Elsie Granthier | Writer Support & Events Executive | Jericho Writers

  • 1143

Hi there, I'm Elsie! I work within the writer support and events teams at Jericho. 

I'm a big reader and a procrastinating writer. I have a never-ending pile of books that I want to read, and I'm always happy to give book recommendations - you can check out my bookstagram for reviews and my book blog for author interviews and publishing insights. 

Looking for something new to read? Check out some of my recent favourite books: 

  • Tall Bones by Anna Bailey (titled Where The Truth Lies in the US) 
  • Boy Parts by Eliza Clarke 
  • In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado 
  • The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper 
  • Shocked Earth by Saskia Goldschmidt, tr. by Antoinette Fawcett
  • A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
  • Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson 
  • The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe


Relationships
Empty
Elsie Granthier | Writer Support & Events Executive | Jericho Writers Discussions
  •  ·  121
Members, don't forget today's member zoom call at 4pm GMT. You can join through your member events p…

Hi Claudette. We don't offer a first 20 pages review, but we do offer an opening section review, which is the first 20,000 words. Our 'assessments' (manuscript assessments, opening section review, etc.) are overviews of your story. This means that an editor will comment on structure, character, style, etc. Alternatively, we have copy-editing which pays attention to English/grammar/syntax. It sounds like we don't quite have the service in place for you, but we'd be happy to talk about your needs and see if we can create a bespoke service for you (perhaps an analysis of the first 10,000 words of your novella?). If this is something you'd be interested in, do drop us an email at info@jerichowriters.com and we'll have a chat about what would work for you! 

Added a post 

Meet Haydn Middleton, one of our longest standing editors, having worked with us since 2005.  


Haydn has written an almost scary number of books. Name a subject, and he’s probably written something on it! Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, for adults or children, Haydn has experience, although he’s particularly passionate about working on fantasy, historical, and literary fiction. You can find out more about his books on www.haydnmiddleton.com  


Here’s what he had to say:  


Q: So that we can learn a bit about you, tell us about one writing-related thing you’re proud of, and one non-writing related thing you’re proud of.  


I hope I can take some pride from the fact that my primary school texts for Pearson and OUP may have helped reluctant young readers to get into books. In a non-writing sense, I got a big kick out of playing football for England Writers in ‘World Cups’ in Florence and Malmo! 


Q: What brought you to the world of writing? What keeps you writing?  


A fairly powerful drive, quite early on in my working life, to spend more time trying to get to the bottom of things largely on my own. It took me several years to know what I was trying to get to the bottom of, which then kept on changing – so I’ve had to keep on writing! 


Q: Tell me about what you're currently working on. 


A book for adult readers called Aesop’s Leap, subtitled Fables for Today, which is currently scheduled for publication by Propolis Books in Spring 2023. (There is a legend that Aesop, creator of fables like The Tortoise and The Hare and The Boy Who Cried Wolf, was executed at Delphi in Ancient Greece – flung from a high rock on a charge of temple theft. But I think he leapt of his own free will, then went on moving through the aether in much the same exemplary way as his fables. To my mind he’s circling still, showing all the rest of us how to make a similar imaginative leap, which involves passing the world as we find it through a creative filter, then setting down our personal rules of thumb for getting through life. And so, in an avalanche of randomness, I’ve written my own collection of fables for today – in verse!)   


Q: You’ve just received a new manuscript to critique: what’s the first thing you do? Walk us through your editing process.  


Well, first of all I read it with an open mind. I guess there are three things I’m on the alert for in whatever I start to read, viz: Topic (what is this writer writing about?), Language (how are they writing about it?) and Angle (what is the particular case they’re making?). Sometimes I find that scripts aren’t actually what their writers say they’re about. That’s fine. Once the script is out of the writer’s hands, the burning question is how it will be received. But I like to be receiving something which only this particular writer can have written. It doesn’t have to be a fantastically brilliant story, or be fantastically originally written, or even have any especially earth-shattering ‘message’. I respond most positively, I think, when I feel that the writer is doing everything they can to make some kind of connection, which may in the first instance be a connection with him- or herself. If this possibility of connection is there, I find that it’s there almost from the first page. I’m hesitating to say that this is all about ‘finding one’s voice’, which seems to me reductive (since everyone has any number of voices they use every day). But I want to get the impression that what I’m being told has been carefully considered in all its aspects, and couldn’t have been told to me by anyone but this one writer. 


Q: How do you manage being on the other side of the editorial process – when your own writing is being edited? What should an author who is receiving critique for the first-time be aware of? 


