J.K. Rowling to help Killer Women. Wait—that’s not what it sounds like!

Apr 11, 2019

Posted by: Amanda Kirk

Contests, Cormoran Strike series/Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling, News, Publishers

No, our beloved author has not joined the Death Eaters.  Killer Women is an author collective of female crime writers.  They are launching a mentoring scheme for aspiring female crime writers from minority and working-class backgrounds.  Writers who fit the demographic requirements can submit synopses and sample chapters of work in the crime, psychological thriller, or suspense genres until July 1, 2019.  Four writers will be chosen to receive a year’s free one-on-one mentoring from a published crime writer, as well as:

– Two tickets to the Killer Women Festival of Crime Writing and Drama in London in March 2020 (worth approx £100); a great opportunity to network with leading crime writers, publishers, editors and agents. UK travel and accommodation to be paid where appropriate.
– The Good Literary Agency will read and comment on mentees’ work.
– A commissioning editor from HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, will read and comment on mentees’ work with a view to possible publication.
– Exclusive workshops from The Good Literary Agency, Anne Cleeves and others.


J.K. Rowling is not one of the mentors but she is supporting the scheme.  She said:

“For me, writing crime fiction behind the pseudonym Robert Galbraith was a way to ensure that my books be judged on the merit of the writing alone, but I know how hard it is when you first hit the scene as an unrecognised author.”

The first Robert Galbraith novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was rejected by several publishers, one of whom suggested “Galbraith” take a writing course.  And we all know that, hard as it is to fathom now,  the first Harry Potter novel was rejected by over a dozen publishers.  Even if it’s a distant memory today, J.K. Rowling knows what it is like to be an unknown, unpublished, aspiring writer, hoping one’s manuscript will be accepted somewhere, so we’re not surprised to see her supporting this mentoring program.

In somewhat related news, J.K. Rowling has been nominated in the category of LGBT Community Ally in the Proud Scotland Awards.  Winners will be announced on June 1.

Are you an aspiring crime writer?  If you’ll be entering, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.