Tuesday, 19 July 2022

The Agent Submission

I’ve now reached the final task on my Advanced Crime Writing course. The agent submission comprises my writing bio, the synopsis and the first three thousand words of my book. The opening is the most important part of any book, because it either gains a reader’s interest or it does not. And the reader I am trying to interest at the moment is one of the literary agents at Curtis Brown. They will be reading the openings of the novels of the thirteen writers who have completed the course. If one of the agents is interested, they would then ask to see the full manuscript. Over the past week, the course organizers have been lowering our expectations. An expression of interest in our work is possible, but unlikely. And all of the agents are ‘very busy’. So we would not hear anything for several months, if at all. But hope springs eternal.

During the course, I’ve been preparing my submission with great care. An earlier draft of the opening of my book got helpful feedback from the tutor and other participants. Since then, I’ve formed a feedback group with several of the writers on the course. And over the past week we have been reviewing one another’s submissions. The deadline for the agent submission is tomorrow. So today I have been making final edits to the opening of my book. The structure and content is already there. It’s more a matter of a word change here or there, and a comma instead of a full stop. But small details matter.

When I finally send it, I will cross my fingers and breathe a sigh of relief. But that is not the end. For then I have to go through the rest of the manuscript and make it as good as I can. Editing is painstaking and rather laborious work. But it has to be done, and done carefully and thoughtfully. In a couple of months, I just might be getting a request from an agent to read the manuscript. Please wish me luck.  


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