Zeno Managing Director and Agent John Berlyne has been interviewed for Jonathan Strahan’s Coode Street Podcast! Part of the “10 Minutes With” series of episodes, it is intended to bring together ‘readers and booklovers from around the world talk about what they’re reading right now and what’s getting them through these difficult times.’
The episode covers a lot of ground (it is actually over 30 minutes), many books, and the state of publishing today.
We hope you enjoy the interview!
If you’d like more Zeno-related podcast goodness, both Ian McDonald and Lavie Tidhar have also also been guests for the 10 Minutes With series…
Ian is the author of, most recently, the critically-acclaimed Luna series, published by Tor Books (North America), Gollancz (UK) and Tor.com (prequel novella).
Lavie is the author of, most recently BY FORCE ALONE — out now in the UK, published by Head of Zeus; and due to be published in North America by Tor Books in August. He is also the author of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning CENTRAL STATION, UNHOLY LAND and THE VIOLENT CENTURY, which are published in North America and in the UK by Tachyon Publications.
On February 11th, 2020, the Orange Country School of the Arts held their 20/20/20 Legends of Steampunk Festival. It celebrated the 20 year anniversary of their Creative Writing Conservatory of which Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock were the founding directors. In a panel moderated by Zeno’s John Berlyne, the two authors examined the mysterious origins of William Ashbless, perhaps the most enigmatic and eccentric of all the romantic poets…
James P. Blaylock is the critically-acclaimed author of the Langdon St. Ives series, among many others. The novels are currently available in the UK and North America, published by Titan Books. The novellas in the series are published by Subterranean Press and JABberwocky.
Tim Powers is the critically-acclaimed author of a number of stand-alone novels, a handful of which were published in the UK by Corvus.
Next week, Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) is hosting a 20-day-long Legends of Steampunk festival, marking the 20th anniversary of their Creative Writing Conservatory. A special focus of the festival is the work of Zeno clients Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock — two of the founding fathers of Steampunk (and also the Writing program)! In addition to Tim and James, Zeno Director John Berlyne will also be at the festival, taking part in a couple of events.
“Langdon St. Ives: The Steampunk Musical” — Creative writing director John Blaylock and collaborator Josh Freilich discuss musical theater writing and collaboration while sharing songs from their current project, and adaptation of the Victorian scientist-sleuth’s several steampunk adventures.
Discussion: William Ashbless — This incredible, illusive fictional poet created by Tim Powers and James Blaylock visits students at California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV). The character has taken on a cult following. John Berlyne moderates discussion.
Tickets for the event have sold out, but we wanted to let anyone who’s going know that John will be there for pitch sessions. In addition, and perhaps of interest to all attendees and many who can’t make it is the “How to Get an Agent” page of the event’s website. On there, you can find 17 interviews with publishing professionals. Here’s John’s interview…
John Berlyne will be attending this year’s WorldCon in Dublin! John will be taking part in three events at the convention, and you can find the details below. These panels and kaffeeklatsch are great opportunities for anyone who would like to learn more about the agent’s perspective of the industry and genre, and glean some insight.
August 16th (Friday):
Panel: Publishing novel-length horror in today’s market
When & Where: 15:00 – 15:50, Wicklow Room-2 (CCD)
Is novel-length horror still in the doldrums, commercially speaking? What writers have managed to find success in spite of the slump, and what strategies do top editors and agents offer horror writers who hope to move beyond the small press with their book-length manuscripts?
The panel will be moderated by Joe Hill, and includes Jo Fletcher (Jo Fletcher Books), John Berlyne (Zeno Agency Ltd), Gillian Redfearn (Gollancz), and John Jarrold (John Jarrold Literary Agency)
A good agent is hard to find. So what are they looking for? Do they even know? How does an author attract an agent’s attention? And how does a person determine if Agent X is the right person for them, or if they are better off looking for someone else or striking out on their own? Our select group of agents share their advice, thoughts, desires, and favourite finds.
This panel will be moderated by Lucienne Diver (The Knight Agency), and includes John Berlyne (Zeno Agency Ltd), Joshua Bilmes (JABberwocky Literary Agency), and Juliet Mushens
For updates and reminders for these events, be sure to follow us on Twitter. You can also follow John and WorldCon on Twitter for further updates.
Are you heading to Worldcon 76 in San Jose this weekend? Do you want to learn more about the agent-side of the industry? Well, John Berlyne will be hosting a kaffeeklatsch at the convention, at 3pm on Sunday 19th!
