London Insight Day: when & where?

When? Saturday 1 October, 12.30-17.30
Where? Penguin Random House, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL

Please note that our London event has now taken place.  Here is a video showing the highlights of the day: 

What's on offer?

You'll be one of 50 writers joining us for the afternoon. The day will include:

Publishing, de-mystified

We know that the publishing industry can sometimes seem like a 'closed shop' and that it can be confusing to understand how the word document saved on your laptop could top the bestseller list. To help give you an insight into what it's like to be a Penguin Random House author, we'll follow the journey of a book from manuscript to bookshelf:

  • The Author: it all starts with you and your book. You'll hear from debut novelist Kit De Waal.
  • The Agent: Charlotte Seymour from Andrew Nurnberg Associates will explain the role agents play as the key link between authors and publishers, as well as working with writers to develop their manuscripts.
  • The Editor: a commissioning editor will describe their role, from the acquisitions process (deciding which books to buy) to working together with an author to get a finished manuscript ready for publication. 
  • Rights & Contracts: experts will give an insight into the importance of selling copyright so that our authors can be published around the world. 
  • Design: you'll hear from one of our Art Directors, the people who not only judge books by their cover but create them. 
  • Marketing & Publicity: you'll hear how we create a ‘buzz’ around our books and connect authors with their readers - whether that's through book signings, live events, school appearances or YouTube. 
  • Audio & Digital Publishing: we'll explain how we bring our books to life in new formats. 
  • Sales: you'll get an insight into how we work with our customers, from small independent bookshops to the likes of Asda and Tesco. 
One-to-one feedback from an editor

We have a team of Penguin Random House editors excited to meet you and to read your work (scroll down to see who they are and what they do). Each writer coming along to our workshops will spend 20 minutes talking with an editor about your book and your writing style. We'll ask you to send us up to 5,000 words two weeks before the workshop so that our editors can come ready with suggestions and constructive feedback. 

Option One: Writing fiction and non-fiction for adults

Join Penguin Random House authors Sathnam Sanghera, Abir Mukherjee, and Kit De Waal in conversation with one of our editors.

Option Two: Writing for children and young adults

Join Penguin Random House Children's authors Catherine Johnson and Sufiya Ahmed in conversation with one of our Children's editors. 

The burning question

As part of your application we'll ask you what the number-one question for someone in the publishing industry would be. We'll use the answers to set up an hour-long interactive discussion involving all of the authors, agents and Penguin Random House staff you've heard from throughout the day. The session will be facilitated by author Nikesh Shukla. 

Networking

We know how important those chats over coffee and biscuits can be, so we'll make sure you get the chance to speak to our editors, agents and authors more informally throughout the afternoon. 

Authors: our line-up so far

Kit De Waal's debut My Name Is Leon became a bestseller in June this year.  Kit was born in Birmingham to an Irish Mother and Kittian father, and worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law before becoming a full-time author. She recently founded the Kit de Waal Creative Writing Scholarship at Birkbeck University, supporting budding writers who would not otherwise be able to afford a Master’s degree. 

Kit De Waal's debut My Name Is Leon became a bestseller in June this year. 

Kit was born in Birmingham to an Irish Mother and Kittian father, and worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law before becoming a full-time author. She recently founded the Kit de Waal Creative Writing Scholarship at Birkbeck University, supporting budding writers who would not otherwise be able to afford a Master’s degree. 

Abir Mukherjee's debut novel A Rising Man won the Harvill Secker/Daily Telegraph crime writing competition.  Abir was born in London, grew up in the West of Scotland and has spent the last twenty years working in finance. 

Abir Mukherjee's debut novel A Rising Man won the Harvill Secker/Daily Telegraph crime writing competition. 

Abir was born in London, grew up in the West of Scotland and has spent the last twenty years working in finance. 

Sufiya Ahmed writes for young adults, and her novel Secrets of the Henna Girl won the Brit Writers Awards 2012. Sufiya was born in India and grew up in Lancashire before moving to London. Sufiya has previously worked in advertising and in the House of Commons, and is now a full-time author.   

Sufiya Ahmed writes for young adults, and her novel Secrets of the Henna Girl won the Brit Writers Awards 2012.

Sufiya was born in India and grew up in Lancashire before moving to London. Sufiya has previously worked in advertising and in the House of Commons, and is now a full-time author. 


