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Lunchtime masterclass: Clare Conville

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Stylist were joined live online in a lunchtime masterclass with Clare Conville, leading literary agent and co-author of Dangerous Women, a non-fiction guide to modern life. Clare answered questions from our readers, which can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

Listed by the Observer as one of “Our top 50 players in the world of books,” Clare previously worked as an editor at Random House, before co-founding her own literary agency Conville & Walsh in 2000.

She specializes in literary and commercial fiction, general non-fiction, and children’s writers.

Between them, Clare’s clients have won or been nominated for nearly every major literary prize including the Man Booker Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction and many more.

Her new book Dangerous Women, co-authored by Clare, Sarah-Jane Lovett and Liz Hoggard and published by Orion, came out on 4 November.

It aims to condense and refine all those conversations and co-counselling sessions that women have with their mothers, sisters, daughters and friends in every office, kitchen, restaurant and wine bar around the country every day. Drawing on the authors' own lives, the book is a lexicon with an eclectic mix of witty and thoughtful entries - advice on how to avoid bores at parties, why every woman should enter a convent once and how to cope with breastfeeding, Botox and benders.

Are you an aspiring author or literary agent? Or perhaps you're interested in setting up your own business, like Clare? Whatever your career aspirations, find guidance and inspiration in Clare's answers below.