Fleeting to launch agency

Fleeting magazine, an online literary journal which publishes short stories and writer interviews, is to launch an author consultancy with writers such as AL Kennedy, Deborah Levy and Adam Foulds providing paid-for editing for unpublished manuscripts.

Fleeting Books was developed out of small editorial service called The Clinic that ran alongside the magazine. Founder and editor Matt Shoard said he wanted to expand the editing business, and will use the revenue to fund the magazine: “The magazine has been running since about 2008 and has built up a good reputation. We had a very small editorial service called The Clinic tagged onto that, with me doing the editing. I could see from the magazine submissions that there were thousands of of writers who hadn’t benefitted from tutelage or editing and didn’t know why their work wasn’t breaking through.” In addition to Kennedy, Levy and Foulds, Shoard has also enlisted Evie Wyld, Daljit Nagra, Alex Preston, Stef Penney and Jake Arnott.

Shoard said: “All of the writers have experience either in creative writing teaching or editing others, and they were keen to come on board, having known about the magazine. They came together quite naturally and all seem to fill a particular space.”

Services offered will include reader’s reports, line-by-line critiques or face-to-face meetings and mentoring, as well as help with proposals and contacts within the industry. Prices will be negotiated depending on the level of work done. Shoard said: “We all have agents and have worked with editors at publishing houses, and they are all open to good recommendations. Agents are inundated with submissions and they have to find what they think will work on the shelf of a bookshop, as do publishers. They don’t have the time anymore to spot a talent and develop it.”

Prices will depend on the level of editing undertaken, with Shoard saying they recently edited a literary novel due for publication for £1,500. The agency joins similar services such as The Literary Consultancy and The Writers’ Workshop. However, Shoard added: “I would like to think we’re cooler than [other editorial companies] The Literary Consultancy and The Writers’ Workshop. I don’t think anyone has a comparable team of practising, award-winning writers. And whereas as they trade off the names of the novels they have placed, I think we will be quite discrete.”

Fleeting will continue to publish new short fiction and writer interviews, with the editing subsidising the site. Shoard said: “There has been a lot of interest in the service and a steady trickle of manuscripts which are being passed on to the editors, and I expect it to increase as our reputation grows.”