Julia O

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Having recently moved to Somerset, I am beginning to explore my new area now lockdown is easing. In the meantime, my 19th century MS is gestating in a virtual drawer while I pluck up the courage to go for a On-to-One. Novel number two is well on the way and I've also started plotting number three (West country setting again with a link to number one). Actually, I am usually a panster but number three novel needs careful plotting as it's loosely based on the sad life of an ancestor (though I'm going to give her a happy ending).

When I'm not writing, I'm researching my family history (my other passion). It was the research into my Cornish ancestors that began my journey into novel writing. 

I enjoy country and coastal walks, love cats and dogs (though no longer own either one), cake and custard creams. 

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Julia O Discussions
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While watching Rebecca Horsfall's illuminating webinar on Saturday, I realised that I have committed…
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  •  · For what it's worth, I would say that leaving EVERYTHING open is unsatisfying to readers who have in…
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At Debi Alper's excellent webinar this evening, Sarah put up a link to a mini self-editing course. P…
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  •  · As long as your a member then this is the link you want. It'll take you to the first bit of the mast…
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...I'm not sure if it's the best way of revealing my protagonist's past.My second novel begins in 18…
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  •  · My question would be what is your main story about. 1) Is it a story about how a woman ends up in Br…
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I have been tweaking my MS but wondered whether to have it assessed before I submit again (I had a n…
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  •  · Hi DonnaGood idea about starting a beta-reader group; when I get a chance I’ll look into setting som…
Added a comment to Hi to all 

Welcome Aleah. No matter what stage you are at with your WIP, you'll find lots of help and friendly advice here. 

Thanks Debbie.😅  We here in the UK could all do with a smile right now.

Added a comment to Hi, All 

Welcome to the community, Pauline.

Hi Dave. Here are a few basic guidelines: I would use a standard font such as Times New Roman in size 12point. Set it in 1.5 or double spacing - which some agents prefer. Indent paragraphs but don't put spaces between them (I was also taught not to indent the first paragraph in a new chapter or change of scene but others may have been taught differently). Remember to number your pages and begin a new chapter on a new page. Agents will want your MS as a single doc in Word (.doc or .docx) or a PDF. 

I was also told to put my name and novel title in a header top right corner on each page. I guess this helps the agent find their way around the MS.

But, always check with the agent's submission guidelines. This is important as they do differ.  

Jericho will have good advice but I also got the 'Bad Gateway' error when I searched on google.  The Literary Consultancy has some guidelines: https://literaryconsultancy.co.uk/editorial/how-to-submit  or try https://www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk/tips-on-preparing-your-submission-package

It can be confusing and I can't advise on the difference between formatting for a UK or US agent.

I hope this helps. 

So good to read such encouraging news! Well done Reidr and congrats also to Gillian. Keeping fingers crossed for you both. 

Hi Janet. Actually, I hadn't thought of pitching with an emphasis on women's fiction. I might try that. As for beta readers, I found two on FB - Historical Fiction Beta Readers - they were very helpful. It was a reciprocal arrangement. But I did also find one through Fiverr. That was a paid for reader and wasn't overly expensive - prices varied. They are the only ones I've tried thus far.


Congratulations, Caroline. It must be a wonderful feeling to see your book 'out there'. This is a route I am considering - the comments from Alex are helpful. I wish you success.

I'm at a similar place, Georgina. After lots (and I means LOTS!) of edits and some constructive beta reader crits, I have finally begun to submit. We are advised to target those agents interested in your genre - mine is historical fiction as well as commercial and women's fiction. I am finding hard to find the large number of agents that people suggest I should submit to.  I have found about a dozen but some of those are currently closed for submissions. So, if declined by all, I shall think about self-publishing. I just want to see my book(s) out in the world. 

Added a comment to Cover Reveal 

So many congratulations, Laure. Your book looks great and the blurb has got me hooked already. Have added it to my 'Want to Read' list and am heading to Amazon to pre-order - roll on April! 

Hi Duncan. Welcome. I guess I should warn you that, knowing you are an expert at pithy one-liners, many of us are going be queuing outside your door!

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