Isles attract top author

US author Joanna Penn

BEST selling US author Joanna Penn is coming to Shetland next month to deliver a one off seminar to help writers make a living from their work.

Highlands and islands arts agency Emergents is bringing Joanna Penn to Lerwick for her only engagement as it sees Shetland as “a bright spot” on the region’s writing scene.

Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers on the edge. She also writes non-fiction for authors, is a professional speaker and entrepreneur, and was voted as one of The Guardian UK Top 100 Creative Professionals 2013.

Emergents’s writing and publishing director Peter Urpeth said they managed to bring Penn to the north of Scotland no more than once a year, so the Shetland event was “a one off” made possible by the renewal of their contract with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The seminar entitled How to make a living from your writing will be held from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 21 February at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

Described as an “inspirational and info-packed day”, it aims to expand the possibilities for writers in the age of the internet, allowing them to reach a global audience and earn an income online.

The seminar is designed for those lacking confidence to take their writing further, or seeking to make a decent income from their work.

Urpeth said: “Emergents is very proud to be able to bring an author and creative entrepreneur of Joanna Penn’s standing and reputation to Shetland.

“Shetland is a natural choice because we consider it to be one of the bright spots for writing in the highlands and islands. There is some terrific writing going on there.

“This seminar represents an amazing opportunity for writers in Shetland to engage with one of UK’s publishing’s most insightful and inspirational of speakers, and writers can expect to receive the kind of information and direction that can make a real difference in the very difficult task of making money from writing.

“The writing and publishing industry has changed beyond recognition, but this represents many new opportunities for writers to get their work to new readerships and audiences. Joanna’s insights will enable writers to make those steps.”

Tickets for the seminar cost £10 per head, and include a buffet lunch and refreshments.

Bookings can be made by emailing and more information about the workshop can be found at