Literary Agent Trolling. Extract from Written Off

Hugo let out an exclamation as he checked his timeline. ‘Arsehole. Being bloody trolled again.’ Now it was Emily’s turn to be amused. ‘Another of your fans, Hugo?’ It was no secret that Hugo had a tendency to court controversy within this most popular of social sites. Agents and editors like Hugo and Emily had no trouble attracting thousands of followers on Twitter – most of them eager to have any form of contact with the literary world they were so desperate to join. Professionals like Hugo and Emily never followed back – this was strictly a one-way transaction. Since…

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Writer’s Block? Extract from Written Off

Eric was keen to ensure that the level of conversation on their table was pitched at an intellectual level befitting their esteemed guest.   With all of the clockwork clunk of a chat show host he wound himself up. ‘I read somewhere that Dan Brown likes to hang upside down in gravity boots when he’s writing.   Do you have any particular habits you adhere to when you’re writing, Reardon?’ The author pondered for a moment. ‘Are you sure that wasn’t Bram Stoker?’ Nobody got his little joke, so he continued. ‘I was unaware of Mr Brown’s writing quirk but the revelation…

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The Writing Competition. Extract from Written Off

The room hushed as Chapman explained that each writer would read the first five hundred words from their opening chapter and then the delegates would decide the winner. Eric, like everybody else in the room, was keen to hear the readings. In theory, this quartet represented the high water mark of unpublished writing and anyone wanting to get a deal needed to rise above it.   The first reader, a strapping, sandy-haired man-mountain tented out in a plaid shirt, strode to the lectern. ‘The Turning Of the Tide,’ he said in a gruff Scottish accent, and then proceeded to read. ‘He…

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Literary Agent Bingo. Extract from Written Off

  The next morning at breakfast Emily and Hugo were comparing notes. To help inject some added value into the weekend the agent had invented a game of ‘conference bingo’ on the journey north. He was keen to see if he was ahead of Emily. ‘To be honest, Em, I should have made it harder. I cleared half of my card with just one delegate, and that was within the first half-hour.’ Emily suspected Hugo was showing off as usual but agreed they should have thought longer and harder over the rules. ‘We should have weighted the comments for degrees…

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What makes an author? Extract from Written Off

EXTRACT FROM WRITTEN OFF – WHAT MAKES AN AUTHOR? He’d authored a book, true, but you couldn’t claim to be an author if you hadn’t been published. Nor could you call yourself an author if you’d self-published – that was cheating wasn’t it? Someone in Eric’s position could say he’d written a novel. That didn’t even make him a writer per se, just someone who aspired to be a writer and had given it a go. Everybody knew that just because someone had written a book, it didn’t mean it was any good. Such a milestone, fulfilling as it was,…

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