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An Insight into Publishing

Sunday 10 April 2016

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Two authors who also have a role in publishing, Antonia Hodgson and Andrew Lownie, give an insight into the publishing world and offer advice on how to get a book from the germ of an idea to a hard copy in a bookshop.

What’s the best way to submit your work? Should you go straight to a publisher or through an agent? What are agents and publishers looking for, and what are the chances of your work being accepted? How can you make an agent or publisher sit up and look at what you have submitted?

Lownie worked as a bookseller, journalist and literary agent before setting up the boutique Andrew Lownie Literary Agency in 1988. He looks at almost 20,000 submissions each year, and his agency specialises in launching new writers and taking existing writers to a new level. Lownie is also author of a biography of John Buchan, a literary companion to Edinburgh, and a new biography of the spy Guy Burgess, which he talks about at another festival event.

Hodgson has worked in publishing for more than 15 years and is editor-in-chief at Little, Brown UK, a four-time winner of the Publisher of the Year award. Its authors include a range of leading fiction and non-fiction writers. Hodgson is also an author in her own right. Her debut novel, The Devil in the Marshalsea, won the CWA Historical Dagger, and she talks about its sequel, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins, at another festival event.

Discussions are chaired by Professor Jem Poster, a novelist and poet, emeritus professor of creative writing at Aberystwyth University and director of academic programmes for the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.