The Literary Consultancy is very proud of the talented writers it has helped over the years. Whilst TLC did not set up as a talent scouting operation, but rather to provide informed editorial advice to people writing at all levels, we are well-positioned to keep a steady eye on real writing talent, whilst writing markets fluctuate. We have been instrumental in helping many writers find their place with publishers. We thought it would be of interest to potential clients to list some of the authors who have been published and hear what they have to say about TLC. Click on the book covers to learn more about some of these writers.
TLC’s editorial advice was outstanding, as was their support through the traditional publishing environment, out in to self-publishing which seemed the best place for my hybrid memoir/ inspirational business book ‘All you Need is Love.’ My story ended up being featured on Amazon’s Gateway. One thing is very clear, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to make my book work without the advice and support of TLC
Pete Smith, All you Need is Love
I submitted early drafts of my book to the Literary Consultancy. Their readers John Harrison and Karl French were very helpful and without their advice I doubt whether I would have found a publisher. As a result of their comments I changed the structure of the book. Their detailed criticisms helped immeasurably to improve my writing style. They were challenging but also constructive. They made me think hard about how my words would be perceived by the reader.
Terry Cudbird, Walking the Hexagon: an escape around France on foot, Signal Books of Oxford
Having my manuscript assessed by TLC was the best investment I’ve made in years. Christopher Wakling was absolutely brilliant. He sent me a report of incredibly helpful and encouraging comments at the end of which he wrote about finding himself wanting to urge my novel upon a friend in the pub and then remembering that “The vagaries of the publishing world being what they are, he may never have the opportunity to read PAO, but I sincerely hope he does. Either which way, you’ve impressed one reader with your novel.” I made every change and revision Christopher suggested and within months literary agent Susan Yearwood had taken me on. Within months of that ‘Pao’ was under consideration at a couple major mainstream publishers with Bloomsbury signing the deal in early 2010. Fantastic. Thank you.
Kerry Young, Pao, Bloomsbury
I’m absolutely sure Rory’s Boys would never have been published without Sara Maitland’s expert assessment,constructive suggestions and, above all, enormous encouragement to keep working at it. It was worth every penny of the fee.
Alan Clark, Rory’s Boys, BLISS
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.
Jim Powell, The Breaking of Eggs, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (Orion)
I sent my first draft to The Literary Consultancy for a critique and was really impressed with the insightful report I received. My reader pulled no punches; she thought the novel needed a complete restructuring – and she was right. When I’d done the work, TLC championed the book and was generous in sharing their expertise and market knowledge with me. In the end, I had offers from four agents, all of whom commented on how ‘polished’ the novel felt. This would simply not have been possible without TLC’s input; as I move forward towards publication, I am very grateful to TLC – they are brilliant.
Shelley Harris, Jubilee, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (Orion)
Just about the best money I ever spent. The quality of advice I received from The Literary Consultancy was outstanding. I have no doubt it was a key factor in enabling me to get an agent at the first attempt.
Leaf Fielding, To Live Outside the Law, Serpent’s Tail
I am greatly indebted to Becky Swift at TLC for supporting my work and to Alan Wilkinson for his constructive critique of my manuscript. Alan’s insightful advice helped me to shape the research and editing process and he generously gave me the encouragement to pursue the project and aim for publication. The guidance I received from TLC at this early stage of my writing career has proved invaluable.
Catherine Pearson, E. J. Rudsdale’s Journals of Wartime Colchester, The History Press Ltd
TLC gave me the expert and impartial commentary needed by a first-time novelist to validate their work. Before the reader’s comments I had no way of knowing whether I could write, apart from my own hubris, and family and friends are not impartial. The reader gave me the confidence to send my book out into the world happy in the knowledge that I wasn’t deluding myself.
Mischa Hiller, Sabra Zoo, Telegram Books
I owe a huge thanks to The Literary Consultancy. This book would not have been completed without Alan Wilkinson whose guidance, re-writing and all round incomparable brilliance turned my words from a muddled mishmash into something publishable.
Barbara Want, Why Not Me? A Story of Love and Loss, Orion
The great advantage that an author enjoys when using The Literary Consultancy is the power of an objective and dispassionate view of his or her work from talented and knowledgeable people. The guidance and positive criticism I received from TLC played a major part in the market’s acceptance of The October Killings. I am truly grateful for the help given to me.
Wessel Ebersohn, The October Killings, Umuzi
Thanks to the Arts Council and Spread the Word, a TLC read made me aware of my ‘writing ticks’. I really appreciated having someone pay serious attention to my work. I still use the advice I was given.
