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Publishers have reported a surge in manuscripts submitted by budding authors during lockdown, with dystopian novels being among the most commonly offered.The time freed up by working from home has given many aspiring writers more hours in the day to finish off their book proposals.

At Avon, a commercial fiction division of HarperCollins, have seen “unagented submissions” increase threefold between March and May compared to the same time last year.They have received a large number of crime and thriller novels from writers who are drawing inspiration from their pandemic-induced social surroundings.

Literary agents, which represent writers and help send their scripts to publishers, have also seen a growing trend for dystopian themes.“I would say we are seeing lots of people working out their fears of the current situation through dystopias, with submissions that either explore Covid-19 overtly or have an unknown virus or disease spreading through humanity,” said Sarah Revivis-Smith, fiction reader at the Eve White Literary Agency.

“Submissions have continued to be relentless during lockdown, increasing from around 80 a week to 100,” said Sam Copeland, Director of RCW agency, which boasts Zadie Smith and Kazuo Ishiguro among its published authors.

“Presumably people are finally finishing off novels and getting time to do their research who to send it to. I am expecting that number to rise again still further though, with all the people who have been writing their novel in lockdown and will finish later this year,” Cooper added.

Source: The Telegraph