Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Curtis Brown Lit. Agents Comp


I've had my head down for a while entering a competition run by Curtis Brown Literary Agents. Weirdly, it's not just for completed manuscripts but also for WIP's, would you believe? 
It's only open to the UK, unfortunately, and showed up on ITV's This Morning, hosted by Philip Schofield and Amanda Holden. 

Curtis Brown are asking for the first 3000 words of your MS and a one page synopsis (one page, I know. Double spaced, too!). And remember, it can be a work in progress, which may or may not make writing that synopsis more difficult. Personally, I find queries harder.

In general, though, I think competitions are good practice for pitching as they come without the risk of totally being scratched off the lists of your fave agents. Unless, of course, your fave agent happens to be running that comp. 

Anyway, I'm now done obsessing over my entry and sent it in last night. Now I can get back to bed writing. I'll leave you with the links for the comp in case you have something to enter with. It closes on November the 14th midday, so sorry for the late announcement!

Go here for how to enter the comp, and here for more details.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


What I learnt

I’m gonna talk about LonCon, and look, yeah, I don’t need your judgy eyes looking at me along with your judgy comments about how LonCon was two months ago and that I’m really late and how comes I’ve got so many spots. Things were happening and I was busy doing what allllllll writers should be doing and writing, so THUR!!

Now, with all my insecurities justifications out the way, I’ll get onto what I learnt at LonCon.


Write them. I mean, you don’t have to do what I say (although that would please me), but after going to LonCon, I heard a really interesting story. And I took that story to Janet Reid, the agent who does Query Shark and she basically said this.

And hey, you don’t have to listen to either of us, but ain’t that some sheeeet? I don’t know about you but up until now I truly believed stand-alone stories were the way to go. They still are as well, but from now on, I’ll always have it at the back of my mind to either plan the hell out of that sequel or just write the damn thing. 
Another good reason for this relates to a second story I heard (not mentioning any names here) of a published author who did indeed make her first story a stand-alone. She had plans for sequels but followed that advice of “work on something else in the meantime”. So she did. She worked on a lot of things while hoping an agent would pick up that first book, and they did eventually. And of course they wanted more. Problem was, this author had now moved so far away from that book that being asked the write the sequel to it was a bit of a bummer, especially since she now had all these other great ideas in tow.

So yeah, Janet is probably right, maybe us writers are misinterpreting that part where people say "don’t mention you have a series going on". But I think it’s fair to say it’s a huge assumption made by writers everywhere. Scary.

Stay in contact

So another story: Mr Author was shopping his book around to agents and one actually liked it! Yay! But they weren’t ready to sign just yet. Oh no. They felt the story needed just that little bit more romance, and we all know how easy it is to revamp a story right?! Yeah…

Still, no harm done that wouldn’t have been with any other edit, after all, edits are compulsory anyway. But without the insurance of an agent making the request to actually sign you by the end of those edits, well, be careful. It took this particular writer a good few months to make those changes, as anyone who has ever revamped a story will know, and when the time had come to e-mail the agent with the good news, Mr Author found himself reading “What story? Sorry we don’t do that genre here…”

Now, did you just open your mouth and let out a long breath that sounded a lot like "Whaaaa..? 
I know. I know.
And the lesson to be learnt here is, keep in touch with an interested agent, especially when they’re requesting edits before considering a sign up.

Yet, despite all that, a part of me still wishes I was this far ahead with my own WIP’s to have these problems!

Anywho, hope you found something here that you can take away with you.

Ghost Blog

So now you’re wondering, how did Shay celebrate Halloween? Well, wasn’t it obvious?

I created the Ghost Blog of October. Now I know you thought I was just being lazy and couldn’t be bothered to post or something, but that’s all bull roar because those missing posts were, in fact, part of the Ghost Blog’s special effects!!

The atmosphere was so real, right? It’s like, you came here and… NO POSTS! And if I’m on your blog roll, NO POSTS SHOWED UP THERE EITHER! As you can see I was very committed.

But no need to congratulate me on my efforts. Halloween is over now, so yeah, here I be.

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