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.