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FAQs

For information on matters that concern writers, please read the FAQs below.

*Disclaimer : Literature Wales is not responsible for content on external websites linked to from this website.

Agents

Do I need an agent?

If you are looking for a publisher in Wales, authors usually approach publishers directly rather than via an agent. If you are looking to publish in the UK, but outside Wales, you will probably need an agent. Agents generally take on fiction or non-fiction, rather than poetry, short stories and novellas, but there are always exceptions. If you are publishing your work in magazines, online or locally, you probably don’t need an agent.

Are there any agents in Wales?

As far as we are aware, there are no literary agents in Wales in the conventional sense. In Wales, authors usually approach publishers directly. Agents outside Wales might seek to place work with a Welsh publisher if it seems appropriate.

What do agents do?

Literary Agents manage the business of publishing for a writer. Agents act as a link between author and publisher. They seek to place a book with the best publisher for the best deal, and look after the commercial and legal aspects for the writer. Agents can also advise on whether your work might be marketable and should represent your best interests.

What do agents charge?

Rates and deals vary. There may be no initial fee for reading your work, but an agent will expect a commission if they successfully place your work with a publisher.

How do I find an agent?

Research carefully. Check that the agents deal with the kind of work you are writing, how successful they are, how much work they want to see in order to consider your approach, and how much work you need to complete before submitting.

There is a comprehensive list of UK agents in The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook (Bloomsbury), which is published annually. Visit the Writers’ and Artists’ website.

For detailed information see the Society of Authors’ Guide to Authors’ Agents.

You can also contact the Association of Authors’ Agents, (AAA) a trade association comprising the majority of authors’ agents in the UK.

Do I need more than one agent?

It is best to work with one agent at a time – an agent may not be happy about working with you for only some of your work, unless the other work that you do is of a very different genre that the first agent does not deal with. You will need to check your contract carefully.

Do agents manage all marketing?

That depends on what you agree. A publisher may organise some marketing. Other marketing may be down to you, e.g. through social media and getting involved in local and national events.

Can Literature Wales be my agent?

No. Literature Wales is the national company for the development of literature in Wales and cannot act as an agent for individual writers.

Publishers in Wales

I’ve written my first book. How do I get it published?

For information about publishing in Wales, visit the Welsh Book Trade Info website.

If you are starting out in your literary career, you are advised to refer to The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook (Bloomsbury). This annual publication contains a comprehensive list of UK agents and publishers, as well as detailed information on how to send your work to a publisher.

Visit the Writers & Artists website for detailed advice:

How do I find a publisher in Wales?

The Welsh Book Trade Info website is being developed by the Welsh Books Council as a comprehensive source of information about the book industry.

The Welsh Book Trade Info website contains a database of the main publishers in Wales, and their contact details.

Can you give me contact details for publishers in Wales?

Contact details for the main publishers in Wales are listed on the Welsh Book Trade Info website, which is administered by the Welsh Books Council.

For details of UK publishers, consult the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook (Bloomsbury), which is published annually.

How should I approach a publisher?

First check a publisher’s website for any submission guidelines. These may be quite specific. Remember that publishers receive many manuscripts to read, so make sure you keep your submission relevant and to the point. Check whether submissions may be made online or hard copy.

At the very least, you will need:

  • a covering letter setting out very briefly what your work is about, who the target audience is; why that publisher would be the right place (e.g. they have published similar works or authors or genres – give examples) and include your contact details
  • a sample of a work, as noted in the publisher’s submission requirements e.g.
    longer prose work (check – they may have word limits or chapter counts – a chapter is sufficient for a novel)
  • OR shorter prose work – a couple of short stories will be sufficient
  • OR a selection of poems
  • OR a full synopsis of non-fiction work that has not yet been completed.

For information on how to present your manuscript, please see the information sheet Submitting your Work to a Publisher, which can be found in the Resources section of our site.

You will probably need to wait some weeks or even months for a response. Don’t send the work to more than one publisher at a time.

Contracts

Does Literature Wales have any information or advice on author contracts or publishing contracts?

For detailed information on publishing contracts, visit the following websites:

Funding

What kind of funding is available for writers?