I’ve always welcomed informed criticism of my work (that doesn’t extend to certain reviewers!). As a former editor in a publishing house myself, I know how much a decent editor can bring to the table, in both line-by-line criticism and discussions of the broader sweep. The first-time author should maybe be aware that their script could be further away from commercial viability (if commercial viability is their goal) than they like to imagine, or than their well-meaning editor cares to spell out. My feeling is that if there’s any prospect at all of eventual publication, an editor will make this absolutely clear. It took me ten years of trying before my own first novel was published. I now accept my earlier work was unpublishable. 


Q: What writing do you get most excited about working as an editor on? What really makes you intrigued by a submission?  


I’d have to go back to what I said two questions ago: the growing sense that I’m reading work by someone who isn’t writing off-the-peg or by rote, who has an idiosyncratic take on the world, and isn’t afraid to deliver their vision in whatever form seems necessary to them. I’d add that evidence of a sense of humour never goes amiss, either. If a writer makes me smile, even in the covering letter or synopsis, I’m immediately better-disposed towards them. This may just be a flaw in me. But some of the greatest writers have shown that even the most serious subjects don’t have to be treated in a reverentially serious fashion at all times.  


Q: What do you read for pleasure? Is this different to the writing you enjoy working on?  


Mostly poetry in recent times. I find myself drawn too to reading about the lives of writers. And I spend far too much time reading opinion pieces in the media, about which I can seldom remember very much a day or two later, but it all seemed so very urgent at the time! I think it’s quite important to keep reading as widely as possible. I like learning new things, especially if the new information directly contradicts what I thought I already knew. 


Q: Finally, if you could only give one piece of advice to all aspiring authors, what would it be?  


Keep an open mind – about absolutely everything. 


Is your manuscript ready for a professional critique? Haydn is one of 70+ Jericho Writers editors, so we’ll always find your perfect match.     


Head over to our editing hub to see the services that we have on offer. Not sure which service to opt for? Drop an email to info@jerichowriters.com and we’ll be happy to discuss which service would be right for you and your manuscript. 

Added a post 


When I say the word writer, what comes to mind? For me, it’s Colin Firth in Love, Actually, writing his novel on a typewriter from his lakeside French cottage. I’m a writer that doesn’t own a typewriter or a holiday home, and I don’t fancy jumping into an eel-ridden lake to recover the only copy of my manuscript, but this is still the image that sticks in my head. I’d wager that, for most of us, the word ‘writer’ conjures up an image of a person sat at a desk, working on the next Great Novel.  


There are a lot of preconceptions attached to the word ‘writer’, which is a problem. They limit us. And we’re writers for a reason – we don’t do limits.  


Yet writing for a lot of us still means being sat in our offices/bedrooms/trains to work, typing or scribbling alone. This May, we’re stepping away from the desk with our Writing for Hire month, to shine a light on the parts of writing that we’re curious about – because we think you just might be curious too.  


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to write comics? Or ghost write a celebrity memoir? What do you know about the people who write for games, podcasts, the radio, and the stage? We’ll be learning from experts across the writing industry about their world of writing and how it can change yours.  


Fancy visiting a galaxy far, far away? We’ll be speaking to franchise tie-in writer Daniel Jose Older, with questions approved by the big Star Wars bosses, so that no franchise secrets or spoilers are revealed! Isn’t that an interesting contrast as someone writing alone – imagining a day where you’re no longer accountable to just yourself, but a huge global franchise?  


How about turning a writing desk into a round table? Susan Soon He Stanton will be taking us behind the scenes of Succession and into the writers’ room. Maybe this will take you towards your dream of writing for TV, or perhaps her insight on ‘breaking’ stories will help with the beats of your novel.  


And of course, we couldn’t talk about writing for hire without teaching you the skills you need to get paid for your writing. We’re so excited to have Sian Meades-Williams (who is the voice on freelance writing) talking all about what success means as a freelance writer.  


Writing might be a solo project, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. This month, learn all about the influence that others can have on your writing, find out if there’s a writing medium you never knew was for you, and lean from the best what it means to them to be a writer. Come along, open your mind, and join us on a journey to see where writing can take us.  

Added a post 

Welcome back to Editors Unedited! This week we’re talking to Eve Seymour, who’s been with Jericho Writers longer than Jericho Writers has been called Jericho Writers. (I may need a good editor myself...)  


