Thanks to all who attended our recent event. It was a great day, and from what I can gather most of you enjoyed the experience of meeting the agent Jeffrey Simmons and his assistant Nick Purves. You felt it was worthwhile receiving professional feedback on your work. In fact, many of you have said that you also benefited from mingling with a diverse group of writers, participating in Jan Moran Neil’s popular workshop, and learning from one another.
Congratulations to those of you who were invited to submit your entire manuscript to Jeffrey for further consideration. To those of you who haven’t been picked up on this occasion, please continue with sharpening and honing your craft. The experience of meeting an agent and his reader can only benefit you in the long run.
We will host another such event in the future. Watch this space for details!
Meanwhile, here is some of the feedback from the day:
Thank you so much for organising this wonderful event. The venue was excellent – except for the sofa on which I had to sit while meeting Jeffrey Simmons, which was too low: eventually I manoeuvred myself into an ungainly position that was nevertheless more comfortable. I enjoyed the company of the other writers, so we were facing the ordeal together!
Happily for me I had encouraging feedback and have been told to get my novel as good as I can and then send the whole manuscript to Jeffrey, who has asked his reader Nick to read it.
David Hendtlass – Writer
I think Jeffrey’s main comment, which it was more ‘reportage’ than ‘novelistic’ hit the nail on the head. I already had reservations about it crossing the line from fiction into fact too much throughout. As I explained to both of them, it was my first attempt at writing a novel after a long career in journalism. So from the outset, my greatest difficulty has always been the dividing line between fact and fiction, and the urge to report actual events rather than to let the imagination and creative juices flow more freely.
Carol Repton – Writer/Journalist
First of all, thanks very much to you, Jan & everyone else involved, for organising the event on the 14th, it was a unique experience & I enjoyed the different methods & approaches employed…
… I’m grateful for the opportunity to analyse, first-hand, the modus operandi of agents. As regards the venue, I thought it had plenty of space & character, & contributed to a stimulating & convivial mood. The exercises were fun & well-structured, & it was curious to dissect material from new perspectives. Indeed, the best aspect of the afternoon was, for me, the atmosphere created by people from many disparate backgrounds & ideas, & I thoroughly enjoyed meeting them.
Jon Bedwell – Writer
…what I found of huge value was the company of other authors. This more than any of the perceived wisdoms on how books should or should not be written, was absolutely priceless. The only thing I so wish you had supplied was a bevy of blonde beauties brandishing birch sticks to beat my buttocks black and blue. (Not really!)
Russell Duffy – Writer
This was a very interesting experience for me. I was nervous that writers might be offended whose work I criticised, but in fact they all seemed grateful for my comments and suggestions. I came away feeling that I had probably been helpful to them.
Jeffrey Simmons – Literary Agent