Literature Wales can offer support to both new and established writers through its Writers’ Bursaries scheme. Bursaries are awarded for literary excellence in a competitive scheme, and are awarded to writers creating new work in the following genres: fiction (novels and short stories), graphic novels, poetry, creative non-fiction (including literary criticism, biography, autobiography), children’s literature and young adult fiction.

There is an annual deadline for applications. For further details, click here.

Are there any publishing grants available?

Literature Wales does not provide financial support or publishing grants to publishers in Wales. Publishing grants are administered by the Welsh Books Council.

Individuals cannot apply to the Welsh Books Council to help fund books, whether these are self-published creative works or specialist titles partly funded by the author. Applications for publishing grants may only be submitted to the Welsh Books Council by publishers.

For further information on publishing grants in Wales visit the Welsh Books Council website.

Literature Wales is not aware of any grants available to assist those authors seeking to self-publish, or authors who are required to contribute to the publishing costs.

Copyright

What about copyright? Don’t I own my work?

Insurance

Do I really need insurance as a writer?

You may need Public Liability Insurance if you work regularly at public events, schools or other institutions. It is designed to protect you from claims of accidental bodily injury of third parties or damage to property for which compensation may be sought. Many public events will already have PPI in place – you should check beforehand that you are automatically covered if you are contributing to the event in some way.

I want to work with children. Are there legal matters I should consider?

Literature Wales is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and vulnerable adults who attend or participate in its events.

Clear guidance will be provided for people delivering its events and activities. Literature Wales’ own Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy is available on request and provided to new contributors to activities. Literature Wales does not take responsibility for events funded by grants or Bursaries or other support.

I’ve been asked for DBS clearance. What’s this?

A Disclosure and Barring Service check is a legal requirement for all individuals who have ‘regular or sustained’ contact with children or vulnerable adults. It is the individual’s responsibility to ensure they have been checked if that is a necessary requirement for activity.

Only employers and licensing bodies may conduct the checks and they are bound by confidentiality as regards any information disclosed on such a report, and required to ensure that any person with a criminal record is not treated unfairly. Click here for further information.

Manuscript assessment

Where can I find a manuscript assessment / critique service?

For information on manuscript assessment, proofreading and copy editing, we recommend that you consult the following sources:
For listings of commercial manuscript critique services in the UK, consult:
The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, published annually by Bloomsbury.
Writers & Artists website
Writers Services
The Welsh Books Council maintains a list of freelance editors in Wales, on its Welsh Book Trade Info website  You can view editors’ profiles, which note areas of expertise, and contact details are provided. You would need to contact an editor directly to enquire about fees and availability.

 

Creative Writing Courses

Where can I find information about residential Creative Writing courses?

Tŷ Newydd is Literature Wales’ creative writing centre, specialising in residential and day-courses in a variety of genres. Our aim is to provide high-quality and affordable courses to develop writers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. We offer courses, both in Welsh and English, to support individuals at every stage of their writing journey.

The programme at Tŷ Newydd provides progression to writers by offering encouragement for beginners; a range of courses for intermediate level writers; and masterclasses for experienced writers. We also run non-tutored Retreats where writers can spend time on their work-in-progress in a friendly and creative atmosphere.

To view our course programme, FAQs and to book a place, visit the Tŷ Newydd website.
You may also be interested in:

Gladstone’s Library – a residential library and meeting place which is dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning for open-minded individuals and groups, who are looking to explore pressing questions and to pursue study and research in an age of distraction and easy solutions.

The library pays tribute to William Gladstone. It is Britain’s finest residential library, and its only Prime Ministerial library. It was founded by the great Victorian statesman himself and, following his death in 1898, became the national memorial to his life and work as well as one of the few Grade I-listed buildings in north Wales. Gladstone’s Library is located in Hawarden, Flintshire. Click here for further information.

Arvon runs an annual programme of residential creative writing courses and retreats for schools, groups and individuals. The five-day courses, tutored by leading authors, are held at three beautiful rural writers’ houses in England, and include a mix of workshops and individual tutorials, with time and space to write, free from the distractions of everyday life. The courses are in a wide range of genres. Visit the Arvon website here.

Moniack Mhor is Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre, and is in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, just fourteen miles from the city of Inverness. Since its first course in 1993, Moniack Mhor has been running creative writing courses tutored by some of the finest authors in the UK and beyond. Click here to find out more.

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