One of the Festival's most important elements is the chance for you to meet agents and editors one-to-one and pitch your work directly to them.
If your work is tremendous, you might just come away with a contact that will lead all the way to representation - and perhaps a book deal. If your work still needs attention, then you'll come away with a clear sense of what industry experts think you need to succeed. Either way, it's an amazing opportunity.
Everyone booking a ticket at the Festival is entitled to two 1-to-1 sessions in which to receive feedback on their work. Those sessions are available from our roster of:
You can choose to have both of your 1-to-1 sessions with agents/publishers, both with book doctors, or you can choose one of each. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to find all the details! The last date for receipt of your work is 17th August 2012. Tickets are on sale until 20th August!
The purpose of a session with an agent or publisher is primarily to get direct feedback on the question, "Do you think my work is marketable as it stands?" Do be aware that agents may sometimes only need to read a few pages of your work to answer this question effectively: that's not because they're lazy; it's because they're good at their jobs. Their feedback is still absolutely invaluable.
The purpose of your session with a book doctor is to get detailed editorial feedback on your work from a pro author/editor - in effect, answering the question, "What steps do I need to take to make my work marketable?" With the book doctor (but not normally with the agent) you will get brief written notes summarising the comments. Whenever book doctors come across work that may be marketable, we WILL bring it directly to the attention of a suitable agent.
If you're not sure what to book, we'd recommend booking one of your 1-to-1s with an agent and one with a book doctor. That way you get the benefit of both perspectives.
(Oh, and you might want to have a look at this, which contains one agent's recommendations on how to maximise your effectiveness at the Festival.)
Jon Appleton, Hodder Children's Books
Jon Appleton has been a children's book editor since 1996. He has worked on a wide variety of books - from picture books to non-fiction to prize-winning and commercial fiction - at Scholastic, A&C Black, Orion and is now Editorial Director for fiction at Hodder Children's Books.
Susan Armstrong, Conville & Walsh
Susan is an agent at Conville & Walsh. Susan Armstrong joined Conville & Walsh in 2005. As an agent, she is particularly interested in debut literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction and accessible fantasy and science fiction. She enjoy novels that blend genres, are unusual in setting or circumstance and that have unexpected twists. Conville & Walsh - are a leading international literary agency.
Lorella Belli, Lorella Belli Literary Agency
Lorella has worked in the publishing industry for 16 years (for publishers as well as literary agencies) and set up her own agency in 2002. The Lorella Belli Literary Agency (LBLA) handles full-length adult fiction (from literary to genre - in particular women's fiction, historical and crime/thrillers) and general non-fiction (humour, popular music, popular science, history, business, personal finance, lifestyle, current affairs, self-help, travel, sport, women's issues, and food & wine) and works in association with a dramatic agency in London and with co-agents abroad. Lorella represents several award-winning and bestselling authors, and is particularly interested in first time novelists, books with an international outlook and potential, multicultural writing and journalists
Piers Blofeld, Sheil Land Associates
Piers Blofeld is an agent at Sheil Land. Sheil Land Associates is a long established literary, theatrical and film agency.Looking for clients that write quality, literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction including thrillers, crime/mystery, politics, political and military history, gardening, cookery, romance, drama, biography/memoir, travel, humour, all types of contemporary and literary women’s fiction, self-improvement, mind-body-spirit, lifestyle, popular science and psychology, children’s, young adult, science fiction, fantasy and paranormal.
Charlie Brotherstone, A.M Heath
Charlie joined A.M Heath in 2008. He represents literary and commercial writers of fiction and non-fiction. Founded in 1919, AM Heath is one of the UK's leading literary agencies. They now represent a broad range of best-selling and award-winning authors, including novelists, historians, biographers, and children's authors. In addition, they have seen the successful launch of many talented newcomers, something in which they take particular pride.
