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Editing Services: 'Beat the Rejection' Clinic

Our 'Beat the Rejection' Clinic is the most popular of our editing services, offering you the opportunity to receive direct feedback on your manuscript submission from a literary agent in a 30-minute meeting.

Overview

Our 'Beat the Rejection' Clinic is the most popular of our editing services, offering you the opportunity to receive direct feedback on your manuscript submission from a literary agent in a 30-minute meeting.

Rejection. Every writer goes through it in the opening stages of their career. But do you abandon your dream, or hold fast and look to move forward, learn and improve?

Our 'Beat the Rejection' consultation offers the invaluable opportunity to discuss your submission with a literary agent. You will receive hints and tips on how improvements can be made to your covering letter, synopsis and opening chapters, and the session will also provide you with wider context, looking at where your book sits within the current marketplace and the steps you need to consider in order to give your book the best possible chance of representation.

Features

This service provides the following:

  • A 30-minute one-to-one consultation with a literary agent dedicated to your book
  • Expert feedback on how you can improve your submission package
  • Inspiration and encouragement
  • Advice on 'targeting' as well as editorial pointers

Pricing and Next Steps

Each 30-minute consultation costs £225 (inc. VAT), with payment taken upon booking. The consultations take place at our offices 50 Bedford Square, London, or arrangements can be made for a phone call/Skype consultation. 

When clicking on the 'Apply Now' button at the top/bottom of this page you will be asked to select which literary agent you would like to see. Please look at the agent bios available on this page carefully before booking. Are they an agent that represents work similar to your own? After deciding which agent you would like to see, please use the calendar tool to select a date and time they are available for a consultation.

Before proceeding to payment, you will need to upload the following documents:

  • Covering letter
  • A one/two-page synopsis
  • Your opening three chapters (up to a maximum of 10,000 words)

Your covering letter should be addressed to the literary agent that you would like to see for your 30-minute consultation, and be no more than two pages long. Within your covering letter you should include:

  • The title of your book and the genre you believe it fits into
  • A note on your target audience and any comparisons to other works (books or otherwise) that you think may be helpful
  • A brief summary of what your book is about, offering a sense of who your protagonist is and your narrative style
  • An understanding of why you're submitting to the literary agent in question. Are you looking for general tips on the submission process, or do you feel as though you and your book would fit well on their list?
  • Some information about you as an author

The synopsis is a technical document that states what happens in your story from beginning to end. It can include spoilers and acts as a guide, allowing the agent to look at your story structure should they request to see your full manuscript.

To smooth the process further, please submit your work as a Word.doc file, number the pages of your submission, and use a standard typeface such as Times New Roman in 12pt and double-spaced.

Please note:

Bookings must be made at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled meeting time

Literary Agents

Juliet Pickering - The Blake Friedmann Literary Agency

Juliet Pickering is an agent at the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency. She studied English Literature at university before working for Waterstones as a fiction buyer. She joined A P Watt in 2003 and become an Associate Agent in 2007.  Juliet joined Blake Friedmann in 2013 and her list includes Costa, Commonwealth, Orwell Prize, Sky Arts and Guardian First Book shortlisted authors as well as journalists such as Lucy Mangan and Laurie Penny. Her interests range from literary and well-written commercial fiction to mystery, crime and thrillers. She also represents many non-fiction writers across the board, including memoir, pop culture, social history, feminist and political commentary, cookery and food writing, and all sorts in between.

Sallyanne Sweeney - Mulcahy Associates

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 August 2013 and is building her list of fiction and non-fiction authors for children and adults, as well as a small number of picture book illustrators. Passionate about working with debut authors, her fiction tastes are wide-ranging, from the literary to the very commercial, but she is particularly looking for voice-driven narratives with a strong hook. Sallyanne was a judge for the 2014 Undiscovered Voices Award, run by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Imogen Pelham - Marjacq Scripts

Imogen Pelham is a literary agent at Marjacq Scripts, representing authors including Costa Short Story Award winner Angela Readman, Wellcome Prize shortlisted Emily Mayhew and Encore Prize longlisted Olivia Glazebrook. Prior to Marjacq, she worked at Aitken Alexander Associates for five years where she began building her list whilst working alongside Gillon Aitken. She represents literary and high-end commercial fiction, as well as a range of non-fiction including history, psychology, travel and food.

Julia Churchill - A.M. Heath Literary Agents

Julia Churchill joined A.M.Heath in 2013 as Children's Agent, after four years building up the UK side of the Greenhouse Literary Agency, and six years at the Darley Anderson Agency where she started the children's book side of the list. She represents some fabulous writers including Sarah Lean, Sarah Crossan and Joanna Nadin. She’s always on the treasure hunt for new writing talent and considers the slushpile to be the greatest place on earth. She’s looking for debut and established authors with storytelling magic, from picture book texts right up to YA fiction. Follow her on Twitter: @JuliaChurchill.

Julia is available for sessions in person or over the phone.

