There are many literary consultancies offering editorial feedback. As a bespoke consultancy we believe in matching each client with the right editor and pride ourselves on our steady list of returning clients.
Writing is personal.
At Blue Pencil Agency we take your work personally.
Need time and space to work on your novel? we arrange writing retreats in Spring and Autumn for small groups of like minded writers. We stay in comfort at historic homes with a creative and inspiring atmosphere.
One on one editorial sessions with a BPA editor. Evening readings and advice on submissions. Visits and workshops from esteemed authors, publishers and agents.
BPA Pitch Prize 2019
A new competition for unagented writers looking for representation for a work of fiction.
Judge: Nelle Andrew leading literary agent at Peters Fraser + Dunlop
Prize: Up to 10 writers
Pitch your novel to Nelle Andrew. Editorial feedback and recommendations. Industry insights and advice on next steps.
The team at Blue Pencil Agency will oversee all submissions.
Entries: The first 500 words and a 300 word synopsis. You need to have written at least the first 10,000 words of the novel although we only require the first 500 words.
Entry fee: £10 for each submission. Online entry only
A blue pencil was traditionally used by editors to show corrections to manuscripts as blue didn’t show in most reproduction processes. In the digital world blue pencils are seen more rarely but they still exist as a metaphor for editing.
The idea of collaboration between editor and writer isn’t new. Once it was the job of agents and publishers to nurture new literary talent. But in today’s saturated market you need to arrive with a polished manuscript. An editor is your second pair of eyes. Our job is to encourage, persuade and problem solve. Working with us is making the leap from the fear of criticism to accepting support and establishing a clearer perspective of the market – understanding work as product, not just art.
Writing isn’t just being heard, it’s about forming a relationship with the reader and understanding who that reader is.
When Sara Sarre sent me my report, I never expected it to be so incredibly detailed and helpful. I will be reading and rereading it until I have everything memorised and completely etched in my brain! It is going to be completely invaluable to me. I have so much to learn and she has given…
Iain Maloney has reviewed two of my novels and both have been meticulous and hugely helpful. As a newbie writer, he has guided me and educated me in every aspect of writing a novel. Iain showed me why things work and don’t work, and what the industry expects from a story and its characters. He…
Sara is a generous hard-working editor who has a strong instinct for story and structure. With all three of my novels, she reached a deep understanding of the characters and honed in on problems with laser precision. From the very beginning of working with her, she supported and encouraged me, which gave me a huge…
Oliver’s great gift was to reveal to me all that habit, lack of distance and impatience were preventing me from seeing for myself, and beyond that to come up with simple but inspired suggestions that would never have occurred to me, but whose sharpness and perceptiveness seemed blindingly obvious once I’d had the time to…
I contacted Bluepencilagency because I was unable to find an agent willing to represent me. David Simons was assigned as my editor and his report, completed promptly on time as promised, showed me why my story hasn’t received agent interest. I now understand which characters to develop and which scenes need expanding. From the annotations…
I poured my heart and soul into my debut Y/A manuscript Resistance and I knew after the first few rejections that something was off, something that as a new writer I didn’t have the experience to fix. A really kind agent emailed to say I could write but that my package needed work and she suggested…
Introduction to Agents
We work with leading literary agents and a number of our clients have secured publishing deals. It’s important to remember that getting published is difficult and we can only help with a perfectly polished manuscript that has commercial potential. For clients using our editorial services and whose work we feel is up to standard we may approach agents on your behalf. This would be discussed with you at the time.
FIRST NOVEL AWARD NEWS
LITERARY AGENTS CORNER
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There are many literary consultancies offering editorial feedback. As a bespoke consultancy we believe in matching each client with the right editor and pride ourselves on our steady list of returning clients. Writing is personal. At Blue Pencil Agency we take your work personally.
A manuscript assessment is an investment. It is very hard to write a novel full stop, but a first draft is rarely the draft that will end up on the shelves. Every writer, whether published or not, needs a second pair of eyes. A manuscript assessment offers an experienced editorial viewpoint that will draw your attentions to technical details or character development or structural issues and point out the reason why your manuscript is receiving rejections. Often writers have come back to us and said that receiving their report offered them more insight into the technique behind novel writing than any course. If you intend to self-publish then we can advise you on the way forward.
An editorial report will provide you with an overall viewpoint to include, storyline, plot, set-up, narrative arc, structure, character development, world building, prose and technical analysis.
A short report is a review of the storyline and set-up and includes an analysis of the structure of the first 15k. It is a ‘how am I doing so far’ assessment.
A submissions report looks at the package that is submitted to agents. Your submission package should contain: a letter, a synopsis and the first three chapters of your novel, up to 15,000 words. Most agents complain that letters are often full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, or that there is more information on the writer than on the novel itself. We will ensure your submission is perfect.
All of these reports usually requires the writer to do some re-writing and will come with a marked up manuscript pointing out typos etc.
A reader’s report is aimed at published authors or regular clients of BPA, and is usually given to more experienced writers. This is different to our reader’s service. Please refer to Editorial services.
A copy editor will ensure your manuscript is correct in terms of spelling and grammar, consistency, and continuity, going through the document in details with marks on the page using track changes.
To read a novel and give a detailed assessment takes from two to three weeks and requires concentration and effort. All editors are carefully chosen to suit the needs of each writer. Editors bring with them a skill set that has usually taken years of experience to acquire.
- Mentoring allows writers to shape their novel as they go.
- Mentoring caters for the specific needs of each mentee
- Mentoring is fast track learning about structure, literary technique, character development and prose style
- Mentoring teaches you how to read like a writer
- A mentor will hold your hand and support you through a steep learning curve