Moving on with ‘The Write Stuff’ at The London Book Fair

Posted: June 12, 2014 in Events
The lovely Dawn Porter and me with agents Laura Williams, Simon Trewin, Lizzy Kremer and Charles Campbell

The lovely Dawn Porter and me with agents Laura Williams, Simon Trewin, Lizzy Kremer and Charles Campbell

Winning ‘The Write Stuff’ pitching competition was an important step towards finishing ‘Revenge Ritual’. Standing in front of a panel of  literary agents and an audience packed into the Author HQ auditorium was scary. But you’ve got to be in it to win it. The prize of a read-through of my manuscript by the agent of my choice, Simon Trewin, with a follow up meeting to go through it sparked a blaze of light bulb moments about how to improve the structure of the novel and make it more commercial. Perhaps even more important, it greatly enhanced my own belief in my writing.

Contestants had two minutes to pitch their book to the panel of agents who then scored the pitch out of ten. I’d already tried unsuccessfully to book one of the much sort after one -to- one slots with an agent – so I thought I’d give it a go. I was surprised to be selected and delighted to win. I’d advise any author to have ago at next year’s LBF. Here’s why: • Preparing your pitch is a great way to focus your mind, and comes in useful for the covering letter and synopsis when sending out a submission. • It’s a brilliant motivator. Even if you don’t win, just putting yourself and your work out there so publicly helps you believe in it. And there’s a tremendous buzz from winning. • A great opportunity to get a variety of feedback from some well regarded literary professionals. • And in my case, it was a big kick up the backside to stop procrastinating about polish off my manuscript and do something productive with it. A  tip when pitching: Presenting is so scary that it’s hard to remember what the agents say about your novel when you are standing in front of them. So, before you pitch, offer to take notes for one of the other contestants and ask them to do the same for you.

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