In 2006 I set up Friday Pitch to try to source more commercial fiction manuscripts than I was receiving from literary agents or authors. Before starting at Allen & Unwin I’d spent several years as a freelance editor and during this time I’d worked on numerous manuscripts for unpublished writers. This made me realise how many excellent writers were experiencing difficulties gaining representation by a literary agent or finding a publisher who’d look at their work.
Another driving force behind establishing Friday Pitch was my belief that some regional authors felt intimidated by the idea of contacting publishers and agents and, being a country girl myself, I wanted to help them. It was also clear to me that traditional submission systems were very slow and we needed to speed up the turnaround time for writers. The decision to make Friday Pitch an email-only system was based on a desire to conserve paper, reduce postal costs and make it as accessible as possible.
Initially only for fiction, Friday Pitch proved such a success we opened it up to non-fiction submissions too. Since its inception, many books by Friday Pitch authors have become bestsellers, including entertaining novels by Fleur McDonald, Karly Lane, Therese Creed, Lisa Heidke and Danielle Hawkins; moving memoirs by Helen Brown and Mary Groves; and Shamus Sillar’s hilarious travel memoir, Sicily: It’s Not Quite Tuscany.
Friday Pitch is now our company-wide submission system, though the high volume of material we receive each week means we can only respond to authors whose submissions we want to pursue further.
As well as regular submissions, Friday Pitch is currently targeting work memoirs!
At Allen and Unwin we know readers enjoy stories by people who’ve had interesting or eventful or downright crazy jobs because we published Paul Carter’s hilarious bestseller, Don’t Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs, She Thinks I’m a Piano Player in a Whorehouse; Merridy Eastman’s witty account of working as a receptionist in a brothel, There’s a Bear in There and He Wants Swedish; Damien Brown’s fascinating book, Band Aid for a Broken Leg, about life on the medical frontline; and Peter Allison’s wonderful Whatever You Do, Don’t Run about the perils and pitfalls of being a safari guide in Africa.
If you or someone you know – whether it’s a colleague, relative or friend – have had an interesting, funny or downright bizarre working life and can write about it in an entertaining way, then we’d be interested to hear from you. Simply send it through our Friday Pitch with the words ‘Work Memoir’ in the subject line. If we think your story is entertaining, your writing is strong and there are commercial possibilities for a work memoir by you then we’ll get back to you!
Find out more about our submissions process
For all the details on submitting your writing to Friday Pitch, visit out website, while you can read testimonials on getting published through this process from Fleur McDonald, Karly Lane and Danielle Hawkins.
Also well worth a listen is our publisher Annette Barlow talking to Hoopla radio about Friday Pitch and offering lots of tips for writers looking to get published (as well as the current state of the publishing industry).