Chrissie Gittins, Family Connections, Salt Publishing
I had my children’s novel Edwin Spencer Mission Improbable critiqued by TLC (Kelly McKain) about five years ago. It definitely gave me the jump start I needed to get an agent, and I’m glad to say Edwin is being published by Catnip Publishing Ltd in January next year.
Julie Irwin, Edwin Spencer Mission Improbable, Catnip Publishing Ltd
TLC’s report was very honest and highlighted key strengths and weaknesses which can be overlooked whilst in the midst of writing. All in all, my report really helped me to stand back and simplify and clarify my writing, to give what is hopefully now a good and compelling read.
Amanda Addison, Lost for Words, Chipmunka
TLC chose the perfect reader for my book. He provided an in-depth and sound critique, with constructive criticism that I could apply. Thanks to the invaluable advice, my book is now proving to be a hit with children and parents alike!
Karen Andrea, The Enchanted Library, YouWriteOn
The most difficult thing to find as an unpublished author is an objective and authoritative opinion on the merits – or otherwise – of your work. The Literary Consultancy’s report made all the difference in gettingThe Golden Pig published.
Mark Penny, The Golden Pig by The Penny Brothers, Lightning Press
I ran my pitch past Rebecca Swift at TLC, and thanks to her well-informed advice, I was able to get an agent and a publishing deal for my book incredibly quickly.
Tom Feiling, The Candy Machine, Penguin Books
Your best friends won’t tell you, agents and editors no longer have the time to tell you but, if you’re brave enough to ask, TLC will tell you what is wrong with your novel. They’ll also make suggestions to help you get it right. I doubt that Speaking of Love would have found a publisher if I hadn’t sent what I fondly thought was a fabulously executed final draft to TLC. It was the best investment I’ve made in my writing career and I shall send my second novel for assessment too. In fact I don’t think any serious writer should think of submitting her work to agents or publishers without first sending it to TLC.
Angela Young, Speaking of Love, Beautiful Books
As I read the advice from Alan Wilkinson it was quickly apparent that he got what I was trying to say. He was clear and perceptive with his comments and honest in his rejection of what did not work. This helped me tune my own editorial sense, and the result, according to the reviews, was a book worth writing.
Peter Webb, Ice Bears and Kotick, Seafarer Books
The Literary Consultancy was beyond helpful in the writing of my novel, The Hidden Dance, and at a time when I most needed sage advice and encouragement. The two people you gave to read it – firstly, Wayne Burrows and then Sara Maitland – were both tremendous mid-wives and in the fullness of time, you helped me find an agent, Vanessa Holt, who has been sympathetic and enthusiastic at every turn. Thank you – my TLC experience was worth every penny!
Susan Wooldridge, The Hidden Dance, Allison & Busby
The manuscript needed major changes, but Becky and her reviewers had the knack of making these suggestions, without being too negative, or trying to turn it all into a book written by someone else. Their comments were entirely supportive and constructive, all the way from detail to structure, and it was obvious that thought and experience had been put into them.
Allan Hendry, Seeds of Destruction, Olympia Press
The feedback I had from Alan Wilkinson about structure and presentation came at a time I was uncertain about how to proceed in the writing of a quite complicated book. The final structure owed much to your reader’s comments.
Ronald Ram, The Thread of Identity, Amberly.
Thanks are expressed to the vicar and parochial church council of St Andrew’s Church Hornchurch for permission to use the cover photograph of the monument to Francis Ram (d. 1617) and his family.
The advice I received from Anna was detailed, forthright yet encouraging, and pretty spot on. I felt that she’d truly understood the problems I was having with the book, and she managed to come up with great suggestions for solutions. I re-read the MS, and, with the help of Anna’s excellent advice, re-wrote. When my agent sent the book off again, we secured a deal with Serpent’s Tail.
Bethan Roberts, The Pools, Serpent’s Tail
TLC introduced my work to agents and publishers on my behalf. I suspect no-one would have looked at it otherwise.
Jenny Downham, Before I Die, David Fickling Books, Random House
Narrow Dog to Carcassonne, with which TLC gave me excellent editorial help, sold 30,000 copies to the consumer in hardback. Your fine and necessary service made it possible for me as a novice to write a bestseller.
Terry Darlington, Narrow Dog to Carcassonne, Transworld
Editorial acumen and wisdom is difficult to find, and TLC possesses both. My first novel has found its way onto Waterstone’s Summer Reads list and it would have not got there without TLC.
