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. Chloe Seager
If you’ve heard of the London-based Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV, & Film Agency, you should look for Chloe Seager. She’s the designated literary agent for children’s literature and YA projects. Previously, she dedicated many years to handling a similar list for Northbank Talent and identifying promising writers.
Chloe has an excellent list of children’s book authors. For example, one of her clients is Holly Bourne, the amazing mind behind the YA romance The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting. Similarly, Maisie Chan is a Chinese writer from Glasgow who made Ladybird Tales of Super Heroes and The Forgotten Garden.
Currently, she’s searching for middle-grade fiction with contemporary, mystery, or magical aspects. Chloe is also open to gothic, romantic, or historical YA novels — and the same goes for motivational nonfiction and humorous fiction for readers of all ages. Read more about her preferences and check the submission guidelines properly.
Ella Diamond Kahn is one of the co-founders of Diamond Kahn & Woods, which has been around since 2012 and is located in North London. Of course, she’s already a veteran in the publishing industry and has won awards for her hard work. Ella was at Andrew Nurnberg Associates for three years and holds a master’s degree in publishing from University College London.
Apart from nonfiction and sci-fi for adult readers, Ella also loves YA and children’s fiction. In particular, she would love to represent new writers whose ethnicity, race, or gender deserves more representation in the field.
Some of her clients include Sharon Gosling (The Diamond Thief) and Tom Huddleston (FloodWorld). If you want a fantastic agent and you’re just starting in the book industry, wait for Ella to resume accepting submissions.
With Harmony Leung providing ample assistance, Julia Churchill continues to manage the children’s book list of A. M. Heath, an agency in Holborn, London, with a history dating back to 1919. Furthermore, she’s been the head of her department for nearly 10 years and previously honed her representation strategies at the Darley Anderson Agency.
Julia represents Michelle Harrison, the author of award-winning children’s fiction such as The Thirteen Treasures and The Other Alice. In general, she’s more than willing to accept both established and new authors whether they’re working on YA novels or middle-grade fiction.
Read the submission guidelines to learn how you can apply for representation. Julia accepts unsolicited submissions from authors of children’s literature regardless of experience, so don’t be afraid to apply.
4. Sophie Hicks
With decades of upper-tier experience after working at Ed Victor Ltd, Sophie Hicks embarked on a new journey. She launched her eponymous literary agency in 2014 in London and has since gathered a fine group of acclaimed writers working on children’s literature.
Sophie represents internationally recognized children’s book authors such as Dosh Archer (Urgency Emergency!), Herbie Brennan (Faerie Wars), and Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl).
You can always send Sophie submissions of refreshing YA projects and books for kids aged 9 and above.
Louise Lamont works for LBA Books, an agency in London that was launched in 2005. Specifically, she’s one of its five literary agents and represents 36 clients. These include not only children’s book authors but also acclaimed journalists, actresses, and playwrights.
Eve Wersocki Morris’s The Bird Singers and Katherine Woodfine’s Elisabeth and the Box of Colours are just two of the acclaimed children’s titles from Louise’s clients.
While Louise isn’t currently open to picture book submissions, she’s eager to discover the next best books for children and teenagers. In particular, she prefers stories that amuse and take readers on an unforgettable journey. If you think your work fits the bill, send a submission to Louise.
6. Hellie Ogden
Making it to the shortlist of nominees for the prestigious Kim Scott Walwyn Prize—an award for the most impressive women in the publishing industry—isn’t easy, but Hellie Ogden proved her worth and got in. Since then, she’s handled many clients who’ve released best-selling and award-winning books in fiction and nonfiction.
Working for Janklow & Nesbit UK in London, Hellie represents authors of YA novels and middle-grade fiction. One of her clients is Kat Dunn, the writer of the YA LGBTQ fiction Dangerous Remedy and YA historical romance Monstrous Design.
Hellie accepts unsolicited manuscripts of empathetic YA stories and wildly enjoyable middle-grade fiction. New authors are highly encouraged to submit their work, so head to the submissions page if you’re just starting out.
7. Nancy Miles
Nancy Miles is an industry veteran who worked at HarperCollins and Heinemann Young Books. In 2003, she established the Miles Stott Children’s Literary Agency. And whether you’re working on middle-grade fiction or picture books, this agency in Pembrokeshire, Wales will always be the go-to agency for authors of children’s literature.
She represents a multitude of exemplary authors. Tom Pollock’s first YA fiction White Rabbit, Red Wolf garnered the Oxfordshire Book Award and the Steam Prize aside from having countless nominations. Similarly, Frances Hardinge’s teen historical fiction Cuckoo Song received the Robert Holdstock Award.
Unfortunately, Nancy Miles is still busy reviewing previous submissions. You can check the submissions page at another time in case she resumes accepting proposals.
Situated in London, Curtis Brown is one of the biggest names in the industry — and Steph Thwaites is one of its best agents. Equipped with her formal education in English literature from Leeds and McGill, she arrived in the agency in 2003 and has since represented children’s book authors tackling different genres and topics.
Two of her clients are Emily Barr and Guy Bass. The former is a journalist whose debut YA novel The One Memory of Flora Banks was a runaway bestseller in 2017. On the other hand, Guy Bass is the renowned author of children’s titles like The Legend of Frog and Monster Mayhem.
Steph doesn’t accept manuscript submissions at present. Still, you should revisit her agent page for the instructions once she opens the submission window.
