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How to Hook an Agent - April 2018

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14th April 2018 - 9:30am to 2:30pm

£175.00

Sold Out

Overview

Join us for an intimate lunch in the beautiful Georgian surroundings of Bloomsbury, London.

Are you writing a book for publication but unsure of how to find an agent? This intimate half-day event with four literary agents will give you insider knowledge on how to submit your manuscript to an agent, what they’re looking for and how to grab their attention. With a networking lunch and a chance for a one-to-one with the agent of your choice, you’ll receive direct  feedback on how best to hook your agent. 

Held in the historic literary surroundings of Bloomsbury at Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London and home to authors including Margaret Atwood and J.K. Rowling, this is your chance to get noticed.

Schedule

9.30-10.00 Morning refreshments and a chance to meet fellow members of the group you will be attending the morning sessions with.

10.00-10.40 A how-to session on knowing when your novel is ready, finding the right agent and what to include in a submission package.

10.45-11.25 Advice on how to pitch your novel (a short exercise where you can talk about your own work is included in this section).

11.30-12.30 Agents discuss what appeals to them in a submission, with real examples and case studies from both successful and unsuccessful submissions.

12.30-1.00 Both groups will come together for an open networking session with refreshments and lunch

1.00-2.30 You will have a 10-minute one-to-one session (the last session will begin at 2.30) with one of the agents and an opportunity to try out the pitch for your book, ask questions and receive feedback.

Agent Profiles

Jemima Forrester - David Higham Associates

Jemima joined David Higham in September 2016 having previously been senior commissioning editor at Orion Publishing Group. She is looking for commercial and upmarket fiction, including crime and thrillers, psychological suspense, accessible literary fiction, women’s fiction and speculative/high-concept novels.

Jemima loves distinctive narrative voices, well-paced, intriguing plots and characters that leap off the page. Her favourite books of recent years include Elizabeth is Missing, Disclaimer, Life After Life, The Night Circus, Me Before You and anything by Jo Nesbø, Margaret Atwood or Curtis Sittenfeld.

In non-fiction, she is looking for innovative cookery, popular-culture and lifestyle projects, unique personal stories and humour.

Sallyanne Sweeney - MMB Creative 

Sallyanne Sweeney grew up in Dublin and studied English at Trinity College before completing an MPhil in American Literature at Queens' College, Cambridge. After graduating she joined Watson, Little Ltd, becoming a Literary Agent in 2008 and a Director of the company in 2011. She joined Mulcahy Associates in 2013 and is building her list of authors and illustrators for children (picture books to Young Adult) and adults.

Passionate about working with debut authors, her fiction tastes are wide-ranging, from the literary to the very commercial, but she is always excited by a distinctive voice, strong storytelling and a fresh premise. She is also interested in memoirs, food writing and thought-provoking non-fiction. Sallyanne regularly attends writing festivals and events and is the Chair of the Children's Agents' Circle.

Louise Buckley - Zeno Agency

Louise has almost a decade's worth of experience working in publishing. Currently an Associate Agent at Zeno Agency and freelance editor, she previously worked as an editor at Pan Macmillan publishers and Dorling Kindersley publishers, and as a bookseller. As an agent she represents both commercial and literary fiction and non-fiction. Her interests are wide-ranging and include well-written crime and thrillers, women's fiction, historical fiction and young adult fantasy novels, along with cookery and food writing, self-help, popular psychology, social history and true crime writing.

Laura Williams - PFD

Laura Williams is an agent at Peters Fraser and Dunlop, where she has been working since 2011, after completing a degree in Classics at Oxford. She is actively building a fiction non-fiction list. She is currently looking for literary fiction, edgy commercial fiction, psychological thrillers and high-concept contemporary young adult, as well as narrative non-fiction of all types, particularly memoir and books about mental health. She loves working with debut authors, and likes to get stuck in editorially with her projects. Her tastes are quite dark, and she loves gothic novels, ghost stories, horror and anything sinister. She also loves books that make her cry, like a big love story or intense family drama. 

Booking and payment

The price for this event is £175, including lunch and the opportunity to purchase a copy of the latest edition of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook or the Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook at a discounted price.

