Sarah Juckes

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Hello!

My name is Sarah (Ann) Juckes. I work on the team at Jericho Writers as a Content Creator, which means you'll see emails in your inbox from me from time to time, as well as my face in various Feature films, Conversations and other films on Jericho Writers. I look after new exciting stuff for members too, so let me know if there's something you'd like to see in the membership, and I'll do my best to make it happen. 

I was writing for 12 years before I stumbled across Jericho Writers. They introduced me to an agent at their Getting Published day, and that agent ended up securing me a publishing deal for my debut novel 'Outside' with Penguin. What?!

I love writing for Young People, dark stories and quirky voices. I want to learn more about how to plot a book, because I do tend to make things difficult for myself. 

Looking forward to getting to know you!

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Like many writers, growing up I was a shy introvert. The thought of standing in front of a room of p…
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  •  · This is something I used to get my delegates to do when on a presentation skills course:Try making a…
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Because so much of our job as writers includes typing, I love to find ways to explore characters dif…
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  •  · The word cloud community of the writers workshop, yes! Thank you for your kind words, my website rea…
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In the classic sense, an author’s voice is the style in which they write. This covers things like la…
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  •  · Being from an african country may work in your favour with publishers if you decide to write about a…
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There was a time when the form of the novel was exactly that – an entirely new and unusual thing, th…
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  •  · In the early haydays of the novel, Jane Austen, Brontë sisters & contemporaries used to write th…

How to read your work out loud 


Writing can be solitary job. But being a professional ‘author’ often requires you to stand in front of crowds, read from your work and even give presentations – something many of us never get training for. This newsletter reveals tips on public speaking for writers, with some pretty exciting examples.  


COURSE: The Ultimate Novel Writing Course 2020-21 


Back and bigger than ever before – the Ultimate Novel Writing Course is our answer to a professional MA, but with increased mentoring time, detailed feedback, events and that all-important focus on publication. Starts 1 October 2020. 


FIND OUT MORE 


NEW on Jericho Writers 


MASTERCLASS: Friday Night Live 2019 (FREE) 


The highlight of the Festival of Writing – Friday Night Live has seen writers walk away with offers of representation. Watch as 2019’s shortlisted writers read their work out to the audience and literary agent judges.  


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK

NON-MEMBER LINK



SUMMER FESTIVAL: Friday Night Live competition closes today! 


If you’ve bagged yourself a ticket to the Summer Festival of Writing, today is the deadline to send your entry to the lifechanging Friday night Live.  


FIND OUT MORE 



SUMMER FESTIVAL: Discount Latecomer tickets (Member discount available) 


Join 1,000 writers from all seven continents around the world for the highlight of the summer. Tickets for July/August/September are now a third off. Nab yours today to squeeze in an entry to Friday Night Live before the deadline at midnight!  


BUY YOUR TICKET 


Content corner: How to read your work out loud 


Like many writers, growing up I was a shy introvert. The thought of standing in front of a room of people and reading my work out TERRIFED me. Fast forward a few decades and I’m now happily chatting to crowds of hundreds of strangers. So what changed? And if you have to go through this same process and read your work out loud (say perhaps for Friday Night Live) - how do you start?  


1: Practice makes perfect. The first time I read my work out loud, I felt so sick I thought I might faint on stage. But then I tried again. And again. At reading groups, poetry slams, video calls – whatever. The more you do something, the easier it becomes. Confidence isn’t a trait – it's a habit.  


2: Learn from the masters. Reading is about so much more than just saying words out loud. It's about conveying rhythm, emotion – all the wonderful things that make language beautiful. No one does this better than spoken word poets. My favourites: Anthony Anaxagorou; Lemn Sissay; Kate Tempest; Sabrina Mahfouz. Watch and learn!  


3: Take your time. When you’re nervous, you want to get it over and done with as soon as possible. But engaging reading is often slow and considered. It pauses for emphasis.  


4: Use flashcards and notes. Break your text up on the page by separating them into flashcards, or use a pen to highlight tricky words and phrases. 


5: Finally – be human. Everyone makes mistakes. If you stumble in a live reading – own it. Start the sentence again. You’ve got this.  


What are your tips for reading your work out loud? Are there any I’ve missed? Sign up to the Townhouse for free and share here.  


Stay well 

Sarah J x 


Plus, don’t miss: 


From stand-alone to series, with Melissa Addey (FREE for members) 

23 July 2020. Join indie pro Melissa Addey for this member-exclusive webinar on how to turn a stand-alone book into a series. 


