DHA New Writers’ Open Week November Event Series

DHA were delighted to receive over 280 applications for our latest New Writers’ Open Week. All applicants were invited to our November event series which ran from the 10th – 13th this month and proved incredibly popular, with up to 150 writers attending each session.

The events were designed to demystify the industry. In talks about the submissions process, Catherine Coe (Editorial Consultant and Children’s Reader) and Jemima Forrester and Nicola Chang (Literary Agents for Adult Fiction) discussed how to find the right agent and answered questions about putting together the perfect submissions package. Lizzy Kremer and Jessica Woollard (Adult Fiction), and Caroline Walsh (Children’s Fiction), led open and honest conversations about the role of the agent and what authors should expect from their representatives both before and after publication.

The feedback received suggests that the inspiration to host larger virtual events instead of small in-person Open Days might be seen as a small silver lining to the Covid restrictions of 2020. One writer has said that “the agents have been candid, warm and informative… It’s given me a lot of information and advice I would not have gained otherwise.” Another wrote that they “now feel prepared for when the time comes to pitch my own manuscript”.

We ended the week with talks from Film TV & Theatre Agent Nicky Lund, who used our tremendous track record in screen adaptation to unpack the process of getting a book adapted for film and TV, and Translation Rights Agents Margaux Vialleron and Allison Cole, who explained how we license translation rights in our clients’ books around the world. We have received particularly positive feedback about these events from writers outside the UK, one of them describing the event about Translation Rights to be “extremely informative and enriching” and another noting that all our events were “packed with useful information for a debut writer, maybe especially one coming from a different tradition.”

DHA book agents are now in the process of reading writers’ submissions and will select twenty writers to attend the Open Week in January 2021. This week will include further talks from agents, authors, and editors, the highlight of which is a 1-1 feedback session on the writers’ submitted work. Our aim, as always, is to inspire, encourage, and inform new and under-represented writers and this year’s Open Week has been particularly rewarding to all of us here at DHA.