Peter Buckman, Ampersand Agency
Peter Buckman was on the editorial board of Penguin Books, and moved to New York to be a commissioning editor with the New American Library. He then became a full-time writer, producing books, films, plays, and scripts for tv and radio. Agenting has always been part of his life. The Ampersand Agency Handle literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction. Contemporary and historical novels, crime, thrillers, women’s fiction, memoirs, history, biography, cookery - anything as long as it's well written. No fantasy / sci-fi / horror though.
Julia Churchill, Greenhouse Literary Agency
Julia Churchill joined the Greenhouse in January 2009. Julia began her career in books in the press office of Sheldrake Press. In 2002 she started work at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency in London as a Personal Assistant, and was appointed Agency Manager in 2004. The following year she became Associate Agent, specializing in children’s books. Greenhouse exclusively represents and manages the careers of authors writing fiction for children, from young chapter-book series through middle grade novels to sophisticated teen fiction.
Sam Copeland, Rogers, Coleridge & White
Sam is an agent at Rogers, Coleridge & White. Sam's first job in publishing was at Curtis Brown, where he started in 2001. He left in 2006 to help create the Robinson Literary Agency, and joined Rogers, Coleridge and White in 2009 when the two companies merged. He is building an extremely diverse list, representing writers of both literary and commercial fiction, science fiction, children’s (11+), serious and not-so-serious non-fiction. In fact, he is happy to look at anything but self-help and business books.
Broo Doherty, Wade & Doherty Literary Agency.
Broo has worked in publishing for the last twenty years. She started as a production assistant at Victor Gollancz. She then moved to Hodder and Stoughton for a brief period, before joining Transworld as an editor for the Bantam Press imprint, where she was involved with authors such as David Gemmell, Anthony Holden and Jilly Cooper. Then she joined the agent Jane Gregory as the editorial director of Gregory and Company where she advised leading writers in the area of crime and women's commercial fiction. Broo handles all genres, excluding children's books, but particularly enjoys crime, cookery and commercial women's fiction.
Wade & Doherty Literary Agency was founded in 2001. They handle fiction and non-fiction for adults and young adults.
Kirsty Dunseath, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Kirsty worked for Jonathan Cape for four years before moving to the Women´s Press, where she was a commissioning editor for over 3 years. Almost 8 years ago she moved to Orion – first as editorial director of the paperback list Phoenix, then as Publishing Director of fiction at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, the literary imprint of the Orion group.
Lisa Eveleigh, Richard Becklow.
Lisa founded, and is the primary agent at Richford Becklow, working with specialist sub-agents where relevant. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of Durham and also studied American literature for two years. After graduating, Lisa worked at the BBC, and her publishing career took off in 1986, when she joined A P Watt Ltd, the world's oldest literary agency. She was the first agent to recognise the talent of authors Helen Dunmore, Philip Kerr and Joseph O'Connor. Richford Becklow are actively looking to take on new authors and encourage and represent a range of writing talent. They're open to reading well-crafted and thoughtful writing in all genres.
Marc Gascoigne, Angry Robot
Marc is Publishing Director at Angry Robot. Marc won the World Fantasy Special Award (Professional) in 2011 for his work with them. Angry Robot is a global imprint dedicated to the best in modern adult science fiction, fantasy and everything inbetween. British-based but selling worldwide, their mission is to produce books that appeal to everyone, from post-Dr Who and Xbox fans to long-time genre enthusiasts. In April 2011, Lauren Beukes‘ novel Zoo City won the Arthur C Clarke Award, the highest honour in British science fiction.
Gillian Green, Random House
Gillian is Editorial Director for fiction at Random House. Prior to this she worked for Harlequin Mills & Boon for five years before moving to Piatkus Books, where she was Editorial Director for Fiction for 9 years.
Lee Harris, Angry Robot
Angry Robot’s Editor. Lee helps decide what an Angry Robot author looks like, and does more than his fair share of marketing. He’s also Chair of the British Fantasy Society. Angry Robot is a global imprint dedicated to the best in modern adult science fiction, fantasy and everything inbetween. British-based but selling worldwide, their mission is to produce books that appeal to everyone, from post-Dr Who and Xbox fans to long-time genre enthusiasts. In April 2011, Lauren Beukes‘ novel Zoo City won the Arthur C Clarke Award, the highest honour in British science fiction. Angry Robot publish novels, either standalone or as part of greater series. They’re not looking to publish novellas, short stories or non-fiction at this time.
Caroline Hardman, Christopher Little Literary Agency LLP
Caroline joined the Christopher Little Literary Agency as an agent in February 2010, after six years at The Marsh Agency, firstly as an assistant, then rights executive and finally an agent for English language and international rights. Her taste is diverse, and she’s looking for upmarket commercial and literary fiction, quality crime and thrillers, young adult and non-fiction. In literary fiction she’s drawn to writing that is clever and quirky: smart word play, unusual dark settings, great plot twists, and offbeat characters.
David Headley, DHH Literary Agency
DHH was founded by David Headley in 2008, based in London, they represent an eclectic range of best-selling and award-winning authors, including novelists, historians, short-story writers and children’s authors. David created the D. H. H. Literary Agency—an agency whose main objective is to provide a more attentive and individual representation for our authors. They wish to help re-launch established writers as well as nurturing debut authors. They are currently only looking to represent fiction writers.
Penny Holroyde, Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency Ltd.
Interested in children’s books for all ages - She particularly like's laugh-out-loud books aimed at middle grade children but also loves books with emotional depth and strong plots for older children. For her adult portfolio, She's very interested in memoirs. Historical settings and again, a really compelling voice that works in whatever world the author has created are key likes. The Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency is one of the UK’s leading literary agencies representing a bestselling roster of authors and illustrators. Our particular areas of interest include fiction, non-fiction—especially human interest stories and memoirs—and all types of children's books.
Jane Judd, Jane Judd Literary Agency
Jane Judd was an editor with Hutchinson for 10 years before setting up her own agency in 1986. She has an eclectic list of non-fiction and fiction writers. Nowadays, the emphasis is on self-help, health, biography, popular history and narrative non-fiction, general and historical fiction and literary fiction. She would love to find quirky and surprising subjects in both fiction and non-fiction.
Calum Laird, Commando comics
Callum is editor at DC Thomson's Commando. Commando is currently one of the longest running comic books in the world, having clocked up more than 4400 issues in the last fifty years - an impressive achievement by anyone’s standards! Callum manages the worldwide team of talent who combine to make Commando what it is. From the very start, Commando has been exported worldwide and translated into numerous languages. Commando is published eight times a month by DC Thomson and are always on the look out for new talented writers to join their team. If you're keen to give it a go - Click for details.
David Llewelyn, Conville & Walsh
David has worked as a reader and talent scout at Conville and Walsh since 2006. Conville & Walsh - are a leading international literary agency. David deals exclusively with debut novelists, and is interested in all types of fiction and non-fiction, aside from sci-fi / fantasy. He boasts a formidable record in unearthing new talent.
Kate Lyall Grant, Severn House
Kate Lyall Grant has worked in mainstreampublishing for over twenty years. She worked as a commissioning editor for Hodder & Stoughton for seven years, and as senior fiction editor at Simon & Schuster for 6 years. Kate now oversees the Severn House, creme de la crime publishing programme, commissioning and editing crime, thrillers, romance, sagas and horror. She also works as an editorial consultant for selected publishers.
Francesca Main, Picador
Francesca has recently joined Picador as editorial director. Before this she was Senior Commissioning Editor for Simon and Schuster, where she edited authors such as Edward Hogan, Urban Waite and the Orange Prize for Fiction shortlisted Monique Roffey. She’s previously worked at Hamish Hamilton and Penguin. Francesca graduated with a first class honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Warwick. During her time at university she was fortunate enough to meet and work with a wide range of writers including Jonathan Coe, Maureen Freely, Maggie O'Farrell and Mario Vargos Llosa.
