Getting Published Day | Editorial Feedback 

Saturday 5th March 2016 - 9.30 am to 6pm.



Is your work well-designed for the current market? * Is your prose style strong enough? * Does your opening chapter do enough to grab the interest? * Will your covering letter interest an agent? *Does your synopsis look OK? * What are your recommended next steps?

A professional editor will read your work in advance of the Getting Published event. They will give you realistic, honest and constructive feedback. You will receive a page of comments, and you will have 15 minutes to discuss those comments with your book doctor. They'll aim to cover all the above questions.



Book Doctor: Debi Alper

Debi is the author of six novels, the first two of which Nirvana Bites and Trading Tatiana, were published by Orion to critical acclaim. Her books are contemporary urban thrillers set among the sub-cultures and she expounds her themes with generosity of spirit and dark humour. An unexpected result of giving up her day job to concentrate on writing is that she spends a lot of time concentrating on helping other writers to perfect their novels through critiques, mentoring, Book Doctor sessions and creative writing workshops. Debi edits in all genres and several authors that she has worked with have been signed up with agents and gone on to see their books published.


Book Doctor: Shelley Harris

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’ Her new book is due out in March 2016. 


Book Doctor: Martin Ouvry

Martin worked as a professional musician in Europe and the US before going to the University of East Anglia where he gained a First in English and received the Alumni Prize for Fiction in his year on the Creative Writing MA. Martin has taught widely, including as an associate tutor at UEA.

His work has appeared in various anthologies and magazines including Tell Tales, New Writing and Esquire, and has been translated into Chinese. Martin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow and is a grateful recipient of an Arts Council Writer’s Award and a 2010 Wingate Scholarship.

He has also reviewed books for the Observer, the Sunday Times and the Financial Times.

He is represented by Andrew Kidd at Aitken Alexander Associates. (AAA page here.)


Plot Surgeon: Jeremy Sheldon

Jeremy is an author, screenwriter and producer with 14 years’ experience in film, publishing, higher education and communications. His collaborators and clients range from top award winning producers to highly acclaimed independent filmmakers, from governments and global corporations to the world’s leading schools and universities.
Jonathan Cape have published two full-length works of his fiction, The Comfort Zone (2002) and The Smiling Affair (2005).

 Diagnose your plot in a surgery: The strength of your story's plot is critical to your novel's success. Luckily, we've plot 'doctor' Jeremy Sheldon taking cases throughout the day. Any attendee can reserve a one-to-one session where all aspects of your plot will be assessed and suitable remedies administered.


Book Doctor: Gillian Stern

After the birth of my third child 16 years ago, I gave up my enjoyable career as a Publisher in academic publishing, specialising in criminology. Luckily, while subsequently volunteering once a week to sort through the slush-pile of a leading literary agency, I discovered a beautiful novel that went on to win the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Richard & Judy Summer Read of Summer Reads. Since then I have worked in a freelance capacity for Bloomsbury, Orion, Penguin and Transworld editing authors such as Joanna Briscoe, James Runcie, Kamila Shamsie, Sheila Hancock, Damian Barr and Rev Richard Coles.

As a Book Doctor and Ghost, I have worked on several books for Orion and Penguin including An African Love Story, a biography of Kate Middleton, an account of the Iranian Embassy Siege and memoirs ranging from a wartime childhood in a Derbyshire mining village to a member of the Royal Family.


Book Doctor: C M Taylor

Craig (writing as C M Taylor) is the author of five novels. Premiership Psycho (Corsair 2011) and the Amazon best-selling Group of Death (Corsair 2012) form two thirds of a satirical trilogy about contemporary culture described as 'Brilliant' by The Sun, and 'Horribly entertaining' by The Mirror. He's also the author of Light, Cloven and Grief, the latter a dystopian fantasy described by British Science Fiction Association as a work of 'breathtaking originality' and nominated for their Book of the Year.

Craig has co-written a horror movie script, Writers Retreat, which was filmed in 2014 and premiered at the Sitges International Film Festival. He is an associate lecturer at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, and has taught widely, often on the underlying structures of narrative, and on Born Digital Literature, a particular enthusiasm which has seen Craig crowdfund a literary app on the Unbound publishing website, as well as instigate an experiment in digital literature with the British Library. He has been a book editor with the Writers' Workshop since (almost) its inception. (Wikipedia page here.)


Book Doctor: Andrew Wille

Andrew Wille was managing editor and then senior editor at Little, Brown UK, acquiring or working on critically acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction and nonfiction as varied as Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, and The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Subsequently he has freelanced for many of the industry’s most notable imprints, worked as a book doctor, and taught for Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and Falmouth University’s MA in Professional Writing. His own fiction has been published in anthologies Uncontained and Primal Picnics and in many literary magazines. More info at


Once booked: How to send us your work

Please send us your work by email to our main email address ( by Friday 26th February. Your work should be in a single file, and be in either .doc, .docx, .pdf or other widely used file format. You should include:

A draft covering letter to an agent

A synopsis

Your opening chapter (up to 4000 words)



For a plot surgery with Jeremy Sheldon, you'll need:  a 400 word synopsis of the story (max)
- Synopsis should outline the events of the story in the order the reader experiences them (in the 3rd person, present tense, for the most part) and shouldn't aim to pitch the novel, or explain it in any way.
- Define the perceived plot problem in no more than 100 words.*These plot sessions are 20 minutes long*