Posts Tagged ‘in-depth editorial’
TLC has helped thousands of writers over the past 15 years. Once in a while the editorial feedback leads to a swift sale or contact with an agent, but in most cases the journey is still long and winding. For many writers the exchange with an editor at TLC and the knowledge that they ‘can write’ encourages them to be persistent. In the case of Jim Powell his tenacity helped him to attain terrific results in a notoriously unpredictable industry.
Jim Powell writes: “the immense encouragement and sound practical advice I received from The Literary Consultancy proved to be the bridge between the dream of being a published author and the reality of becoming one.” Nearly ten years ago, when Jim was in his early fifties, he decided he wanted to write novels. He submitted his first novel to agents, but it wasn’t accepted. One agent, however, recognised its potential and suggested he send it to TLC for an objective assessment. Although his reader, Charles Boyle, was immensely positive towards the manuscript and TLC championed his work, agents still did not bite. Then in 2007, Jim sent his second novel The Breaking Of Eggs to TLC for another assessment by Charles. Again TLC was encouraging and after many more twists and turns, Jim was taken on by insightful literary agent Susan Armstrong at Conville & Walsh. She immediately sold the world rights for a six figure sum to Arzu Tahsin at Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The novel was published in March 2010 in the UK (hardback), and in July 2010 in the US by Penguin (paperback). In March this year it was chosen as one of the best 12 first novels of the past two years by the BBC’s The Culture Show.
The success that the novel attained was due to a combination of Jim’s strong-headed approach, TLC’s support en route, and the fact that in the end Conville & Walsh recognised the writer’s potential. Jim writes of TLC: “both critiques gave me a much better insight into what I had written and how it might be viewed. Most importantly, the process helped to give me the self-confidence to believe I could write novels, and the stamina to go on making submissions despite all the rejections, and thus certainly contributed to what happened later.” TLC encourages writers to be realistic in their goals and to seek an objective opinion of their work before self-publishing or submitting their work to agents.
Check out Jim Powell’s website for more information about his previous and current writing projects.
Rebecca Swift hosted an up-front Q and A with WriteWords about the role of literary consultancies. WriteWords is an online resource for writers which offers an interesting community for writers, jobs and news.
Below is an excerpt from the Q and A where Rebecca Swift answers a question about TLC readers.
“We stipulate that a reader must have either worked in commercial publishing as an editor, taught creative writing to MA level, and/or be a professionally published writer themselves. We will occasionally make exceptions for readers that come highly recommended and may have had slightly different trajectories (as reviewers, for example, or teachers in literary settings but not on MAs) but usually these qualifications would be those we would require. I always think ‘who would I want to read my work?’ and think in terms of employing people I myself would trust. Also of course we need to inspire confidence in our clients that we are offering help that has been tried and tested over time.
I should also say that having the qualifications in themselves are not the only important thing, because we do not use readers who don’t have sufficient empathy and diplomacy, as well as powers of articulation when writing back to people at any level of ability. This can be a tricky job as you can imagine, to say the least and I admire our readers hugely for what they take on. In addition, readers have to understand commercial markets to some degree, although the in-house team are the market experts. They have to be good talent spotters on top of everything else … In short, it’s a tall order letting a reader loose on the public and we try to protect that public as far as we can although of course no consultancy can be perfect, we do try! We could not understand better how precious people’s written work is, and how hope and fear will be bound up in that.”
Click here to read the rest of the interview.
TLC and Circalit have teamed up for a writing competition that will award writers a free in-depth editorial report on their novel as well as an invitation to a networking event at the Free Word Centre. Circalit is a free service enabling writers to gain feedback and market their screenplays to industry professionals. The Literary Consultancy has helped writers into print with many leading publishers including Penguin, Orion, Macmillan, Random House and Bloomsbury amongst others.
Please visit the competitions section of the Circalit website to enter the first 30 pages of your novel for free. Your novel need not be complete – simply upload the first 30 pages. Please make sure you include the logline, synopsis, type (novel) and genre of your project for it to be eligible. Please note: entries over 30 pages long will not be eligible.