It’s incredible to think that the first year of the Madeleine Milburn Mentorship Scheme has already passed its half-way mark…

After an overwhelming response from applicants, we selected 6 talented writers, and it has been quite the journey since then. Since the official launch in August, we’ve been doing our very best to maintain a steady rapport, given the extraordinary circumstances – that’s meant keeping in touch via virtual workshops, editorial meetings, and even a WhatsApp group!

Each month, we feature an information session about the publishing industry. Our first session was about international rights, and our brilliant International Rights Department gave an in-depth look at the translation market. Our second session featured Darcy Nicholson, Publishing Director at Sphere, who discussed the acquisitions process and the relationship between editor and author. We also held an editorial session with Millie Lean, Editor at Penguin Children’s, who gave her insights on the children’s publishing market. And most recently, our Primary Agent Hayley Steed and new Dramatic Rights Agent, Hannah Ladds, who joined the ever-growing MM team last month, gave a stellar session on the possibilities around Film and TV. It’s been a thrill to launch this programme, and we are so looking forward to what’s ahead!

We’ve received such kind and positive feedback from the mentees so far:

“The Madeleine Milburn program has been wonderfully informative. It isn’t every day that a new author can have a chat with an editor or two at a publishing house or be privy to the intricacies of international book marketing. I pinch myself daily.”

-Avione Lee


“I feel honoured to have been selected for this unique opportunity – we’re so lucky to have the chance to learn first-hand from industry experts. It can be very easy to struggle to see the value in your own writing or to know how to make the most of your own talent – I feel that the encouragement and care shown to us from the team at MM has really given us mentees the forward thrust we needed. I know already that I will look back on this experience as one of the very best of my life.”

-Sophie Jo


“I have felt like MM has really embraced the six of us and has gone out of their way to make us feel like we are part of a close knit agency that embraces and supports their authors. It feels amazing to be taken seriously as authors and be given so much support at this stage of the writing process – I never dreamed I would have this level of professional attention and input when my debut was still a work in progress. Just as lovely has been forging friendships in our tribe of mentees. “

-Francesca Robbins


“I’m still so grateful to have been chosen for this mentorship.  I’m convinced that if I had carried on beavering away on my novel and submitted it in the usual way, there is no way that I would have an agent now.  As a writer, I often become lost in the details; having Hayley as a mentor has been vital for pulling me back so that I have a clearer view of the whole.  And finally, it’s a real privilege to be on the same journey as five other talented writers. “

-Ronali Collings


“I honestly didn’t know, before this mentorship, how many book-loving individuals make up this industry. So far, we’ve met with two editors and had a fantastic presentation by the MM Rights team (such a knowledgeable and passionate group!) and everyone is clearly an expert in their field. I feel like we’re getting a glimpse of something that would normally take years to understand and am truly grateful and excited to see what lies ahead!”

-Nigar Alam


“The Madeleine Milburn Mentorship scheme has already been a life changing experience. Not only have I met five incredible writers to share this experience with, I have also been made to feel part of the MM Agency family, straight away. Being mentored by Madeleine herself has been a dream come true. She sent me extensive and detailed editorial notes for my novel and has seen a real vision for my story. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her guidance, and I am eternally grateful to her and the MM family for giving me this incredible opportunity.

-Sophia Spiers

It has truly been a delight to watch our mentees grow in leaps and bounds with every session – and it’s our vision for all of their works in progress to become published books which they can hold in their hands, and  remember as significant milestones in their long writing careers.