If you’re an author in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and have written a book for children, or teenagers, which you believe has the potential to be a bestseller, finding a traditional book publisher in the next step.
However, traditional publishers don’t usually accept unsolicited manuscripts unlike these UK publishing houses.
This is where a literary agent can help you by selling your book to a publisher on your behalf and negotiate a decent contract for you.
Continue reading to learn about 10 of the best children’s literary agents in the UK.
1. Veronique Baxter
Veronique Baxter is a literary agent at the renowned David Higham Associates, which started in 1935 and is known for its personal approach, and practical information, advice and guidance it provides to its clients. Veronique joined this literary agency in London in 1999, following the completion of a Bristol University degree in Law. The year 2007 saw her become a Director at David Higham Associates. Veronique represents a number of award-winning writers, and in addition to being interested in children’s fiction, she is also into various types of non-fiction and literary fiction.
Veronique is interested in reading the work of new authors and if you would like to make a submission to her, you can do so through email. In your email header, you need to write your name and the title of your book. The body of the email needs to be composed of the covering letter and book pitch, and any appropriate details about you. If you’re making a submission for children’s fiction, you need to attach to your email, a two page synopsis, and the first three chapters of your book. You can address Veronique in the email and send it to email@example.com. Take a look at this page for further details, and to learn about what you need to do if you want to make a submission for a picture book.
2. Julia Churchill
Julia Churchill is a literary agent at the prestigious A.M. Heath in London, an agency that will be celebrating its centenary anniversary in 2019. Julia started at A.M. Heath is 2013 to take a charge of its children’s books department. Previously, she worked at the Greenhouse Literary Agency for four years and for six years at the Darley Anderson Agency. Always on the lookout for new writers and established writers, Julia is a specialist children’s literary agent of books across the spectrum, right from picture books up to young adult fiction. If you would like to make a submission to Julia, you can do using this submission form. Your submission needs to include your contact details, the genre of your book and whether it is completed, or you’re still working on it, a covering letter, a synopsis of your book, and your manuscript in Microsoft Word format. Do ensure to take a look the guidance at this page on what to include in your covering letter, synopsis and on formatting your manuscript.
3. Davinia Andrew-Lynch
Davinia Andrew-Lynch runs the boutique literary agency called Andlyn that specialises in children’s fiction and books for teenagers. Davinia’s previous experience involves working in a film and television agency as an associate agent and also a children’s fiction editor and reader which she has done on a freelance basis. Actively looking for new authors and illustrators, if you would like to make a submission to Davinia for fiction (early reader, middle grade, or young adult), you need to forward a one page synopsis and the first three chapters. If you’re an illustrator who is making a book submission, you can send some samples of illustrations from your work. Don’t forget to also include some links to your website if you have additional illustrations there, or to your online portfolio.
If you want to make a submission for nonfiction, you need to send a comprehensive book proposal and also an analysis of the market your book is targeted to. If you’ve also produced illustrations for your nonfiction book, you can forward a few sample illustrations in PDF format and in colour. Submissions can be made via emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Full submission guidelines can be found here. At this time of writing this, Andlyn isn’t accepting submissions for picture books.
4. Caroline Sheldon
Caroline Sheldon heads up the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, which she founded thirty years ago. A former publisher of children’s books and fiction for women, Caroline’s agency, which is based in London, is well-connected with the biggest publishers in the industry and is experienced in the selling of television, film, translation and American rights of the clients it represents. Caroline’s clients include individuals such as Peter Bailey, Ellen Berry, Rita Bradshaw, Felix Hayes, Jenny Oldfield, Frank Rodgers , among others. When it comes to children’s books, Caroline is interested in works for all ages, ranging for picture book texts, to middle grade fiction, to teenage novels.
If you would like to make a submission to Caroline, she welcomes new authors and illustrators, however, she is selective as is the rest of the team at Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, focusing on selecting high quality manuscripts. Preference is for submissions via email, with the following included into the body of the email: a synopsis (three sentences), appropriate information about yourself, your writing experience, any of your previous publications and your aspirations as an author. If you’re an author making a submission, you need to also include a one page synopsis, the first three chapters or the first 10,000 words of your book as attachments. Be sure to write the name of your book and your name as the subject of your email. The email address to send your submission to is: email@example.com. You can find complete submission guidance notes here. Do take a proper look before sending your submission.
5. Alice Sutherland-Hawes
In addition to working as a rights agent, Alice Sutherland-Hawes also represents authors of children’s books. An agent at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency based in Mayfair, central London, she’s interested in works for all age groups ranging from picture books, up to young adult books. Although she’s not actively seeking young adult at the moment, she’s willing to consider something outstanding. Currently, she’s looking for diverse and underrepresented authors, and in particular authors and illustrators of books for children aged between 10-13.
