How I Got My Agent - Clare's Story
Meeting my now agent, Alice Williams, was somewhat of a blind date!
I was at the annual SCBWI conference, in Winchester, England and had submitted a story for a one-to-one critique in the hope of some much needed feedback from an industry professional.
As it turned out, I gained this and much more!
I found out that I had been paired with Alice on the morning of the critique. Cue much nerves and excitement! I remember walking into the large room of 1 to 1s and not being exactly sure what Alice looked like! But the SCBWI conference volunteers were on hand to help and to put us at ease every step of the way. I waved to Alice and she smiled back. I immediately felt reassured, comfortable and ready to learn.
I listened attentively to Alice’s feedback on a story which was, in hindsight, far too dark and scary* for the audience I had pitched it to. (*The main character was eaten by a bear ...but only temporarily!) Alice was positive and encouraging and must have seen something in my writing. She invited me to resubmit the story and any other stories I was ready to share.
I eagerly did so, but only when I was certain my stories were the very best they could be. Sometime later, I was delighted when Alice invited me to a meeting with her in London (cue more nerves and excitement), during which she offered to represent me (cue lots and LOTS of excitement!)
Alice and I have been working together for over three year now and with her encouragement, my writing has gone from strength to strength. Alice is critical but kind, challenging but supportive, and has closed seven publishing contracts and counting, the first of which are due to be published this year.
Clare is a primary school teacher and children’s author who lives in South West, England with her husband and two children. When Clare isn’t writing stories she is inspiring children to write their own. Being a teacher gives Clare another outlet for her BIG ideas. Once she helped a class make a giant rice crispy cake that was so wide it wouldn’t fit through the door! But her best idea yet has been putting pen to paper. Clare loves writing whacky but is particularly passionate about writing stories that help children deal with big feelings and difficult issues.
Her next picture book How Rude! is illustrated by Olivier Tallec and due to be published in the UK on 2nd October 2018 and US on 18th October 2018 with Quarto Books.