Dunford Novelists

Just got back from Dunford Novelists’ conference which is held in Bournemouth in January. This is definitely my most favourite conference in the world. It’s a working one for novelists. From beginner to best selling authors we’re all in the same boat.

How it works

You take along the first chapter of your novel and you get it critiqued on three levels. You get written critiques from other writers in the conference who opt to choose your chapter. Each writer chooses about six first chapters to critique over the course of the weekend.  You get in depth verbal critiques from the five other people in your group, you read the entire chapter to them.

Plus – and this is the really scary bit – you read only the first page of your novel to the entire assembly of novelists – the idea being that’s all they would read if they went into W H Smith and picked it up.  Then you keep very quiet while they tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t.

Trial by fire, but it’s fabulous. I want to go again right now. And it really inspires you to write the rest of the novel.

Incidentally I’ve done some research on the first page of novels, which I shall post here later. It’s fascinating stuff.


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8 Responses to Dunford Novelists

  1. Lyn McCulloch says:

    I really want to come to this next year. Sounds fab – if scary! xx

  2. Kath says:

    It’s a fab conference – I went this year and had a wonderful time.!

  3. Millie Vigor says:

    This year saw me at the Dunford’s weekend for the first time. Loved it. Felt nervous to start with, thought I was going to be pitched in with a full compliment of published novelists and I would be the newby. We were a mixed bunch but the blending was seamless. Needless to say that I’ve booked my place for Jan 2015

  4. Hi does Dunford Novelists still exist/happen?

    I was a lousy writer who wanted to publish something about small business with a moral tale, user friendly, advice, model.

    In the early 90s I attended the annual conference over three years I was taken under the wing of Eldon Sinclair, and although my writing improved I eventually paid him to help write a book I self published and still have most of the copies in the loft!

    I would be interested in any news about Dunford, of which I have fond memories f the generosity of the writers who attended of myself as a complete novice!

    So interested in your note about DN, albeit 2012.



  5. August ’21 Is Dunford Novelists still going? I attended early 90s and got help with self published novel. Eldon Sinclair is a name which comes to mind, others now very shadowy recollections! JM

    • Della Galton says:

      Hi Jeremy, Dunford is still going, at least we hope it will run for another year, Covid allowing. I remember Eldon Sinclair. I wonder what happened to him. I had a feeling he moved to Canada? Very best to you.

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