In her 11 years working with us, Eve has worked on crime and thriller novels across all their many subgenres, spy fiction, and action/adventure novels. Eve will tell you straight-up what isn’t working, whilst letting you know what makes your novel shine.  


Here’s everything you need to know from Eve:  


Q: So that we can learn a bit about you, tell us about one writing-related thing you’re proud of, and one non-writing related thing you’re proud of.  


Fourteen published novels.  


Big picture answer: my large family.  


Small stuff: In the past I only had to look at a plant and it would keel over and die. Now, bewilderingly, I find myself green-fingered.  It’s deeply satisfying. 


Q: What brought you to the world of writing? What keeps you writing?  


I fell into it! It wasn’t a conscious decision, but something that evolved when I started ‘noodling.’ Whispered softly, it took me roughly seven years before I obtained agent representation. In other words, there are a number of manuscripts that wound up being destroyed (thank goodness!) However, with each story and draft, I learnt so much about what constitutes strong storytelling.  


As for what keeps me writing: addiction, obsession and escapism.  


Q: Tell me about what you're currently working on.  


Not on your life! I’ve written a crime novel very recently and it’s currently with my agent... Watch this space... 


Q: You’ve just received a new manuscript to critique: what’s the first thing you do? Walk us through your editing process.  


I like to dive straight in, as if I’ve picked out the story from a shelf in a bookshop. Straightaway, I’ll be looking for the ‘hook’ and whether the opening chapter is sufficiently appealing. Thereafter, I read with a very objective eye.  


Technically, I have the manuscript on one half of the screen, the critique on the other so that I can make notes all the way through the reading process regarding characterisation, plot structure, pace and tension, as well as style and dialogue, marketability and specific suggestions for improvement. Usually, 'General Comment' is addressed quite quickly because the strengths and weaknesses of any story are usually evident from the first couple of hours of reading. 'Conclusion', as one might expect, is left right until the end.  


Apart from reading covering submission material so that I know what the story is about, I never read a synopsis until I’ve finished the entire manuscript. The only exception is when I can’t follow the story, or there is a contradiction, in which case I may refer to the synopsis to guide me through.  


Q: How do you manage being on the other side of the editorial process – when your own writing is being edited? What should an author who is receiving critique for the first-time be aware of? 


Editing is a huge part of a professional writer’s life so it’s something that needs to be grasped even if, initially, you may not like it! I’ve lost count of the times I’ve disagreed loudly and complained to the sky! However, if enough time passes and, following a chat with my agent and/or editor, I always wind up (sheepishly) thinking the ‘negative’ comment was pretty insightful. Better still, it spurs me on to revise and redraft. Twice, I’ve completely disembowelled a novel and, although sticking to the main theme, crafted something quite different to the original concept. And with no regrets.  


As for the author receiving a critique for the first time: Criticism, however constructive, hurts. There is no getting away from it. You’ve poured an enormous amount of time and love into your story and anything less than a glowing opinion feels like an affront. BUT, like a good friend whom you trust, having a solid editor batting for you – and we all are – is essential. It’s our mission to ensure that your story is the best it can be. Advice is based on years of experience of an industry that is like no other. We’ve all been through highs and lows, even as published authors, so listening to advice, and acting on it if it resonates with you, is worthwhile.    


Q: What writing do you get most excited about working as an editor on? What really makes you intrigued by a submission?  


A high concept premise - the most difficult to pull off. I also love anything with an original twist, whether it’s police procedural or spy fiction. Both genres are quite saturated so, again, it’s a challenge for a new writer, but I love to see someone having a go and, if I can help a writer to succeed, so much the better.   


Q: What do you read for pleasure? Is this different to the writing you enjoy working on?  


American crime fiction and British spy fiction are my ‘go-to’s.’ I also love writers like Jo Nesbo and Pierre Lemaitre. I have my favourites and can’t get enough Dennis Lehane and Mick Herron. My secret pleasure is historical fiction. Any era will do. Very rarely will I read a novel twice, but Conn Iggulden’s Genghis Khan series is seriously tempting.   


Q: Finally, if you could only give one piece of advice to all aspiring authors, what would it be?  


READ. Read anything and everything you can lay your hands on and study how writers craft their stories. Anything you may be a little weak on, pay special attention. When I was trying to get published it was flagged up that my dialogue was flaky. I spent months just studying dialogue and it paid off. Obviously, you’re going to read your chosen genre, but also read outside it because principles of strong storytelling are universal.  


Is your manuscript ready for a professional critique? Eve is one of 70+ Jericho Writers editors, so we’ll always find your perfect match.    

Head over to our editing hub to see the services that we have on offer. Not sure which service to opt for? Drop an email to info@jerichowriters.com and we’ll be happy to discuss which service would be right for you and your manuscript.

Added a post 

This week on Editors Unedited we’re bringing out our go-to editor for your comedic work.  


Caroline has been a Jericho editor for 2 years, and we’re delighted to have such a successful comic author on the team who can give insight into how humorous books work in the market today. Although she writes within character-driven and comedic book-club fiction, she’s also brilliant at giving insight on your literary fiction, crime/thriller, women’s fiction, and historical fiction.  


Let’s see what she had to say...


Q: So that we can learn a bit about you, tell us about one writing-related thing you’re proud of, and one non-writing related thing you’re proud of. 


In writing terms, I’m most proud that I kept going in the face of repeated and universal rejection! I had the opposite of overnight success – it took me five books and twenty years to get published, and I’m pleased and proud I stuck at it. 


In non-writing terms, I used to play card games at quite a serious level, so I can pull out some cool chip and card shuffles when I want to! 


Q: What brought you to the world of writing? What keeps you writing?  


If I’m honest, I don’t know. Something deep down made me want to write and, more importantly, keeps me writing. I don’t think it’s always a decision made with the head, and there are certainly more straightforward paths than writing for a living! I gave up so many times over the years, just to concentrate on my day job… but then I’d find myself getting excited by a new project and the cycle would start again. 


Q: Tell me about what you're currently working on.  


I have just handed in a draft of my fourth book club comedy, so I’m generating ideas for my next book while waiting for my edits back. Which means, generally, wandering around and doing fun stuff and all the household chores I’ve been putting off, while making notes on my phone that make no sense when I come back to them! 


Q: You’ve just received a new manuscript to critique: what’s the first thing you do? Walk us through your editing process.  


I read and make notes, looking at the story shape first of all. I edit ‘big to small’, focusing on the big-ticket story and structure first, then character and the character arcs. I try not to think about the language and detail aspects until right at the end. I think a lot of people can write great sentences and even great scenes, but that the biggest challenge to authors is sustaining reader interest over the length of a novel. Story shape and overall proposition (What ‘is’ the book? And does it broadly meet the expectations of the intended genre?) are key factors in whether a book would be of interest to industry professionals, so this is what I focus on most.  


Q: How do you manage being on the other side of the editorial process – when your own writing is being edited? What should an author who is receiving critique for the first-time be aware of? 


I think I’m quite unusual here because I love being edited! I’m an extrovert at heart and, after working on a book on my own for so long, I’m so grateful to get a chance to hear the perspective of someone that isn’t in my own head. And I always remember the person giving me the feedback is on my side. That’s the key thing to remember. 


Constructive feedback isn’t always easy to receive – especially not when you’ve worked on something for so long, and it feels so personal. But being able to take feedback well is a huge part of the job. I know a lot of professional writers, and not even number one bestsellers get editorial feedback like ‘it’s amazing – don’t change a thing!’ We are all told that our subplots aren’t fully worked through, that characters could do with developing, that pacing could do with some focus. I think successful writing is rewriting, and often that means being willing to consider huge changes. But always remember the editor is on your side when telling you this. They are not trying to pick at you – they are trying to help you lift your work to the next level by giving a different perspective. 


Q: What writing do you get most excited about working as an editor on? What really makes you intrigued by a submission?  


I like to learn about something I don’t know. If like it if there’s nuggets of authentic insight into a job or situation – especially if those nuggets are interesting and surprising.     


Q: What do you read for pleasure? Is this different to the writing you enjoy working on?  


I mainly read in the areas I edit. When I’m editing, I tend to read the book on my computer to draw a clear line between work reading and reading for fun. 


Q: Finally, if you could only give one piece of advice to all aspiring authors, what would it be?  


I’m giving two! Firstly, don’t get hung up at first draft stage, thinking this draft has to be brilliant. I believe great books are created in the editing process, and momentum is everything when writing a book. Keeping momentum flowing is much better than sitting in tortured angst, thinking you have to get each sentence perfect at this stage. 


Secondly, for every book you want to write, read a thousand more! Reading will help you develop your skills – and if you want to get commercially published, it’s helpful to know where what you’re writing fits in the contemporary fiction market. Conventions and rules are there to be broken but, to break the rules effectively, you need to understand what they are. Reading helps you intuit all this.  


Is your manuscript ready for a professional critique? Caroline is one of 70+ Jericho Writers editors, so we’ll always find your perfect match.    

