The literary agent, Lucy Luck, spoke at this week’s LWC Live. Lucy started in publishing in 1997, and worked for over 8 years at Rogers, Coleridge and White Ltd. In 2006, she decided to set up Lucy Luck Associates, an agency focusing on writers of quality fiction and non-fiction. She had ten writers on her list but this soon increased. She worked hard during the first year to ensure that her writers were well represented throughout the world – to ensure that rights were sold not only in the UK but in the US and translation rights throughout Europe. An agent’s job is to sell rights for the words written by an author to be produced in different forms. Early successes with Catherine O’Flynn and Adam Thorpe put her agency on the map.
As an agent, Lucy loves working with the written word and knowing that someone else will respond to it. The risk taking in publishing has got less – this means it’s become tougher for first time authors to get published. But don’t give up!
Lucy receives 50 plus submissions a week – we asked her what would make her take on a writer and she said it’s the ‘voice’. A voice that gets under her skin and makes her read on. She takes on 2 or 3 authors each year from the slush pile.
A word of warning – writing in the first person and in present tense are very difficult. Also, writing needs practise – compare writing to learning a musical instrument or learning to be a ballet dancer. Both take years of practice – that’s not to say that there aren’t rule breakers but on the whole writers need to write! And remember to write for your enjoyment – don’t write just to get published.
We also had our regular Angel Prodding and Angel Plaudits session after the main speaker.
It’s like a weight watchers weigh-in for writers. We just ask people where they’re up to with their writing and what they aim to do before the next LWC Live.
We Angel Prod to remind them of what they’ve promised themselves. And give loving Angel Plaudits when they deliver.
* Louise Christie turned up with her finished manuscript in a carrier bag to prove she’d done it. Huge plaudits.
*Simona Style (LWC Fiction Masterclass graduate) is up to 25,000 words or did you say 30k? – coming along very nicely indeed.
*Bernadine Coombs has written 78,000 words and is gearing up to submit her novel to agents.
*Brigid Coady, LWC regular, short story The Great Big Leap Forward is published any minute now ‘Even More Tonto Short Stories’ on May 6.
*Ben Johncock, absent because his baby is due soon – what sort of excuse is that – but revised synopsis has been sent to a few pet editors and is getting a good reaction
*Elizabeth Jenner – has been a quiet one but after some gentle angel pressing, has revealed herself to be a stunning short-story writer, and pulled out a 4-year old, vintage in fact, short story out from beneath the bed – she will submit to the Waterstones short story comp.
*Ivan Salcedo – First draft done, pledges to get his second draft done by the next London Writers’ Club meet on May 25
*Jayne Matthews – 1st act of play done, happy with that and still firming up the title.
*Marsha Moore – First time at the club, but we hope not the last, her non-fiction work, 24 Hours Paris is out 12th May. Her novel The Hating Game (under pen name Talli Roland) will appear in early 2011
If we’ve missed anyone please let us know, it was the end of an inspiring talk and all of the above was scratched on the back of an envelope.
Typically writerly object of passion, the Moleskin notebook was left at home that night…
Tell us what you’ve achieved with your writing and what you’d like to achieve in the coming month.