Bookings can be made by either clicking on the 'Book' buttons at the top and bottom of this page, or by calling 0207 631 5985.

If this event is Sold Out, keep an eye on our full list of How to Hook an Agent events for updates.

Feedback

The half day session was excellent . I went into it thinking I am 75% of the way to my goal of getting something published. After the session I realised that I am really maybe only 50% of the way to that, but that is okay as all of the speakers were pragmatic, yet friendly and enthusiastic about the writing process. I came out thinking that it was money well spent as it will allow me to avoid a few of the pitfalls of the process. I would certainly recommend the course, venue and organisation - even with the time and effort to get from Scotland. Christine Thom, How to Hook an Agent - Children & YA, June 2014

Julia and Sallyanne were both really open and shattered the illusion that agents are hard, business types who make brutal decisions on a whim. They were empathetic, encouraging, funny and warm. The 10-minute session I had with Sallyanne was really helpful too. Jules Bryant, How to Hook an Agent - Children & YA, June 2014

'I thought the entire day was extremely well organised, and to have the opportunity to sit down and discuss my book with an agent was a great end to the session. I felt like I learnt so much about the process of submission, and am now approaching my work with a fresh eye. Once again, thank you.' A writer from our February 2014 conference

'Thank you so much for the day. It has provided me with an invaluable experience. I have gained much more knowledge of how to write a better submission letter and have gained a clearer understanding of the the role of the literary agent and this will help me enormously when I am finally ready to submit my manuscript. I thoroughly enjoyed the day.' A writer from our February 2014 conference

'One-to-one chats with agents were a delight - productive and inspiring. The talks were also extremely useful and covered new ground.' Magda Knight

'The conference served its purpose very well. I left with the information I hoped to obtain. Also, I can't recall receiving more helpful advice on writing the introductory letter. This was enormously helpful.' Vee Fallon

'What was genuinely invaluable was hearing about the submission process directly from agents, being able to put questions, and discovering how the "nitty gritty! of an agent's business life works. That latter was an important insight. Over the years I've research and attended several workshops/seminars. I don't think I am alone when I say that for the first time I understand exactly what needs to go in the submission letter and the synopsis. And just why the two-sentence summary and the first paragraph are so important.' Geoffrey Arnold

'Professional and well-organized, I was impressed by the "tone" of the sessions, particularly the respect shown to aspiring authors.' R. Watt

'I thoroughly enjoyed the day and felt that I took a lot away in terms of understanding how I need to change my submission structure.' Helen Joy

'I found the agents extremely helpful and the time spent discussing the process of submission with them was invaluable. Actually getting to meet and pitch to them was priceless (and my primary reason for attending).' Writer from Saturday 13th April 2013 conference

'The day brought out, as no other way could have, the degree of subjectivity amongst agents and publishers. A lesson to be learned - and straight from the "horses' mouths".' Alan Hamilton

'Event was excellent & well worth the money. The one-to-one with the agent was fantastic and almost made the whole thing worthwhile in itself.' Anne-Marie Swift

'A really useful event - it was nice to put a human face to the agents and hear what they had to say. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to practice pitching my story to a real agent who specializes in my chosen area and obtain feedback on my idea. Incredibly useful - it's given me lots of food for thought and will hopefully help me improve.' Sarah Leavesley

'The approachability of the agents - they offered advice in a friendly, un-intimidating manner. The organization was also impeccable.' Luna Chatterjee

'Very helpful. Great advice and lovely meeting other writers on their different journeys. The professionals were great, warm and encouraging.' Mandie Hooson

'Very good. Interesting, encouraging, inspiring and a nice, friendly atmosphere.' Sarah Steele

'It was all I hoped and more. It was heartening to meet real live agents and to see how welcoming and interested they are. It was useful to practice a pitch and have instant feedback.' Mary J Howell

'Excellent. Really gave honest and practical advice. I think I was very lucky to have two such good and complimentary agents (Jo Unwin and Alex Christofi). Their passion and professionalism were palpable.' Tessa McGregor

£175.00

Sold Out