Everyone booking a ticket at the Festival is entitled to two ten minute 1-to-1 sessions. You can choose to have both your 1-1 sessions with agents/publishers, both with book doctors, or you can choose one of each.
The agents and publishers are looking for talented new authors - so these sessions provide the opportunity to pitch your work to industry gatekeepers. The Book Doctors are experienced in editorial feedback
Please read the One-to-One biographies section below and select who you would like to meet, keeping in mind the day(s) on which they are offering appointments - please consult the booking form to discover this and all slot availabilties. It is important to keep in mind the different types of feedback on offer:
With a degree in history, Jenny has always been fascinated by the past, in particular the way that extraordinary events can transform the lives of normal people. After graduating, she spent many years living and working in Australia and Asia – a time which gave her a real passion for stories set in exotic places. She began writing herself in 2012 and, whilst still working fulltime, wrote her first novel, Remember Me - a love story set during the First World War. This was published in Germany in October 2014 by Goldmann/ Random House. She now writes fulltime and her UK debut, Beneath a Burning Sky, will be published in November 2016 by Sphere/ Little, Brown. Jenny is represented by Rebecca Ritchie at Curtis Brown.
Debi is the author of six novels, the first two of which Nirvana Bites and Trading Tatiana, were published by Orion to critical acclaim. Her books are contemporary urban thrillers set among the sub-cultures and she expounds her themes with generosity of spirit and dark humour. An unexpected result of giving up her day job to concentrate on writing is that she spends a lot of time concentrating on helping other writers to perfect their novels through critiques, mentoring, Book Doctor sessions and creative writing workshops. Debi edits in all genres and several authors that she has worked with have been signed up with agents and gone on to see their books published.
Diana spent nine years as senior commissioning editor (fiction and non-fiction) at Transworld where she published many bestselling authors. Earlier, she read English Language and Literature at Oxford University, then went on to work at Thames & Hudson and Hodder & Stoughton. After Transworld she became a freelance editorial consultant and script doctor. Her clients have included leading literary agents, publishers and authors. Her particular interests include quality women's commercial fiction, historical fiction, crime fiction, accessible literary fiction, lifestyle, cookery and memoirs.
Ruth is Commissioning Editor at Stripes Publishing, the fiction imprint of Little Tiger, editing books for 5 year olds to teens. She loves working on such a huge variety of books, from cute stories about puppies with lovely illustrations to high-action adventure stories and mouth-watering romances! Every day is different in the Stripes office and Ruth loves building relationships with authors and helping bring their stories to readers.
Piers Blofeld is an agent at Sheil Land. Sheil Land Associates is a long established literary, theatrical and film agency. Piers is looking for clients that write quality, literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction including thrillers, crime/mystery, politics, political and military history, gardening, cookery, romance, drama, biography/memoir, travel, humour, all types of contemporary and literary women’s fiction, self-improvement, mind-body-spirit, lifestyle, popular science and psychology, children’s, young adult, science fiction, fantasy and paranormal."
Before joining Zeno Agency, Louise spent six years working as an editor for Pan Macmillan and Dorling Kindersley publishers.
As an agent, she has broad tastes. In fiction, she looks for stories with compelling protagonists, and for her that means protagonists who want something – if your character doesn’t know what they want, then she – and the reader – will lose interest immediately. She also loves novels that pose important questions, that ask ‘what if’ in a bold and imaginative way. She enjoys reading all kinds of genres, from action-packed thrillers and cosy crime novels, to high-concept SF or emotionally powerful YA. She loves reading books that transport her to exotic locations and stories that tug on the heartstrings (bonus points if you make her cry). She also really enjoy reading sumptuous, epic historical fiction and loves anything with a hint of magic. She is not looking for any children’s or picture books, poetry or non-fiction.
Julia Churchill joined AM Heath in 2013 as Children's Agent, after four years building up the UK side of the Greenhouse Literary Agency, and six years at the Darley Anderson Agency where she grew the children’s list. She represents some fabulous writers, but is always on the treasure hunt for new writing talent. She’s looking for debut and established authors with storytelling magic, from picture book texts right up to YA fiction.
Award-winning novelist Julie Cohen writes emotional, character-driven women's fiction novels. Her work has been translated into fifteen languages and sold nearly a million copies worldwide. Her latest paperback, Where Love Lies, was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Award. Dear Thing was a Richard and Judy 2014 Summer Book Club selection. Julie is also an experienced teacher, recently leading writing courses for the Guardian, Random House, the V&A Museum and Literature Wales.
