Self-Publishing Workshops for
Book Festivals & Writing Retreats
Educate, empower, and enable your audience to begin their self-publishing journey with our workshops
supported by The Princes Trust
“The publishing industry is in a state of transition.”
“Traditional publishers are becoming an endangered species.”
“Independent Publishers are on the rise.”
These are phrases we have all become familiar with during the pandemic and point to a very real shift in the balance of publishing, where traditional publishers are no longer the gatekeepers to print or digital publishing.
During 2020, print sales rose by 3.6%, whilst eBook sales climbed by 4%. However, as markets expand and technology develops, more independent authors are discovering and navigating the path to publishing their own books. At one stage last year, 17 of the top 100 selling books were self-published.
“There is a growing sense of empowerment in self-publishing.”
We believe book festivals are in a powerful position to enable independent authors to feel empowered to find their voice. By facilitating the education of this growing demographic, book festivals can demonstrate their commitment to the changing nature of publishing, as well as taking the opportunity to expand their community engagement.
Who are we?
Softwood Self-Publishing was founded in 2017 by author and editor, Maddy Glenn. It has since established itself as one of the leading promoters of self-published authors in the UK and USA. Our ethos, that the author must remain in full creative and financial control of the self-publishing process, is key to our popularity as we empower authors to achieve their goals. We provide practical support through editing, formatting, printing, and marketing our clients’ books and are rolling out a programme to help empower and educate authors who wish to self-publish.
"I would highly recommend them to anyone!" Softwood client, August 2020
What do we offer book festivals?
With financial support from The Princes Trust, which allows us to keep our costs to a minimum, we are delighted to be able to offer book festivals across the UK the opportunity to host a series of workshops for adults, as part of an initiative to remove the perceived barriers to self-publishing and empower aspiring authors at a grassroots level.
We have 3 experienced and specialist workshop leaders who can deliver a variety of workshops and seminars, including:
Creative writing - The importance of plot structure in your writing
Tips and tricks for book marketing on social media
Routes to self-publishing
Open forum – Live Q&A regarding self-publishing
Ideally, these will be delivered in person (Covid regulations permitting, but in a suitably-sized venue provided by the book festival and in accordance with social distancing) or though Zoom workshops or a hybrid of both.
Who will benefit?
We are working with many authors who have used lockdown to develop their writing techniques and become self-published. There is a strong likelihood that your local demographic and festival audience will also include a number of independent authors. By being able to facilitate affordable practical workshops under your own banner (in conjunction with Softwood Self-Publishing), your festival has the potential to not only develop its community engagement but also enhance its reputation, embrace the future of publishing, and potentially benefit financially.
We benefit from being able to achieve our shared goals with The Princes Trust, to educate, empower, and enable authors of all backgrounds at every stage of their creative journey.
How does it work financially?
Our workshops and administration fees have been heavily subsidised, though we will still incur some costs. We encourage book festivals to set their own charges for attendees of our workshops, unless they are able to further subsidise them to their audience as part of their charitable status.
Select a workshop to suit your festival or customize your own
Plot structure in your writing
Your creative writing journey explored. Develop and refine your writing techniques in this practical session with author and writer's coach, M.J. Glenn.
What are the advantages of self-publishing your book, and what do you need to be aware of if you're looking to collaborate with a professional or publishing house?
Why is it important to self-edit your manuscript and how should you do it? Get you pens at the ready for this practical session online or in-person.
This Q&A session with the experts allows you to ask all the questions you have about the pros and cons of self-publishing. Discover what route to publishing might work for you.
Your book on
Discover how social media can support your book marketing campaign. Learn the importance of a well-crafted strategy and the techniques you can use to promote your book to a wider audience.
Request a theme
Is there an element of creative writing or self-publishing in particular that you would like us to cover? We can design our workshops to your specification.
Our workshop leaders
Lead Editor and CEO of Softwood
Maddy established Softwood in 2017 not only to support self-publishing authors in every aspect of their manuscript development, but also in response to the growing demand for her editing services. She has a BA in Philosophy and English Literature from the University of Reading and is a member of the Society of Young Publishers. Maddy is an English Language Editor for MDPI and regularly works with companies to developing their in house style. Her debut novel, On The Edge, was published in 2020.
"Her professional approach and patience as an editor is just outstanding."
Editing client, 2020
Writer and editor
Tegan is a writer and professional ghostwriter. She holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Medieval Studies. During her postgraduate studies, she lead two terms of literature seminars and gave her paper, "The Bedtrick and Consent", at two national conferences. Her debut short story collection, "The Weight of Rain", was self-published in 2020. She is the host of the Midnight Quill Podcast.
“Powerful, emotional, deep… This will not be the last I read from this talented and gifted author.” Review of The Weight of Rain
Nathan runs Softwood's branding and social media marketing. He enjoys combining 'out of the box' thinking with 10 years' experience developing strategies and running accounts for clients. He is the perfect person to seek advice from when it comes to marketing your book on social media.
"A positive presence and keen mind. Always full of great ideas!"
Social media account client, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register my interest in booking a workshop?
Complete the contact form at the bottom of this page and we'll get in touch with you within one working day.
Can I request a particular subject for a workshop?
Our workshops can be fully customized to suit your audience.
Can I book multiple workshops?
Yes! Why not run a whole day dedicated to self-publishing and help encourage and motivate your local writers? Talk to us about designing a day of workshops for you.
How much do the workshops cost?
This will depend on the number of workshops you book with us, along with geographical considerations should travel be necessary. However, our workshops have been subsidised for 2021. Contact us for a quote today.
In-person or via a webinar?
We don't mind! A webinar has the potential of being open to more participants from a wider geographical area, but an in-person workshop can feel more personal and may be preferable, Covid regulations permitting.
We already work with someone who delivers workshops but would still be interested in a self-publishing theme. Can you still help?
We find talking to individual book festivals about their individual needs and expectations to be the best course of action initially. Contact us and we'll help you design your content to support self-publishing authors.