10 March 2016

Discovery Day: In Their Own Words

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by Eli Keren Events, Guest Blog, Opinion

We reckon our third Discovery Day at Foyles bookshop was a huge success, but don’t take our word for it. Here’s a collection of personal accounts from some of the authors who attended. These eight were just a few of the many, many writers – in excess of 700, in fact – who had the opportunity to pitch their novels in person and show their first pages to the book agents from Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh.

Elaire Roberts and Francesca Capaldi of Write Minds had this to say:

‘It’s pretty safe to say we all had a good day and it is definitely something we would recommend. The opportunity to meet with agents and get feedback on your first page is priceless.’

Not bad for a free event! Clare McVey approached the day apprehensively, worried that she was wasting her time. Her final verdict?

‘So was it worth it? Unequivocally, yes.’

When we said that we were offering an event during which our agents would take a look over your work and offer personal, face-to-face feedback, the cynics among you could be forgiven for believing that we would pack our booths with interns and assistants. Here’s Mel Ciavucco’s account of the opposite:

‘I’d heard a girl say she saw Claire Conville from Conville and Walsh and I was really surprised. I wrongly presumed they’d just send the readers, but the big agents were there – agghhh!’

Agghhh indeed. Grace Palmer, known for her Bristol-based Novel Nights and her blog, Wordpoppy, was thrilled to have gone home with more than she’d bargained for from Curtis Brown agent Anna Davis:

‘Fantastic! I was so chuffed and also got an email address from her for an agent speaker for Novel Nights. Result!’

Bethan James of the blog ‘Covergirl’ wrote her top ten things she learned from our Discovery Day, but we think her closing thought summed the day up nicely:

‘Fantastic free event for aspiring novelists’

Twitter users Anne Davies and Jess George were similarly impressed:

Finally, my personal favourite quote comes from The Write Romantics because, when all else is said and done, this is what Discovery Day is for:

‘I found the experience of Discovery Day extremely positive and a lot of fun. Jess showed a lot of enthusiasm for my novel which was a real boost and whether or not I end up securing an agent this time round, Discovery Day did a lot for my confidence and belief in my writing.’

I’ll let the writers speak for themselves.

As well as expert teaching from published authors, all our three- and six-month novel-writing courses offer dedicated modules on submitting your novel to literary agents – and include sessions on writing a synopsis and preparing a covering letter. Click for more information or to apply for our creative writing courses.

 

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