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  • Writer's pictureHelen Lederer

Blimey, another CWIP graduate’s gone and got a publishing deal

Updated: May 29, 2020

Dear reader who will be indoors currently,

As the Longlist is announced next week – I thought it prudent to showcase another CWIP success story in case those who aren’t on the longlist get fed up and throw things. At me.

Jo Lovett has signed a two-book deal, with the first one out in November! (Her real name is Jo Lovett-Turner for extra info)

Just saying here

1) I’m not a judge (think I may have mentioned this before a lot for popularity purposes)

2) I’m writing my own stuff (except I’m not, because I’m doing CWIP)

3) People win through

4) Be like me, and never read reviews like the one I had from Edinburgh in 95 saying I looked like ‘Miss Piggy on heat’. I never read that one.

Over to Ms Jo Lovett who has surrendered to my nosiness.

What was the filthiest book you've ever read?

I’m not a big filthy-book-reader (that I'm going to admit to). Maybe Jilly Cooper's Riders. Too long ago – I now realise I need to re-read some Jilly Coopers during lockdown…

Have you ever seen anyone on public transport reading my book?

My eyesight's too bad to focus quickly on what other people are reading but I did recently catch a very prim teacher at the school gate reading Fifty Shades on her Kindle.

What action do you take when the words are not flowing?

Wine and chocolate, re-read the last chapter and then write ANYthing to get going again (and then do some serious editing later).

What are the five best items on your desk at the moment - apart from a pine mug tree if you have one of these?

Multi-coloured memo pad (love a list), shimmery pilot pens (love a shimmery list), paper diary (don't trust technology), chocolate (almond) and now Riders.

I entered the 2019 CWIP prize in February last year. It was exciting to get longlisted and REALLY exciting to get shortlisted (after a week of extreme, but completely blind, manuscript polishing and spending HOURS trying to find somewhere in the house that I could get an okay selfie – in the loo as it turned out). I'd never shown anyone my writing, so it was a huge boost to discover that the CWIP judges had read my whole book and enjoyed it, and lovely (and odd!) to meet PEOPLE WHO HAD ACTUALLY READ MY STORY at the award evening. Martha Ashby, the Harper Collins editor on the judging panel, very kindly sent me some incredibly useful feedback, which I ended up applying to my next manuscript and, long story short, signed a contract with Bookouture last month, for two completely new books. The first one's coming out this November and the second in April 2021 – very exciting! And all the judges' feedback helped me enormously, so thank you CWIP! And obviously a big thank you for the opportunity to hear Jilly Cooper in actual person telling an actual penis joke at the awards evening…

A sneak look at someone’s book case. Shameful state.

Whose could it be?

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