It was great to catch up with literary agent Laura Williams of PFD, our February speaker, to ask her some quickfire questions:
Please give us a brief biog.
1)Laura Williams graduated with a BA in Classics from Oxford University in 2010, and after interning at Curtis Brown she began working at PFD in 2011 as an assistant, before becoming an Associate Agent. She is actively building her list, focusing on fiction of all genres.
What are you working on at the moment?
2) I’m currently working on about ten different books, but my focus at the moment is on two very beautiful and different novels – one commercial novel about a young boy with autism, and one literary piece about the intertwined lives of five people living in rural England. I’m very excited about both of them!
What do you look for in a debut writer?
3) I’m looking for debut authors who first and foremost can keep my attention with their writing and plotting – I know I’m on to something good when an hour has passed at my desk and I haven’t looked up from the submission.
How do you find your authors?
4) We find our authors in all sorts of ways – through the slush pile, recommendations, creative writing courses and anthologies, etc. We also have a departmental meeting every two weeks to talk about ideas for books, and we go out and find or approach writers from those brainstorming sessions. We also sponsor a prize with City University for their novel writing course.
What are your top tips for unpublished authors?
5) Only write to one agent at each agency, make sure your cover letter is brief, formal and spell-checked, and do not give up – it’s a subjective business, and the next agent you write to might become your champion!