Danielle Zigner - LBA Books

Danielle Zigner

Danielle Zigner joined LBA Books as a Junior Agent in 2014, after having spent a year working with a number of publishers and agencies, and has been since actively building her list. She's looking for a broad range of captivating fiction and non-fiction. On the fiction side Danielle would love some quirky YA, as well as original fantasy and science fiction. She would also like to find some heart-wrenching women’s fiction titles and well-written romances. Danielle loves psychological thrillers with a unique hook, and is always keen on cross-genre mixes. In terms of non-fiction she looks for feminist literature that has something new to add to the dialogue. Danielle also represents a couple of health and cookery titles, and is excited to find new stars in this area.

Danielle is available for sessions in person or over the phone.

Thérèse Coen - Hardman Swainson Literary Agency 

Thérèse Coen was born and raised in Belgium and moved to England in her late teens with her family, and then stayed in London to do a History degree and Masters at University College London. Having been brought up bilingual, speaking French and Dutch, then picking up German and English later on, translation rights seemed like a very logical next step. Her first job in publishing was at Bloomsbury Publishing, where she started as an intern and left as Rights Executive. Thérèse then worked at Ed Victor Ltd where she was lucky enough to learn from one of the most renowned and experienced literary agents in the world, handling huge celebrity titles alongside Booker-prize winning authors.

Thérèse has been building her own list of authors alongside selling translation rights since early 2016 and is now Rights Director and agent at Hardman Swainson. She is happy to cut her teeth on genres across the board and loves nothing more than keeping her reading and her authors an exciting and wide-ranging mix of styles and readerships.

Within these varied spheres, what is needed to grip Thérèse is an original concept or hook, polished and pacey writing, captivating worlds and always a strong kick-ass protagonist, be they fictionalised or real. She wants original, distinct and memorable voices, books  that make you feel (tie your heart in a million knots or smash it into a million pieces), laugh until you have a stitch, or stay with you and make you ponder for weeks. For non-fiction, Thérèse wants these books to teach her, without making her feel ignorant. 

Federica Leonardis - Martin Leonardis Literary Management

Federica Leonardis is the founder of the Martin Leonardis Literary Management. Her publishing career includes four years in Foreign Rights at Ed Victor Literary Agency, three years in the Contracts department at the Orion Publishing Group and over two years at Rogers, Coleridge & White Literary Agency where she worked alongside two senior agents while building her list until July 2016. 

Federica loves stories that keep her reading through the night and those can be in different genres: commercial or literary, a love story or a murder mystery, a cosy crime or an international thriller, a romantic comedy or a story of loss and grief, a speculative and dystopian novel, or a psychological or domestic suspense. Federica is also interested in non-fiction books in the following areas:food writing and cookery but also business, psychology, smart thinking and positive thinking, self-help and life-style; in short, books that can potentially trigger positive change in any aspect of the reader’s life.

Fully bilingual, she considers submissions in both English and Italian.

Louise Buckley - Zeno Literary 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. 

 Please note that Louise is currently only available for sessions over the phone or via Skype.

Emma Finn - Conville & Walsh

Emma Finn is actively building her list of exciting new writers of both fiction and narrative non-fiction. On the fiction side, she read widely so doesn't like to be too prescriptive, but loves novels that explore those moments that define our lives and collective experience: falling in or out of love; dealing with loss; navigating frailty, friendship, dysfunction or loneliness. And she's drawn to novels about families, relationships of all kinds, that are sharply observed with a clever psychology.

Above all Emma is drawn to a strong voice, characters she wants to drop everything to spend time with and beautiful, confident writing that grabs you by the hand from the first page and pulls you headlong into a memorable story. She's not particularly led by genre but is broadly on the lookout for literary / upmarket book group fiction, high concept novels and crime or thrillers driven by a compelling lead. Please note she doesn't' represent children's or YA fiction.

Emma would also love to see great food writing, big ideas books that help us to think about the world today, pop science, memoir or life writing and narrative non-fiction of all kinds, although she's particularly keen to find new writing on race, gender and sexuality. 

Emma is available for sessions in person or over the phone.

Testimonials

"It was just what I needed! Very constructive." Eva Stenborre


"The agent went above and beyond what I had expected. I came away inspired, enthused and more importantly...ready" Freya Morris


"Jenny has a very genuine and supportive approach and I felt she was interested in my ideas." Susan Rollinson


"...the reaction of an Agent was very useful, particularly in spotting a couple of flaws that I suspected, but - after several drafts - no longer had the enthusiasm to fix." Sean Barker


"I had thought that agents were a bit like guillotines but rather less polite. Lucy was chatty, helpful, with a genuine interest in my work...and made many extraordinarily useful suggestions for my current book, as well as broad brush strokes which will help with future writing. Lucy clearly had looked at my 7000 words in considerable detail beforehand, making many notes on the margins....Satisfied, I left, resolved to plunge into an MS re-work, à la Lucy." Alison Gardiner


"You will be at the top of the slush pile for thirty minutes of intensive discussion with an agent, and you will find out how (or if) you can bring your manuscript to a professional level. This is a great opportunity to be taken seriously." Will Fraser


“Juliet was friendly, open and engaging. She provided practical guidance on how I could improve my MS and was very honest in her assessment of strengthening my story. She reviewed my cover letter and synopsis, providing written feedback which I took away. I left the session with more confidence and with a very clear idea of what I should change and what my next steps should be. I'd definitely recommend this session for anyone trying to get an agent.” Farheen Kahn