How to find an agent, submit your manuscript and get published

FREE Publishing 101 primer
Enrol now 18 September start
Register your interest  


You think you’ve done the hard part by writing a book, but getting your novel published is the next big slog to tackle. Writers’ HQ’s new online manuscript submission course will help you prepare for the big leap towards getting your work out into the world.

It’s time. You’ve spent hundreds of hours and writing and editing and polishing your story. It’s ready to become a Real Life Book Thing. So now what? Where do you start? How do you find the right agent? How do you package up your manuscript so it won’t end up at the bottom of the slush pile? What even IS a slush pile? Well, that’s what this course is for – duh.

Don’t jump the gun. Too many (ie: most) writers send off their manuscript far too early – before they’ve properly prepared, done their research, and put together a professional submission.

Spend six weeks learning how to write a killer query, a snappy synopsis and giving yourself the best chance of slapping your manuscript down onto the desk of your perfect agent.


Learn out how to find the right agent for you.

Find out  how to pitch your story and write a an unputdownable cover letter.

Get to know the ins and outs of prepping your manuscript before submitting to agents.

Get to grips with the dreaded synopsis.

Make sure your opening chapter is kickass and moreish.

Create a personalised masterplan towards publication.


Everything you need to be a rip roaring fiction-submitting, story publishing machine.

A full submission package, including query cover letter, synopsis, first three chapters and an idea of who to send it all to.

A big hug.


You'll get to join our lovely little online community to support you through the submission process, including peer and tutor feedback, gold stars, and all the pep and shoulders to cry on you need. And plenty of gifs, natch.

Waahhoooooo pep pep let's go... 


The next course starts on Monday 18 September


Publishing 101: just the course please!


Enrol now

Publishing 101: the course with a synopsis review please!


Enrol now


  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    Fantastic Course 5

    Thoroughly excellent course. A guided tour of the first draft you thought you knew, with myriad exercises to ensure you end up knowing it better. Help to recognise its strengths, and strategies to deal with its weaknesses. Advice, support, and plain good sense. A variety of approaches, to suit different kinds of writers. By the end of the course, I was raring to go, and what's more, I knew what I had to do to make my draft into the best book it could be.
    Cassie Oakman
  • Writing Short Fiction

    detailed and easy and fun to follow 5

    I've only just started, but I can tell this course and the group is going to help, especially as I've done more short story courses than I can remember
    Jacqui Dickson
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back


    I got more out of this course than all of the other ones I've done put together, and I've done lots and have been to some prestigious places that live off their puffery and fame but what they offer in terms of proper skills and help, simply doesn't touch this. Plotstormers II, has been enormously enlightening and empowering and deeply generous, thanks so much Jo and & Sarah, you ROCK. I have already sung its praises among writer friends; two of whom are signing up pronto and I have only hesitated from trumpeting about it on SM, for fear that all WRITERSHQ courses would, subsequently, be swamped and then there would be no room for liddle 'ole me! I will get over myself - promise.
    Stephanie Gerra
  • Writing Short Fiction

    Best f**king course on writing short fiction, ever. 5

    I love this course. So much information, so many great exercises, such great feedback in the forums. Doesn't matter how you learn - there's a little something for everyone here, from videos to suggested readings to hands-on work - and some great prompts for the exercises. Helped me think about writing in invaluable new ways (distill your story down to a 140-character tweet? I can do this, I can do this...!). Kind, encouraging, clear, direct. I wrote some new stories during the course, and with the stories I already had before I started, I have lots of editing ahead of me....but at least now I KNOW WHAT TO DO! Thanks for a stellar course, Jo. Time now to stop f**king about and start editing (writing is rewriting :o).
    Mary Taslimi
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    Thought-provoking and challenging. Well worth it! 5

    This is a fantastic course. It helped me step back from my manuscript, asked me difficult questions about plot, consistency and character that I'd been happily ignoring, and helped me to deal with each issue in easy to manage chunks rather than one overwhelming beast. The forums are so useful. Being able to talk to other people in a similar situation to myself, and giving as well as receiving feedback was just as important for me to learn as the course material was. I'm already booked on my next course!


When does the course start?

Our courses run at set times throughout the year. Check at the top of the course pages for the next start dates.

How long can I access the course for?

You can access material for all our six week courses for 12 weeks from the start date.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

We have an active and lively community on our private Facebook group and in-course forums. We encourage peer support as we believe critiquing other people's work is one of the best and fastest ways of learning. We coach students on giving constructive feedback in a positive way because anything else is pointless.

Course tutors are also on hand on the forums to chat and answer questions. We'll comment on most course-related topics. We don't want to be the kind of place that says 'you'll get 5 forum comments and 2 emails and NOTHING ELSE CURSE YOU STUDENTS'  but in order for that to work we need you to be reasonable in return. You can't slip the first 10,000 words of your novel in a forum post and then get grumpy if we don't read it. Equally, if we've already commented on one draft of your work, it's unlikely we'll comment on the next iteration. If a topic is for peer review only, we'll make it clear in the course and on the forums.

Does it matter that I write genre?

Nope. Come one come all. We have YA, MG, supernatural horror, romance, lit fic, fantasy, not-sure-what-fic, you-name-it-fic, wizards, vampires, accountants, hackers, and occasionally dogs . Everyone is welcome in our house (except cats, because they're wankers).

Something's happened and I'M NOT HAPPY

Aah no! We want you to be happy. We really do. I mean, not all the time because that's just a bit weird like Cat from CBeebies. Seriously Cat, doesn't your face hurt? STOP SMILING.

Whatever the problem is it's most likely a small technical cockup (we have a lot of those. The Internet Gods really hate us) so just email sarah@writershq.co.uk and we'll sort the problem tootsweet. But pleeeease do talk to us. We can't help unless we know there's an issue. Don't sit and stew, just give us a yell and we'll jump into action with keenness and speed.  Ok? Okay. Good stuff.

Content copyright Writers' HQ ©. Please don't use our stuff without asking, but do ask and we'll probably say yes because we're nice like that. Email hello@writershq.co.uk.