Riding the Elevator Pitch – from pen to publication

A group of young writers were given expert tips on getting published last week when author Gill Thompson visited Alton College. Gill, who taught English at Alton for 24 years, took the students through the publishing process, from the initial idea to the end product. The students were also lucky enough to hear an extract from Gill’s first novel, The Oceans Between Us. The story, in which a mother fights to find her son and a child battles for survival, is inspired by real events. It is to be published by Headline Publishing Group on March 21st, 2019. Gill also runs a creative writing website, www.wordkindling.co.uk.

Author Gill Thompson

As well as talking to the students Gill judged an elevator pitch competition in which the writers had to pitch a story idea in no more than 20 words. The competition was strong but after much deliberation Gill was able to pick a winner, Katherine Armitage and a runner up, Kirsten Payoyo. Both writers managed to get a sense of the whole story through their pitches as well as entice the reader into wanting to know more. Also highly commended were Eve Gresham and Zoe Offen for the literary feel of their writing.

The creative writing group has been run since September by English teacher Libby Morgan. The sessions have focused on different aspects of writing, including flash fiction, script writing and creating a stage for your drama as well as learning the tricky art of workshopping. The writers have been consistently enthusiastic and committed for all of the sessions and, judging by the amount of questions asked and notes scribbled down, there is no doubt that Gill’s visit inspired them even more.