Emma’s debut novel 'The Mathematics of Love' was published in 2006. The Times described it as: “that rare thing, a book that works on every conceivable level. A real achievement”, and it was was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers and Goss First Novel awards, longlisted for the Prince Maurice Prize and the RNA Novel of the Year, and has been translated into many languages. Emma’s bestselling second novel, 'A Secret Alchemy', was published in 2008; the Daily Mail acclaimed it as “powerful and utterly convincing”, and The Times as one of their 50 Best Paperbacks of 2009.Emma is an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing with the Open University.
Broo Doherty - Partner & Agent
Broo graduated from Downing College Cambridge and then started working in publishing, where she has worked for the last twenty years. She has worked right across the board in publishing houses and as an agent. She handles all genres, excluding children’s books and sci-fi, but particularly enjoys crime, women's commercial fiction, literary fiction and quirky non-fiction. In 2013 she was voted Literary Agent of the Year by the Festival of Romance.
Hal has over twenty years critiquing experience as a member of the Glasgow SF Writers Circle, and a half dozen years writing for a living, mainly fiction and poetry but also a considerable amount of literary criticism and commentary via his regular 'Notes from New Sodom' column for BSC Review. He's also made forays beyond print, writing a queer rock musical which debuted as a student production in Chicago last year, and lyrics for a collaboration with Scottish band Aereogramme on /Ballads of the Book/ album from Chemikal Underground. A blend of pulp and postmodernism, his first novel, VELLUM, was described by Lucius Shepard as 'the Guernica of genre fiction', and shared awards shortlists with everyone from Neil Gaiman (BFS Award) to Brett Easton Ellis and Haruki Murakami (World Fantasy Award).
Sam Eades is a publicist and senior commissioning editor with nine years’ experience, having previously worked at Transworld Publishers, Headline and Macmillan. Eades joined Orion in 2015 as a Senior Commissioning Editor and Associate Publicist, working in the Orion Fiction team. She is now commissioning commercial fiction for Trapeze, looking for great writing with a broad appeal. She is looking for standout voices in the crime, psychological suspense, reading group and women’s fiction areas.
Kirsty Greenwood was born in Greater Manchester in 1982. She is the founder and editor in chief of Novelicious.com.
Kirsty founded Novelicious in 2009 and built it into the biggest women’s fiction blog in the UK. Kirsty also self-published her own chick-lit novel, Yours Truly, which went on to sell over 120,000 copies and secured her a traditional publishing deal with Pan Macmillan. Her second romantic comedy THE VINTAGE GUIDE TO LOVE AND ROMANCE is out now!
Kirsty Greenwood recently joined Bookouture as Associate Publisher.
Jo joined Bell Lomax Moreton in 2010 as agency assistant and was made an agent in 2013. Now at The Blair Partnership, her list is fairly diverse and still growing. She is on the look-out for commercial women’s fiction – anything with strong characters that you fall in love with and worry about when you’re not reading, a historical edge, or an emotional pull suitable for reading group fiction, and children’s (6+), teen and YA fiction with gripping plots that keep you totally engrossed.
Penny has been an agent for ten years and previously worked in rights for Candlewick Press in the US and Walker Books in the UK. Interested in children’s books for all ages - She particularly like's laugh-out-loud books aimed at middle grade children but also loves books with emotional depth and strong plots for older children. For her adult portfolio, She's very interested in memoirs. Historical settings and again, a really compelling voice that works in whatever world the author has created are key likes. Holroyde Cartey is a literary and artistic agency representing a quality list of award-winning and best-selling authors and illustrators.
The BIA was established in 2012 by Ben Illis to offer specialist literary representation, focussing on writers of Children's, Young Adult and crossover fiction and select clients who also write for adults.
A bit more about Ben...
I have been lucky enough to work in many guises in the publishing industry over the past almost two decades. As part of the branch management team of Books Etc, I bought kids and YA books in stores across the whole of London. I was a co-founder of Old Street Publishing. I have been both sales director and marketing director of small publishers. I have acquired, commissioned and edited; done picture research and ghost-written, all ahead of turning my hand to agenting. I am a published writer in my own right and have had the experience of working with agents both good and bad from the other (your) side of the fence.
