The Good Literary Agency is a social enterprise agency founded by Nikesh Shukla and Julia Kingsford to represent writers from backgrounds under-represented in UK publishing. In December 2017 we were awarded funding from Arts Council England through the Ambition for Excellence fund. It gives us three years worth of support for our operating costs at the end of which we plan to be self-sufficient.
We have been operating for nearly seven months, have over 30 writers on our list and have done 7 deals, two fiction, two non-fiction, one children's, one poetry, one audio.
We work with writers to represent them in their publishing deals, help them make the best decisions about their writing career, negotiate contracts, pursue new opportunities and look to maximise their earnings and the value we add to the relationship. The only difference is the knowledge that the money we do make goes into ensuring we have the opportunity to help more writers whose voices should be heard.
A key part of our business plan is investing expertise in writers to help them develop their work where this is helpful.
We recognise that talent is universal but that the opportunity to develop writing craft can be limited by structural inequalities. For example if you enter elite education at the age of 7, continue in it through to Oxbridge and then enter a profession where writing skills are prized you are simply going to have more opportunities to develop your writing craft. Likewise if you undertake a creative writing programme or degree. When Harper Lee had completed her first novel and sold it to a publisher they then spent two and a half years helping her develop it from Go Tell a Watchman to To Kill a Mockingbird, work that enabled it to become arguably the greatest novel ever written, work without which we would be culturally poorer.
We have specific funding to work with freelance professionals to develop writers’ work and as such we are looking to recruit a network of professionals that we can call upon when an appropriate manuscript needs development. For example if we received a SF submission that we felt was of a high standard but needed further work before we submitted to publishers we would want to have the author work with an experienced SF expert on further developing it.
At this stage we are looking for expressions of interest from experts in any form of non-fiction or fiction including all genres, children’s and YA.
You need to fall into one of the following categories:
- have worked professionally as an editor in book publishing
- be a creative writing teacher
- have been published by a traditional publisher
We will be paying for all development work but rates will depend on each project.
How to apply
To register your interest please fill in this form:
We are not currently offering work experience as we are not set up to do so, but anticipate that we will be offering this for periods in the future - we just can't say exactly when yet or how it will work. If you would like to know when we'll be offering it please sign up to our mailing list indicating that this is your interest.