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK

NON-MEMBER LINK


Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 

Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 


Self-Edit your novel bursary

Under-represented writers are invited to apply for a free place on September’s Self-Edit Your Novel tutored course, with one-in-four alumni now published. Closes 31 August. 


JOIN JERICHO WRITERS


Like many writers, growing up I was a shy introvert. The thought of standing in front of a room of people and reading my work out TERRIFED me. Fast forward a few decades and I’m now happily chatting to crowds of hundreds of strangers. So what changed? And if you have to go through this same process and read your work out loud (say perhaps for Friday Night Live) - how do you start?  

1: Practice makes perfect. The first time I read my work out loud, I felt so sick I thought I might faint on stage. But then I tried again. And again. At reading groups, poetry slams, video calls – whatever. The more you do something, the easier it becomes. Confidence isn’t a trait – it's a habit.  


2: Learn from the masters. Reading is about so much more than just saying words out loud. It's about conveying rhythm, emotion – all the wonderful things that make language beautiful. No one does this better than spoken word poets. My favourites: Anthony Anaxagorou; Lemn Sissay; Kate Tempest; Sabrina Mahfouz. Watch and learn!  


3: Take your time. When you’re nervous, you want to get it over and done with as soon as possible. But engaging reading is often slow and considered. It pauses for emphasis.  


4: Use flashcards and notes. Break your text up on the page by separating them into flashcards, or use a pen to highlight tricky words and phrases.  


5: Finally – be human. Everyone makes mistakes. If you stumble in a live reading – own it. Start the sentence again. You’ve got this.  


What are your tips for reading your work out loud? Are there any I’ve missed? Share below!



The art of making fictional characters seem real 


Ever had a character stay with you, long after you’ve finished a book? This newsletter delves into how to breathe life into your protagonist, antagonist and even your secondary characters, so every one of them feels like a real person.  



WEBINAR: Writing to market, with Melissa Addey (Exclusive to members) 


24 June 2020. Join indie expert Melissa Addey as she takes the six-step process used in business and applies it to developing ideas for books, to ensure your ideas sell – however you’re looking to publish.  


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK


Spotlight 


Masterclass: Dealing with problem characters (FREE) 

Join Rebecca Horsfall as she teaches us how to create characters with purpose – and what to do with characters who are struggling to find theirs. 

LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK

NON-MEMBER LINK


BLOG: The unreliable narrator: all you need to know 


This practical writing guide explains who the unreliable narrator is and how using one will impact your story, with examples.  


READ NOW



MENTORING: Two new mentors added! (Member discount available) 


We’re excited to welcome Judith Heneghan and Kate Lee to the Complete Novel Mentoring programme. Judith is an ex-commissioning editor and MA tutor, and Kate is an expert in children’s books.  


FIND OUT MORE 


Content corner: Three fun ways to get to know your characters 


Because so much of our job as writers includes typing, I love to find ways to explore characters differently. Here are three of my personal favourites: 


1: Give them a free personality test 

Imagine you are your protagonist. Now answer these questions to get an in-depth breakdown of how they might behave in relationships, at work and more! Useful not only to get you seeing the world from their eyes, but also as a guide to fleshing them out.  


2: Fill in Jericho’s free character builder 

This free downloadable worksheet asks you a series of specific questions about your character, so you can get to know them inside-out.  


3: Create an avatar for them 

For visual thinkers and procrastinators, free avatar creators like this one can help you make decisions on physical attributes, such as eye colour and hairstyles.  


How do you get to know your characters? Sign up to the Townhouse for free and share your favourite tools here.  

Stay well x 

Sarah J  


Plus, don’t miss: 


Q&A with Alice Fugate added to AgentMatch 

We’ve just added a five-minute Q&A to US agent Alice Fugate’s profile on AgentMatch as part of a big update. If you’re writing for children or young adults, this could be one for you! 


Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 

 Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 


Summer Festival of Writing tickets still available (Discounts available for members) 

With live events from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Juliet Mushens and HaperCollins still to come, there’s 50+ reasons to grab your ticket and join the Summer Festival fun till 4 September 2020.  


JOIN JERICHO WRITERS

Because so much of our job as writers includes typing, I love to find ways to explore characters differently, including giving them a personality test (https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test) and creating an avatar for them (https://avatarmaker.com/). 

How do you get to know your characters? Are there some useful fun ways I'm missing? Share below! 


What do we mean by ‘voice’? 

You’ll often hear agents say the main thing they’re looking for in an opening page is a compelling ‘voice’. But what does this mean? And how can you find yours? This newsletter looks at what ‘voice’ is and how you can ensure yours stands out from the crowd.  


