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Ask an editor anything

Getting help writing and editing your book 

I’m a firm believer that no one person can write a brilliant book by themselves. This newsletter looks at the help that’s on hand as you write and edit your book. You are not alone!  

WEBINAR: Ask an editor anything, with Tanya Byrne (FREE for members) 

2 November 2020. Have questions on plot, characterisation, dialogue or something else that’s stopping you from writing? Bring your questions to this free, live session with one of our finest editors.  



This week at Jericho Writers:

MENTORING: Write or edit your book alongside an expert (10% discount for members) 

Get 20 hours of tailored mentoring from prize-winning authors and commissioning editors working across all genres. Whether your plotting, writing or editing – our mentors can help steer you in the right direction and give you that all-important feedback throughout the process. 


BLOG: Do literary agents edit your work? 

You asked and we answered. This article looks at the type of edit you might expect to see from an agent and how to ensure you get to that point with them! 


WEBINAR: Self-Editing with eels (FREE for members) 

TOMORROW! Join Harry Bingham as he edits your work live on screen for all to see. Not for the faint-hearted – this is a working masterclass on self-editing with real examples (but – despite the name – no eels).  




The 3 most frequently asked questions to an editor 

1: Is this any good?  

Sometimes (okay – all the time) we just need someone else to justify our writing. Even if we’re pleased with what we’ve written, nagging doubt-fairies will whisper in our ears, telling us it probably isn’t that great at all. Thankfully, editors are here to squish doubt-fairies and replace their words with constructive praise. Phew. 

2: Do you get that the antagonist is actually the protagonist’s evil twin? 

Okay, so this exact question probably doesn’t get asked all that much. But some form of a specific question will often come with a manuscript. “Is it clear that...?” - “Do you understand that...?” We all have things we want to be crystal clear in our worlds and other things we want to hint at, but keep secret until the end. An editor can give you their perspective as a reader and – if it isn’t quite clear yet – advice on how to make it so. Handy.  

3: Can you help me get this published?  

Great editors are often published themselves, or have worked in publishing houses. Surely they have connections that could help you get on the ladder? The truth is – they probably do. Jericho Writers certainly does. And we often use them too (see our success stories!) BUT. If an editor says “sorry - but no”, trust that this is the right decision. It could be they don’t know the right people for this project. Or – like us – it could be that they’ll only do this when they are 100% SURE than the work is absolutely ready for it. Otherwise, they risk the agent not taking your work seriously and possibly hurt their own relationship with that agent for the future.  

So – what would you ask an editor? Do these questions sound familiar? Sign up for free and share in the Townhouse here. 

Sarah J x 

Plus, don’t miss:

Self-Edit Your Novel tutored course bursary now open 

Entries are now open for the already sold-out Self-Edit Your Novel tutored course in January with Debi Alper. All under-represented writers are invited to apply for this free place.  

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. 

AgentMatch updated profile – Alice Lutyens (Exclusive for members) 

Alice Lutyens from Curtis Brown has been in touch to let us know she’s after commercial women’s fiction, literary fiction, sagas, crime/thrillers and ‘sophisticated’ horror. Check out her full updated profile on AgentMatch. 

Also – congratulations to our Marketing Manager Sophie Flynn, who just landed her first book deal with Simon and Schuster for her debut psychological thriller, All My Lies. What a star! 

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