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Finding Agents, Coping with Rejection and Building Resilience Workshop

Working-Class Writers Festival
Writer working at a table

Watershed  |  Free

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This workshop is sold out.

Where do you start? What do agents want? And how do you cope with the rejections and emotional toll of the writing life?

Writer and editor Jenny Knight wrote for 20 years, through industry close-calls and other brutal experiences, before finally securing an agent – and even then the near-misses didn’t necessarily stop. Rejection is an inevitable, if painful, part of every writer’s life.

Join Jenny in this empathetic but constructive workshop as she helps demystify the process of finding the best agent for you, with an overview of the dreaded ‘submission package’ and how to get the best possible result. She’ll also teach tried-and-tested methods – from utilising a writers’ ‘toolkit’ to building a writing community – that have helped her and other writers better handle rejection, build resilience and move forwards in a writing life with a clearer sense of understanding and confidence.

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Jenny Knight is a prize-winning writer of short story, fiction and memoir and a contributor to the celebrated Common People – An Anthology of Working-Class Writers, ed. Kit de Waal (2019). An experienced editor, copywriter and proofreader, she enjoyed 25 years’ successful freelancing for publishers including Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Routledge, and her writing on writing and the publishing world has appeared in Book Machine, National Writers’ Centre and Restless among many others. She was selected for PenguinRH WriteNow 2018, a 2019 ACE/TLC Award, is a National Centre for Writing Case Study and has won or been listed in many competitions including Bridport, Fish, Arvon, ACE/Escalator, Yeovil, Riptide and SWWJ. In 2021, she was awarded an ACE grant to support writing her debut novel. She’s also part of Counter Culture, an ACE-supported film celebrating working-class life for Durham Book Festival, released this October.

Jenny is an editor/manuscript assessor for Jericho Writers, has taught creative writing in prisons and Higher Education, spoken and held workshops on the writing process – including recently for Litro, PrimadonnaFest and the Stay-At-Home-Fest. Daughter of a farm labourer, and first in a vast rural family to go to university, she is passionate about working-class writing and representation.

Booking Information

Booking is managed by Watershed’s Box Office. Book online or call 0117 927 5100.

Keeping Everyone Safe

Watershed wants to ensure that it is a welcoming and inclusive place for all. Please note that:

  • You are required to wear a mask when moving around the building, and when seated in either the cinemas or Waterside spaces (unless exempt).
  • The capacity of the cinemas and event spaces is at 50%, ensuring there is a minimum of 2 seats (1.5 metres) between you and other customers on your row.
  • You should not visit you’re feeling unwell and have COVID symptoms.
  • Watershed will continue with measures currently in place, including increased and enhanced cleaning regime, provision of hand sanitiser throughout the building, maintaining air flow management plans to ensure adequate ventilation throughout, staff wearing face coverings, perspex screens at the desks and bar, and keeping contactless payments. If you would like to check in via NHS Test and Trace please feel free to do so, although it will no longer be required to enter the building.


  • Watershed’s main entrance and Box Office are both on the ground floor which is accessible via a ramped, electronically assisted entrance door.
  • There are two Blue Badge parking spaces to the rear of Watershed on Canons Road.
  • Guide dogs and hearing dogs are very welcome.
  • The first floor of Watershed is accessible via lift from the main entrance and includes level access to all areas, including the cinemas and event spaces.
  • The cinemas and event spaces have induction loops.
  • There is an accessible toilet (with baby changing facilities) near Cinema 1. Follow the signs for the Cinemas and the accessible toilet is just on your left through the double doors before Cinema 1.
  • There are gender neutral toilets in the cinema corridor on the first floor.
  • We offer companion seats without additional charge if required.

Visit Watershed’s Access page for more information.

Image: Kat Stokes, Unsplash

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