Brian has written fifteen novels for young people, including The Hollow People, published in 2006, the first in his fantasy trilogy. Brian has also written over forty non-fiction books, including text books for schoolchildren, books about learning for parents, and training materals for teachers and teaching assistants. His works have been published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Heinemann, Stanley Thornes, Macmillan Educational, Hodder and Ebury Press. For fifteen years he also worked as a freelance journalist and copy-writer and produced educational materials for a variety of media organisations, government departments and commercial organisations including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Channel Four, TV Southwest, Sky TV, the Coastguard Agency, the Countryside Commission, the Forestry Authority; the Disney Corporation, Vauxhall Motors, Nashua, Optical Express, the British Epilepsy Association and Learning Through Landscapes.
Daren has written since he was old enough to pick up a pen without putting it in his mouth. His first children's novel, Mouse Noses on Toast, won first prize in the 6-8 age category of the Nestle Children's Book Prize, and his debut adult novel, Boxy an Star, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and longlisted for the Booker Prize. His books have been published around the world, including Canada and the US, and have been translated into Italian, German and Russian.
After 10 years of agenting at WME and PFD, Rowan co-founded Furniss Lawton. Rowan represents writers of both fiction and non-fiction and her taste is wide-ranging. In terms of new clients, she is particularly looking for debut novelists who can tell a cracking story with real emotional depth and vivid characters. If the writing can make her cry, then even better. She also loves commercial women’s fiction and is always on the lookout for fresh, original voices in this area, as well as thrillers – particularly those with a domestic set-up. On the non-fiction side, strong personal stories, cookery and memoir always appeal.
Sarah Manning is an agent in the UK Literary Division. She is looking to actively build her list and represents both fiction and non-fiction. Sarah’s taste is varied and she enjoys crime, thrillers, historical fiction, commercial women’s fiction, accessible literary fiction, fantasy and YA. She likes big ideas that look at events or characters from new perspectives.
Please do not send her: middle grade, picture books, erotica or poetry.
Philip heads the book department at Marjacq. He joined in 2003 from Curtis Brown where he was a film, television and theatre agent for 7 years. Before that he worked for HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
He loves fiction and non-fiction in just about any genre, avoids epic science fiction and paranormal romance (unless it is for the teen market).
He has a particular interest in crime and thrillers, but is keen to tackle other genres. He is on the look out for more psychological thrillers, historical and literary fiction, women's commercial fiction, YA and children's fiction. Narrative non-fiction, history, politics, military, humour are all good. Mind/body/spirit, misery memoirs or gap year travels - not for him. He likes good stories and writers who know how to tell them.
Imogen Pelham joined Marjacq as a literary agent in 2015, after five years at Aitken Alexander where she started building her list, which includes Wellcome Prize shortlisted Emily Mayhew, and Costa Short Story Award winner Angela Readman. Imogen represents character-led, often dark literary fiction and non-fiction which looks at its subject in innovative ways, including cookery, design, history, medicine and psychology. She would like more of the same, but in fiction is also looking for standalone conceptual psychological thrillers and novels with a great distinctive voice and sense of humour. In non-fiction she loves investigative journalism and stories of unusual people.
Zoe has a first class degree in Modern Languages from the University of Cambridge, and began her career in publishing at Yale University Press. After a year out to complete a Masters in psychoanalytic theory at UCL, she then joined United Agents in 2009, working initially in the foreign rights department. Since 2013 she has been building a list of exciting writers of both fiction and non-fiction, and has a particular interest in literary fiction laced with black humour, and cookery.
Sandra joined Marjacq in March 2014 after two years of working for UK publishers and a variety of placements with agencies. Prior to that she was studying and completed two degrees - MA in American Literature from Warsaw University and MA in Publishing from Kingston. Sandra takes care of the worldwide foreign language rights for all authors represented by Marjacq, and is actively building a list of her own clients in English. She is currently searching for great historical upmarket fiction, gothic mysteries, pacey, fun space operas, road novels and pretty much anything with a university setting. Comedies and spiritual stuff are just not her thing. Sandra would like to focus on building the grown-up side of her list. but will look at YA/MG submissions, if they are amazing.
Marilia Savvides is a literary agent and an international rights agent at Peters, Fraser + Dunlop. Her authors include Georgetown professor and empathy researcher Abigail Marsh and E.O. Chirovici; his debut English-language novel The Book of Mirrors will be published in 36 countries in 2017. She is currently building her list of authors and also sells translation rights around the world securing foreign language deals in Portugal, Greece, Israel, Hungary, Russia, China, Taiwan and Korea for PFD’s clients.
