Agents, agents, agents…

Hi There!

I’m Melissa, and I thought I’d write my first post on my very, very recent foray into the scary world of finding an agent.

My first book is a YA Science Fiction Novel entitled The Eternals. It is about sixteen year old Sadie Abbott, who discovers she has the gift of Eternal life and must then live as an ‘Eternal’ after she is caught up on the wrong side of a terrorist bomb plot.

For a little context: an agent helps you to find a publisher for your book, as well as offering editing advice and, most importantly, helping you to protect your book once it gets picked up by a publisher. Agents for books are pretty much exactly the same as agents for singers, actors and artists: they have the connections and weight to get your work in front of the people that matter, and they can help make sure the work you put out there is at its absolute best.

Recently, I attended an event organised by comma press: The National Creative Writing Graduate Fair. The event was held in Manchester, where the press is based, and it was a real eye opener. As well as a series of lectures and seminars covering everything from raising your social media presence to how to form a query letter, the event organised for each participant to have two fifteen minute pitching sessions with agents. Like, real live gatekeepers of the publishing world.

I met with Philippa Milnes-Smith of LAW associates, who represents Phillip Reeve, and Chloe Seager of Diane Banks associates, who has her own book coming out next year. I was incredibly nervous – I had no idea how I was going to talk about my book for a whole fifteen minutes – but they were both so lovely and welcoming, and even took pity on me enough to offer me their cards and email addresses to send my book along to. And so, last weekend, I did it. I actually submitted my YA novel, The Eternals, to real, actual people to read. People who are agents. Totally terrifying, but hopefully, it will all be worth it.

And even if I don’t hear back from these agents, I can just chalk this up on the ‘100 rejections’ pile. But I’ll talk about that next post.

And that’s where I’m up to! Manuscript finished, edited and submitted to a handful of YA and children’s agents. Now, to play the waiting game…

Melissa Welliver

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