As a small agency we're sorry to say we no longer have time to respond to submissions or to offer critical feedback, unless, that is, we're so completely smitten by one that we think it could, and should, find a publisher. And because we're such a small agency we have to be extremely picky: over the course of a year we may take on just one or two clients from the many unpublished authors who submit their work to us each week. This sounds like terrible odds, and there are indeed an awful lot of people out there who have children or can remember being children, and who find themselves inventing stories for those children, and wondering whether their stories could have another life in the great wide world. Nonetheless, if a writer has a real talent and the determination to develop it (along with the capacity to accept and learn from editorial criticism), then in time the quality of his or her work can, and almost certainly will, stand out from the crowd.
For that reason we maintain this email address –
– for unsolicited manuscripts from new writers, whose work has reached a professional level and might therefore be considered for representation and publication. If you have a finished piece of writing or a portfolio of artwork that represents your best work, then do please email it to the above address, and we’ll be glad to take a look. Submissions should consist of a brief letter of introduction and, pasted into the email directly below, a representative sample of the work itself, of a length just sufficient to persuade us of its genius. (At the rate we have to work through this inbox, attachments just take too long to open, though we'll always take the time to open attachments of illustrative work as long as they're not encrypted in a program indecipherable to our only averagely-intelligent computers.)
Ultimately, the writing style - the voice - is everything. If we do fall in love with your voice then we'll offer to work with you editorially. We can't help you find it - writers have to do that themselves, by writing. But if the voice is fully-fledged, if it's clear and resonant, then we can help you distill the essence of the story you want to tell, and help you find the right way to tell it. And that's our specialism, as an agency. We'll do what editors no longer have time to do: we'll work with promising new authors for months, maybe a year or more, until we have a story ready to sell.
Literary consultancies also provide this service, for a fee. If you don't hear back from us, you may wish to explore this route. They submit their most promising clients to the agencies, and agents are more naturally inclined to find the time to read their submissions. Two that we can recommend are Kathryn Robinson at Cornerstones (www.cornerstones.co.uk
) and Shelley Instone, who specialises in children's literature (www.shelleyinstoneliteraryconsultancy.co.uk
). If you mention the recommendation came from us, then your work will find its way back to us, if the consultant feels it's strong enough.