Sports Writing

Sports Autobiographies

Sport remains an enduring focus for both literature and film. This is because so many of the most compelling elements of storytelling – triumph, disaster, devotion, adversity, luck (or lack of it), the confrontation of internal and external critics, focus, dedication, a fierce desire for self-expression – are all self-evident when viewed through its prism.

Under the floodlights, on the court, the track, the pitch or in the ring, universally understood concepts like ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ are uniquely, and often brutally defined.

Sport is also a field in which individuals, acting purely in the moment, produce what can best be described as spontaneous art. Who can forget the aesthetic of Muhammad Ali knocking out George Foreman in Zaire, one hand cocked over his toppling foe, or Maradona dribbling through the entire English team, or a limping, weeping Derek Redmond helped over the Olympic finishing line by his father? As powerful as anything conjured by Hollywood, these images are burned in our collective memories because of the raw emotion they evoke.

Whether telling an underdog story or that of an elite professional, our experienced ghostwriters understand how to draw on sport’s innate drama to create addictive, engrossing life stories rendered in the author’s authentic voice.

The Process

1. The first step is to fill out our enquiry form to provide a basic outline. Following this, we will request further content. What each person provides at this stage will vary. Some people work purely from memory. Others may have kept journals or diaries.

2. We will then decide what kind of story is being told. What is the arc? Is it confessional? Observational? Analytical? Does the author have a new angle on already well-known events, or reflections on his sport as a whole? Do they want to inspire or inform or elucidate? As we talk with you about what the book is, we define where the book is going and what your publishing goals are.

3. As interviews continue we begin to build the key items – manuscript, proposal, cover letter and we will start sharing the documents throughout the company to gather feedback.

4. Once ready, a sample chapter will be produced. Once a style and a chapter breakdown is agreed your ghost will need time to create a first draft.

5. When the first draft is submitted by your ghostwriter, you will then need to invest your time in the process of review as we gather team feedback before we start any official editorials. Due to how we operate at LGC, this is not as long as it can be with a traditional publishing house, which lasts between six to eighteen months. Having established strong foundations at the start of the writing with all of the interviews and behind the scenes workshops, the fundamentals will all be strong and the first draft can often resemble what will become the submission-ready manuscript.

6. We then spend time refining the writing from into a final polish via our editorials system. At this stage, we strengthen the proposal and start shortlisting agents and publishers to submit to.

7. We will submit the final polished book to you along with all other items and start submissions. During this period, minor changes can be made.

8. Once you have your items, you will want to take advantage of our contacts in the literary, publishing and UK film industries. Our contacts are your contacts and we will help you in any way that we can to move the project forward into the market. We also submit to the agents shortlisted and wait 12 weeks for all responses. We help you negotiate any offers or run a 2nd round of submissions. In certain circumstances and with certain projects, self-publishing options can be considered but largely, our goal will be to secure you a strong publishing contract with a publishing company via an agent.

Of course, the above process is quite general and no project will ever follow this method so rigidly. The creative process can be quite complex, even chaotic. Our job is to keep the order, streamline the process, manage the development process and leverage opportunities when they present themselves. We are development experts with experience managing a lot of moving parts that present themselves during the publishing process, and hiring a ghostwriter is the start of it all.