Pitch to a publisher weekend March 7th – 11th 2019 (Thursday lunchtime till Monday lunchtime)
A rare opportunity to meet and listen to two expert commissioning editors from a top UK publisher – Avon Harper Collins – on this four night, full board retreat for writers in North Devon. A weekend talk, plus a chance to pitch your (finished or part finished) novel in a one to one with top editors, Phoebe Morgan who is also an author, and Charlotte Mursell.
Avon Books are actively seeking new stand-out novelists and are currently accepting direct submissions. You will get feedback and advice about your pitch and about how to submit.
Full board stay from Thursday lunchtime till Monday lunchtime, inc wine at supper times. Pitch and talk on Saturday, writing time the rest of your stay. From £489 pp, own room, shared bathroom, cosy lounge, like-minded company, no chores, all meals provided for you. Just relax and get writing.
Phoebe Morgan – commissioning Editor co-hosting March ‘Pitch to a Publisher’ event.
Bio – Phoebe Morgan is editorial director at Trapeze, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group. She commissions crime, thriller, and women’s fiction and is looking for new and exciting voices that will start conversations. Prior to Orion she worked at HarperCollins, with a range of Sunday Times and Kindle bestselling writers including C.L. Taylor, Helen Fields, Katerina Diamond and Claire Allan. She is also an author, and her two books, The Doll House and The Girl Next Door, are published by HQ.
“A tip from me: make sure to really grab your reader in the opening chapter – don’t spend too long meandering towards the action. There’s so much competition out there that it is crucial to capture attention from the very first paragraph. A writer who does this really well is Liz Nugent – her first lines are always amazing!
Also regarding submissions, make sure you know who you’re sending it to – read agency guidelines and editor guidelines really clearly and stick to them. You wouldn’t believe the amount of submissions we get which don’t adhere to the guidelines (e.g. people sending YA novels when we don’t publish YA!)”
Charlotte Mursell – commissioning Editor co-hosting March event
Bio – Editor at HQ, HarperCollins, publishing fiction but also some non-fiction. Previously, she worked for Harlequin UK for two years. Earlier this year she published international bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and recently published the powerful feminist dystopia VOX by Christina Dalcher and the laugh-out-loud debut The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts. Next year, she will publish Period. the taboo-busting, myth-debunking manifesto from broadcaster Emma Barnett. In 2017 she was selected to take part in the IV Fellowship Programme in Toronto.
She says, ‘I’m looking for page-turning commercial women’s fiction with a compelling, hook-driven story. I’m hoping to find a big epic love story such as One Day or Me Before You, I love an early 20th Century setting and I particularly love a story that manages to surprise me, such as Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. Ultimately, I am looking for those unforgettable, thought-provoking stories that remain with the reader long after they have turned the last page.’
Open Submissions for a short time – “At Avon HarperCollins, we are currently open to commercial fiction submissions, primarily in the crime, psychological suspense, saga and women’s fiction genres. Regrettably we cannot accept science-fiction or Young Adult submissions. We opened up to submissions in February 2018 and have since taken on seven exciting new authors who will all be publishing over the next year. We look forward to receiving more brilliant books!” Avon Harper Collins Submissions info .
Q. What should people expect when they talk to you?
A. It would ideally be a top line ‘elevator’ pitch giving the genre of their novel (ideally commercial fiction as that’s what I work on) and a line saying what it’s about. It would also be good if they could give me a few comparison authors they’d compare their work to so I can get an idea of who it would sit beside.