188: Editorial notes from Francesca Main, Editorial Director at Picador (by email or in person)

fm3ITEM: Editorial notes from Francesca Main, Editorial Director at Picador

DETAILS: I will provide a detailed line edit of the first 50 pages of your manuscript (literary or upmarket commercial fiction preferred) as well as some more general notes on the opening of your novel. This can either be delivered to you via email or in person if you’d like to meet for coffee in London. Timings to be mutually agreed. I will also bring or post you a selection of Picador books.

BIO: Francesca Main is Editorial Director at Picador. Her authors include Lottie Moggach, Emma Chapman, Mark Watson and Naomi Wood.

About Diane Shipley

Freelance writer and free-range tweeter (@dianeshipley)


  1. Colly Browne

    Great £100 to kick off

  2. This would qualify as Best Christmas Present Ever: £120

  3. John Taylor

    There go a few luxuries. £150

  4. Jackie

    Don’t tell hubby. £175

  5. John Taylor

    Don’t tell anyone. £200

  6. Francesca Main

    Thank you, bidders! Keep ’em coming.

  7. Colly Browne

    Sorry John, it’s such a good cause…221

  8. John Taylor

    Ouch! Will look at how many others I’m bidding for and take out a mortgage. Had brilliant advice from Francesca before via Arvon 🙂

  9. Jackie

    £225. After a glass of wine….

  10. John Taylor

    £230 After a day of structural rethinking on the novel in question. My head hurts!

  11. Francesca, does ‘timings mutually agreed’ mean it’s OK if you read the MS in several months’ time? So, so keen to give this as a gift and have found a bit of extra money*.

    * Sold a kid.

  12. Jackie

    £250. I might go off and sell one of the children.

  13. Oh blimey, too rich for my blood already. Will have to see if I can get the kid back from the Post Office. Francesca: as you were. Hope the bids soar further.

  14. John Taylor

    Baah! My kids are too old to sell. And selling OH would not be appreciated in a relationship of mutuality and respect. May have to become an alpha male in the name of editorial need.

  15. Jackie

    Can you sell yourself, John? 😉

  16. John Taylor

    A bit old, saggy and wrinkly. But needs must…

  17. Colly Browne @howvlovely

    Sorry Jackie, John … £260… It’s a great cause …

  18. Francesca Main

    Overwhelmed by this generosity! Thank you all. Yes, timings-wise it can be redeemed at a later date if the manuscript isn’t ready or the winning bidder wants to come to London but needs time to plan a trip.

  19. Jackie

    John, I’m off to chat up hubby… or to make up a story (after all, that’s what writers do 😉 ).

  20. Jackie

    Sorry, should have said Colly!

  21. Jackie

    Actually, I’ve thought long and hard about this. It isn’t fair that you’re not offering to sell your children or yourself, Colly, so I’ll go to £265..

  22. John Taylor

    Might have made a dubious career commitment. £270.

  23. Jackie

    John, if I go to £275 will you tell me what the dubious career commitment is? Or £280 if you won’t.

  24. Jenny

    What a fabulous offer – I’ll go in at £285.

  25. This is a wonderful offer, having put a few other bods in, dreading to win them all but, what an opportunity! So, £291. Phew. That wasn’t too hard.

  26. Bids, it bods, obviously. But ‘bods’ could be interesting too.

  27. Oh dear! This ipad is now embarrassing me! One last try to save face: I meant Bids, not Bods. Crickey this auto typing is maddening.

  28. John Taylor

    Jackie, selling my body is proving tricky. It seems the lack of testosterone is a bit of a problem. As for selling my soul, well… Oh, I’ll stop rabbiting on and bid £295

  29. Colly Browne @howvlovely

    Morning all… Two days until the end …£ 300 …

  30. Colly Browne @howvlovely

    Just for you John £310

  31. Mrs H

    I’ll throw my hat into the ring with 315 GBP

  32. John Taylor

    My hat went long ago. £320

  33. Mrs H

    Could you please remove my email address from the last bid. I thought email addresses were not supposed to be shown.

  34. Mrs H

    Thanks for sorting that out 🙂

  35. Colly Browne

    Hello again – £450 ( Could John please go away )

  36. John Taylor

    Who? You’ve beaten me on this one, Colly. Big thanks to Francesca for doing this 🙂

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