Dear Plato,

Thank you for your submission of ‘The Republic’ to Croney, Smarm & Thicke.

Your style is generally readable – the quaint touches add a nice sort of post-modern irony – but I can’t really tell from your synopsis and sample whether this is intended as fiction or self-help.

Socrates has potential as a character but I don’t see his real motivation, why he’s so preoccupied with justice etc. Might he be some kind of detective struggling with inner demons? The main problem, though, is that there seems to be a lot of talking and not much action. What about the torch-race on horseback that was mentioned on the first page? You can’t make promises like that to a reader and then not keep them. And if Socrates and his friends want this better society, shouldn’t they be planning some kind of revolution (which would give the title more meaning)? There’s no sign of anything like that in your synopsis.

If you imagine this more in the self-help genre, on the other hand, you need to think about why your target audience should want all this wisdom and courage and justice and temperance. Will it boost their earning power? Will it make them more sexually attractive? At the moment you’re not really selling me the idea. But if you can find answers to these questions then this might be the better way to go as you seem to have a reasonable platform in your local area that could easily be used to expand your online presence.

So unfortunately we won’t be able to offer you representation, but thanks again for choosing Croney, Smarm & Thicke. We wish you luck in your future endeavours.


Robyn Smarm.