Monday, 21 May 2012

LET'S CELEBRATE! - with GEMMA COOPER from The Bright Literary Agency

Let's start the blog celebrations with something for all you children's writers out there!

The wonderful Gemma Cooper from the Bright Literary Agency has very kindly offered to crit the first two pages of your manuscript.

You can read a tall tales & short stories interview with Gemma here

We're often told how important the first page is; 
  • Are you hooking the reader from the first line? 
  • Does the first page deliver enough to make the agent or publisher want to read on? 
  • Does your prose engage and grab the reader from the outset? 
  • Does it work?
  • Is your opening cliched?

So many things to think about on just the first page! But if you know that page works chances are the agent or publisher will want to read the rest.

It's easy to enter!
Here's what to do!

Here are the age groups Gemma would like to see:



(If you write YA don't worry we have another agent lined up for you very soon.)

  • Gemma will read and give feedback on the first two pages of your ms. (Who knows where it might lead!)
  •  It can be any genre but it must be in the age groups stated.
  • All you need to do is leave a comment on the blog: Leave your name, the title of your ms, and the intended age group. If you want to leave a contact email that's great, if not, watch this space for the winner to be announced.
  • One writer will be chosen at random and Gemma will read and give feedback on their first two pages.

Midnight, 4th June, 2012, UK time.


      Tracy said...

      Hi Susan Harris
      For some reason blogger won't publsih your comment so I shall put it in again for you.

      Hi there, my name is Susan Harris and I would like to enter the draw.
      The title of the book is 'Alfred and the Great Cookery Contest'.
      It's for 9-11 year olds.
      My email is
      Many thanks

      Tracy said...

      Susan Harris - just realised you'd left your comment on Gemma's interview post instead of here hence the confusion.

      Lou Treleaven said...

      What a great way to start the celebrations! My name is Lou Treleaven, my book is 'Letter to Pluto' the age group is 7-11 and my email address is

      Julie Day said...

      Hi, my name is Julie Day. I want to enter for the 7+ age. My book is called 'Boring Billy and the Strange Socks' about a boy whose socks act strange and makes him less boring and more clever. My email is

      Jeannette Towey said...

      Wonderful idea! My WIP is currently called Trouble with Pik-Awl but that may change! It's aimed at 9+ and is scifi. I can be contacted vie

      Thanks so much Tracy and Gemma

      shirleyelmokadem said...

      Hi my name is Shirley Elmokadem and I want to enter my middle grade novel called 'Krystal Bull Psy-Chick.'
      My email is

      T. Drecker said...

      If only all celebrations started this great!
      My name is Tonja Drecker. My middle-grade fantasy is called 'Music Boxes'. It's for children from 8-12. My email is

      Thanks for this terrific idea!

      Dee said...

      Thanks for a great opportunity. :) My name is Deanna and my manuscript is for middle grade, ages 8-12. The title is Locker 43.


      Rita Antoinette Borg said...

      Hello Tracy

      Great gift for a celebration.
      My name is Rita Antoinette Borg and my manuscript for middle graders 7-9. It's called


      Thanks for the chance.


      Carolyn Hughes said...

      Thank you Tracey and Gemma for this fabulous opportunity.
      'Lolli and the Lipstick Lovers' is for 7+ by Rosie Grace
      (Real name Carolyn Hughes)

      Emma Osment said...

      Hiya, I'd love to enter the draw. My book is the first of a dystopian trilogy, it's aimed at 9-12 year olds, and it's called 'Above the System.' My email is
      -Emma Osment

      Susie Bright said...

      This sounds like a great idea. My name is Susie Bright and I am writing under the name Shelley Bright.
      The title of my ms is 'Dread'.
      The intended age group is Middle Grade, ages 9-12.

      JaneA said...

      This sounds like a great opportunity!

      I've written a middle-grade mystery/thriller called "Digging for Diana" for ages 9-12. It's about a young girl named Anastasia who visits her uncle on an archaeological dig. A precious artefact goes missing, can Anastasia solve the mystery without putting herself and her new friends in danger?