Space is limited for the event, so you will have to sign up before. Here are the instructions from the Worldcon website:
‘Signups in person at the convention in advance are required because the number of participants at each individual gathering is limited. The signup process is designed to give many people a chance to participate in at least one of the sessions. Signups will open approximately a half day or so before the actual event. Signups for Thursday evening sessions will be available on Thursday morning, Friday morning sessions will be available on Thursday afternoon and so on. We may limit the number of sessions which any one member may join and reserve the right to decline to accept signups.’
More information on the Kaffeeklatsches & Literary Beers, as well as the convention program, can be found on the Worldcon 76 website, here.
The convention will take place on August 16th-20th, 2018, at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center.
A couple of months ago, John Berlyne was interviewed at the National Creative Writing Graduate Fair. In the interview John talked about the importance of doing your research when looking for agents: he is ‘looking for professional people who are serious about what they want to do.’ Check out the clip, above.
The NCWGF is an annual event for aspiring writers, where they can ‘meet with literary agents, attend workshops and panel discussions run by publishing professionals, and meet like-minded writers from the North and beyond.’
This weekend, Gollancz is hosting the second Gollancz Festival, in Manchester and London. A number of Zeno clients will be in attendance, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the schedules…
The first day of the Festival, October 16th, is in Manchester. There will have two rooms of events, and here are the Zeno appearances…
6:15-6:45pm — ‘Introducing the Class of 2015’ — Aliette de Bodard (so there are two opportunities to meet Gollancz’s new authors)
6:45-7:15pm — ‘Predictions of the Future in SF: Does Reality Matter?’ — Ian McDonald and Justina Robson
7:30-8:00pm — ‘These Aren’t My: Writing Outside Your Own Experiences’ — Ben Aaronovitch
8:00-8:30pm — ‘Would I Lie to You: Author Tell Truths and Lies About their Upcoming Works’ — Brandon Sanderson
For the second day of GollanczFest, in London on October 18th, here’s how and when Zeno is represented…
12:30-1:45pm — John Berlyne is hosting ‘Introducing the Class of 2015: The Trials and Tribulations of Being a New Writer’
2:00-2:15pm — Ben Aaronovitch discusses the Process of World Building, with his editor Simon Spanton
2:15-2:30pm — ‘The Role of the Agent in the Publishing Process’ with John Berlyne
Ben Aaronovitch is the author of the best-selling Peter Grant urban fantasy series — the latest novel is FOXGLOVE SUMMER. Aliette de Bodard’s latest novel is the critically-acclaimed THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS. Ian McDonald’s latest novel is the critically acclaimed LUNA: NEW MOON (which has also been optioned for TV by CBS). Justina Robson’s latest novel is THE GLORIOUS ANGELS. Brandon Sanderson’s latest novel is SHADOWS OF SELF, the fifth novel in the Mistborn series. All of these novels are published in the UK by Gollancz.
The 73rd World Science Fiction Convention (Sasquan) takes place between August 19th-23rd, in Spokane, Washington. We’re happy to report that John Berlyne will be attending the convention, participating on a handful of panels and also holding a limited space Kaffee Klatche. His page on the Sasquan website is here, and below are the events (time, place, details):
In the UK and Commonwealth, Zeno represents Jack Campbell, William Dietz and Brandon Sanderson on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency; Daryl Gregory on behalf of the Martha Millard Literary Agency; and Melinda Snodgrass on behalf of Kay McCauley at Aurous, Inc.
In an exciting move, former commissioning editor John Wordsworth is to join Zeno Agency Ltd as a literary agent. John previously headed up Headline’s SF, Fantasy and Horror list. Zeno specialises in genre fiction, representing major brand names such as Sunday Times bestseller Ben Aaronovitch, plus numerous award winners and literary estates. Sub-agented clients include international bestsellers Brandon Sanderson, Charlaine Harris, Peter V. Brett and William Gibson, among others.
John Berlyne, Director of the Zeno Agency, said: ‘Zeno is going through a vital period of growth. John Wordsworth is the perfect choice to further our ambitions to develop the careers of our fantastic authors, and to continue to discover wonderful new talent. I’ve been extremely impressed with John’s list-building at Headline, and am really looking forward to adding his particular flair for genre fiction to Zeno.’
John Wordsworth said: ‘Working with authors and discovering new talent has always been a passion of mine. Joining Zeno is fantastic opportunity to do this at a grassroots level. It’s exhilarating to be making the move from commissioning editor to agent. Zeno has an amazing client list and I can’t wait to start adding to it.’
Wordsworth’s arrival will double Zeno’s agenting resources, as director John Berlyne has been managing the prestigious list as a sole practitioner. Zeno sees bright times ahead, as this development opens up opportunities for further expansion.