Website Review: Jericho Writers

This month, I’ve had the opportunity to try out a free year of membership on the Jericho Writers website, which is a resource for writers who want to get their books published.  I had signed up to the mailing list years ago, when the company was still called the Writers’ Workshop, as I was using one of their previous services to hunt for agents when I was first trying to pitch one of my novels.

A brief bit of background: most readers will be aware that I’ve been writing fiction since I could write (so about thirty years…that’s a long time, and a lot of abandoned stories/projects!), but it was only in 2011 that I finally completed a novel draft for the first time.  I spent 2012 and early 2013 editing it, and was ready to pitch it in mid-2013, which was when I first signed up to the Writers’ Workshop and Agent Hunter, as it was called then.  Unfortunately, in the intervening time, life took over a bit and although I wrote a lot, I didn’t have the time for working on getting published.  That has changed recently, and I’m making a concerted effort to get a few of my manuscripts ready for pitching again.  As such, it’s a good time for me right now to check out Jericho Writers, which has changed a lot since I last used its services.

At first glance, there is a LOT of content on the site, so it’s a little overwhelming at first and takes a while to navigate.  There are blog posts covering every aspect of the writing and publishing process, in-depth video courses that last for many hours, members-only forums, films full of interviews and advice, and of course access to AgentMatch, the updated version of Agent Hunter, which is the service that’s of most interest to me.  It has hundreds of agents listed, so I will be doing a lot of perusing of that when I get my manuscripts up to scratch in the near future.

Speaking of getting manuscripts up to scratch – there is a vast amount of advice on this subject in both blog and video form.  A lot of it is free even if you’re not a member, but for members, the quantity is enormous.  I’ve been poking around on the site for hours this month and have barely scratched the surface – I’m looking forward to delving into the archive more over the next few months!

From my exploration of the site so far this month, what I’ve most enjoyed are the videos – I’ve spent a few too many hours getting lost in these when I should have been working on my NaNo novel.  I’ve learnt more about the pitching process just from watching a few videos than I did in months of research when I was first looking into publication five or six years ago.

As for the site services I’m most interested in using over the next few months: as mentioned, I’ll be making use of AgentMatch when I’m ready to look for agents.  I’m also going to be spending a lot of time watching all the video courses, and I’m very keen on the possibility of using the Conversations service, which allows writers to get in touch with and ask advice from agents and other industry experts.

There are also editing services and writing courses offered by Jericho Writers – however, even with the 10% member discount, these are still fairly pricy, and so I think I’ll be giving them a miss.  However, some of the events that the company runs in London look interesting – they have writing fairs where you can meet agents and publishers, and so on – so I’ll be keeping an eye on those when tickets go on sale.

On the whole, I’m really glad to be able to try out Jericho Writers over the next year – there’s no end of useful content on the website, and I expect I’ll be spending a lot of time on there as I continue with my ongoing hopeful process of trying to get my books out into the world!

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