Nick Taussig, Love and Mayhem, Revolver Books
It is no exaggeration to say that The Literary Consultancy’s advice and encouragement was invaluable to me when I was writing my first novel, Isabella. It’s always useful to have feedback on your work but with TLC you know that it is from professionals who really know what they are talking about.
Fiona Mountain, author of Pale as the Dead and Isabella: The Haunting Love Story of Fletcher Christian and Isabella Curwen, both published by Orion. Isabella was shortlisted for The Romantic Novel of the Year Award.
I would like to thank TLC for making my book publishable.
Pam Smart, Who’s Afraid of The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Chipmunka Publishing
Macmillan have commissioned my fourth children’s book in the Jammy Dodgers series. Without The Literary Consultancy’s help with the first book I would never have got this far.
Brenda Sivers Bowering, Jammy Dodgers series, Macmillan
I think it’s fair to say that I owe my career to TLC, editorially and financially. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services to anyone.
James Flint, Habitus and 52 Ways to Magic America, Fourth Estate
TLC’s report and recommendation enabled me to secure an excellent agent and a superb two book deal.
Kim Lloyd, Erskine’s Box, Sceptre
I found it invaluable to receive a thoughtful and perceptive report on the strengths and weaknesses of my novel from a professional whose opinions I could trust.
Christine Coleman, The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society, Transita
TLC’s feedback motivated me to keep going with my first novel, which is now on the bookshop shelves!
Helen Salter, Does Snogging Count as Exercise?, Piccadilly Press
I am awed by your reader’s philosophical, novelistic and teaching skills. I can’t thank her enough.
Y. J.M Bonavero, Something in the Sea, Bloomsbury
If it wasn’t for TLC, my novel just wouldn’t have made it.
Heather Reyes, Zade, Saqi
Thank you for your kindness and encouragement and for choosing such a perfect reader.
Norman Thomas, The Thousand Petalled Daisy, Maia Press
TLC was invaluable to me for my novel. I wouldn’t dream of sending a completed novel to my publisher without having TLC look at it first.
Prue Leith, Leaving Patrick, Sisters and A Lovesome Thing, Penguin Books
I am convinced my book’s success is due to the down to earth, practical advice The Literary Consultancy gave me.
Tony Booth, Cox’s Navy, Pen and Sword
Many thanks to your excellent consultancy for its invaluable contribution to making this possible.
Michael Richardson, The Pig Bin, Tindall Street Press
Thanks to TLC I got an agent . . .
Max Kinnings, Hitman and The Fixer, Hodder
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever had was from a publisher – ‘Get in touch with The Literary Consultancy.’ Her letter rejecting my book (without having read beyond the proposal) was like all the others: friendly, complimentary, encouraging and ending – ‘but not suitable for our list’. TLC turned out to be a soothingly apt acronym. Becky Swift discussed the book with me, then sent it to a reader. I spent the months that followed rewriting and adding to it on the basis of the lucid insights and recommendations in the reader’s report. A publisher subsequently made an offer and gave me a contract after reading only two chapters. The book is now camera ready and will be out shortly. Without TLC, I’d have given up.
Gloria Cigman, author of Exploring Evil: through the landscape of literature, Peter Lang
Your report was encouraging, immensely well thought out and genuinely useful.
Anthony Howell, shortlisted for Writer of the Year 2002
Despite the fact I had three books published two non-fiction, one a collection of poetry prose and plays and I had been a prolific journalist also working as an international correspondent covering Aboriginal Land Rights and Black deaths in custody in Australia I did not see myself as a writer. Only when I went and invested in my career at Sussex University in a MA in creative writing that I began to live my dream, become a novelist. The Early drafts of Borrowed Body were written while on this course, and it was short-listed for Arts Council Award, whereby I received a free read from the literary consultancy. This taught me a lot, how important it is to have a neutral eye read through your manuscript and give you critical feedback which helps take your novel onto another draft. Every novel I write must go through this process once I have got it to a 6th draft. The feedback from Sara Maitland (TLC) was invaluable and gave me the confidence to begin considering myself as a writer. Borrowed Body was first published by Serpents Tail. Second Edition published by BAAF and renamed the Banana Kid.
Valerie Mason John, Borrowed Body, Serpent’s Tail. Winner of the Mind Book of the Year Award 2006.
Charles Chadwyck, It’s All Right Now, Faber
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