Cover Image for 🎙 INTERVIEW: The Path to Publication: A Debut Novelist & Literary Agent Discuss the Journey w/ Rachel Blackmore & Juliet Pickering
Cover Image for 🎙 INTERVIEW: The Path to Publication: A Debut Novelist & Literary Agent Discuss the Journey w/ Rachel Blackmore & Juliet Pickering
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🎙 INTERVIEW: The Path to Publication: A Debut Novelist & Literary Agent Discuss the Journey w/ Rachel Blackmore & Juliet Pickering

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** This is a LIVE interview with author Rachel Blackmore and literary agent Juliet Pickering about the craft of writing and reality of building a writing career. Attendees will be sent a recording after the interview. **


What are the intricacies of the author-agent relationship? What does it take to break into the publishing industry with a debut novel?

For decades, Rachel Blackmore dreamed of becoming an author. In 2020, she joined Writers’ Hour and began her first novel. Now, her debut, COSTANZA, is being published by Dialogue Books (Hachette) and is hailed as an addictive tale of desire and betrayal. 

In this special interview, we're joined by Rachel and her literary agent, Juliet Pickering. Join us for a conversation with Rachel and Juliet as we discuss Costanza's path to publication, what makes manuscripts stand out to agents, and techniques for crafting 'outrageously evocative' fiction.

We’ll also discuss:

  • Effective collaboration between authors and agents 

  • Challenges and triumphs they faced along this publication journey

  • What caught Juliet's eye about Rachel's manuscript 

  • Perfecting the first 10k words and beyond to create evocative fiction

  • Strategies for navigating the publishing landscape and querying agents 

About Rachel Blackmore 

Born in Birmingham the daughter of a theatre director and a teacher, Rachel developed her love of language and storytelling at a young age. She went on to study Early Modern History, before embarking on a career in politics which morphed into a long bout as a speechwriter – a craft she now teaches. Rachel spent more than a decade working and raising a family, before taking a career break to write historical fiction about marginalised women, as a way of looking at contemporary issues.

In 2021 she was a runner up in Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Competition and won the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair in 2022. Her debut novel, COSTANZA, a historical novel set in Renaissance Rome telling the story of Costanza Piccolomini, the muse of Bernini, will be published by Dialogue Books imprint Renegade in August 2024. She lives in London with her three teenagers, two cats and one dog. Follow Rachel on X (previously Twitter) and Instagram.

About Juliet Pickering

Juliet Pickering worked for Waterstones as a bookseller and fiction buyer before starting at A P Watt in 2003, where she became an Associate Agent in 2007. Juliet joined Blake Friedmann in 2013, becoming Vice Head of the Book Department in 2017.

Alongside literary, book club and commercial fiction, Juliet represents non-fiction writers including narrative writing on relationships, pop culture, social history and food, and a small number of cookery and other illustrated books.


Your London Writers' Salon Hosts:

Parul Bavishi and Matt Trinetti are the co-founders of the London Writers' Salon, creators of the webby-nominated Writers' Hour daily writing sessions, and hosts of the London Writers' Salon podcast.

Parul Bavishi has been an editor for over a decade. In addition to running LWS she helps thriller, YA and non-fiction writers level up their craft and get published. She writes and edits for the Story Grid. She has worked as an editor and literary scout at Random House, Quercus & Eccles Fisher. She analyses TV hit shows (Killing Eve, Ozark, Game of Thrones) on the Story Grid Showrunners Podcast.

Matt Trinetti is a writer, publisher, TEDx speaker, and facilitator. In addition to running LWS, Matt designs programs to help unfulfilled professionals pursue creative work, start businesses, and reinvent their careers. Matt's work has appeared in Quartz, Observer, Creative Mornings, and on his blog GiveLiveExplore.

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