WEBINAR: Writing to market, with Melissa Addey (Exclusive to members) 


24 June 2020. Join indie expert Melissa Addey as she takes the six-step process used in business and applies it to developing ideas for books, to ensure your ideas sell – however you’re looking to publish.  


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK

NON-MEMBER LINK


NEW on Jericho Writers 


Masterclass: How to find your voice – Part one (FREE for members) 


In part one of this masterclass, we look at defining what ‘voice’ is and see it in action in some examples in first and third person.  


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK

NON-MEMBER LINK


BLOG: Voice in the novel (and finding yours)  


This blog explains what ‘voice’ is in the classic sense, with examples and handy tips on how to apply it to your own writing. 


READ NOW



REPLAYS: New member webinars added (FREE for members) 


We’ve just added the latest batch of membership webinar replays to the website, including webinars by literary agents, and Harry Bingham’s elevator pitch webinar. 


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK



Content corner: What does ‘voice’ actually mean? 


In the classic sense, an author’s voice is the style in which they write. This covers things like language use, formatting, sentence structure, themes and punctuation – anything that means you can read a page from a particular author and know that they wrote it. The blog above delves into this in more detail and it’s really worth reading if you want to discover your own writing fingerprint.  


The other time you’ll hear the word ‘voice’ used relates character. This is particularly relevant if you’re writing in first person, as the character’s personality will inform your narrative voice. In this case, ‘voice’ can mean your protagonist’s language use, formatting, sentence structure, themes and punctuation!  


It can sometimes be difficult to know what’s your character’s first-person voice and what’s your own as an author, and really – picking them apart doesn’t matter. The important thing is to ensure that you’re making your language distinct, relevant and accessible. Write in the way that comes most naturally to you. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. And when writing a character, let all the parts of who they are – albeit dialect, hobbies, perception or culture – sing from the page.  


So – over to you. Are you confused about voice? Do you have any tips on how to find yours? Sign up for free and share in the Townhouse, here.  


Stay well x 

Sarah J  


Plus, don’t miss: 


New dates added for the Self-Edit Your Novel tutored Course  

We’ve just added dates for 2021 in January, March, June and September. Warning: this online course always sells out in advance! Bursaries are available. 


Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 

 Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 


Summer Festival of Writing tickets still available (Discounts available for members) 

With live events from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Juliet Mushens and HaperCollins still to come, there’s 50+ reasons to grab your ticket and join the Summer Festival fun till 4 September 2020.  


JOIN JERICHO WRITERS



In the classic sense, an author’s voice is the style in which they write. This covers things like language use, formatting, sentence structure, themes and punctuation – anything that means you can read a page from a particular author and know that they wrote it. The blog above delves into this in more detail and it’s really worth reading if you want to discover your own writing fingerprint.  

The other time you’ll hear the word ‘voice’ used relates character. This is particularly relevant if you’re writing in first person, as the character’s personality will inform your narrative voice. In this case, ‘voice’ can mean your protagonist’s language use, formatting, sentence structure, themes and punctuation!  

Are you confused about voice? Do you have any tips on how to find yours? Share your thoughts below!



 


All the essential info on traditional publishing, in one place 


Write a book – get an agent – get published. It sounds simple when you put it like that, but it seems like there are all kinds of hurdles to jump between each of those stages. This newsletter pops the key information you need to get traditionally published, all in one handy place.  


WEBINAR: Writing to market, with Melissa Addey (Exclusive to members) 


24 June 2020. Join indie expert Melissa Addey as she takes the six-step process used in business and applies it to developing ideas for books, to ensure your ideas sell – however you’re looking to publish.  


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK

NON-MEMBER LINK


Spotlight 


VIDEO COURSE: Getting Published (FREE for members) 


With over ten hours of professional-level course material, this video course is free to members and covers everything from the idea to your book, to what you need to know after you’ve landed a book deal. 


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK

NON-MEMBER LINK


BLOG: How to get a book published in 2020 


This flagship article discusses your options as a writer and links you to further reading on building a submission package, going direct to a publisher and even the options offered by self-publishing.  


READ NOW 


SUMMER FESTIVAL: More one-to-one slots added (10% discount for members) 


Beat the slushpile this summer with a fifteen-minute phone call with an agent of your choice – UK and US. These are selling incredibly fast, so snap them up whilst you can. 


FIND OUT MORE 


Content corner: Alternative ways of getting your writing in front of readers 


There was a time when the form of the novel was exactly that – an entirely new and unusual thing, that was generally looked down upon.  