Juliet Mushens, Peter Fraser & Dunlop
Juliet Mushens is an Agent in the Books Division of PFD. Before becoming a literary agent, Juliet worked in fiction marketing and editorial at HarperCollins, after reading history at Cambridge. She is always looking for new voices and supervises a dissertation on the Kingston University Creative Writing Course. Juliet represents a commercial list of both fiction and non-fiction writers at PFD. On the fiction side, Juliet likes reading group fiction, thrillers, historical fiction, fantasy/SF and commercial writing for children aged 12+ with an emphasis on YA. On the non-fiction side she represents everything from celebrity autobiographies to cook-books, with a passion for inspirational memoirs and a growing list of ghost-writers. Learn more about Juliet in our recent 'Meet the Agents' blog.
Juliet Pickering, AP Watt
Juliet Pickering joined A P Watt in September 2003, and became an Associate Agent in 2007. Prior to joining the company, she studied English Literature at the University of Surrey before becoming a fiction buyer for Waterstones. Juliet is interested in literary fiction, well-written commercial fiction, mystery, narrative non-fiction and food writing. Founded in 1875, A P Watt is the longest-established literary agency in the world. It is also one of the most dynamic and successful.A P Watt's clients include a Nobel Prize winner, four Booker Prize winners, three Orange Prize winners, several Whitbread and Costa Prize winners, and the first Children’s Laureate.
Marcy Posner, Folio Lit
After fifteen years on the editorial side of the business, Marcy made the jump to agenting – spending twelve years at the William Morris Agency as an agent; five years as president of her own agency; five years at Sterling Lord Literistic as an agent; and now at Folio. Folio places both fiction and non-fiction with major publishers throughout the U.S. and around the world. They represent many first-time authors, some of whom have gone on to become bestsellers and major award-winners.
Michael Rowley, Ebury
Michael is editorial director for science fiction and fantasy at Ebury. Michael was previously a sci-fi and fantasy specialist buyer at Waterstone's head office for seven years, having graduated from the University of Liverpool with an MA in science fiction studies. He initially worked for Waterstone's at the Manchester Deansgate branch, running the sci fi and fantasy section and co-editing the in-house genre magazine, Enigma.
Sallyanne Sweeney, Watson Little
Sallyanne was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Cambridge University. She is building her list and is looking for talented writers of literary and commercial fiction. She is also passionate about writing for children & young adults, and is interested in narrative non-fiction, quirky gift books, food writing and crafts. Watson, Little Ltd is a long established literary agency which handles an unusually wide range of adult, children's and young adult fiction and non-fiction.
Jeremy Thompson, Troubador & Matador
Managing Director at Troubador Publishing Ltd with 20 years' experience in academic and trade books publishing. Troubador is an independent UK-based trade and academic publisher, which also offers authors a high quality self-publishing service through the widely recommended Matador imprint.
James Wills, Watson, Little Ltd
James is director at Watson, Little. He looks after a dynamic and wide-ranging list of writers. He has a BA in English and Italian and an MA in 20th Century Literature from the University of Leeds and is passionate about reading and good writing. Always searching for new, exciting material. Watson, Little Ltd is a long established literary agency which handles an unusually wide range of adult, children's and young adult fiction and non-fiction.
Our book doctors are editorial specialists, who will offer written feedback on delegates' work. The emphasis will be on tough, constructive editorial advice. When a book doctor identifies work that may be marketable, they will alert the Festival organisers, who will in turn pass that work to a suitable agent.
Debi Alper (info)
Debi Alper, author of "Nirvana Bites" and "Trading Tatiana", edgy London-based crime thriller novels and a very experienced consultant with the Writers' Workshop. Debi edits in all genres and has a terrific success rate - a good number of authors that she has worked with have been signed up with agents and gone on to see their books published.
Julie Cohen (info)
Award-winning novelist Julie Cohen has written fourteen novels for a variety of publishers, from romance to erotic science fiction to mainstream commercial women's fiction. Her latest novel is THE SUMMER OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY (Headline Review) and her next novel, out in 2013, will be published by Transworld. Julie is also an experienced teacher and if you are naughty, she will make you write lines on the chalkboard.
