LITERARY AGENT WORKSHOP
An online workshop led by literary agents Julie Crisp, Felicity Trew, and Hattie Grünewald
Saturday 12 June 2021
Our literary agent workshop includes one-to-one query critiques via video call with our agents and two group sessions, the first demystifying the process of getting agent representation for your novel and the second offering insider tips for perfecting your query. Our aim is to give you the best possible chance of getting your historical novel published by helping you to secure agent representation. Our experienced agents all have a strong interest in historical fiction and are ready to advise and assist you with your journey to publication.
Group session topics
How to get literary agent representation: an introduction to the process
Julie Crisp, owner and director of the Julie Crisp Literary Agency, will lead this group session on how to get literary agent representation. She will explain the role of a literary agent and introduce participants to the industry and how it works, demystifying the process of how literary agents choose novels and what they’re looking for, particularly in the historical fiction genre. Julie will also guide participants through the process of researching and picking literary agents to approach.
Perfecting your query
Felicity Trew, literary agent with the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, will lead our second group session, which is focused on perfecting your query. Felicity will share her insider tips on crafting the best possible query, including your query letter, synopsis, and first three chapters, to help ensure it grabs the attention of top literary agents. Drawing on her experience, Felicity will give practical examples of what works and what doesn’t so that you can put your best foot forward.
Every participant will have a 30 minute one-to-one video call with one of our literary agents to discuss your query and answer any specific questions you may have about the process of securing representation.
How it will work
Before the event, we will ask for your draft query, including your query letter, synopsis, and first three chapters (up to 12,000 words). The submission deadline for this will be 29 May. We will assign you an agent (you can also indicate a preference if you have one), and they will read your query. You will be assigned a 30 minute slot for your video call with the agent, which will take place on the day of the event. You will be able to indicate a preference for the time of day.
On the day
During your call, your agent will give you their feedback on the query you submitted, including tips on how it can be improved to maximise your chances of securing representation. They will also be able to discuss the best strategy for querying your particular novel and answer any questions you may have.
Structure and schedule
The workshop will take place on Saturday 12 June, 2021. Times are given in British Summer Time (BST) and/or US Eastern Time (ET).
One-to-one sessions with participants in the UK and Europe will begin, continuing throughout the morning and afternoon (BST), until the start of the group sessions.
3pm BST / 10am ET
The first group session will begin, led by Julie Crisp, on the topic of how to get a literary agent: an introduction to the process. The session will last 45 minutes, including time for a presentation from Julie and questions and answers.
3:45pm BST / 10:45am ET
The second group session will begin, led by Felicity Trew, on the topic of perfecting your query. The session will last 45 minutes, including time for a presentation from Felicity and questions and answers.
One-to-one sessions with participants in the United States and Canada will begin, continuing throughout the afternoon (ET).
We will be as flexible as possible on timings for the one-to-one sessions. The timings outlined above are a general guide, but other one-to-one time slots may be possible (e.g. early morning slots for participants in the US and Canada or evening slots for participants in the UK and Europe). We will ask for your preferences when you book.
All aspects of the event will be delivered live and online via Zoom. You must have access to a computer or smart device capable of supporting Zoom and a reliable internet connection in order to participate. A recording of the group sessions will be made available to all participants for two weeks after the event takes place. One-to-one sessions will not be recorded.
Our literary agents
Felicity Trew joined the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency in 2012, where she began her career in publishing and became an agent in 2015. Since then, Felicity has energetically been building-up a list of highly talented authors for both adult and children’s books.
Clients Felicity already represents include saga authors Libby Ashworth and Sheila Riley as well as heart-warming, hilarious and historical women’s commercial fiction authors, Kirsten Hesketh, Kerry Barrett, Kristy Eyre and Joan Hessayon Award-winning Brigid Coady. Felicity is keenly looking for historical fiction authors.
Felicity was one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars of 2016 and shortlisted for this year’s RNA Agent of the Year award.
Julie Crisp is owner and director of the Julie Crisp Literary Agency. She has over twenty years’ experience in publishing. She worked as an Editor for three major houses across a broad spectrum of commercial titles within fiction and worked with bestselling and award-winning authors such as Ann Cleeves, Peter F. Hamilton, China Miéville, Amanda Hocking, Naomi Novik and TV/Game partnerships including Halo, The Returned, The Walking Dead and Twin Peaks.
As an agent she is actively looking to build her list in historical fiction, crime/thrillers, bookclub fiction and science fiction and fantasy. Her clients include John Gwynne, Devin Madson, C.T. Rwizi and Sam Hawke.
Hattie Grünewald is an Agent at the Blair Partnership. She represents commercial and upmarket fiction – including women’s fiction, crime and thriller, historical and book club fiction – as well as some non-fiction in the areas of lifestyle and personal development. Before joining the Blair Partnership she was a literary agent at Blake Friedmann Agency, where she worked for six years.
Hattie has a degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and she is also a poet. In 2020, she was a Bookseller Rising Star and the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Agent of the Year.
