Submission assessment

Before I signed with my agent, I don’t know how many submissions* I prepared.

(*You know the kind of thing I’m talking about: the opening 3 chapters of your novel, plus a covering letter, and finally the dreaded synopsis.)

Given that I’d already written a novel (then two novels, then three), you’d think it would be easy to get this stage of the process right.

But actually it’s fiendishly difficult to get agents to notice your submission in the slush pile, and it took me literally years of trying before I finally signed with an agent.

The upshot of all that failure is that I’ve learned a great deal. I’ve got a better idea now about what agents are looking for, what might tempt them to read further, and what’s likely to be an immediate turn off.

Along the way I was assisted by not one but two fantastic writing mentors who helped me improve my three chapters, synopsis and cover letter before submission, as well as guiding me to work out which agents to approach.

On both occasions I had more luck than I’d had going it alone. My first attempts at sending out submissions often resulted in generic ‘no thank yous’. If I was lucky – a lot of time I didn’t hear anything at all!

The first time I invested in external advice I received encouraging feedback from several agents, two of whom invited me to submit again.

Once I was ready to submit my work again, I asked another writing mentor to assess my submission, and this time I was signed. It was one of the best investments I’d ever made in my writing career.

Now I’ve been working with my agent for a year on my book, and the book is ready for submission to editors, I’m ready to share what I’ve learned with writers at an earlier stage of their journey.

For £200, I’ll subject your submission to a forensic-level read and give you detailed notes on pace, genre, story structure and character, as well as must-haves and pitfalls-to-avoid in your covering letter.  Depending on the type of book you’re pitching, I may also be able to recommend agents who might be right for you, including early career agents who are building their lists.

The price includes a written report and a one hour telephone or Skype call, in order to go through my feedback in detail, and give you plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Contact me to find out more.

Testimonials:

I asked Becky to take a look at the synopsis I had written for the novel I was working on. Becky sent me comprehensive and detailed notes which were extremely helpful. She was insightful, pointing out areas where I was vague or unclear; she was helpful, showing me through example how I should restructure my synopsis; and she was professional, giving me confidence in the advice she gave and showing understanding of the issues involved in writing a synopsis.

I would happily employ Becky to read and appraise work in the future, her input and insight was invaluable and I have no hesitation in recommending her services to others.

Jo Winwood

Becky’s fantastic feedback helped immensely with honing my submissions package. Her advice was easy to understand without being patronising, which made me want to take it onboard. She pointed out some fatal flaws in my cover letter, and explained things I was completely unaware of. Without making the relevant changes Becky had suggested, I would undoubtedly never get past a literary agent’s gatekeeper.

Reneé Davis