We are delighted to announce the launch of FBA New Voices, a writer development programme looking for the best emerging underrepresented voices in fiction. FBA New Voices aims to discover exciting literary talent, demystify the publishing process for aspiring authors, and offer tailored editorial support during the development of their work-in-progress.
The programme offers three spaces to unpublished and unagented writers who are working towards their first novel or short story collection. The three selected writers will be mentored over nine months by a published author and an FBA literary agent, who will draw on their experience and expertise to give valuable, personalised feedback on the writer’s work-in-progress, as well as offering advice and insight into the publishing industry.
What does the New Voices programme offer?
- Virtual mentoring sessions from a published author, providing one-to-one feedback on your work-in-progress
- Advice and insight into the publishing industry from an FBA agent
- The chance to share your work at a public showcase event in Oxford (travel expenses covered within the UK)
K Patrick is a writer based in Scotland. Their poetry has appeared in Granta, Poetry Review and Five Dials, and was shortlisted for The White Review Poetry Prize in 2021, the same year that K was shortlisted for The White Review Fiction Prize for their short story ‘Eggs’. Their debut novel MRS S will be published by Fourth Estate this year, and K was selected as one of the Observer’s ‘Ten Debut Novelists’ of 2023.
Melody Razak is a British-Iranian fiction writer from London, with an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. Her debut novel, MOTH, was published in 2021 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and was longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2022 and the Desmond Elliott Prize. Melody was selected as one of the Observer‘s ‘Ten Debut Novelists’ of 2021 and as one of Harper’s Bazaar’s ‘Five Debut Female Authors to Read This Summer’.
Cathy Thomas’ short fiction has been published in The Stinging Fly, The London Magazine, BANSHEE and Litro as well as shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Royal Academy and Pin Drop Award. She was selected for the 2014/15 Jerwood and Arvon Mentoring Scheme as a dramatist, and has had work staged at theatres including the Arcola, Rich Mix and Southwark Playhouse. Her debut short story collection, ISLANDERS, was published by Virago in 2022.
Carrie Plitt is a Director at FBA, where she represents award-winning non-fiction and literary fiction. Carrie is drawn to writing that is emotionally complex and captures the zeitgeist – even when it is set in the past. Her fiction clients include Will Eaves, Tess Little, and Cathy Thomas. Carrie co-hosts the long-standing books podcast ‘Literary Friction’ and was shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year at the 2021 British Book Awards.
ANGELIQUE TRAN VAN SANG
Angelique Tran Van Sang joined FBA after seven years as an editor at Bloomsbury, where she published Jenny Zhang, Olivia Sudjic and Saba Sams, amongst others. In fiction, she looks for works that strike the heart and intellect in equal measure, that feature protagonists on the margins, and the full and complex lives of those not often represented in literature. Fiction authors she represents include Mona Arshi, Rebecca Ivory, and K Patrick.
Caroline Wood is a Director at FBA and has worked as a literary agent for over fifteen years. She represents writers of literary book-club fiction and crime fiction, including a number of top-ten best-selling authors. She looks for writing that is atmospheric, character-driven, cinematic and gripping. Her varied client list features the likes of Booker-prize winner Damon Galgut, Anna Hope, Jonathan Coe, Gill Hornby, Melody Razak and Martin Walker. In 2022 Caroline was shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year at the British Book Awards.
Applications are open to previously unpublished fiction writers who consider themselves underrepresented on the UK’s bookshelves, be that through ethnicity, disability, sexuality, gender, class or any other circumstances. Applicants must be over the age of 18 and based in the UK or Ireland.
Writers should be working towards a full-length work of adult fiction (not YA or Middle Grade). This can include novels, novellas or short story collections.
How to apply
To apply, you need to submit between 8,000 and 10,000 words of your work-in-progress along with a 500 word synopsis and a short bio about yourself and your writing. We are only able to accept one entry per applicant.
Please send your submissions to: email@example.com
Submissions are open from Monday 16th January and will close at midnight on Sunday 26th March.
I’m a poet with a published collection. Am I eligible?
Poets who have published a collection are eligible.
I’ve had a short story or poem published in an anthology or literary magazine. Am I eligible?
Writers who have had a short story published in an anthology, magazine or journal are eligible.
I have self-published a novel. Am I eligible?
Self-published authors are eligible.
I have a literary agent but haven’t published my first novel yet. Am I eligible?
Writers who already have a literary representative/agent are not eligible.
Does my novel need to be finished in order to submit?
No, your work-in-progress doesn’t need to be finished. We just need to read an 8,000 – 10,000 word extract.
What should the synopsis that I submit look like?
Your synopsis should be no more than 500 words, outlining the key plot details that give our readers and judges a sense of how the story will pan out. For a short story collection, you should summarise the key themes and explain what pulls the story together—this might be a location, recurring characters, or a particular topic.
For both novel and collection synopses, feel free to also mention one or two comparison titles. Are there any contemporary books or collections or authors that are similar to your work-in-progress?
When can I expect to hear back about my submission?
We aim to get back to all writers to let them know the outcome of their submission by June.