 

Catherine Johnson writes for young readers – her book The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo was shortlisted for the Young Adult Book Prize. Catherine has also written for film, notably the critically acclaimed Bullet Boy, and TV, including Holby City. 

Catherine Johnson writes for young readers – her book The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo was shortlisted for the Young Adult Book Prize. Catherine has also written for film, notably the critically acclaimed Bullet Boy, and TV, including Holby City

Matthew Todd is former editor of the UK's bestselling gay magazine, Attitude. His debut book, Straight Jacket, How to be Gay and Happy, was published in June. Matthew has also written for national newspapers, including the Guardian, Observer, Telegraph and Sun. He lives in London.

Matthew Todd is former editor of the UK's bestselling gay magazine, Attitude. His debut book, Straight Jacket, How to be Gay and Happy, was published in June. Matthew has also written for national newspapers, including the Guardian, Observer, Telegraph and Sun. He lives in London.

Sathnam Sanghera's first book, The Boy With The Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award, the 2009 PEN/Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book of the Year. His novel, Marriage Material, was shortlisted for a 2014 South Bank Sky Arts Award and a 2013 Costa Book Award. Sathnam was born to Punjabi parents and grew up in the West Midlands. He is an award-winning journalist.

Sathnam Sanghera's first book, The Boy With The Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award, the 2009 PEN/Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book of the Year. His novel, Marriage Material, was shortlisted for a 2014 South Bank Sky Arts Award and a 2013 Costa Book Award. Sathnam was born to Punjabi parents and grew up in the West Midlands. He is an award-winning journalist.

Nikesh Shukla's debut novel, Coconut Unlimited, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010. Alongside his second novel, Meatspace, Nikesh has written for The Guardian, Esquire, Buzzfeed, Vice and BBC 2 and currently hosts The Subaltern podcast, an anti-panel discussion featuring conversations with writers about writing. Nikesh is also the editor of the forthcoming essay collection, The Good Immigrant.  

Nikesh Shukla's debut novel, Coconut Unlimited, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010. Alongside his second novel, Meatspace, Nikesh has written for The Guardian, Esquire, Buzzfeed, Vice and BBC 2 and currently hosts The Subaltern podcast, an anti-panel discussion featuring conversations with writers about writing. Nikesh is also the editor of the forthcoming essay collection, The Good Immigrant.  

Editors: our line-up so far

Frankie Gray is a crime and thriller editor for Transworld. She has published authors including Fiona Barton, author of the bestselling hardback debut of 2016 The Widow, as well as Paula Daly and crime legend James Crumley. 

Frankie Gray is a crime and thriller editor for Transworld. She has published authors including Fiona Barton, author of the bestselling hardback debut of 2016 The Widow, as well as Paula Daly and crime legend James Crumley. 

Mainga Bhima is an editor for Penguin Random House Children's working on fiction for children and young people aged 5–18. Mainga works with authors including Jacqueline Wilson, Steve Cole, Catherine Johnson and Jennifer Bell. 

Mainga Bhima is an editor for Penguin Random House Children's working on fiction for children and young people aged 5–18. Mainga works with authors including Jacqueline Wilson, Steve Cole, Catherine Johnson and Jennifer Bell. 

 
Fenella Bates is an editor at  Michael Joseph, publishing commercial non-fiction. She has worked with authors including Tanya Burr and Caspar Lee, Amelia Freer and Lady Gaga.  

Fenella Bates is an editor at  Michael Joseph, publishing commercial non-fiction. She has worked with authors including Tanya Burr and Caspar Lee, Amelia Freer and Lady Gaga.
 

Tom Avery is an editor at William Heinemann, publishing a range of literary fiction and non-fiction. Tom has worked with authors including Adelle Waldman, Joe Moshenka, Sophie Pinkham and the Paris Review, as well as Barnabas Calder, Thomas Harding and Jamie Bartlett. 

Tom Avery is an editor at William Heinemann, publishing a range of literary fiction and non-fiction. Tom has worked with authors including Adelle Waldman, Joe Moshenka, Sophie Pinkham and the Paris Review, as well as Barnabas Calder, Thomas Harding and Jamie Bartlett. 

 
Juliet Annan is an editor at Fig Tree, publishing primarily fiction - both literary and commercial. Juliet has worked with authors including Zoe Heller, India Knight and Kathryn Stockett as well as Yeonmi Park, MJ Carter and Meera Sodha.

