Archive for the ‘Agency announcements’ Category
The Kate Nash Literary Agency is looking for an energetic graduate for a six week paid internship this autumn. Please see jobs page for full details.
*** Closed for Submissions ***
The Kate Nash Literary Agency will be closed to new submissions until 1st September 2011 because of traveling and conferences.
*** Winchester Writers Conference ***
Kate Nash is giving one to ones to writers at Winchester Writers Conference on 2nd July 2011 and is also delighted to attend the dinner and looks forward to meeting writers there.
As the year draws to a close, so does the Great Novel Openings competition. This search for great novel openings caught me completely unawares with how many entries received, and also the high standard of many of the entries meaning that I decided to announce a long list first. Every entry on that long list showed promise and left the reader wanting more – absolutely essential at the beginning of a story. You must draw the reader in right away (and then keep them there…).
In summary, a promising novel opening must have:
- and/or a sense of mystery
Deciding on the short list was no walk in the park and here I imagine that some of my subjective preferences as a reader came into play. Looking at creative writing can be done objectively and subjectively and although I forced myself to try and be as objective as possible – trying to pick those entries that seemed strongest – there was not a lot in it in many cases.
Those entries that were shortlisted tended to also include one or more of the following elements:
- danger or the promise of future danger
- vivid description
Remember the entries were very short – only 500 words – which is not long to develop elements such as characterisation deeply. Vivid description can often be achieved in very few words and I am not just talking about description of setting here, but description of actions. Novel openings tend to be stronger when something is happening. So another likely essential element to add to the list:
The winning entry also showed the following element – something that is essential for a story that will really draw a reader in and not let them go until the end:
Congratulations to Alexander Velky, writer of the winning 500 words.
The winning piece started with detailed description – setting and action – and quickly built up suspense. Within 150 words, enough mystery had been initiated so that the reader would be asking “what happens next”. The winning excerpt also delivered characterisation: every word counted, description delivered plot and suspense as well as giving clues about characterisation.
I look forward to meeting Alexander shortly and thank everyone again who entered the competition.
Judging the great novel openings competition has been entirely subjective. And with over 500 entries it’s also been a voyage of discovery. All entries were read and judged on 500 words alone. Where writers submitted a covering letter or additional information, this was ignored. I almost certainly have turned down work with commercial merit where the first 500 words aren’t reflective of the overall quality. However, this competition was designed to make writers think about the value of how important openings to novels are. If your opening isn’t up to it readers simply won’t get to the rest.
The judging criteria was “do I want to read on?” and whether I was disappointed to reach the end of 500 words without knowing what happened next.
The longlisted entries represent a wide variety of styles of writing and genres but all of them scored highly on “do I want to read on”.
Longlisted writers are:
Deborah Bryne O’Shea
Congratulations to everyone on the longlist.
I will be rereading the longlisted entries in a couple of weeks with fresh eyes, so expect the shortlist announcement and winner around the beginning of September.
The Kate Nash Literary Agency is delighted to announce a competition open to all unrepresented writers. Submit a great 500-word opening to an adult novel, and you could win the opportunity to meet Kate Nash for lunch and an in-depth discussion of your writing.
* Entries must consist of an opening to a full-length adult novel. Work aimed at the childrens/YA market or non-fiction will not be considered.
* The entry must bear a title and be emailed to Kate Nash Literacy Agency with the word “Competition” in the email title. Entries without “Competition” in the email title will not be read.
* Prose should be pasted into the body of the email. Entries which include attachments will not be opened.
* Entrants must be located in the United Kingdom or be willing to travel to London.
* Entrants must include their real name, telephone number and postal address.
* Entrants may be previously published or unpublished but may not be currently represented by a literary agent.
* Entries must be exactly 500 words of prose, excluding title. If this means finishing mid-sentence, sobeit.
* Entries must be original work of the author. Entry into the competition grants no rights to the Kate Nash Literacy Agency over the work. Copyright remains with the author. Subject to agreement with the author, the entry or extracts of, may be published on this website.
* While the Kate Nash Literarcy Agency will take every care with entries, it can not be responsible for loss or damage.
* Winning entrants agree their name and entry title can be announced on this website.
* Entries will not be acknowleged and no individual feedback on entries will be given.
* Entries must be received by midnight on June 30th 2010.
* Entries will be judged by Kate Nash. The judge’s decision is entirely subjective and final.
* The winner(s) will be announced on this website.
* The winner will be invited to submit further work to the Kate Nash Literary Agency and to meet Kate Nash for lunch/afternoon tea in London (or other mutually convenient location) to discuss their work.