Development Day 2017
September 16 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
***This is an NWS members-only event, but if you’d like to apply to join the studio in order to attend, then we can streamline your application***
Our annual Development Day features panel discussions, workshops and individual feedback from top-level agents. Suitable for emerging and established writers alike, the day will provide a balance between the craft, and the business, of being a writer — all in an encouraging, inspiring environment.
In addition, there are 24 agent one-to-one slots will be available, with prices varying from £20-£30 depending on the level of detail; some agents will require a query letter or synopsis, and all will require opening chapters, varying from 1-3 chapters. Submissions will need to be sent to Holly by Thursday 24th August. Details on how to book and agent bios are all below. There is a separate Paypal button for booking agents. Confirmed agents; Elinor Cooper (Diamond Khan & Woods), Juliet Mushens (Caskie Mushens), Felicity Trew (Caroline Sheldon), and Hayley Steed (Madeleine Milburn).
Each agent will deliver a workshop, and Penny Reeve (Angry Robot) is back by popular demand to lead a workshop on Social Media and Building a Fanbase.
£45 early bird (until 1st September), £58 full price. Lunch and refreshments included.
Please use the Paypal button below to make your booking. You’ll receive a receipt via email from Paypal, which we ask you to accept as confirmation of your booking.
- Read agent bios and pick the agent you want
- Check the schedule to find the time slot for your 1-2-1
- Book the agent you want using the button below
- Check agent blurb to see what they are requesting be submitted.
- Save your submission in one Word file with project name and your surname as file title
- Email your submission to email@example.com. Subject Line: Agent 1-2-1, AGENT NAME. In the email, include your preferred time slot. While every effort will be made to allocate according to preferences, we regret that this might not be possible in all cases.
- Please note that agents don’t generally consider accepting short stories.
- Submissions deadline: 24th August 2017, 5pm. Submissions received after the deadline cannot be read. (Please note this is the agent’s requirements to allow sufficient time to prepare feedback).
To book an agent 1-2-1: Please use the Paypal button below. You’ll receive a receipt from Paypal, which we ask you to accept as confirmation of your booking. In addition, you must also book to attend the Development Day. There are limited slots available: Felicity 7 slots, Hayley 6 slots, Elinor 6 slots, Juliet 5 slots. NOTE: Felicity’s slots are 10 minutes whilst the other agents are 15 minutes.
A1: SOCIAL MEDIA AND GROWING A FANBASE with Penny Reeve
(Alan Sillitoe Space, 10.00-11.10)
Growing your social media fan base is something of an art, but there are a few critical components that will get you noticed quickly and effectively. Penny Reeve will show what are your most important sources, so you can use your time wisely for the greatest impact on your social media footprint.
A2: AGENTS DEMYSTIFIED with Felicity Trew
(Event Space, 10.00-11.10)
This session by Felicity Trew is aimed at un-agented authors. It gives an overview of the agenting process. Who they are? What they do? And how do you find one? It then explains the submission process – mostly focusing on the submission letter with the aim to be both informative and confidence building for new writers.
B1: AGENT PANEL with Elinor Cooper, Juliet Mushens and Hayley Steed
(Event Space, 11.30-12.55)
This keynote session brings three leading London literary agents who represent a range of genres together in conversation about their experiences as agents. They will impart lessons learned, pet peeves and the view from the other side of the submissions desk. Come prepared with plenty of questions because you will have ample opportunities to join the conversation.
C1: EVERTHING YA with Juliet Mushens
(Alan Sillitoe Space, 14.15-15.25)
Think of the biggest books in recent history, such Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, etc. — all YA. It’s one of the best selling and most diverse genres out there, with a sizable adult readership as well. However, it is becoming harder and harder to break into this competitive market. In this session, award-winning YA agent, Juliet Mushens, will shed light on all things YA, with up-to-the minute insights into its past, present and future.
C2: QUERY CLINIC with Elinor Cooper
(Event Space, 14.15-15.25)
The stand-alone query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: seduce the agent or editor into wanting your work. However, distilling your completed novel into a few paragraphs can vex even experienced writers. And when you getting your foot in the door depends on standing out, it’s even more important to get your query spot-on. In this workshop, Elinor Cooper will cover how to construct and polish effective queries. We are asking for few brave volunteers to offer up their queries for class discussion and critique.
