Pitch your work direct to agents - and get feedback from book doctors

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.


One to ones: the concept

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:

  • Literary agents or publishers. These sessions will focus on the marketability of your work.
  • Pro authors and book doctors. These sessions will focus on editorial issues.

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.


Which sessions to book?

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.)


Win, win, win

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:

  • Free in depth manuscript assessment.
  • Free mentoring (up to five hours with a book doctor).
  • Free manuscript review with Harry Bingham.

How the 1-to-1s work

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
No later than 1 March 2011, you should send us two copies of:
(1) a one page introduction to you and your book, (2) the opening chapter (max 3,000 words).
See below for info on how to send us work.

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.


Boring technical details

You need to:

  • mail us two copies of your work (one page intro, plus the first 3000 words of the MS)
  • ensure that your name, email address, phone number and chosen agent / book doctor is clearly visible on your one page intro
  • our address is: The Writers' Workshop, 7 Market Street, Charlbury, Oxon OX7 3PH, United Kingdom
  • The last date for receipt of your work is 1 March 2011.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of your work within 3 days of receipt.
  • Because of the deluge of work involved in sorting out one-to one submissions, we will not accept late entries, or revised entries. So get ready in plenty of time, read your material through carefully, then send it.
  • Delegates coming from non-EU countries only may email their work, in which case work must be send as a single file and in pdf, doc or docx format. The previous comment about late entries applies.

List of agents & publishers offering one-to-ones

Diane Banks, Diane Banks Associates
Diane runs her own Central London based literary agency. She is interested in commercial fiction and personality-led, media or current affairs based non-fiction.

Megan Bassett, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Megan is an Editorial Assistant for M&B Medical Romance in Richmond, as well as being lucky enough to acquire for all the other series. She’s a hopeless romantic and just loves losing herself in a good romance, so her job really is a dream come true.

Lorella Belli, Lorella Belli Literary Agency
Fiction (from literary to genre - in particular women's fiction, crime, thrillers, historical) and general non-fiction. Most of my writers were first time authors when I took them on and many are now bestsellers and award-winners; keen on books with an international and multicultural element/potential, and journalists with interesting and topical book ideas.

Piers Blofeld, Sheil Land Associates
Piers Blofeld is an agent at Sheil Land.

Vicky Blunden, Myriad Editions
Vicky is the Fiction Editor at Myriad. She is looking to build a distinctive and diverse list of original fiction, both literary and commercial.

Anna Boatman, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Anna is an Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Mills & Boon and works in their London office. Editing is her dream career, and sometimes she still resists the urge to pinch herself – just in case she wakes up.

Peter Buckman, Ampersand Agency
Handles 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.

Tom Chalmers, Legend Press
Tom is the MD and founder of Legend Press, a fast-growing independent publisher. Tom is looking primarily for mainstream literary and commercial fiction.

Julia Churchill, Greenhouse Literary Agency
The Greenhouse agency handles authors writing for children and young adults. The agency does not handle adult fiction or non-fiction.

Donna Condon, Piatkus (Little Brown)
Donna works on the Piatkus imprint at Little, Brown for which she acquires commercial fiction. Donna's interests include including women’s fiction, crime, historical and paranormal romance, urban fantasy and horror.

James Gill, United Agents
James is an agent at the new super-agency, United Agents. His clients include Jonathan Barnes, Margaret Drabble, Joanna Trollope, and the estate of Michael Dibdin.

Olivia Guest, Jonathan Clowes
Olivia is an agent at Jonathan Clowes Literary Agency.

Jen Hamilton-Emery, Salt Publishing
Salt publishes award-winning poetry, fiction and literary criticism from around the world. Jen is a Director at Salt and a core part of the team that built it to its current position.

Ed Handyside, Myrmidon Books
Ed is the MD of Myrmidon Books, an indie publisher with an eclectic list.

David Headley, DHH Literary Agency
David handles fiction in all genres and is actively seeking to build his client list. No non-fiction or scripts, please.

Jane Holland, Embrace Books
Jane is a novelist, a poet, a snooker player ... and the new boss of Embrace Books, which seeks to acquire quality romance and popular fiction.

John Jarrold, John Jarrold Literary Agent
John specialises in representing sci-fi, fantasy and horror authors, writing for the adult market. He does not handle authors outside these genres.

Jane Judd, Jane Judd Literary Agency
Interested in full-length fiction (from literary to genre – in particular women’s fiction, crime, historical and young adult) and general non-fiction (self-help, popular history, film/TV subjects, memoirs, biography, travel, women's issues). Would love to find quirky and surprising subjects in both fiction and non-fiction. (Personal interests include cats, Spanish, scuba diving, ballet and classical music.)

Zöe King, Darley Anderson
Zöe is an Associate Agent for the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. She is interested in any commercial fiction (nothing literary, please) and all types of commercial non fiction with mass market appeal ranging from narrative non fiction to pop psychology, pop science as well as more niche books but with breakout appeal.

David Llewelyn, Conville & Walsh
David is the Reader for Conville & Walsh - a leading international literary agency. He 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.

Oliver Munson, Blake Friedmann
Oliver has a particular interest in popular non-fiction, commercial fiction and sports writing.

Judith Murray, Greene & Heaton
Judith has worked as an editor at a number of UK publishing houses. She loves literary fiction and well-written genre fiction, including thrillers, crime and historical novels. Also literary non-fiction including history, biography, memoirs, cookery and travel writing.

Juliet Pickering, AP Watt
Juliet is interested in literary fiction, well-written commercial fiction, mystery, narrative non-fiction and food writing.

Marcy Posner, Folio Lit
Marcy is based in New York. She spent 15 years in publishing before moving to the William Morris Agency, then set up her own agency, and joined Folio Lit in 2010. She has a number of major award-winners and bestsellers on her list. She knows the US and international markets very well indeed.

Joanna Swainson, The Viney Agency
Joanna is a talent scout for The Viney Agency who represent a range of successful authors of fiction and non fiction. She is interested in looking at both commercial and literary fiction, especially women’s, crime and thriller and young adult. Not the best person to look at sci-fi / horror / or adult fantasy.

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.

Antony Topping, Greene & Heaton
Antony's list of clients includes historical thriller writers, contemporary and historical literary novelists, science writers, food writers, and humorists. He has a particular interest in translating ideas/people/books/brands from one medium into another.

Simon Trewin, United Agents
Eclectic tastes, both fiction and non-fiction. Love the quirky, unconventional - and above all a challenge!

Lyn Vernham, Choc Lit
Lyn is the Marketing Director of Choc Lit, an indie publisher of women's fiction.

Hannah Westland, Rogers Coleridge & White
Hannah joined RCW in 2002, and in 2006 was awarded the prestigious Unwin Fellowship. She is building a list of authors and is interested in debut fiction and non-fiction.

Isabel White, Isabel White Literary Agent
Eclectic tastes. Loves compelling, intelligent fiction and non-fiction projects from genuine experts. Prefers to avoid traditional romance & traditional fantasy.


List of Book Doctors offering One-to-Ones

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)
Author of tough, urban comedies and a very experienced consultant with the Writers' Workshop.

Beverley Birch (info, info)
Beverley is both author and editor. As editor, she's commissioned children's fiction for Hodder Children's Books for the past twelve years. As author, she has written more than 40 books from picture books to novels and biographies. Her latest novel, Rift, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted in UK and abroad for a number of prizes. At the Festival, Beverley will act as both book doctor and talent scout.

Julie Cohen (info)
Julie writes women's commercial fiction for Headline Review; she's also the author of eleven books for Headline's Little Black Dress romance imprint and for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She's also a course leader for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy.

Rebecca Connell (info)
Rebecca has published two literary fiction novels with 4th Estate (HarperCollins), and is currently working on a literary crime novel. She has also worked as an agent's assistant, so knows the demands of the agenting world very well.

Emma Darwin (info)
A bestselling literary novelist, a course tutor for the Open University, and a hugely respected literary consultant for the Writers' Workshop.

Michael Ford (info)
Michael is a publisher (of adult fiction), who has written a number of novels and non-fiction books for children, including the Spartan series for Bloomsbury.

Toby Frost (info)
Sci-fi and fantasy author with Mymidon Books. Happy to advise on any sci-fi, fantasy or horror fiction.

Jean Fullerton (info)
Jean writes historical women's fiction for Orion, and would welcome the chance to look at both historical novels and love stories.

Matt Hilton (info)
Matt is the author of the Joe Hunter series of novels - tough action thrillers that have been a huge international sales sensation.

Adrian Magson (info)
Adrian writes crime and espionage novels, and has authored hundreds of short stories. He also writes the Beginners and New Authors columns for Writing Magazine.

Sue Moorcroft (info)
Sue writes novels (upbeat romantic fiction with Choc Lit), 'how to', short stories, serials, articles and columns. She's happy to advise on any of these categories.

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.

Kathryn Price, (info)
Kathryn worked for the Tania Howarth Literary Agency before joining Cornerstones Literary Consultancy as Managing Editor six years ago. Her interests include children’s fiction, SF and fantasy, and anything with a dark, gritty edge to it.

Philippa Pride, (info)
Philippa is Stephen King's editor in the UK (working for Hodder), and also teaches writing.

Jeremy Sheldon (info)
Jeremy is the author of literary fiction, and is also a well-known book doctor and workshop leader. Jeremy also has extensive experience as script consultant to the UK film industry, so he will look at screenplays as well as novels.

Craig Taylor (info)
Craig is the author of literary fiction as well as 2011's Premiership Psycho (with Corsair). He's an experienced book doctor and workshop leader with the Writers' Workshop.

Judith Murray
Greene & Heaton

Julia Churchill
Greenhouse Literary Agency

Simon Trewin
United Agents

Lorella Belli
Lorella Belli Literary Agency

Antony Topping
Greene & Heaton

John Jarrold
John Jarrold Literary Agency

Hannah Westland
Rogers, Coleridge & White

Jane Judd
Jane Judd Literary Agency

Zoe King
Darley Anderson

Juliet Pickering
AP Watt

David Headley

Anna Boatman
Mills & Boon

Joanna Swainson
The Viney Agency

Sallyanne Sweeney
Sallyanne Sweeney
Watson Little

Megan Bassett
Mills & Boon

Jeremy Sheldon
Book Doctor

Julie Cohen
Book Doctor