Editor: Frances Merivale

Frances’s comments are so galvanising. I really feel like I know how to tackle this next draft, thanks to her close read and clarity – a good feeling!

Anna Richmond

Pitch Prize Longlist 2020

I love the BPA competitions for the following reasons:

1. The BPA team’s creative spirit and enthusiasm – sharing success stories that motivate and inspire writers on their journey.

2. The competitions are open to writers worldwide.

3. The competition includes the cover letter in the ‘submission package’. (Most competitions don’t include this but I enjoy the opportunity to pitch the novel and include comparisons and why the writer feels passionate about their story.)

4. The professional and personal response to queries.

Caroline Georgieff

Editor: Iain Maloney

Iain’s mark up and report are incredibly helpful and have given me a very clear idea of the changes I need to make to get my manuscript ready for submission. It is exactly what I hoped for. As someone who always wanted to take a creative writing course but never had the time or money to do so, Iain’s report has in many ways felt like a crash course in writing and has given me specific tools and insights not only to fix this manuscript but to make me a better writer for when I start the next one.

Lucy Andia

Editor: Tess O’Hara

I’m amazed and deeply impressed by how well Tess understood the book, how clearly she identified its flaws, how incisive her criticisms and how valuable her suggestions were. I am also extremely happy that she could see the potential within the book, and I’m sure that the next draft is going to be much stronger as a result of her comments. I’m so very glad I commissioned this report.

Tony Arthur

Editor: Katya Balen

Katya has reviewed a number of manuscripts now and the service received is always consistently first rate. The critique from Katya is very constructive. Katya obviously has a wonderful knowledge of what works and what doesn’t and is able to suggest things that ultimately improve the story and for me that is the goal – getting the story to be the best it can be. I highly recommend the services of Katya but also that of BPA – a professional team and agency.


Editor: Oliver James

I couldn’t have asked for a better editor than Oliver, even if his profile photo is utterly terrifying. Whatever happens, the poor man and BPA are stuck with me for life now!

Gina de Ferrer

I entered the BPA First Novel Award having never properly shared my fiction with anyone before, and not really knowing what to expect. It was without a doubt the best twenty quid I’ve ever spent. 

First making the longlist — and then the shortlist! — was such a huge vote of confidence in my writing style and the story I was trying to tell with Brotherhood and to actually win was unreal. It helped not just in cementing my confidence in my writing (and silencing my imposter syndrome) but it also inspired me to keep working on my manuscript and to stick to deadlines when it came to editing. 

Winning during the pandemic made things feel even more unreal, but even though I couldn’t meet the Blue Pencil team in person, I felt incredibly supported and involved and was then able to meet one of the judges, FBA’s Carrie Plitt, over Zoom to discuss my manuscript. Carrie’s continued guidance and expertise (and the depth of feedback of the rest of the BPA First Novel Award judging team) was really invaluable and helped me to see my work through a new perspective, whilst supporting me to get it ready for publication. 

I am over the moon to now be signed to FBA with Carrie, and I cannot wait to see where things go next. Without sounding too cliche, it really does feel like a new beginning in terms of publishing Brotherhood and in my fiction career, and I am so pleased I decided to enter last year. It really has been an incredible experience from start to finish. 

Roisin Lanigan was the winner of the 2020 Award for Brotherhood. She is represented by Carrie Plitt

Roisin Lanigan - Blue Pencil Agency / BPA
Roisin Lanigan2020 First Novel Award Winner

I am emailing to thank you so much for taking a chance on me and telling Marina de Pass about my novel, The Silence Project. As of this week, Marina is now my agent and I am thrilled!

Because the novel was shortlisted for The Bridport Prize and was my London Library Emerging Writer submission, it was also seen by agents at A.M.Heath, but Marina has given me such brilliant feedback and encouragement that I have no doubt that she will be my ideal agent.

It’s all because of you. And the novel didn’t even make the longlist for the BPA First Novel Award, so doubly thank you for making the introduction.

Carole Hailey

Thank you so much for the opportunity to join the Q&A session with Nelle Andrew today. It was so helpful to know what agents are expecting when receiving submissions. I definitely feel more confident going forward with the process, and looking for agents for the novel I’ve written. 

Iva Y

The tutorial was great – really, extremely helpful – and Emma was wonderful.

Caroline W