Friday, 21 September 2012


Saw on Twitter this morning that Literary Agency Curtis Brown is about to launch a site for aspiring authors.  It’s aimed at those who wish to achieve publication. There’s to be a Discovery Day at Foyles in Charing Cross Road where  a panel of agents will scrutinise first pages and hear a 30 second pitch.

Uppark in West Sussex
How Londoncentric is that? They don’t even both to mention that Charing Cross Road is in London! There may well be 8 million people in the capital, but that means that there are  54 million living elsewhere in the country!

Anna Davis of Curtis Brown claims she wants to work with writers, and find new talent. If she would just come out of London, I think she would find dozens. Not everyone can afford the time and money to go down to London for a 30 second pitch and have the first page of their novel scrutinised.  Quite apart from anything else, the experience is painful.  The rail journey to London from Newcastle, by no means the greatest distance in this country, takes 3 hours at best, five at worst. On top of that, there’s the need to get to the station in the first place, which could take easily an hour or more by car. Then there’s the taxi from King’s Cross to Foyles.  Flying wouldn’t be any better – still there’s the need to get to the airport from outlying areas, a two hour wait at the airport, probable delays at Heathrow, and the tube  into London, which is horrendous for those who are not familiar with it. Makes you tired just thinking about it.
At a guess, anyone living north of Peterborough will rely on the website. Which is what I shall do, since it promises an agency writing school, a submission portal offering feedback and a writing room with industry news, tips, interviews and live webchats with agents. Here's the link:

Read the whole article, without my grousing, at


Rosemary Gemmell said...

How absolutely spot on, Jen! Thanks for the links.

Jen Black said...

Yes - we forgotten northerners must stick together and persuade these people they're missing a lot of opportunities by staying at home in London!