Exciting Writing Update!

Good news: I have an agent!! This calls for a gif.

Any excuse to Ron Swanson.

I have just signed with Hellie Odgen at Janklow & Nesbit UK, who will be representing my first book, OUT OF THE BLUE (soon to be given a new title, though I’m not sure what yet – suggestions on a postcard, please). I still have quite a lot of edits to make to the manuscript, but I’m hoping to get it all polished fairly quickly and ready to submit to publishers in the summer. Too exciting!!

And also slightly terrifying!!

But mostly just exciting!!

All this has largely been thanks to SCBWI’s Undiscovered Voices competition, as Hellie got in touch with me after reading my extract in the anthology. Being shortlisted for the Bath Children’s and Caledonia Novel Awards also gave me a really good boost, too – no one had read the book until I submitted it to those, so knowing the panels had thought it was worth shortlisting gave me the confidence I needed to send it out to agents. I actually talked about all this in an interview on the Bath website, which you can read here if you so wish. (Warning: includes GIANT photo of my face. Large enough to be printed off and worn as a mask.)

If you’re an unpublished author, I really can’t recommend entering these awards enough. Even if you don’t win (as I didn’t), being long- or shortlisted gives you something to mention on query emails, applications for awards, etc, and also the chance to connect with lots of lovely fellow writers – I’ve talked to most of the other shortlistees and am really excited to see where their stories end up. 4 of the UV writers have already signed with agents, which is pretty amazing considering we’ve only been able to accept representation for the past 3 weeks or so.

So, for anyone interested: the Bath Novel Award (for adult and YA fiction) is open now, while their Children’s Novel Award opens on 29 April. Caledonia (also for adults and YA) opens on 1 May. Undiscovered Voices runs every two years, so will be back in 2018.

(Other writing competitions are available. In fact, the Scottish Book Trust has a really good list of opportunities for writers.)

Talking of all this writing, I’m off to actually do a bit. (Okay, that’s a lie – I’m going to drink gin and watch Catfish. But I might write afterwards.) Have a nice weekend!



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