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Masterclasses / How To Get An Agent


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Next date: Saturday 4th April, 11.00am

Duration: 60 minutes

Location: Online


This class is designed to shed light on the role that literary agents perform: what they do and don't do, how they select books and choose authors to represent, and what is it they are looking for? Getting an agent is often seen as a Holy Grail quest among authors (including the tutor at one time!), but there are lots of myths and misunderstandings among the author community as to what an agent actually does.


And if you can find an agent that will take you on, is it all roses from there, what should you expect?

1. Introduction

  • Who are literary agents and what do they do - really?​


2. Submitting your work

  • What is the slush pile?

  • How do agents want you to send in your work?

  • Editing


3. How an agent picks the authors / books they represent 

  • Editing

  • How publishers buy books from agents

  • Who does the agent actually represent: author, publisher or themselves?

  • The cover letter and synopsis.

  • Why some authors will never get picked. 

4. Is the agent your legal adviser?

  • What training does an agent have?

  • Publishing contracts  

5. The literary agent will market your book, right?

  • The agent has found you a publisher - what happens next?

  • The difference between agent and publicist.

6. Literary Agents and Self Publishing

  • How do they co-exist

  • If you self publish does it mean an agent will not be interested in you?


7. Questions & Answers


Who should attend?
Any author - new, unpublished or having previously self published - who is interested in knowing more about the Traditional Publishing route and the first step in that process i.e. finding a literary agent. 

What will you achieve?
By the end of the class, students will have a good understanding of who agents are, what they are and are not looking for, the advantages and disadvantages of this route. 

How will you be taught?
This class is taught lecture-style with opportunities for students to ask the tutor questions.

About the Tutor

peter salmon[3115].jpg

 what does

an agent do?


 what are they looking for?


✓ what can

you expect from your agent?



 will they help with marketing?

 how does

an agent

view self publishing?

PETER SALMON will be your masterclass tutor. Gareth is CEO and co-founder of Authoright and Clink Street Publishing, which focuses on publishing and promoting new and unknown authors. He has been an innovator in the self publishing sector for the past fifteen years.

Before moving into publishing, Gareth had qualified and worked as a lawyer in London. It was during this time that he wrote his first novel and approached several agents all of whom rejected the book as being 'not marketable'. Gareth self published his book in 2005 and it went on to be a bestseller, being covered by the mainstream media in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. He was then offered representation by several of the agents that had previously rejected him - he went on to be represented as an author by one of London's leading literary agencies.  


In his capacity as CEO of Authoright, he has been engaged as a consultant by some of the leading literary agents in both London and New York including The Writer's House, the oldest literary agency in the USA. He has also worked closely with agents when programming events and lectures for conferences and global book fairs, such as The London Book Fair and The Frankfurt Book Fair. In 2013, Authoright was engaged by The London Book Fair to curate their first author-focused programming. At this time,. Gareth brought in agents to speak with unpublished authors for the first time in the Fair's history, it also included a live pitching session. 

Agents from Curtis Brown, AM HeathJanklow & Nesbitt, The Lownie Agency and Sheil Land have previously participated in Authoright events. 

Peter is a writer and editor. His first novel, The Coffee Story (Sceptre, 2011), was a New Statesman Book of the Year. He has written frequently for Australian TV and radio, and for broadsheets including The Guardian and the Sydney Review of Books. The Blue News, his satirical column about books and publishing, was subsequently collected and published by Melbourne University Press as Uncorrected Proof (2005). He has received awards from the Arts Council of England and the Arts Council of Victoria, Australia, and has taught creative writing at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and Liverpool John Moore’s University.

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