The deadline for booking this workshop has passed.
Frequently asked questions
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When will the event take place?
Saturday 12 June, 2021. The first group session will begin at 3pm BST / 10am ET, and the second will begin at 3:45pm BST / 10:45 am ET. They will each last 45 minutes. The one-to-one sessions will begin at 10am BST for people in the UK and Europe and 11:30am ET for people in the US and Canada. They will last 30 minutes.
How can I participate in the event?
The first step is to book your place. Once you have booked, we will email you with the next steps, which will include sending us your query (query letter, synopsis, and first three chapters up to 12,000 words) by 29 May.
We will email you a link the day before the event. You’ll use this to join the event on the day. We’ll also send you reminders via email on the day for both the group sessions and your one-to-one session.
The event will take place live and online via Zoom. You must have access to a computer or a smart device capable of supporting Zoom, and you must have access to a reliable internet connection to take part.
How and when should I submit my query?
You must send us your query (query letter, synopsis, and first three chapters up to 12,000 words) by 29 May. You’ll need to send it by email to email@example.com. Please attach a separate document for each part of the query – one document for your query letter, one for your synopsis, and one for your first three chapters. Label the file names accordingly, and include your own name.
Please send your documents in Microsoft Word format. You can format them as you prefer, but they must be legible. Your query letter should be approximately one page, your synopsis approximately one or one and a half pages, and your first three chapters must contain no more than 12,000 words. If they are longer than 12,000 words, please only submit your first 12,000 words.
What if I haven't got a query, or what if I haven't finished it by the deadline?
That’s no problem. If you haven’t got a query ready to go, we encourage you to try and put one together before the deadline. If it’s not complete before the deadline, you can submit what you’ve got so far, and we’ll let your assigned agent know that it is a work in progress!
Does my book need to be finished in order to book a place on the event?
Not at all! All you need is a synopsis, submission letter, and first 12,000 words. The agents can give advice on the future of your novel and provide you with the best tips on how to get published once you’ve finished writing.
How will my one-to-one session work?
We’ll assign you an agent prior to the start of the event. They will have read your query thoroughly before your one-to-one session.
We will confirm your one-to-one time slot and your agent by 1 June, but we should be able to give you an indication sooner than this if you have booked well in advance. When you book, you will be able to tell us your preferences for your time slot and for your agent. We will do our best to honour these preferences, but we cannot guarantee a particular time slot or a particular agent. We recommend you keep yourself as available as possible on 12 June until your time slot is confirmed.
Your one-to-one session will be a live video call on Zoom. We will utilise a private Zoom room for this purpose, so it’ll be just you and the agent, unless the moderator needs to join for technical support. We’ll add you to the private room ourselves, and we’ll explain what you need to do during that process.
During the session, the agent will discuss your query and your novel with you and will be able to answer any particular questions you may have. The session will last 30 minutes.
How will the group sessions work?
The group sessions will take place live and online via Zoom, and you’ll be given instructions for joining them. The agents will lead their respective sessions, including their presentations and time for questions and answers. It’s up to you whether you turn your screen and audio on to interact during the sessions or whether you’d prefer not to, but they are designed to accommodate group interaction for those who want it.
Will your agents offer me representation?
The main purpose of the workshop is to provide you with feedback on your query and guidance on the process of securing representation. This will help ensure you’re in the strongest possible position to get your book published. Our agents are interested in representing historical fiction authors and are looking to build their lists, so if one of them sees potential in your story, they have the option of discussing whether they might be able to represent you, but this is not the main purpose of the workshop and is entirely at their discretion.
When is the booking deadline?
26 May 2021, 3pm BST.
Which countries do you accept bookings from?
For this event, we welcome bookings from people who are resident in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada (excluding Saskatchewan), South Africa, and any EU country. If you are not resident in one of these countries, unfortunately you won’t be able to book this event.
Please note the stipulation about time zones below.
Do you accommodate different time zones?
This is a live event, and we have scheduled it to align well with time zones in North America and Europe. It should also work well for people living in South Africa. If you are outside of these locations, unfortunately you won’t be able to book this event, due to the difficulty of arranging slots for additional time zones.
Will the event be recorded?
The group sessions will be recorded in case you miss them or want to rewatch them. You will be able to access these recordings for up to two weeks afterwards. The one-to-one sessions will not be recorded.
What accessibility options will you provide?
We will activate live AI captions for the group sessions, and these will also be included in the recordings. Please note, these captions won’t be 100% accurate and may be delivered with a short delay, but they should help people who are deaf or hard of hearing to participate.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to activate captions for the one-to-one sessions. Please contact us if, due to a disability, you require feedback in a written form as an alternative to a video session.
How do I pay?
You can pay by credit or debit card when you book.
Which payment currencies do you accept?
We accept three payment currencies: USD, GBP, and EUR. The currency you pay in will depend on your country of residence. People resident in the UK will pay in GBP, people resident in the EU will pay in EUR, and people resident in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa will pay in USD.
What are the full terms and conditions?
You can view our full terms and conditions here.