Commissioned short story and essay collections have included works by authors from Tessa Hadley (Booker shortlisted author) to Lindsay Ashford (Amazon top ten bestseller) and Julia Gregson (Orion books novelist). Calls for submissions are sent out through social media, the Honno email newsletter and the general and trade press.
Skills workshops are held across the year and mainly in Aberystwyth – subjects have included Marketing your Work, Creative Non-fiction and Writing SF and Fantasy.
‘Meet the Editor’ sessions offer writers the chance to submit a small sample of their writing for detailed discussion with a professional editor (Caroline Oakley and/or Janet Thomas) for a period of 20 to 30 minutes. Honno has published a number of first time writers after first encountering their work at a ‘meet the editor’ day; in 2017 Honno published first adult novels from Sara Gethin and Helen Lewis as a result of the 2016 event.
While Honno responds to all submissions, it is unfortunately unable to provide very detailed feedback on every manuscript due to lack of resources. For those manuscripts considered to be ‘nearly but not quite’ the editor may be available for one-to-one discussions with the author with no obligation to author or publisher. Literature Wales offers a bursary scheme and mentoring and its website has useful additional advice for writers.
“I found it very useful to chat through issues with you. Already I can see how important it is to stand back from my writing and reflect on it as a reader… I particularly like your point about developing the character of grandmother … more as well as the relationship between the two sisters. Although there’s a lot to work on, I came back encouraged that it’s a story worth persevering with.”
“Thanks for all the thought you put into reviewing my 50 pages. I was, as you might expect, both encouraged by the positive comment and challenged by your recommendations. However, the little wheels are now whirring obsessively as I look for an ‘overall narrative arc’ to suit!”