We were delighted to catch up with our speaker, Sandra Sawicka, for a quick Q and A session:
Please could you give us a brief biog.
1. I’m a literary agent and foreign rights manager at Marjacq Scripts. I take care of the worldwide foreign language rights for all authors represented by Marjacq, and as literary agent have a growing client list which includes exciting authors such as Katarzyna Bonda, Paul Crilley and Lauren A. Forry.
What are you working on at the moment?
2. I’m working on a few manuscripts, including a great YA debut and a literary women’s fiction in translation. I also overlook the agency’s foreign rights, so that keeps me pretty busy at the moment, with the London Book Fair only a few weeks away.
What are you looking for?
3. I have quite a versatile taste and will look at anything from genre fiction to literary works. I usually gravitate towards slightly quirky character-led stories, with an interesting world – something I haven’t seen before. It doesn’t have to be a made-up fantasy world, it could be a familiar setting, but from a surprising perspective. I also have a weakness for campus novels. Love a good mystery, too.
What three top tips would you give to an unpublished writer?
4. If you’re serious about becoming a writer – remember it is a job like any other – there will be times when you’re frustrated, discouraged, disappointed – it’s part of the deal, but when it goes well – it’s well worth it.
Write the best book you possible can and then prepare for the critique, a few rejections, a number of major edits and even more minor ones.
Remember that there are people who made it before you – because they tried. So if someone tells you it’s impossible to be published nowadays, just set out to prove them wrong.
Finally, what three writers would you invite round for tea and cake?
5. Stephen King (because I’m a huge fan), Bret Easton Ellis and Donna Tartt, definitely – the latter two know each other and exchanged notes on their debuts, so it would be great to hear the inside story!