These days, ‘novel’ ways to reach readers include digital platforms such as blogs, eBooks and social media. There are video games to be written, stories to be played in virtual reality and free platforms reaching millions of readers a day.  


Whether this counts as ‘publishing’ or not is up for debate. In my opinion though – any format that engages readers is a worthwhile and wonderful thing to get involved in.  


If novels are still very much your jam, there are different ways to get them in front of readers, too. Publishers are now offering book deals via a competition. For some, you don’t need an agent at all. Others use crowdfunding to build readership and you can even now easily go-it-alone and have your book live and for sale in minutes. 


So – what do you think? Is “write a book – land a literary agent – get published” the only ‘real’ publishing? Or do you know of other ways to reach readers? Sign up for free and share your thoughts in the Townhouse, here.


Stay well x 

Sarah J  


Plus, don’t miss: 


Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 

Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 


Webinar replays now live (members only)

We’ve just added the latest batch of membership webinar replays to the website, including webinars by literary agents, and Harry Bingham’s elevator pitch webinar. 


Self-Edit Your Novel course bursary open now

Deadline 31 August. We're offering one place on Debi Alper’s Self-Editing tutored course starting in September, to one worthy under-represented writer.  


JOIN JERICHO WRITERS

There was a time when the form of the novel was exactly that – an entirely new and unusual thing, that was generally looked down upon.  

These days, ‘novel’ ways to reach readers include digital platforms such as blogs, eBooks and social media. There are video games to be written, stories to be played in virtual reality and free platforms reaching millions of readers a day.  


Whether this counts as ‘publishing’ or not is up for debate. In my opinion though – any format that engages readers is a worthwhile and wonderful thing to get involved in.  


So – what do you think? Is “write a book – land a literary agent – get published” the only ‘real’ publishing? Or do you know of other ways to reach readers? Share your thoughts below!



There’s never been a more important time for diverse writers 


The world is a technicolor place filled with diverse voices – and our books should represent that. This newsletter rounds up advice on Jericho on diverse writing, as well as showcasing opportunities open now for BAME writers, and ways we can all support each other.  


Congratulations to our Festival bursary winners! 


This week, thirty under-represented and low-income writers were offered free places to the Summer Festival of Writing. Missed out? You can still buy your ticket at 50% off if you’re a member of Jericho Writers.  


BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW


NEW on Jericho Writers 


MASTERCLASS: Writing characters different from you – Part two (FREE for members) 

Join prize-winning author Patrice Lawrence for the final part of this series, as she delves into the process of ensuring your diverse books are sensitive and accurate to real lives.  


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK

NON-MEMBER LINK


BURSARY: Free place on the life-changing Self-Edit Your novel course, September 


Deadline 31 August. We're offering one place on Debi Alper’s Self-Editing tutored course starting in September, to one worthy under-represented writer. This course has seen 1-in-4 alumni published!


APPLY NOW 


WEBINAR: Writing to market, with Melissa Addey (Exclusive to members) 


24 June 2020. Join indie expert Melissa Addey as she takes the six-step process used in business and applies it to developing ideas for books, to ensure your ideas sell – however you’re looking to publish.  


LOGGED-IN MEMBER LINK

NON-MEMBER LINK


Content corner: Opportunities round-up 


Are you a BAME writer? Here’s a round-up of some of the opportunities open to you, right now. We’ll also be tweeting as many as we can find on @jerichowriters.  


Hashtag Blak open submissions 

This indie publisher has opened its submissions portal to under-represented writers who don’t currently have an agent, writing for adults or young adults. Closes 1 July 2020. 


HarperCollins 'One More Chapter’ Open Submissions 

The digital imprint of HarperCollins have opened submissions to black, own-voices writers of commercial fiction – no agent needed.  


Agent Gemma Cooper Open Submissions 

Writers of children’s literature and graphic novels are invited to submit to Gemma today. She’ll also be offering feedback and advising on questions where possible. Email cooperqueries@thebentagency.com 


Horror zine ‘Blood Bath’ open extend submissions 

If you have a good horror novel on Vampires, this one’s for you! Open to black writers only until 1 July 2020. 


Want to help diverse voices get heard? Two amazing organisations are asking for donations this week. 


Have you seen any opportunities for BAME or low-income writers recently? Sign up for free and show your support in the Townhouse, here. 


Stay well x 

Sarah J  


Plus, don’t miss: 


Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 


Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 


The Summer Festival of Writing (Discounts available for members) 


Until 4 September 2020. 60+ live events with some of the biggest names in global publishing are happening right now. Grab your ticket now.  


