Notes from LWC event with agent Sarah Williams of the Sophie Hicks Agency

We had another great night at The London Writers’ Club last week with a visit from Sarah Williams of the Sophie Hicks Agency.  Sarah’s background and the new agency are impressive: she has a wealth of experience and was a publicist (and publisher) before becoming an agent. Sarah worked at Ed Victor Agency for four years before leaving to work with the Sophie Hicks Agency alongside Sophie Hicks. They are a “small but mighty agency – with front office agenting, meaning when our authors call us they speak directly to their agent rather than anyone else”.

They have the personal touch but also benefit from over 50 years experience and knowledge between them (with Morag O’Brien running the foreign rights department).  Sophie’s focus areas are  YA and Children’s books mostly but also sci-fi, fantasy and some talented nature and fiction writers. Sarah is more eclectic and wide ranging and particularly interseted in debuts, food writers,  journalists and older YA.

Sarah gave our writers lots of advice and direction for submission letters and like all of the speakers we have at the club shared her personal email with our members and urged them to pitch!

HERE ARE SOPHIE’S HOT TIPS FOR YOUR SUBMISSION LETTER

  • Connect to the agent (why are you sending it to them particularly?)
  • Sounds obvious but often neglected, state clearly what the gist of the novel is.
  • What is the novel trying to achieve. For e.g. I became interested in… and am trying to do this in the novel…
  • Your submission letter should only be about an A4 page in length
  • Unsolicited manuscripts are not read chronologically so your letter is very important
  • Include any writing experience you have already had
  • Keep it straight forward and to the point

Sarah also gave advice to our writers on what she likes to see in a piece of writing, “The second I feel I am reading for pleasure, I want to call the writer”  It is important to remember that publishing is a BUSINESS OF OPINIONS so any agent must ‘get’ the book. This is why being a member of the London Writers’ Club is so beneficial as it gives you the opportunity to meet agents face-to -ace on a monthly basis.

You can watch the video of Sarah’s talk – plus meet 16 other agents we have booked in and who you can pitch directly to – by joining London Writers’ Club:
OCTOBER OFFER: JOIN FOR THE PRICE OF A YEAR AND GET 18 MONTHS MEMBERSHIP! That’s a whole 18 months benefits for £120 and a free copy of ‘Write a Bestseller’ by Jacq Burns  email Jacq @londonwritersclub.com for details

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