Shown is a graphic that has a grey dappled background with four black claw marks on the far right. Over the top is a pencil with a light bulb on top, a red dragon curled round the outside; inside the bulb is an explosion of colour. A lightning strike comes down from the top right. On the bottom right is the BFS logo, a red and black dragon design curling around the letters ‘BFS’. At the top are lines of black text, saying 'BFS Online Presents: Writing Your Way.’ Below are lines of black text, saying ‘Panel: Plotter or Pantser?, Lauren (LJ) McMenemy (mod), CL Hellisen, Rebecca Kaur, Ally Wilkes’. At the bottom are lines of black text saying ‘Saturday 6th July, 4pm to 5pm. Tickets from BFS website.’ Photos: top left, Lauren McMenemy; top right, CL Hellisen; bottom left, Rebecca Kaur; bottom right, Ally Wilkes.

BFS Online: Writing Your Way – Plotter or Pantser?

Plotter or Pantser?: A discussion on the preparation, or lack thereof, for writing a book. Do you have timelines, spreadsheets and character profiles galore? Or are you flying by the seat of your undergarments?

Join moderator Lauren McMenemy as she chats to CL Hellisen, Rebecca Kaur and Ally Wilkes about the methods and madness of getting that story told.

CL Hellisen (they/them): CL Hellisen is a South African writer living in Scotland. Their stories and poems have appeared in The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy,, Apex, Shimmer, Daily Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Shoreline of Infinity and others. Their novel Cast Long Shadows was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award in 2023. They are represented by Caro Clarke at Portobello Literary. You can find out more about CL Hellisen on their website. Or you can follow them on Bluesky or Twitter. Pick up a copy of Cast Long Shadows or other books here.

Rebecca Kaur (she/her): A South Asian fantasy writer and award winning poet who is from the West Midlands. Rebecca is part time day dreamer and full time Netflix watcher. She is currently working as a primary school teacher but is saving up to become a full time author! Her book, Celestial Bodies, came out in May 2023 and you can grab a copy here. Find out more about Rebecca on her website or follow her on Instagram.

Ally Wilkes (she/her/they/them): Ally’s debut novel, All the White Spaces, was a 2023 Bram Stoker Award finalist, and their second novel, Where the Dead Wait, received critical acclaim including a Publishers Weekly starred review. Her short fiction has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including Nightmare, Three Crows, FOUND: an anthology of Found Footage Horror, and Darkness Beckons. Ally grew up in a succession of isolated—possibly haunted—country houses and boarding schools. After studying law at Oxford, she went on to spend eleven years as a criminal barrister, learning how extreme situations bring out the best (or worst) in human nature. Ally now lives in Greenwich, London, with an anatomical human skeleton and far too many horror books. Find out more about Ally on their website or follow them on Twitter or Instagram. You can pick up a copy of Ally’s book here.

Lauren (LJ) McMenemy (she/her): Lauren McMenemy wears many hats: Editor-in-Chief at Trembling With Fear for; PR and marketing for the British Fantasy Society; founder of the Society of Ink Slingers; curator of the Writing the Occult virtual events. With 25+ years as a professional writer across journalism, marketing, and communications, Lauren also works as a coach and mentor to writers looking to achieve goals, get accountability, or get support with their marketing efforts. She writes gothic and folk horror stories for her own amusement, and is currently working on a novel set in the world of the Victorian occult. You’ll find Lauren haunting south London, where she lives with her Doctor Who-obsessed husband, the ghost of their aged black house rabbit, and the entity that lives in the walls. Learn more about Lauren on her website. Or this website. She’s also a social media queen. Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Instagram (Society of Ink Slingers), Bluesky, Threads or Mastodon. Whatever your social media pleasure, Lauren has you covered.

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