Some wonderful news to share!
I met Sean Walsh at York 2010 in a Book Doctor session and was blown away by his children's fantasy book, Peripherealm, and his mind-blowing illustrations. I worked with him during the year, in the course of which we cut 50,000 words. (It was a very long book!) Then he started pitching. As the rejections started coming in, I don't know how many times I had to convince him not to give up.
He came to York again this year and ... well, let's just say I wasn't going to let the opportunity pass to ensure Sean's book got the attention I was convinced he deserves.
And ... to cut a long story square, as my dad would say ... Sean has now been signed up, just a day after the Festival, by David Headley!
See full story, including Sean's own response, here.
That's not all my good news. I have another example of how persistance will pay off, if your book is good enough and you are committed to doing whatever it takes to make it the best it can possibly be. Another children's author with whom I've worked has also been signed up with an agent. Katherine Hetzel had a Writers' Workshop edit with Michelle Lovric and then 2 further edits and extended conversations with me before she began pitching. I'm too modest *cough* to repeat here what she said about the part I played in enabling her book to reach its potential, but I will say what an absolute joy it is to be a part of these journeys and to know that I've had a role to play. WordCloud link to this news is here.
One last story. It doesn't end with an agent signing an agreement, like Sean and Katherine's, though who knows what's around the corner? Do you remember me telling you about DW? The man who was determined to prove me wrong when I suggested he may not be ideally suited to writing fiction?
DW tracked me down at York and with great glee told me that 2 agents had asked to see more of the MS he pitched to them that we have been working on together. I've never been so pleased to be proved wrong.
So - whoever you are and wherever you are - don't ever give up. The right words, in the right time and the right place, and you too can experience this magic.
PS: feedback from York is now up on the Festival site.