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Thread: The McKernan Agency / The Writing Room (Maggie McKernan)

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The McKernan Agency / The Writing Room (Maggie McKernan)

    Has anyone heard anything in regards to this agency? My manuscripts are being reviewed by one of the agents there.

    Thanks so much!

    Karen

  2. #2
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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  3. #3
    I write novels
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    Very slick website. The standard contract looked fairly...standard. (Others with more experience might want to take a look.) No sign of what the agency itself has sold, but their clients include a number of established writers. The one thing that bothers me is that they also offer editing services. The key is whether they keep the two sides of the company strictly separate.

  4. #4
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Offering editing services is less of a red flag in the UK than in the US. A number of agencies do it and, as Beth says, the key is the degree of separation they maintain.

  5. #5
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I'm always wary when editing services and literary agencies cohabit...but as Waylander says, the key is the degree of separation maintained. I.e., does the agency refuse to serve clients of the consultancy, and vice-versa? Ideally, that's what you should see (a la John Jarrold, another UK literary agent who has a consultancy).

    Apart from that, there seems to be good experience here (according to her bio, Ms. McKernan has had a long career in publishing, most recently at Orion) and good connections (Capel & Land, a prestigious agency). It's a newish agency (set up in 2005). The client list seems to indicate some recent sales.

    Good luck, Karen.

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  6. #6
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Her credentials look good and I like her association with Capel & Land (who used to represent me!): my only reservation is that she's based in Edinburgh which will separate her a little from the main push of publishing, which in the UK is predominantly London-baesd.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks for all the posts. As for them being in Scotland, I'm not overly concerned 'cause no matter where I go for an agent I'm NOT looking in my native country (Canada) because none of the agents here represent genre fiction.

    My fingers are crossed. Thanks for all the good wishes.

    Karen

  8. #8
    Bird In Flight Wonderlander's Avatar
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    Hi Karen,

    How did you get on in the end? Edwin Hawkes has just requested my full MS.

  9. #9
    Bird In Flight Wonderlander's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    Does anyone have any more about this agency? Edwin Hawkes is ringing me today at 3pm about the MS I sent him... short notice I know, but any extra snippets would be good!

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW
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    any updates on this one?

  11. #11
    Bird In Flight Wonderlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushdoctor View Post
    any updates on this one?
    Yes - I met Edwin Hawkes. Very switched on agency based in Edinburgh; smallish, but with a nicely select client base. The head agent, Maggie McKernan, had a deep history in UK publishing before she went into editing.

    They were very professional and had a clear plan for my career going forward. I didn't go with them in the end, but not because there was anything remotely wrong with them or their offer, and I recommend them to my writing group.

    The book that got Edwin's attention was a kind of near future SF, if that helps.
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  12. #12
    Still the wrong side of Saskatoon Saskatoonistan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenDales View Post
    Thanks for all the posts. As for them being in Scotland, I'm not overly concerned 'cause no matter where I go for an agent I'm NOT looking in my native country (Canada) because none of the agents here represent genre fiction

    Helen Heller's agency reps Kelley Armstrong and The Cooke Agency reps some genre fiction, though they're not taking any new clients at the present time. Still, I feel for ya - I'm in the same boat. There's maybe a dozen literary agencies in the entire country.

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  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderlander View Post
    Yes - I met Edwin Hawkes. Very switched on agency based in Edinburgh; smallish, but with a nicely select client base. The head agent, Maggie McKernan, had a deep history in UK publishing before she went into editing.

    They were very professional and had a clear plan for my career going forward. I didn't go with them in the end, but not because there was anything remotely wrong with them or their offer, and I recommend them to my writing group.

    The book that got Edwin's attention was a kind of near future SF, if that helps.
    Thanks for this. they asked for a full from me so we'll see how it goes.

  14. #14
    Bird In Flight Wonderlander's Avatar
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    Good luck with it! Like I say, they seemed a really good agency and I hope you do well with them!
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    Represented by Greene and Heaton Ltd (UK).
    Sunday Times bestseller Dear Amy published by Michael Joseph 2016.
    Currently working on Morningstar.
    Website and blog are here.
    Twittering away here.

  15. #15
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Launched The Writing Room literary consultancy in '09: http://www.mckernanagency.co.uk/pp012.shtml

    http://www.writing-room.co.uk/
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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Closed the agency side in '13. Will probably refile under Editing/Appraisal.
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