“It was such a spectacularly happy time that you created for us all and the good effects continue…
It was an immense privilege to be part of such a special gathering.”
Blue Pencil Agency London
Kate B

“Louise’s workshop was really informative and encouraging. I immediately went and split my novel into four piles and was relieved to discover it worked!”

Blue Pencil Agency London
Katherine S

“Louise was engaging and knowledgable. She gave us useful and practical tips which we could all implement immediately. I really recommend her as a speaker.”

Blue Pencil Agency London
Sue R

“A well structured programme, the editorial sessions and workshop with Louise Doughty were excellent.”

Blue Pencil Agency London
Sharon L

“It was a really, really special few days, a very well structured programme, brilliant location and fantastic food. it was lovely to meet Emma and Sara as well as to spend time with a fantastic and supportive group of writers. Thank you so much.”

Blue Pencil Agency London
Jane M

I entered the Blue Pencil First Novel Award in 2017. The deadline provided me with much needed motivation, and the thrill of being placed was a great morale- booster. It gave me the confidence to submit my work to an agent and now that my novel The Oceans Between Us published by Headline, I realise how much gratitude I owe the agency for recognising its potential.

Gill Thompson author Oceans Between Us
Gill Thompson2017 Shortlist
“Hayley and I have been working on rewrites, especially around plot development. Her feedback has been so helpful in shaping the plot and developing the undercurrents that weren’t quite right – I’m really hoping I can do it all justice. It’s a massive step forward beyond where I’d ever got to before with my writing so I’m really grateful for the opportunity that came from the shortlisting!”
Sue Barsby was shortlisted in 2018. She is working on her novel Living in Twilight with Hayley Steed from Madeleine Milburn Agency.
Sue Barsby2018 Shortlist

“Winning the Award marked a real breakthrough in my writing life. The slightly overwhelming news that I had won first prize (I found myself shaking uncontrollably!) was followed by an exciting week involving a London photo-shoot with the judges, and the sight of my face in The Bookseller. The lovely Blue Pencil Agency team gave me the chance to meet the judges and to talk about my novel in some depth with agent Eve White. This was a fantastic opportunity and one that is rare in the writing prize world. Winning the Blue Pencil Agency competition gave me confidence that my novel is a good one and this, I would say, is the most valuable reward an aspiring writer can get.” February 2018.

Carolyns’s debut novel The Conviction of Cora Burns is out soon. She is represented by agent Andrew Lownie.

Carolyn Kirby2017 winner

“Unless I ever buy a winning lottery ticket the entry fee to the Blue Pencil First Novel Award will be the best investment of £20 I’ll ever make. Each stage has given me so much: the energy of a deadline to complete the first draft; the confidence boost of reaching the long list; the heady excitement of the short list announcement (coinciding with my birthday!) And now the thrilling opportunity to discuss my work with Madeleine Milburn and take the first steps towards launching my writing career. My heartfelt thanks to Sara, Emma, Fiona and Maddy.” December 2018

Jules is represented by Madeline Milburn. She is working on her debut novel My Poor Deluded Girl.

Jules Lampshire Writing Advice
Jules Lampshire2018 winner

Having re-drafted various aspects of my first novel, I realised that it still needed more work. However, I was unsure what the priorities should be, and worse, I was beginning to lose faith in what I was doing. On a recommendation, I contacted Bluepencilagency for editorial help. Iain Maloney’s detailed report came through on time, with sections on various key topics such as Plot and Pacing, and was written in a highly supportive style without losing incisiveness. The summary at the end pulled together his main recommendations. I have read the material numerous times: it provided carefully-reasoned insights. Iain emphasised that the nature of editorial guidance is to identify weaknesses and give examples, but he also pointed to certain strengths in my work. As a result of his report, I feel not only more confident in tackling the re-draft, but re-energised and keen to begin the task.

Blue Pencil Agency London
Lewis RumsbyEditor: Iain Maloney