Q & A with literary agent, Jo Unwin

London Writers’ Club’s speaker for our September event is Jo Unwin of Conville & Walsh. Jo was named as one of the Rising Stars of the literary agency world by the Bookseller this year so we are delighted that she will be joining us on September 20th. We caught up with Jo recently for a quick Q & A:

1/Please give us a brief biog.

I started as an actress and writer for television, and only realised that I wanted to work in books very recently indeed! In fact this weeks marks my third year as an agent, and only my second as a full-time one!

2/What do you look for in a writer?

Talent obviously, commitment, conviction – a certain confidence.

3/What are you working on at the moment?

I have two auctions for childrens books running whilst I work with authors on final tweaks to get two more children’s and three adult books ready for submission.

4/What makes you want to read on beyond the covering letter of a
submission package?

That’s a bit of a mystery.  It’s usually a question of voice, conviction, confidence.  If I can hear the story or voice as if it were being told to me directly.

5/What book would you have loved to have represented?

I have always ‘represented’ books – by chatting about books I love.  Being an agent is just an extension of that

6/What author would you like to have round for tea and cake?

I’m trying to give up tea and cake

7/What three top tips would you give to an aspiring author?

Keep at it, keep at it, keep at it

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