Posted by: ScottishWriters | 07/12/2012

Honing Your Craft

Jo_UnwinThanks to Jo Unwin, of Conville & Walsh, and to everyone who came along last night.

Jo gave a highly informative talk as a publishing industry insider, revealing to us how the world looks from the perspective of a literary agent. As you might expect, given her occupation, Jo was an engaging and sympathetic host with much encouragement to offer (along with some of the scary, hard facts and statistics concerning one’s manuscript being read). Eight thousand subs a year is one hell of an in-tray!

Nonetheless, the Holy Grail that sustains Jo is the chance of finding the next ‘blinder of a book’, sailing in from the ether. It was interesting to learn that Jo considers the writers whom she takes on as her employers, and that a book placed is a cause for celebration with the publisher as much as for the author.

The session concluded with an open stage, which saw aspiring writers taking the opportunity to pitch their latest work to Jo. As Karen Campbell and others from the audience reinforced: it’s feedback, ideally from as wide a group as possible, which all writers need in order to evolve their craft.


  1. As a writer in the throes of submissions, I repeatedly forget what you have stated so plainly here. Authors need feedback. Placement would be wonderful, but I should appreciate the wonderful opportunity I have had to write what I like and to share it with people. One goal is to publish. That is ahead of me. Another goal is to take the time to write. I have done that. Another is to obtain written responses to the work. Oops. I am self-soothing in public. Thank you for your blog. It’s a safe emotional place for a harried writer to visit.

    • And in turn, Susan, the feedback you have given here is valuable to us, thanks. Drop by if you’re in the area… meeting other writers is always inspiring.

  2. I will definitely drop by when I can. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *