We are thrilled to announce that BPA client Carly Reagon has signed with Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. The news followed the announcement that Carly was also shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize for her entry “I’ll Find You”.
This is such a huge success, and here is what Carly had to say about writing, entering the competition and working with Blue Pencil Agency.
“I became serious about writing five years ago—I love books and had dreamt of being a novelist since the age of seven —but looking back, my early attempts were deeply flawed, an exercise in how not to write as much as how to write. Somehow I found the determination to keep going and after completing two drafts of my latest novel, I approached Blue Pencil Agency. I already had some brilliant readers, but I felt I needed a professional eye. I was delighted when Sara Sarre agreed to review my work. She read the book very quickly and provided me with a detailed nine page report, pointing out some fundamental changes that were needed if the book was to become marketable. These included issues with structure, character and plot. It was a lot to take in, but Sara’s obvious knowledge of the industry made me confident that the changes were necessary.
I re-drafted the book following Sara’s ideas, and submitted the first 50 pages to the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize. Knowing how competitive it is, I didn’t think I’d have a chance, but went with the idea: if you don’t try, you’ll never know. Seeing my name on the longlist was very exciting, especially as there were a record number of entrants in 2019, over 600. This sparked quite a lot of interest in the novel and a few weeks later Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown agreed to represent me. Just as I was adjusting to the idea of having a literary agent, I was notified that I’d reached the Lucy Cavendish shortlist. I was in shock!
There are so many people I would like to thank for helping me on my writing journey so far, including Sara Sarre and Blue Pencil Agency whose help has been invaluable.”
We wish her the best of luck and cannot wait to see what she does in the future.