Head over to our editing hub to see the services that we have on offer. Not sure which service to opt for? Drop an email to info@jerichowriters.com and we’ll be happy to discuss which service would be right for you and your manuscript.

Added a post 

We’re delighted to be sharing the fourth instalment of EDITORS UNEDITED! Today we’re talking to Holly Seddon. A current Jericho editor and mentor, and previous head of community, Holly is a big part of Jericho Writers as well as a bestselling author (her most recent thriller came out last week!)  – so I hope you’re taking notes! Holly would love to work on novels under the crime/thriller/suspense umbrella.  


Here are her words of wisdom:  


Q: So that we can learn a bit about you, tell us about one writing-related thing you’re proud of, and one non-writing related thing you’re proud of.  


The writing-related thing I’m most proud of is the blurbs that I’ve had from authors I admire. I’ll never forget the day that Augusten Burroughs tweeted kindly about my debut, I was so overwhelmed with pride that I couldn’t speak for a moment and my husband thought I’d just received word of a terrible tragedy.  


The non-writing thing is going bouldering with my family and not giving up on it despite being clumsy and scared of heights. My children scale up these plastic mountain sides like monkeys and I painfully make my way up the beginner circuits but I love it and I’m gradually getting more brave. 


Q: What brought you to the world of writing? What keeps you writing?  


I can’t remember not writing. As soon as I could form words with a pencil, it was what I wanted to do most in my life. What keeps me writing is a mix of addiction, pride, curiosity and desire to try new things, explore new styles and topics.  


Q: Tell me about what you're currently working on.  


I’m just coming to the end of writing book six – name to be announced later! – and editing it ready to send to my publisher. It’s a thriller that somewhat subverts the manor house mystery and I’m excited to get it into people’s hands.  


Q: You’ve just received a new manuscript to critique: what’s the first thing you do? Walk us through your editing process.  


I read the synopsis carefully and write down any immediate thoughts and questions. Then I open up a template for the report as this guides my thinking a little, and I write the report as I read the book, gradually populating each section with notes. Every little typo or grammatical hiccup goes in the editorial notes section, as do small points and prose suggestions. This steadily fills up as I read the manuscript. I tend to read in bursts of at least an hour so I can really immerse myself in the work and when I’ve finished, I write up those notes on the report into a more professional and comprehensive format.  


Q: How do you manage being on the other side of the editorial process – when your own writing is being edited? What should an author who is receiving critique for the first-time be aware of? 


Just know that everyone has the same shared goal – to help get your work in the best shape possible. Sometimes, that means being told some hard truths and that can sting. But I’d rather hear it from an editor than read it on multiple negative reviews after publication! That said, it’s important to trust your gut. Sometimes an edit is suggested that doesn’t feel right to you, it’s worth exploring that and trying to think of other routes to fix the issue that’s been identified.  


Q: What writing do you get most excited about working as an editor on? What really makes you intrigued by a submission?  


When it’s a fresh idea or a fresh twist on a well-worn idea. When the voice is really compelling and when I can see ways to help the author really bring their idea to life.  


Q: What do you read for pleasure? Is this different to the writing you enjoy working on?  


I generally have two fiction books on the go at all times (and often non-fiction for research). I have my bedtime book, which is almost always a classic crime or a mid-century mystery (I’m enjoying Mary Kelly and Julian Symons). I often read series books too, such as the Maigret books or the Arsene Lupin stories.  


For my ‘day book’(!), I read very widely and there’s no genre I’d reject outright. I do have some favourites though. I read a lot of modern history fiction, especially translated fiction set during the cold war.  


Q: Finally, if you could only give one piece of advice to all aspiring authors, what would it be?  


Read. Read widely. Read often. So much of our instinct as writers is built through reading.  


Is your manuscript ready for a professional critique? Holly is one of 70+ Jericho Writers editors, so we’ll always find your perfect match.    

Head over to our editing hub to see the services that we have on offer. Not sure which service to opt for? Drop an email to info@jerichowriters.com and we’ll be happy to discuss which service would be right for you and your manuscript.

Glad to give you a push to keep on working towards getting published! Hilariously great outlook from your mother in law too! 

What a lovely comment! I'd love to use this this as a testimonial for Abby on our website, would that be okay? 

Info
Gender:
Woman
Full Name:
Elsie Granthier | Writer Support & Events Executive | Jericho Writers
Friends count:
Followers count:
Membership
Administrator
My Posts