Date posted: 23rd November 2017 / Interviews
Our ‘How to Get Published’ conference with the Writers & Artists Yearbook is just nine days. Returning to Plymouth University for a second year, this event offers a day of publishing tips from industry insiders including publishers, agents, editors and writers – an unmissable event if you’re looking to take the next step with your writing and seeking publication.
In the run up to the event, we’ll be interviewing the speakers to give you a taste of the insider information they’ll be sharing and just why they think you should attend this year’s event. We continue the series with Juliet Pickering, agent at Blake Friedmann. Read our interview with her below and find out how you can get your tickets to the event.
Can you tell us about your role at Blake Friedmann?How did you become involved in events like ‘How to Get Published’?
I’m an agent and Vice Head of the Book Department, at Blake Friedmann. I joined them nearly 5 years ago when my previous agency merged with United Agents, bringing 15 lovely authors with me. Since 2013 I’ve grown my list of writers to 50, and represent both fiction and non-fiction. My tastes are fairly broad (one of the reasons I love being an agent!), from Literary to commercial fiction, and from cookbooks through memoir to humour and craft. It’s a varied job!
I got involved in Get Published both because I know the great people at Writers & Artists, and because I live not too far away from Plymouth, in Bath. I’m keen to meet writers around the UK so volunteered for this!
Publishing has traditionally been seen as ‘London based’. We’re noticing more events and opportunities based around the process of getting published are happening outside of London. What would you say is the major benefit of attending such events for writers based in the South West as compared to say online resources on the subject?
The internet is a brilliant resource for information, but it holds many and varied opinions on the best ways to get published. I hope that having the opportunity to meet agents and publishers face-to-face, and ask them questions, will provide more helpful than relying on a website or twelve. It also reminds you that, as a writer, you’re not alone; writing can be such a solitary pursuit!
Why do you think it’s important to have writers talking about their own pathways and careers at events like How to Get Published – what it is that they offer that is different from editors and agents?
There are many different ways and routes to getting published, and as a writer it’s good sense to equip yourself with knowing all your options. Agents and larger publishers might represent the more traditional route, but indie and self publishing can be just as successful. It’s great to hear a range of views and experiences at one conference.
What would you say is the top misconception people have about the process of getting published?
That it’s who you know. It’s not, it’s got to be about what you write and how. You could be best friends with J K Rowling and still be the worst writer in the world – it doesn’t matter if you don’t know anybody in publishing at all, your book should be able to work its magic regardless.
Can you give us a taster of one of the publishing tips you’ll be sharing on the day?
When submitting to an agent, do your research! It’s no use sending a science fiction novel to an agent who only works with cookbooks. Make sure you know who you’re targeting and why!
‘How to Get Published’ takes place on Saturday 2nd December 8.30 am – 4 pm at Plymouth University in the ‘Plymouth’ lecture theatre (Portland Square Building).
Tickets to the event are available here. (Don’t forget to use discount code LITWORKS30, our £30 discount for you at the check out). See you there!