      It was actually under contract by Random House (South Africa) but I declined due to personal reasons.

      my email is:

      Thanks for your great blog!

      Lois said...

      What a great competition!
      I've a middle grade novel and would like to be entered.
      My novel is for 9-12 and titled Runaway.
      My email is:
      Many thanks


      Jean Healey said...

      Hi Gemma, what a fab competition:-)
      I would like to enter my middle grade novel called The Crying Boy. It is aimed at the 9-12 age group.
      My email is:

      Thank you
      Jean Healey

      Anonymous said...

      My name is Nurgish Watkins and I'd like to enter my middle grade novel,Bradley Jenkins and the Bracelet of Souls. It is aimed at 9-11 yr olds. My email is
      Thanks for this opportunity, great idea.

      Miriam said...

      Brilliant competition!

      My MS is called Emily's Ingenious Idea and it's for 8-11 year olds.

      (I guess it should go in the 'Middle Grade' category. But if 8-11 sounds more like 7+, then put it in there!)

      My email address is

      Thank you!

      Rosanne said...

      Thanks for this great competition!
      My middle-grade novel is called Weather Wars and is written for the 9-13 year old age group.
      My email is
      Thanks again.

      Liz said...


      My ms is sort of between teen and tween, but I would hope 12+ would enjoy it. It is a comedy titled Emma Little: Tales of Awkwardness

      My email is

      Ian Harvey Brown said...

      Hi, my name is Ian Harvey-Brown and I would also like to enter the draw.
      The title of my book is 'Missing Mum' for 9-11 year olds.
      My email is


      Anonymous said...

      One can only guess at the amount of hard word that is going into these celebrations.
      I'd like to add my WIP 'Mysteries of the Wold' to the draw. Aimed for Middle Grade, it has already had some encouraging feedback from the local primary school children aged 9.
      email: shellieholly(a)

      Karim mohammed said...


      My story is for 13+.

      It's called the Chronicles of Jake Rubia (But note the title may be changed).

      M Louise Kelly said...


      I'd like to put my hat in the ring. My ms is an adventure story aimed at 9-12 year olds. You can contact me at

      thanks, Louise

      M Louise Kelly said...

      I'd like to throw my hat into the ring: My MS is an adventure story for 9-12 year olds.

      cheers, Louise

      Linda said...

      Oooh - count me in, please! My book is called 'Sprite School' and is for readers aged 7-10.

      Excellent idea for a competition!

      Linda Lawlor

      Pat Posner said...

      I'm Pat Posner and I'd like to enter 'The Haunting of the Mawkin Maker' - a stand-alone for the 7+ age group.

      Pat -

      Anonymous said...

      Count me in too. Great competition. I'm Lara Williamson. My ms is called 'Crystal Balls' and for 7+ age group.
      Thank you.

      Anonymous said...

      Count me in. Great competition. I'm Lara Williamson. My ms is called 'Crystal Balls' and is for readers age 7+. Thank you.

      George said...

      Argh! I can't decide which! I have a 7-9 and a 9-11. can I out both and decide later if I get the chance?

      Tracy said...

      Hi George
      I'll only put your name in once but you can have two options. Can you leave both titles in your comment so Gemma can have an idea what to expect if you win.

      George said...

      Yeay Thanks Tracy! Takes the terrible making mind up pressure off me, they are both so different.

      'Manfred Cat and Witch's Snot' a 7-9 year old funny book.

      'Sari's Sari' a 9-11 year old culturally diverse fantasy.

      A. E. Welch said...

      Hi, my name is April and I've written a middle grade fantasy titled THE FAMILY VYGIL. It would be for readers about 10 and up. My email address is Thanks so much for the great competition!

      Debbie Edwards said...
      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
      Debbie Edwards said...
      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
      Debbie Edwards said...

      My book is Aggie Lichen; Pilp Collector. It's a 9-12 fantasy.

      Debbie Edwards

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