Arvon at Home Masterclass: Polish, Perfect, and Pitch

Zoom Masterclass with Jo Unwin

Thursday February 18th 2021, 11.00 am GMT


Are you ready to share your work with an audience? This masterclass will offer invaluable advice about the steps to publication, and in particular the role of the literary agent. Jo Unwin, director of Jo Unwin Literary Agency, represents writers of literary fiction, commercial women’s fiction and narrative non-fiction as well as YA and children’s books, and her clients include Candice Carty-Williams, Nina Stibbe, Cathy Rentzenbrink and Kit de Waal. She will offer practical advice about how to know when your work is ready to share with an agent; how to make your submission stand out from the slush pile; and how to give your writing the very best chance of grabbing an agent’s attention.

Perhaps you have a work-in-progress, fiction or non-fiction, and you feel ready to submit it to an agent for the first time. Or perhaps you have already sent your work to a number of agents but you haven’t yet had the response you were looking for. Jo will cover the essential ‘dos and don’ts’ of preparing your covering letter, discuss the role of the agent and demystify the relationship between writer, agent and editor. She’ll discuss what she looks for in a submission, and that elusive quality, ‘voice’. There will be plenty of time for questions during the session.

Jo Unwin set up the Jo Unwin Literary Agency in 2013, and represents authors such as Jenny Colgan, Richard Ayoade, Candice Carty-Williams, Charlie Brooker, Nina Stibbe, Cathy Rentzenbrink and Kit de Waal. Prior to becoming an agent, she had a career as an actress and television script writer (writing credits include Byker Grove and My Parents are Aliens). Her move into publishing started with a stint as a book scout for Aardman animated features, moving on to become a bookseller, and finally becoming an agent in 2008.

The masterclass will be delivered via Zoom and will last two hours (11:00am – 1:00pm) including time for you to write. You will need to have a computer or smart device and a reliable internet connection in order to participate. This is a live event only and it will not be recorded.

There are limited number of grants available for people on low-income. These are allocated on a first come first served basis. Please contact to apply.

Cost: £35

Grants are available to help with the course fee


"These zoom opportunities are really helping to open my world and keep me inspired to write."

—Masterclass participant

"Arvon at Home creates a model to participate in inspirational tutoring for writers, at a distance. The feeling of attending to my writing life in an excellent fashion, and still having a half-day for my work and caring responsibilities at home, felt like a good balance."

—Masterclass participant

"It was an absolutely brilliant session and very very useful. And it made me realise how much I’ve missed this kind of workshop because of having children and family that I can’t leave. Now we’re all in the same boat the online stuff is truly transformative."

—Masterclass participant



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