Welcome to my website. I’m an Australian literary agent, editor, freelance writer, and the author of The Young Widow’s Book of Home Improvement, a memoir, and Girls at the Piano (forthcoming in 2018). I lived for many years in Brooklyn, New York, but am for the time being living back in Sydney with my family.
I mentor writers. I help fiction and memoir writers improve their work, and I guide nonfiction writers who have professional expertise to develop their manuscripts to a publishable standard.
My clients get published.
My clients value my strong editorial background, as I know what constitutes a manuscript of publishable quality. Here is my client list and the books I have agented, developed, or edited. You can find some testimonials here.
“Your editorial advice was priceless.” — Brad Hutchins, author of Game Set Cash! (2014)
My second book (to be published next year) took me seven years, so I understand the joys and frustrations of the writing process. (I don’t recommend taking that long, but life happens and some books take as long as they take.)
“Virginia’s memoir mentoring was vital to the ultimate publication of my work. Her insights were helpful at every stage of the process – from big-picture thinking on narrative structure and focus, through to line-by-line editorial feedback at final draft. She is an expert editorial ‘curator’ and a godsend for a first-time author.” —Fiona Higgins, author, Fearless (2016), Wife on the Run (2014), The Mothers’ Group (2012) and Love in the Age of Drought (2009)
As part of my lifelong love for books and culture, I have always been a passionate volunteer with arts-related not-for-profit organizations. I grew up helping my father’s fundraising efforts for his local Rotary Club, and I guess that rubbed off on me. I am a Past President of Sydney PEN (International PEN Center) and a former Vice President of the Sydney Improvised Music Association.
A lifetime ago I completed a PhD in English Literature at the University of Sydney, but did not want to be an academic. Moving into publishing, I worked as the in-house editor of the Picador list (fiction and nonfiction) at Pan Macmillan Australia, one of Australia’s largest trade publishers. Working with authors and learning the publishing business stood me in great stead when I became an independent editor and literary agent, and eventually an author myself. Here’s my LinkedIn profile.