Just writing with the good news that I landed an agent in New York through the Jericho one to one sessions (that were set up during the Festival of Writing).
And even better news is that the agent doesn’t think my MS needs any work. And that’s thanks to Jericho – I wrote the novel (a thriller) with the help of a Jericho mentor, Daren King (link below).
Of course, getting an agent is only half the battle. Now the challenge is to get a publisher.
I landed the agent on my fourth one to one session. I didn’t do four sessions to try to get an agent, but just wanted different opinions on my pitch and writing sample. My first two agents were with London publishers, but I felt my novel (set in the Americas) was a better fit with a US publisher and so hit up two other agents through the Jericho sessions who were based in NY. Both gave positive feedback on my pitch and writing sample, but it was the fourth and final agent who requested a full MS and offered representation after he finished reading it a few days later.
Please don’t see this as any ‘easy’ success. I worked on the novel for three years. It involved a round with the Jericho mentor, a round of heavy self editing, then another round with the mentor on the second draft. I then hired another Jericho editor to give it a read over in an MS critique assessment. And only after I put his excellent suggestions into place in my MS did I go near an agent.
As an aside, I pitched the novel to about 20 agents in the UK three months ago. I only got about three/four replies - all nays (mostly with replies like 'it's not our thing', 'it's a tough market', 'I've given up on fiction', 'I didn't connect with your writing', all which is fine). So don't be disheartened if you're going down that route and getting nowhere. It's a slushpile slog.
Anyway, keep writing. Work hard. Never give up. And you’ll get there.