Aspiring Writer’s Toolkit

This week, I thought it would be nice to do a post on some fabulous resources I’ve found on the two things aspiring writers dread most- the covering letter and the synopsis. Admit it, they fill us all with dread. After all, the letter has to do so much- it has to sell the book and, more importantly, you as a writer. You want to come across as fresh, original yet professional and business-like. A big ask really, isn’t it? Well, worry no more guys! I’m going to tell you about two fabulous books that will help you tackle these two things, so you can send off your sparkly, shiny novel with a punchy letter and great synopsis. Publishing deal, here you come!


Dear Agent by Nicola Morgan

This funny, insightful book helps you tackle the dreaded covering letter. Packed with funny, sage advice, it takes you through each paragraph you need to put in the letter and gives relevant examples of how to write them. Look out for what not to put in the letter as well- you’d be surprised at some people’s audacity! I spent most of yesterday with my Kindle by my side, trying to write my covering letter, and it turned out a lot better than expected. Certainly a lot better than if I’d attempted the task alone! This book is a must-have. Buy it here


Write a Great Synopsis by Nicola Morgan

By the same author as Dear Agent, this book is another vital tool in an aspiring writer’s arsenal. Hands up who HATES the prospect of writing a synopsis for their book? Yup, me too. Until I stumbled across this book. In much the same style as Dear Agent the book talks you through, step-by step, how to write a synopsis to go with your book. It also includes examples from her blog, Help! I Need a Publisher, which she has critiqued herself, and synopses of two of her own YA books. Smashing read and one I will definitely be using next week when attempting a synopsis for The Dream List. Buy it here


So, there you have it. Two fabulous little books that (almost) take the stress away from completing your submission package. I believe all aspiring writers should help each other out and I myself have received some great feedback and support from writers on my Twitter account (thanks guys!) Get the stress of writing your covering letter and synopsis out of the way ASAP so that when you’ve finished your book and, if you’re like me, edited it to within an inch of its life, you’re totally ready to send it out and start your writing career off.

Keep smiling

Lynsey x


2 thoughts on “Aspiring Writer’s Toolkit

  1. Joanne Phillips says:

    This is great, Lynsey, thanks for sharing. I’ve always found the synopsis the hardest thing to write – harder than a full-length novel – but there is a tip I picked up which really helps me, and that is to write the synopsis first as part of the planning process. With my current novel, I planned it out roughly and then wrote an extended synopsis in the present tense, sort of as if I was explaining the plot to a friend. This not only helps with the writing process, but when I’ve finished the book it will be a great basis for my ‘official’ synopsis.
    Jo x
    (Does anyone else find ‘synopsis’ really hard to type?)

    • lynseyjames says:

      Oh that sounds like a great way of doing it :)! I’ll try that. Got the covering letter written and planning to tackle the synopsis this week as I’m off work. Draft four is coming along well too. Can’t wait for your big reveal of the title by the way! Really looking forward to it. Thanks again for reading and glad you like it 🙂

      Lynsey xx

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