How to Write an Effective Synopsis with YMU Literary

A synopsis is an integral part of your submission and one that some writers can overlook. It’s a document that carries a lot on its shoulders – it covers the entirety of your novel and should give the agent reading your query a strong understanding of the key characters, plot development and pacing. If an agent is torn after reading your sample material, a brilliant synopsis could turn the tide for calling in the full manuscript.

Join YMU Literary team Amanda, Anna, Millie, and Elise as they share their top tips and what to avoid when writing your synopsis. You will then get the opportunity to workshop your own synopsis, with each agent on hand to offer guidance. There will be a Q&A at the end of the session.

Please bring along a synopsis you would like to develop for the workshopping portion of the event and come with questions for the Q&A.


If you require access support please email [email protected] and we will work to meet the access needs you have.   

About YMU Literary

Elise Middleton


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Elise joined YMU in 2020, having previously completed work experience at Dorling Kindersley, HarperCollins and Bloomsbury, and worked at Waterstones. She co-founded The Indie Insider, a newsletter dedicated to highlighting the work of independent publishers and bookstores. She is actively building a list of upmarket and literary fiction, and creative and narrative non-fiction.

Millie Lean


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Millie started her career at Bloomsbury, and then moved to Penguin Random House where she worked as an editor in the Puffin team. At Puffin, she acquired titles for middle grade and YA readers, and worked across projects with authors such as Jacqueline Wilson, Roald Dahl and Greg James and Chris Smith.  


Millie joined YMU in 2021 and works across fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She also offers 360 career management for a number of elite clients, including Francis Bourgeois, Jane Dunn and Jemma Solomon. She manages overall career strategy, across fields such as television, brand, events and IP. 

Anna Dixon


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After some internships around the industry, Anna realised agenting was the job for her and started my publishing career at Abner Stein, selling UK & Commonwealth rights for their busy client list of US agencies. A couple of years later she moved over to WME, where she represented US clients for their UK business, helped edit fiction behind the scenes (Ann Leary, Kim Edwards, Aimee Phan, Evan Winter and Lev Grossman to name a few), learned the ropes of working with her own clients and building a list, and created talent led projects with roster clients from other areas of the business. 

All of that experience paved the way for joining YMU in 2021, where she creates book projects with talent from all areas. Anna is also building a list of both clients looking to enter the publishing space from all areas of the entertainment industry, and brilliant authors who may not have a platform but have killer writing skills. 

Amanda Harris

Global Managing Director

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Amanda Harris joined YMU in 2019 and became Global MD of the Literary division in 2021. She has worked in publishing all of her career, at houses including Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Hachette. She founded two imprints at Orion, and has published an eclectic list of high-profile, award-winning and Sunday Times bestselling authors including Jackie Collins, His Majesty, King Charles, Sir Paul McCartney, Bryan Cranston, Fearne Cotton, Davina McCall, Dr Giles Yeo and Amy Cuddy

Since joining YMU, Amanda has been shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year twice (2021 and 2023) and was named an industry Top 150 Influencer. She has agented over 25 Sunday Times bestsellers by Claudia Winkleman, Matt Lucas, Ant and Dec, Fearne Cotton, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Stacey Solomon, Tom Daley, Gary Barlow, Jake Humphrey, Joe Swash, Jemma Solomon, and more. She also agented the double-award winning, and 2023 Nibbies Overall Book of the Year, Menopausing by Davina McCall.