Well I'm sat in my cousin's room (thanks Tim for letting me stay here!) after quite a long day. It was my second day on my work experience placement today, at a literary agency in London. And it has been hard work, but very insightful and definitely will be useful in the future.
I'm learning so much about how books get published, and have picked up some massively helpful tips for any writer trying to get his/her work off the home PC and onto the book shelves.
For example, if the agency you submit your work to as a requested format for the work to arrive in, e.g. double-spaced, times new roman, font size 10, then send your work in that format! Clipart and crazy fonts just look amateur, not original.
Also put all the requested information on your submission. What is it's genre? Who is it aimed at? How long is it? The synopsis only needs to be brief, just cover the basics.
And finally, if the agency asks for submissions to be addressed 'submissions', don't address your letter to a specific agent. It will not get to them! All the post is opened by the admin staff who most likely will send the writing to an outside reader to look over. Therefore, your writing will only reach the agent if it gets past the first hurdles, not by some loophole because you addressed your submission to a certain person.
Anyway, I'm starting to sound a bit big for my boots! I'm going to be one of these poor people sending submissions soon, and I'm sure I'll be receiving some nice rejection letters like the ones I was doling out today! I guess the most important thing is to stay positive and keep working on things, regardless of any setbacks. Onwards to the future (rousing music, cheering)!!!