Juliet Annan is an editor at Fig Tree, publishing primarily fiction - both literary and commercial. Juliet has worked with authors including Zoe Heller, India Knight and Kathryn Stockett as well as Yeonmi Park, MJ Carter and Meera Sodha.

Ana Fletcher is an editor at Jonathan Cape, working on both fiction and non-fiction books including Ross Raisin, Niyati Keni, Paulo Scott and SJ Naude.   

Ana Fletcher is an editor at Jonathan Cape, working on both fiction and non-fiction books including Ross Raisin, Niyati Keni, Paulo Scott and SJ Naude. 
 

Morwenna Loughman is an editor for the non-fiction Vermilion list. Morwenna has recently relaunched a selection of Edward de Bono's titles from the 1960s (the inventor of creative thinking) as well as working with global bestselling author Marie Kondo. 

Morwenna Loughman is an editor for the non-fiction Vermilion list. Morwenna has recently relaunched a selection of Edward de Bono's titles from the 1960s (the inventor of creative thinking) as well as working with global bestselling author Marie Kondo. 

 
Will Hammond is an editor at Bodley Head which publishes non-fiction across a range of subjects. Will has worked with authors including Jeremy Paxman, Yanis Varoufakis, and Nick Clegg. 

Will Hammond is an editor at Bodley Head which publishes non-fiction across a range of subjects. Will has worked with authors including Jeremy Paxman, Yanis Varoufakis, and Nick Clegg. 

Sarah Rigby is an editor at Hutchinson and works across both fiction and non-fiction, recently signing debut novelists Brooke Davis (Lost & Found) and James Scott (The Kept). Sarah has previously published the atlas of constellations, Stories in the Stars, and Lizzie Ostrom’s tour of a century of scents, Perfume. 

Sarah Rigby is an editor at Hutchinson and works across both fiction and non-fiction, recently signing debut novelists Brooke Davis (Lost & Found) and James Scott (The Kept). Sarah has previously published the atlas of constellations, Stories in the Stars, and Lizzie Ostrom’s tour of a century of scents, Perfume

Emad Akhtar is an editor at Michael Joseph. He commissions primarily on crime, thrillers and science fiction. He has edited or worked on the books of MJ Arlidge, Tim Weaver, James Oswald, Lauren Beukes, SJ Parris and Stuart MacBride.

Emad Akhtar is an editor at Michael Joseph. He commissions primarily on crime, thrillers and science fiction. He has edited or worked on the books of MJ Arlidge, Tim Weaver, James Oswald, Lauren Beukes, SJ Parris and Stuart MacBride.

Mary Mount is a fiction editor at Viking, part of our Penguin General division. She's published authors including John le Carré, Hisham Matar, Colm Tóibín, Naomi Alderman and Nina Stibbe.  

Mary Mount is a fiction editor at Viking, part of our Penguin General division. She's published authors including John le Carré, Hisham Matar, Colm Tóibín, Naomi Alderman and Nina Stibbe.
 

Joe Marriott is an editor for picture books across all the Penguin Random House Children’s imprints. Joe works with authors and illustrators including Nick Sharratt, Nadia Shireen, Giles Andreae and Kes Gray and is also responsible for new 'Spot' publishing.

Joe Marriott is an editor for picture books across all the Penguin Random House Children’s imprints. Joe works with authors and illustrators including Nick Sharratt, Nadia Shireen, Giles Andreae and Kes Gray and is also responsible for new 'Spot' publishing.

 
Rebecca Smart is Managing Director of Ebury Publishing. Ebury’s focus is on non-fiction publishing; it is the UK’s largest publisher in food and drink, biography/ autobiography, personal development and many other topics.

Rebecca Smart is Managing Director of Ebury Publishing. Ebury’s focus is on non-fiction publishing; it is the UK’s largest publisher in food and drink, biography/ autobiography, personal development and many other topics.

Josephine Greywoode is an editor at Penguin Press, publishing contemporary non-fiction and classic fiction in translation. Josephine works with authors like Ken Robinson – the creator of the most popular TED talk ever – and on ideas-driven books like Social Class in the 21st Century. She also publishes illustrated books like Cabin Porn. 

Josephine Greywoode is an editor at Penguin Press, publishing contemporary non-fiction and classic fiction in translation. Josephine works with authors like Ken Robinson – the creator of the most popular TED talk ever – and on ideas-driven books like Social Class in the 21st Century. She also publishes illustrated books like Cabin Porn.