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Have you written a crime, thriller or psychological suspense novel?

Competition: The Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency is launching a new Crime, Thriller and Psychological Suspense side to the Agency, and is looking to represent new talented crime writers.  The Agency will offer representation to writers they find exceptional, and in depth editorial feedback to runners up. 

 To Enter: Please submit the following material in one email to:


  •  The first 8,000 words of your original crime, thriller or mystery novel
  • An introductory letter
  • A one-page synopsis
  • A 250-word biography of your central character

There must only be one submission per person and all the material must be attached to one email.  Please put the title in the subject line together with the word ‘Competition’.

 Closing date: Entries will be judged as and when they come in but must be made by 30th July 2012 on an exclusive basis.  That means your novel cannot be on submission to any other agency or publisher until the results are released in August.

 The Prize: Offer of representation by the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency on the new Crime & Thriller List.  In depth editorial feedback for runners up.

Madeleine Milburn says: “I am so excited about launching a crime and thriller side to the Agency, which I am looking to fill with exceptional new writers. I love authors such as Harlan Coben, S.J. Watson and Lee Child.  I am looking for an incredible voice that makes you stop whatever you are doing, together with an extremely strong central character, and a plot full of unexpected twists and turns that keeps you up all night.”


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A quick piece of advice – learn how to pitch your book in one  sentence.  It is invaluable to get to the ‘core’ of your book when you are discussing your work with friends, writing groups and potential agents.   Agents use them when pitching to editors, editors use them when pitching to sales teams, sales teams use them when pitching to booksellers, readers use them when pitching to friends.

A strong, catchy pitch works wonders.  It needs to be a short description that makes people want to read your book.  Something to hook readers in.

Here’s the pitch for the recent debut, THE AGE OF MIRACLES by Karen Thompson Walker, that was sold to Simon & Schuster UK for a 6 figure sum and Random House in the US for an astonishing 7 figures:

‘THE AGE OF MIRACLES is about an eleven-year-old girl and her family who wake one morning in their modest suburban home in California, to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow  – life is thrown into turmoil and panicked governments dictate that the traditional 24-hour cycle must be followed, regardless of the sun.’

You can shorten this even further to:  ‘imagine if each day started getting longer and longer’

Here is the pitch we used for my author’s debut THE GUARDIAN ANGEL’S JOURNAL by Carolyn Jess-Cooke, now translated into 20 different languages:

‘When a woman dies at forty years old she is sent back to earth as a guardian angel to herself and is forced to re-experience and record her biggest mistakes and fiercest regrets from the beginning of her life to her untimely death – she is told she must not change any of her actions, but should simply learn from them’

You can shorten this to: ‘What would you change if you could live your life again?’

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