D1: THE WORLD OF THE SMALL PRESS with Alex Davis
(Alan Sillitoe Space, 15.45-16.55)
We’re all used to seeing the big names in publishing on the shelves in Waterstones, but there is an ever-expanding range of small and independent presses out there achieving great things, publishing work of high quality and offering exciting new opportunities for writers. Alex Davis explores how to find independent presses, what you can expect from them as an author and how to best submit your work to them.
D2: HOW TO WRITE A SYNOPSIS with Hayley Steed
(Event Space, 15.45-16.55)
Once you have finished writing your novel or book, it’s time to steel yourself for the submission process. While each literary agent has their own specific guidelines, a synopsis is generally required at some point — and you definitely don’t want to leave it to the last minute. Hayley Steed will cover the best approaches to writing a synopsis: what should be included, what should be left out, strategies for summing up, and things to avoid.
Penny Reeve spends her time wrangling authors, co-ordinating blog posts, interviews and podcast recordings and merrily talking to anyone who will listen about Angry Robot, the best SF/F & WTF publishers this side of the ISS. When not working she writes, reads and talks about roller derby. Follow her ramblings (mostly about her cat) on Twitter, @penelopebabs
Juliet Mushens started her publishing career in 2008 she worked for a number top agencies before establishing her own agency in 2017. Shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year four years running, she represents a bestselling and critically acclaimed list. Her authors include million-copy no. 1 bestseller Jessie Burton (THE MINIATURIST and THE MUSE), NY Times bestseller Taran Matharu (THE SUMMONER trilogy), and Sunday Times bestsellers Ali Land, Claire Douglas, Debbie Howells and James Oswald. In a relatively recent interview, she said she was on the lookout for a serial killer thriller, a ghost story, historical crime, non-Western fantasy. However, she also likes to be surprised and welcomes the unexpected in the submissions inbox. Note, she no longer handles non-fiction and doesn’t represent picture books for new clients, or fiction for children younger than 9+ years.
For one-to ones: a query letter, a one page synopsis and the first chapter/15 pages
Hayley Steed assists Madeleine Milburn with UK, US and Film & TV rights, and works closely with the agency’s clients. Previously she was Publicity Assistant at ED Public Relations, specialising in promoting bestselling authors and collaborating with publishers. She was shortlisted for the PPC Children’s Book Award last year for her work on the campaign for Jenny Downham’s Unbecoming. After graduating from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in English she spent a year interning at five of the top UK literary agencies. She is also a long suffering West Ham fan and season ticket holder.
For one-to-ones: Hayley requests a query letter, a one page synopsis and the opening 50 pages/three chapters
Felicity Trew’s list is open to every sort of work. She particularly devours contemporary and historical fiction and quirky and imaginative children’s books. Dream projects to arrive on her desk today might include: a spellbinding novel for our time, a bold contemporary UK teen voice, an accessible, well-plotted (and don’t hold back on the funny) book for middle grade and a potentially classic picture book text for younger children. It is also her mission to build-up a list of extraordinary illustrators who capture the life of their characters and have a real love of storytelling at the heart of their artwork. She was one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars 2016.
For one-to-ones: Felicity requests a one page synopsis and the opening 50 pages/three chapters
Elinor Cooper has worked as an agent in multiple agencies, from being at one of the largest literary agencies to being the only book agent in the business. These days, she is one of three agents at Diamond Kahn and Woods Literary Agency, representing both fiction and non-fiction. Her list is varied. On the fiction side, she covers general/commercial and literary fiction for adults as well as children’s, YA, and even graphic novels. For non-fiction, her tastes lean towards memoirs and politics. Elinor particularly loves working closely with her authors on editorial matters, especially when she is able to help a debut author realise their dreams.
For one-to-ones: Elinor requests a synopsis of no longer than one A4 side in length, which covers all the major plot points including the ending, and the opening two (consecutive) chapters
Alex Davis is an author, creative writing tutor and events organiser who has been actively involved in literature in the East Midlands for more than a decade. In that time he has run a small press, Boo Books, worked in mainstream publishing with Solaris and Black Library, worked on a host of literature festivals, originated and co-ordinated the annual Edge-Lit event in Derby as well as having had two books out so far with small presses, one fiction and one non-fiction