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Professional Development – Your Writing Journey – From Ideas to Bookshelves

20 October @ 10:00 - 11:30 BST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

A writing workshop where SoA member Frances Mensah Williams, and Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, will share with you everything they know about writing.


‘I know I have a book in me… but I don’t know how to get it out!’

‘How do I build my confidence to be a serious writer?’

‘Help! I’ve written a draft novel. What do I do next?’

‘I’ve been told I need an agent, but how do I find one?’

‘What do I have to do to get my short stories and poems published?’


Struggling with getting your story idea out of your head and onto the page, or wondering how to get your draft manuscripts into the hands of a publisher? Well, we’re here to help.

Navigating the journey from story idea to published book might seem impossible, but trust us, it really isn’t. How do we know? Because we’ve done it!

Join authors Frances Mensah Williams (From Pasta to Pigfoot, Imperfect Arrangements, The Second Time We Met), and Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah (The Sex Lives of African Women), for the first event in Everything I Know About Writing, a unique webinar series for writers and aspiring writers everywhere. Between them, they’ve published scores of articles in magazines, literary and news publications, created an award-winning e-zine and blog, and written nine books including non-fiction, novels, and novellas.

During a lively, interactive session, Frances and Nana will take you through all the key steps to take your ideas and draft manuscripts to the finished product on the bookshelf. They’ll signpost you to resources and share their biggest challenges and lessons as published writers.



  • Welcome and Housekeeping from Sophia Jackson, Head of Events (3 mins)
  • Presentation by Frances Williams & Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah (60 mins)
  • Q&A with audience (25 mins)
  • Outro (2 mins)


Who is this session for?

This event is for new or established writers who need a safe space to ask questions and get the practical advice they need to become published writers. Let Frances’ and Nana’s stories inspire you to achieve your goal!


What will this session cover?

  • Building your confidence as a writer and conquering imposter syndrome
  • Identifying your story options: Non-Fiction and Fiction genres
  • Developing your book proposal
  • Crafting your Agent pitch
  • Navigating the editorial process
  • Your journey to the bookshelf
  • Launching Your Book


Send us your questions in advance

If you would like to send questions in advance, email SJackson@societyofauthors.org with ‘Your Writing Journey’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and answer as many as we can from the audience on the day.


SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our virtual Bookshop.org store featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate links a percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.

The line -up


Frances Mensah Williams

Frances Mensah Williams is a Ghanaian-born writer, entrepreneur, and Executive Coach, and the author of several fiction and non-fiction books. Her debute novel, the romantic comedy From Pasta to Pigfoot, went straight in at no. 23 of WH Smith Travel’s Top 100 Summer Reads.  It was followed by From Pasta to Pigfoot: Second Helpings, the novel Imperfect Arrangements and a novella series, the Marula Heights Romances, all set in Ghana.

Frances has written two non-fiction books: Everyday Heroes – Learning from the Careers of Successful Black Professionals and ‘I Want to Work in Africa – How to Move Your Career to the World’s Most Exciting Continent’. She has contributed freelance articles to numerous print and online publications, including The Voice and Hello! magazine.

Twitter: @FrancesMensahW | Website: https://francesmensahwilliams.com/


Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is the author of The Sex Lives of African Women, which Publishers Weekly described as “an astonishing report on the quest for sexual liberation” in their starred review. It was also listed by The Economist as a best book of the year. She is an award-winning blogger, and co-founder of Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women, a website, podcast and festival that publishes and creates content telling stories of African women’s experiences around sex, sexualities, and pleasure.

The impact of Nana Darkoa’s work has been documented by CNN in a film titled Not Yet Satisfied. In 2016, she won a prestigious Hedgebrook fellowship.

Twitter: @nas009 | Website: https://darkoathewriter.com/


Need to know

Before the event
  • Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with the Zoom link
  • If the confirmation email doesn’t arrive in your inbox, please check your junk/spam email folder
  • Please add events@societyofauthors.org to your Safe Senders list so you receive our confirmation, and reminder emails
During the event
  • This online event will take place on Zoom Webinar; you will not be visible on screen but will be able ask questions via the Q&A function or interact via the chat box
  • This event will be recorded but you won’t be on screen
  • Attendees have the option to turn on the live transcript option
  • This event is 90 minutes
After the event
  • Hashtag for this event: #SoAatHome
  • You’ll be able to catch the recording on our Vimeo channel



Book your place by using the registration below.

All #SoAatHome events are free but if you can afford to, please consider donating to our Authors’ Contingency Fund and we suggest a minimum donation of £5. The fund is to help professional authors experiencing financial hardship. DONATE HERE


Accordion Content

Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.


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20% off your first year with discount code SOAFESTIVAL20

The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
  • Unlimited one-to-one professional advice
  • Membership of our online and real-world professional networks
  • A range of member-only discounts, including books, insurance and travel
  • And much more.



We'll send you the Zoom joining details via email.

34 Going


20 October
10:00 - 11:30 BST
Event Category:
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Sophia A Jackson