Emma Darwin (info)
A bestselling literary novelist, a course tutor for the Open University, and a hugely respected literary consultant for the Writers' Workshop. Emma has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers and Goss First Novel awards,longlisted for the Prince Maurice Prize and the RNA Novel of the Year, and has been translated into many languages.
Gary Gibson is a science fiction author from Glasgow.In the 1990s he helped out with a number of small-press comics, and then studied desktop publishing and design. Gibson's first novel, the ambitious Angel Stations, was published in 2004. The latest in his Dakota Merrick space-opera series, Empire of Light, was published in 2010. He is a member of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle.
Shelley Harris (info)
Shelley’s first novel, Jubilee came out last year. Shelley Harris won the Friday night competition at the Festival of Writing 2010, spent the weekend being wooed by numerous agents – and ended up with a wonderful book deal with Weidenfeld & Nicolson. She’s been described by the Guardian as a ‘new novelist whose next book you are already impatient to read’
Daren King (info)
Daren's first children's novel, Mouse Noses on Toast, won first prize in the 6-8 age category of the Nestle Children's Book Prize, and his debut adult novel, Boxy an Star, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and longlisted for the Booker Prize. His books have been published around the world, including Canada and the US, and have been translated into Italian, German and Russian.
Adrian Magson (info)
Adrian is the author of 12 crime/thriller novels and many short stories and magazine articles. His latest novels are ‘Retribution’ (Severn House), 4th in the Harry Tate spy series, and ‘Death on the Pont Noir’ (Allison & Busby), 3rd in the Inspector Lucas Rocco series. A reviewer for Shots Magazine, he writes the ‘Beginners’ and ‘New Author’ pages for Writing Magazine, and is the author of ‘Write On! - The Writer’s Help Book’ (Accent Press).
Sam Mills has published 11 books to date. Her young adult novels, 'A Nicer Way to Die', 'The Boys Who Saved the World' and 'Blackout' are dark, crossover thrillers which are published in the UK by Faber & Faber. Her work has been translated into 5 languages. 'The Boys Who Saved the World', a satire on the War on Terror, is currently being made into a film with Tyger Drew-Honey, the star of the TV Series 'Outnumbered', due to play the lead. 'Blackout' has been nominated for the Carnegie prixze and the Manchester Book Award, and was recently shortlisted for the Lancashire Book Award. Her debut adult novel as Samantha Mills, 'The Quiddity Will Self', a quirky literary novel about sex, death, Will Self and the Great Vowel Shift, will be published by Corsair in 2012
Nicola Morgan (info, info)
A novelist for children and young adults with 90 titles to her name - and writes the well-known blog, Help! I Need A Publisher! She also finds the time (we're not sure how) to work as an editorial consultant.
Andrew worked in publishing for over two decades. He was managing editor and then senior editor at Little, Brown UK, acquiring and publishing many critically acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. Subsequently, as a freelance editor, He's worked for many of London’s most notable imprints, including Abacus, Element, Granta, HarperCollins, Little, Brown, Macmillan, Orion, Portobello, Random House, Simon and Schuster, and Virago. Andrew has written fiction and nonfiction, and his work has been published in anthologies Uncontained and Primal Picnics and in many literary magazines.
We're going to ask agents and book doctors to be on the lookout for work of exceptional promise. If they see something that qualifies, they'll tell us. We'll pick the three best pieces and offer their authors their choice of:
Step One - You pick your chosen one-to-ones
When you book your Festival ticket, you'll be asked to select your chosen One-to-One sessions. The agents & book doctors who are running One-to-Ones at the Festival are listed below.
Step Two - You send us your work
You should send us two copies of:
(1) a one page introduction to you and your book, (2) the opening chapter(s) (max 3,000 words).
See below for info on how to send us work. The deadline for submissions is 17th August.
Step Three - We get your work out to your chosen agent / book doctor
They will examine your work before the Festival, so they're briefed when they meet you.
Step Four - You get ten minutes with your chosen agent / book doctor
Your time slots will be allocated when you make your booking. You may need to slip out of a workshop for your meeting, but can just slip back in again afterwards.
You need to: