THE INS AND OUTS OF SUBMITTING TO AGENTS

Aisha Bushby, author of A Pocketful of Stars and Moonchild, will lead this 6 week course, taking you from pitch to publication and everything in between.

The course outline is below, and each week will focus on a different aspect of the submission process, with the aim of building skills that will help you beyond your query package.

Aisha will provide notes on these areas at the start of each week to give you an opportunity to fine tune your own work, then you’ll post it up for tutor and peer review. She will also be there in between sessions to answer any questions you have about finding an agent, and getting your book published.

In the final week, Aisha will be joined by Lucy Irvine of PFD, who will offer feedback on your 1st page, synopsis and query letter, followed by an hour-long Q&A. 

I am so pleased to be able to offer you a 6-week course all about finding an agent. I will cover everything from searching for the right agent, to editing your first page and query package. I’ll do my best to cater the course to your individual needs, and help you navigate your query from what to expect when you submit, through to how to respond when you receive interest. But, more than that, I want to bridge the gap between authors and agents.I’m a published author, with over a year of experience working at two different literary agencies. I am also currently a freelance children’s reader. I have experience reading manuscripts and writing reports, chatting to editors and other industry professionals, and attending industry events. This has given me a real insight into what is is publishers want from authors, and has shown me that rejection is a huge part of the industry, no matter what side of the table you are on. Ultimately, we’re all trying to achieve the same goal: to publish great books, but it can sometimes feel like we’re fighting different corners.This course hopes to get us all on the same page, and help authors find their place in the often scary, but ultimately exciting, world of publishing.


WEEKLY WORKSHOP DAY/TIME: MONDAY AT 8-9PM (LONDON, UK TIME)

Week 1 – Pitch and Premise

Often overlooked until later in the process, but we’ll make sure your premise is hooky, engaging, emotionally laced and jam-packed with conflicts. You’ll also practice and get feedback on your premise and pitches.

Week 2 – first 3 chapters

How to hook your reader from the 1st line. Workshop on first 3 chapters, plus get 300 words of feedback from Aisha.

Week 3 – query letters

How to write the perfect query letter and hook the agent from the outset. With a workshop on query letters and feedback from Aisha.

Week 4 – Synopses

How to write a synopsis. With a workshop and feedback from Aisha.

Week 5 – CONCLUSION

General discussion and questions – send work to literary agent.

Week 6 – Submission packages

A live workshop with the Aisha and Lucy Irvine of PFD, focussing on the synopsis, letter and 1st page, and with last questions, tips, advice on querying and what to do once you hit send.


VISITING AGENT

Lucy Irvine is an Associate Agent, working with Silvia Molteni on PFD’s children’s list. After graduating from University College London with an MA in Issues in Modern Culture in 2017, she interned at Agora Books, PFD’s publishing arm, before becoming assistant to CEO Caroline Michel. She began building her own list in the summer of 2019. Alongside building her own list of clients, Lucy sells foreign rights in our children’s and YA titles in Eastern Europe and Russia, and handles audio narration rights for the agency.

What I’m looking for…

I am actively building my list, and am looking particularly for commercial Middle Grade and YA – both fiction and non-fiction – along with picture books, illustrated fiction for younger readers, and graphic novels.

I am drawn to narratives driven by world building; quick-paced, addictive, and adventurous, with returnable series potential. I love stories set in worlds that pull you in and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. I’m particularly keen on fantasy, sci-fi, and speculative fiction, and in these genres will read submissions aimed at all ages. Genre aside, my taste is incredibly varied, so if you have a fresh voice and a strong narrative then I would love to read it!


WHAT DID OUR PAST STUDENTS THINK?

Of all the Write Mentor courses I have done, this is my favourite. Aisha is so knowledgeable, open, considerate and generous with her time. It really transforms the cover letter, opening pages and synopsis of whatever book you are writing, and consequently gives you a greater chance of success with your querying. Lucy Irvine is also great with her feedback from an agent’s point of view. The highest praise from me. 

Ian Johnson

I started this course feeling like my submission package was in fairly good shape, but following Aisha’s feedback I was able to make some changes which have really brought my novel to life in my cover letter and synopsis. It is such a useful course and I’d recommend it to anyone who thinks they are ready to submit. 

Louise Cook

The most worthwhile course I have ever been on! It thoroughly prepares you for submitting your work to agents and the information is current and from the experiences of someone who has seen querying from an author and agent’s perspective. The sessions are well organised and Aisha is an amazing tutor who gives back detailed and helpful feedback to help you edit your submission package so that it is fully ready for querying!

Daisy Jervis