Last night Grazia co-hosted the first of our Women’s Prize For Fiction evenings. It was a roundtable Q&A featuring best-selling authors Kate Mosse, Rachel Joyce (both judges of our First Chapter competition) plus Curtis Brown Literary Agent Felicity Blunt and Penguin Generals Managing Director Joanna Prior.
Held in two parts, the first section was a panel discussion and the second was an interactive ‘Writers’ Clinic’ where the assembled crowd could ask the panel any questions they had about getting published.
We’ve picked the Top 10 Best Tips they gave us for getting published.
1) “Don’t get hooked on the first page, just keep writing” – Rachel Joyce.
2) “Every time I felt unsure (which was a lot) I worked it into The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I used my negativity for the book” - Rachel Joyce on the writing of her book.
3) “Be tough with yourself. It’s bad to think that you can let bad words or sentences go by and it be okay” – Rachel Joyce
4) “Write whenever you can. I used to write late at night, in the morning, even during a film. Whenever” – Rachel Joyce
5) “A cover letter is so important because it’s your first impression of someone. It’s like the blurb on the back of the book. People prioritize what they think is interesting”- Felicity Blunt
6) “Do your research of who to submit your manuscript to because it makes a big difference” – Joanna Prior
7) “The first three chapters are really important because they should give your potential publisher a sense of excitement about the book” – Felicity Blunt
8) “To see which agent to submit your manuscript to, go into a book shop and read the acknowledgements of some books you like because sometimes it’s the same agents” – Joanna Prior
9) “(Your book) has to start from inside and not to get sales. If you’re ‘writing for the market’, by the time your finish your book the market will have changed” – Kate Mosse
10) “In the end though, if your book is wonderful it is wonderful. All other questions don’t matter” – Kate Mosse
Remember, on Wednesday we announce the winner of our First Chapter competition at the Women's Prize For Fiction 2013 event!