9. Sam Copeland
The London-based RCW Literary Agency is home to Sam Copeland, one of the most coveted agents in the entire UK. Apart from getting recognition as a highly influential professional in the publishing industry, he was a nominee for Literary Agent of the Year for two consecutive years at the British Book Awards.
Sam represents authors of all genres. Beyond literary fiction and A-tier nonfiction for adults, he loves to discover exciting children’s literature and YA writing, especially if they’re from novice writers. Tom Becker (Darkside) and Laure Eve (Fearsome Dreamer) are two of his clients who won awards for their first novel.
Like always, Sam is open to online submissions of children’s literature, which isn’t surprising since he also writes his own children’s books.
10. Nicola Barr
Nicola Barr is one of the two literary agents managing the children’s list of The Bent Agency in Richmond, London. After working for widely respected businesses such as HarperCollins and Greene & Heaton, she continued to excel in her new agency by representing some of the most successful authors in fiction.
For example, Nicola manages Brian Conaghan. He’s the author of the enlightening and amusing YA novel When Mr. Dog Bites and the multi-award-winning teen coming-of-age fiction The Weight of a Thousand Feathers.
Some More of the Best Children’s Literary Agents in the UK
11. Caroline Sheldon
With her extensive experience in the publishing industry, Caroline Sheldon established her own agency three decades ago. Today, the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency is located in Hillgate Place, London, and places great interest in fiction and children’s literature.
Caroline has built a steady list of acclaimed authors of children’s books. From Penny Dale’s international bestseller Ten in the Bed to Sandra Dieckman’s Leaf, her clients have caught the attention of the young and the larger publishing world in general.
For writers interested in submitting a proposal, they must wait until the end of May 2022 for Caroline to reopen the submission window.
12. Alice Williams
Alice Williams is the titular founder of Alice Williams Literary. Established in 2018 and situated in London, her children’s book agency represents clients working on children’s fiction and nonfiction such as picture books and YA novels.
In particular, Alice manages authors like Clare Helen Welsh (The Tide), Rachel Delahaye (Mort the Meek), and Ciara Smyth (The Falling in Love Montage). Moreover, she provides valuable support to all of them, especially if their writing celebrates diversity and inclusivity.
Alice is fascinated with children’s literature that inspires and enlightens through humor and adventure. However, the submissions window is currently closed to authors and only open to illustrators. For now, keep the submissions page in mind and go back at a later time.
13. Molly Ker Hawn
Molly Ker Hawn is the second agent handling the children’s list alongside Nicola Barr at the Bent Agency in London. In fact, she specializes in children’s literature. Molly dedicates her time and energy to finding the next great title for young readers.
Her clients include picture book and middle-grade fiction author Rebecca Donnelly (Cats Are A Liquid, Total Garbage) and YA fantasy novelist Dhonielle Clayton (Shattered Midnight).
Currently, Molly is accepting queries from authors of fiction (including graphic novels) and nonfiction for middle-grade readers and young adults. View the guidelines and read her preferences before contacting her online.
14. Kate Nash
Kate Nash is the founder of Kate Nash Literary Agency, which continues to be one of the most exciting independent businesses in London, UK, since its inception in 2009. She earned her degree in History at the University of York.
Furthermore, Kate has built an excellent reputation in managing authors of YA and children’s literature over the years. One of her most talented clients is Helen Watts, the author of the acclaimed children’s historical fiction One Day in Oradour.
As of writing, Kate is closed for submissions of children’s literature. Head back to the aforementioned page in the future to see if the team updates its guidelines.
15. Clare Wallace
Since 2011, Clare Wallace has been part of Darley Anderson Agency. Now, she manages the Darley Anderson Children’s Agency in London and advises writers from diverse backgrounds to apply for representation.
Clare is a huge fan of immersive storytelling, unforgettable characters, and distinct perspectives. Some of her clients are Martyn Ford (The Imagination Box: Beyond Infinity), Tom Ellen (Never Evers), and Lindsay Galvin (Darwin’s Dragons).
Consequently, she’s open to picture books, humorous chapter books, middle-grade fiction, and books for teens and young adults. You can read more about her writing preferences before you prepare a proposal.
16. Claire Wilson
Claire Wilson is another agent from the RCW Literary Agency in London. Specifically, she started in 2007 and eventually got promoted to director eight years later. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Claire is also the VP of the Association of Authors’ Agents.
She has an impressive list of acclaimed authors in the field of children’s books and YA fiction. One of her clients is Sara Barnard who wrote the acclaimed YA novel Goodbye, Perfect. Likewise, she manages Aisha Bushby (A Pocketful of Stars) and Tanya Byrne (Heart-Shaped Bruise).
Claire accepts submissions of children’s literature and YA projects. If your writing has intriguing themes, great humor, and persuasive storytelling, feel free to email your submission to her assistant.
17. Veronique Baxter
For more than 20 years, Veronique Baxter has been one of David Higham’s most reliable agents for their children’s list. Ever since her promotion as a director at the London-based company, she’s expanded her preferences across literature for kids and adults alike — all with a keen eye for one-of-a-kind storytelling
Her children’s list is noteworthy. For one, she represents the works of the late Richard Adams, including his acclaimed YA classic Watership Down. Veronique also represents Nick Butterworth (The Whisperer) and Nick Crumpton (Everything You Know About Dinosaurs is Wrong!).
Applying for representation is easy. Visit the specific submissions page for YA and children’s books. From there, read the relevant guidelines and ensure that you’re sending your work to Veronique.
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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