Q and A with literary agent, Hannah Ferguson

 

Hannah Ferguson

1/Please could you give us a brief biog.

Junior Literary Agent at The Marsh Agency. I did a one month internship over three years ago and never left. I started as a rights assistant in a supportive role, which I still do, but I have also started building up my own list of authors.

 

2/What are you working on at the moment?

I feel like I’m always working on about a hundred things at once, but my focus right this moment is on a great new commercial women’s fiction author, a client’s topical non-fiction project and preparing a number of submissions ready for London Book Fair.

 

3/What book would you have liked to have agented?

Probably my favourite book – Life of Pi. I spend my time lending my copies to friends, family, anyone who will take it really, so to have been the one to have helped get that book published would have been amazing.

 

4/What’s a common mistake for new writers to make in submission letters?

Being vague and not having a clear idea of what their own work is about. Aggression and large egos don’t go down well either.

 

5/What writer would you have round for tea and cake?

Lee Hall – I’ve always felt such a strong connection to his writing that I think it would be almost impossible for us not to get on. As a teenager it was Lee Hall who inspired me to write.

 

6/What are you looking for at the moment?

I’m sure everyone says this but I’m looking for wonderful storytelling. I’m looking for fiction that can transport the reader, be it emotionally, geographically or to another time or place, and leave them with a meaningful reaction and memory.

 

7/What inspires you in a writer?

Their writing. But alongside that, a writer who has taken time to learn their craft, can engage with readers of their work and who can believe in themselves so much so that they never give up, even after knockbacks.

 

8/What three tips could you give our writing community?

Persevere – the process can take a long time, but if you truly believe in your writing and your work, don’t give up.

Listen – if different people are telling you the same or similar things, take note of what they’re saying.

Read read read – learn from others.

 

 

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