If you would like to make a fiction submission to Alice, you can do so by email. Your email needs to include a one sentence elevator pitch about you and your book, and a list of up to three similar books or authors. The body of your email needs to be treated like a proper covering letter to introduce your book, include a persuasive blurb to sell your book, and relevant information about you related to the book you are submitting. A synopsis of one page, and the first three chapters of your book also need to be attached with the email. Any illustrations can be submitted by including a link to your website or attached as images. Take a look at the full submission guidance at this page carefully before you make a submission; at this page you’ll also find information on how to make a submission for nonfiction.
6. Lauren Gardner
Lauren Gardner is a literary agent a Bell Loxmax Moreton in Kent, which was founded in 2000. Lauren has been working at Bell Loxmax Moreton since 2014 when she first started as a literary assistant and then transitioned to a full time agent. She has a degree from the University of Manchester in English Literature and Drama. When it comes to book interests, in addition to nonfiction about lifestyle brands, individuals interested in foods, celebrities, and people carrying out immense challenges, she is looking for children’s books and also is interested in middle grade and young adult books. If you would like to make a submission for children’s fiction, middle grade, of young adult to Lauren, you need to send a covering letter that contains information about any previous works you may have published, a brief synopsis which covers the whole plot of your story and the first three chapters of your manuscript. Your submission can be sent through email, or post. Do read the full guidance information here.
7. Eve White
Eve White is founder of the boutique Eve White Literary Agency, which she started in 2003. She has represented New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling authors and has negotiated many deals to turn books into films. A former actress, Eve is a highly respected literary agent in the publishing industry. She represents authors of nonfiction, adult fiction and children’s fiction and welcomes submissions from new authors. If you would like to make a submission for children’s fiction, you can do so through email. The body of the email needs to contain a covering letter and the word count of your manuscript. You also need to attach a Word document that contains the first three chapters of your book and also a 300 words maximum synopsis. You can send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find full submission details here.
8. Becky Bagnell
Becky Bagnell runs the Lindsay Literary Agency, which she started in 2008. Becky is a highly experienced individual in the publishing industry and has worked in the sector for 18 years. A previous Commissioning Editor at Macmillan, her particular interests as a literary agent are in children’s books for all ages, ranging from picture books to young adult fiction. She is also keen to work with new authors and help them build up their careers.
If you’re interested in making a submission, you need to send an email that is made up of a covering letter explaining who you are and any aspect of your career that might be pertinent to your submission. You also need to attach the first three chapters of your story and a one page synopsis; both of these need to be in separate Microsoft Word files. Take a look at the submission guidance for full details and also for information on how you can make a submission for a picture book to Becky.
9. Amber J. Caravéo
Founder of Skylark Literary, Amber J. Caravéo has previously held positions such as Editorial Director at Orion Children’s Books and Senior Commissioning Editor at Random House Children’s Books. She is a specialist literary agent for children’s books and young adult fiction. If you would like to make a submission to Amber, you need to send a covering email that also has your complete manuscript and one page synopsis attached to it. Although currently not accepting picture books, Amber and her agency is accepting submissions children’s fiction ranging from works for readers who are 5 years old and over, right up to young adult fiction. Do take a look at this page for some useful guidance on what information Skylark Literary is looking for about you and your book. Your submission can be sent to email@example.com.
10. Nancy Miles
Nancy Miles is founder or Miles Stott Children’s Literary Agency, which she founded in 2003. She is an experienced professional in the publishing industry, especially in children’s books with previous roles at organisations such as Heinemann Young Books, HarperCollins and Hodder Children’s Books. Highly experienced in negotiating and selling rights internationally, Nancy likes books that funny and that are emotionally deep. She welcomes submissions from new authors and illustrators and those who are halfway through their careers.
If you would like to make a submission to Nancy, various types of books are acceptable such as board books, picture books, young fiction, middle grade fiction, young adult, and nonfiction. If you’re making a fiction submission, you need to do so via an email that includes a covering letter explaining who you are, and your writing and publishing experience (if you have any works published), along with a short synopsis and the first three chapters of your book.
If you’re submitting a picture book, again you need to do so by an email, which includes a brief covering letter that provides details about you and your experience in writing and/or creating illustrations and your publishing background (if you have one). If you’re an author making a submission for a picture book, you can send up to three stories from your book. If you’re an illustrator, you can forward some sample illustrations in low resolution as samples. You can find full submission details here, along with email addresses to send submission to.
Are you a children’s literary agent in the UK? Please tell us more about your agency and your activities in the comments box below!
10 of the Best Children’s Literary Agents in the UK is an article from Writing Tips Oasis.
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