Agent) and Charlotte Higgins (Guardian). I have worked long and hard on a variety of approaches to the pitch including a parody of the prologue to Romeo and Juliet. I have practised pitching to Mairi Hedderwick’s agent and to Geraldine Cook (editor). They were enthusiastic and gave me helpful feedback. As have all the other people whom I collared in Ancient Mariner mode.

It has been very encouraging to do this while wearing my “Author” lanyard which gives me access to the Authors’ Yurt. (definitely several authors, as the Yurt does not belong to any of them).

I have also been marshalling as many people as possible to attend, instructing them to shout and clap. Then there is the problem of what to wear? I had a gorgeous dress lined up only to hear that it would be impossible to attach a mic to it. Now we know that the mics will be free standing but I have already decided that given the Scottish setting of The Curse of Scotland, I had better wear tartan. Still trying to decide between Royal Stewart or turquoise mock tartan.

It would be lovely if my teeth and tongue could keep up with my brain on the night. Watch this space!

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4 thoughts on “Dragon’s Pen

  1. I took part in a similar Dragon’s Pen session at the Harrogate Crime writing Festival in Harrogate a few weeks ago. It was nerve wracking – but ultimately worth all the stress & preparation. Good luck!

  2. I thought you did brilliantly. What did you think of the dragons’ feedback? Do you think it’s going to help you make a stronger pitch to an agent via the classic method?

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