More one-to-one sessions now added (Discounts available for members) 


Get a 15-minute call with a literary agent or book doctor throughout the Summer Festival of Writing. These are selling like hot cakes, so grab them whilst you can. 


JOIN JERICHO WRITERS



The world is a technicolor place filled with diverse voices and we all have a part to play to ensure those voices get heard. 

If you've seen any opportunities open recently for BAME writers, share them below. 

BAME, low-income and disabled writers can also apply for the next Jericho Writers Self-Edit Your Novel bursary, open now - and we'll be sharing any opportunities we come across on the Jericho Writers Twitter page. 



Why publishers buy certain books 


What influences the decision for publishers to buy certain books and not others? This newsletter delves behind-the-scenes with commissioning editors and looks at what you can do from the beginning to help you land that elusive publishing deal.  


The Summer Festival of Writing starts next week! (50% discount for members) 


This is your final chance to grab tickets for the Summer Festival of Writing – the global three-month writing Festival anyone can access from home. Join publishers, agents and big-name authors for over sixty live events starting 1 June 2020.  


BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW 


Spotlight  


FEATURE: An interview with Kimberley Young - HaperCollins (FREE for members) 


Sit down with Kimberley Young, publisher of Commercial Women’s Fiction at HarperCollins, and find out what makes her fall in love with a novel. 


LOGGED-IN MEMBERS' LINK

NON-MEMBERS' LINK



BURSARY: 30 FREE places to the Summer Festival of Writing 


Deadline 29 May. Are you an under-represented writer? Thanks to the generosity of our speakers, we’re offering thirty Full Festival Tickets to deserving under-represented writers. 


APPLY NOW



UNCUT: How a major publisher acquires a book (FREE for members) 


We chat to Publisher Harriet Bourton from Orion to find out how a book is acquired from an author and their agent at a major publisher. 


LOGGED-IN MEMBERS' LINK

NON-MEMBERS' LINK



Content corner: Acquisition from the author’s side 


Being “on submission” as a writer is widely regarded as the worst waiting game of your career – even worse than waiting to hear from agents (if such a thing is possible!) Here’s what you see as a writer: 


Your agent starts pitching the book a few months before it’s ready. When the book is ready, she sends you a list of publishers to approve. You might not be 100% sure of the names of the editors she’s sending (and you understand why – it's very easy to spend hours obsessing about any names you do hear!) 


Now comes the waiting game. You’re sure things are happening, but you aren’t sure what. You don’t hear anything for days. A week. Two weeks. Are publishers rejecting it and your agent is trying to spare you the pain? How long does it take to read a book? Should you be worried?! You send some of these questions to your agent and she calms you in soothing tones that work for around ten minutes, before you’re back to refreshing your emails every second again.  


When a publisher does respond positively, she forwards the email for you to obsess over. But a “positive” email means nothing without an offer. Before you get solid money on the table, your book will have to convince a Commissioning Editor – the editorial team (including the senior ‘Publisher’) and then the wider company, including representatives from sales, marketing and publicity. You don’t get told much about any of that, but you know vaguely that’s what’s going on.  


Not all books make it past this stage and an agent can spend months – even years – knocking on doors whilst you twiddle your thumbs. If you are lucky enough to get an offer, things at this point tend to speed up – other publishers are contacted and you (hopefully) enter into an “auction”, which doesn’t involve a man with a moustache and a gavel (unfortunately), but is a series of exciting emails until you get given a choice – do you go with the highest bidder? Or do you go with the publisher you like the best? 


Whatever your journey from there – submission is horrible. I’m on it right now, and I can tell you, a pandemic doesn’t help in any way. So tell me – what are your experiences of being on submission? Does this sound familiar to you in terms of agents or even non-writing-related work? Sign up for free and share in the Townhouse, here.  


Stay well x 

Sarah J  


Plus, don’t miss: 


Self-Edit Your Novel tutored course (Discounts available for members) 


9 June 2020. A final place has just opened up! With 1-in-4 alumni now published, this could be your shot at whipping your book into shape before the end of the year. Warning: this won’t stick around for long. 


Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 


 Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 


Complete Novel Mentoring (Discounts available for members) 


Work with an expert tutor as you write or edit your book. We have three world-leading authors at your disposal covering everything from children’s books to sci-fi. 


JOIN JERICHO WRITERS



Being “on submission” as a writer is widely regarded as the worst waiting game of your career – even worse than waiting to hear from agents (if such a thing is possible!) 

I’m on it right now, and I can tell you, a pandemic doesn’t help in any way. So tell me – what are your experiences of being on submission? Does this sound familiar to you in terms of agents or even non-writing-related work? Share below!

Stay well x 


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