2022 Madeleine Milburn Mentorship Programme

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The Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency is thrilled to announce that the 2022 Madeleine Milburn Mentorship Programme is now open.

This six-month writing mentorship for aspiring authors was established in 2020 as part of the agency’s commitment to champion new and exciting voices around the world and launch debut writing careers, and we cannot wait for a new batch of talented writers to join our tight-knit MM community.

Based in the UK, the MM Agency was founded in 2012 and is known for launching debut authors’ careers by negotiating significant deals in the UK, US, international markets, and Film & TV, with close ties to publishers and producers all around the world. The agency has handled the careers of multiple bestselling authors across different genres, including international phenomenon Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine); Sunday Times bestsellers Elizabeth Macneal and C.J. Tudor; New York Times bestsellers Ashley Audrain, Katherine May, Clare Pooley, the No. 1 and No. 2 New York Times bestsellers Nita Prose and Charmaine Wilkerson, and many more. Madeleine Milburn was Literary Agent of the Year in 2018, and was shortlisted in 2020, the same year our Rights Director Liane-Louise Smith was shortlisted for Rights Professional of the Year.

Now in its third year, the 2022 MM Mentorship Programme has grown in its commitment to reach even more diverse candidates. We are offering six spaces on our mentorship scheme this year, and for the first time, all six places will be reserved to those from underrepresented backgrounds. This includes, but is not limited to, writers from an ethnic minority background, LGBTQ+ writers, writers who are disabled or neurodiverse, and writers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Madeleine Milburn commented:

‘I am delighted by how far our previous mentees have come over these past few years, and I look forward to welcome a brand new group of writers to our agency. As an agency, we continue to champion writers from all walks of life and I am very excited to share that for the first time, all the places on this year’s mentorship scheme will be reserved to those from underrepresented backgrounds. We are so excited to meet and work with our future mentees, and to champion new voices around the world!

THE MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME

The programme will be split into two parts – the first part is a series of online insight sessions, given by editors, agents, international rights, film & tv, as well as bestselling authors. These sessions will take place over the course of six fixed months, and our mentees will gain valuable insight into the entire industry process, from pitch to publication, and everything in between. Sessions might include:

  • A conversation with an editor
  • Insights into the book to film process
  • Selling your book internationally
  • Panel discussion with bestselling agency authors

The second part of this programme will run concurrently with the first, but without a fixed time limit. Each mentee will be partnered with an MM literary agent mentor and will receive personalised editorial feedback on their manuscript. We understand that each writer will be at different stages of completion with their manuscript, so we’d prefer not to be too prescriptive about an editorial timeline, instead allowing each mentee and literary agent to develop their own goals and targets depending on how much work the manuscript needs. Each mentee will also receive guaranteed representation from an agent, and though not a given, we will aim to get the manuscript ready for submission for publishers around the world.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

We are looking for exceptional stories with characters who live and breathe. We want to find stories that are compelling, that create a world around their reader, the kind of novel that makes you miss your stop on the train. We would like to see narratives with universal themes that make us think hard about the world we live in, that cast a critical lens on society, or have something new, fresh and interesting to say.

On the fiction side, we are especially eager to find commercial, literary, thriller, historical, romance, book club, middle grade and young adult. On the non-fiction side, we are particularly looking for narrative non-fiction, memoir, new perspectives in history, arts and culture, politics, economics, philosophy, psychology, nature and science, unusual illustrated projects, dynamic cookery or food writing.

As this is a programme for aspiring new authors, we particularly encourage writers who have not completed their full manuscript to apply. You just need to have a strong idea of where it is going with at least a few written chapters, and you should come prepared to work editorially with your mentor.

Please note that we are only looking for writers from underrepresented backgrounds this year.

HOW TO APPLY?

Email us at [email protected] with:

  • A pitch in the body of your email
    • This should include a brief description of the central premise; a note on what is special about your idea; its genre; what stage of completion your manuscript is at; and three comparable books in the market today.
  • A two-page synopsis followed by the first chapter of your manuscript (including a Prologue if applicable), attached in a single document
    • A synopsis is a straightforward description of the plot from start to finish, and it should contain all the key details, including any spoilers. This is helpful for us to see what direction your book is going to move in, even if you have not completed the full manuscript. We understand a synopsis will evolve over time.
    • The first chapter of your manuscript can be of any length, but it should give us a strong sense of your writing style.

In your subject line, please state the title of your work and your name. For example:

[TITLE] by [Author Name]’.

Entries must be received by 5.30pm BST on 31st July 2022.

GENERAL RULES

  • Entries for the Madeleine Milburn Mentorship Programme must be the original work of the entrant (and not previously self-published, published or have appeared in any commercial form, such as an anthology or journal), in English (not translated).
  • The mentorship programme is open to writers around the world. Entrants must be over the age of 16 and unrepresented. If an entrant accepts representation from another agency, they will no longer be eligible for the mentorship.
  • Entrants retain full copyright over their work.
  • We can only accept one entry per writer.
  • Mentees will be announced by late September 2022.

Apply here!

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