This month Natalie Yates brings you the opportunity for feedback on your opening lines from not one but two literary agents! Clare Wallace and Lydia Silver from Darley Anderson are ready for your submissions.

OPENING LINES gives you a chance to get some professional feedback so you can fine tune your submissions. Up to three or more entries will be chosen at random for feedback. If yours is selected, it will be published anonymously here in September with Lydia and Clare's response.

Clare Wallace – An Introduction 

Since 2011, Clare has been building the children's list at Darley Anderson Agency and as chief talent-spotter, she loves to discover memorable new characters, bold and unique voices, a strong concept and great storytelling. She wants to be completely gripped and is delighted if a manuscript makes her miss her stop on the tube. She’s always keen to see funny younger fiction, a bit of magic, stories for all ages about modern life and is still holding out for a YA love story that will bring tears to her eyes.

At the Agency, Clare represents picture books, middle-grade, teenage, YA and illustrators as well as a boutique list of authors in adult fiction in the UK and US.

Lydia Silver – An Introduction

Since recently joining the Darley Anderson Agency, Lydia is looking to build the children’s list. With a background in middle grade and YA fiction, she is particularly looking for magical middle grade adventures, funny contemporary stories and YA novels with an unusual voice. Above all, she wants to find stories with wit, charm and heart.

She’s also got an eye out for clever, engaging picture books and is developing the non-fiction side of the children’s list. She loves working editorially with writers and is always on the lookout for new talent. 

Both Lydia and Clare are actively looking for submissions from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, LGBTQ and all other under-represented writers.

How to Submit your Opening Lines 

Please email and write OPENING LINES ENTRY in the subject line. Your email needs to contain:

• your full name

• title

• elevator pitch
first few opening lines.

Make sure we receive your submission by 18 August 2019 for your chance to get your lines seen by Clare and Lydia. 

We’ll publish the results on 29 September 2019

Remember, OPENING LINES isn’t a competition, so you are free to submit your story elsewhere.


If you've received feedback from OPENING LINES, how did it help you? If it led to you finding an agent or a publisher, we'd love to hear your story.


Natalie has been a SCBWI member since 2015 and is now Networks Coordinator for the North East. When she is not working as a Teaching Assistant for a local secondary school, she writes for YA and is a member of the GEA North contingent. You can find her occasionally blogging and more often on Twitter.

No comments:

We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.