Jeremy is an author, screenwriter and producer with 14 years’ experience in film, publishing, higher education and communications. His collaborators and clients range from top award winning producers to highly acclaimed independent filmmakers, from governments and global corporations to the world’s leading schools and universities.
Jonathan Cape have published two full-length works of his fiction, The Comfort Zone (2002) and The Smiling Affair (2005).
Hannah was an in-house editor for ten years (Macmillan Children’s Books & Headline) before making the move to the D H H Literary Agency. Because of this background she’s very hands on editorially and loves to help her writers develop their ideas for commercial success. She represents authors across children’s fiction (from 9+ including teen & YA – Abi Elphinstone, Keris Stainton, Honor & Perdita Cargill) and a small number of adult fiction authors (Adam Hamdy, Dan Tyte, Elizabeth Warner). She likes stories that push the boundaries, have a strong voice and, often, a dark edge – although she’d love to find a great contemporary romance too. Follow her on twitter @YA_Books
After the birth of my third child 16 years ago, I gave up my enjoyable career as a Publisher in academic publishing, specialising in criminology. Luckily, while subsequently volunteering once a week to sort through the slush-pile of a leading literary agency, I discovered a beautiful novel that went on to win the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Richard & Judy Summer Read of Summer Reads. Since then I have worked in a freelance capacity for Bloomsbury, Orion, Penguin and Transworld editing authors such as Joanna Briscoe, James Runcie, Kamila Shamsie, Sheila Hancock, Damian Barr and Rev Richard Coles.
As a Book Doctor and Ghost, I have worked on several books for Orion and Penguin including An African Love Story, a biography of Kate Middleton, an account of the Iranian Embassy Siege and memoirs ranging from a wartime childhood in a Derbyshire mining village to a member of the Royal Family.
Kathryn Taussig is a commissioning editor at Quercus, part of Hachette UK. She specialises primarily in commercial fiction, including women's fiction, psychological thrillers and historical fiction. Amongst others, she has worked with Richard & Judy bestselling author Tracy Rees on her novels Amy Snow and Florence Grace, as well as publishing the top-ten kindle bestseller While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green. She's originally from San Francisco, California but has lived in the UK for more than a decade.
Craig (writing as C M Taylor) is the author of five novels. Premiership Psycho (Corsair 2011) and the Amazon best-selling Group of Death (Corsair 2012) form two thirds of a savagely satirical trilogy about contemporary celebrity culture described as 'Brilliant' by The Sun, and 'Horribly entertaining' by The Mirror. He's also the author of Light, Cloven and Grief, the latter a dystopian fantasy described by British Science Fiction Association as a work of 'breathtaking originality' and nominated for their 2005 Book of the Year. A keen collaborator, Craig has established a company to create narrative apps. He has been a book editor with the Writers' Workshop since (almost) its inception
Chris Wellbelove joined Greene & Heaton in 2010 and represents commercial and literary fiction and non-fiction. In fiction he is particularly interested in accessible voice-driven and quirky literary fiction, original crime fiction, high-concept novels and psychological suspense, and in non-fiction he likes to read popular science and psychology, sport and current affairs, and in projects with cross-media potential. Greene & Heaton Ltd was founded in 1953 and represents a number of prize-winning authors of fiction and non-fiction as well as cookery writers and media and television personalities.
Laura Williams is an agent at Peters Fraser and Dunlop, where she has been working since 2011, after completing a degree in Classics at Oxford. She is actively building a fiction list and a small non-fiction list. She enjoys working with debut authors, and getting stuck in editorially. She is currently looking for edgy literary and commercial fiction, psychological thrillers and high-concept contemporary young adult.
Andrew Wille was managing editor and then senior editor at Little, Brown UK, acquiring or working on critically acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction and nonfiction as varied as Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, and The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Subsequently he has freelanced for many of the industry’s most notable imprints, worked as a book doctor, and taught for Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and Falmouth University’s MA in Professional Writing. His own fiction has been published in anthologies Uncontained and Primal Picnics and in many literary magazines. More info at www.wille.org.
James is Managing Director of Watson, Little Ltd and is passionate about reading and good writing. He looks after a dynamic and wide-ranging list of writers and is always searching for new, exciting material, especially from debut authors. Watson, Little Ltd was founded in 1970 and represents a number of bestselling and prize-winning authors and estates, such as Margaret Mahy, Evie Wyld, Christopher Fowler, James Wong, Colin Wilson and Alex Marwood.
"I am looking for striking, quirky, character-driven, commercial and literary fiction that is thrilling, bold and beautifully written. My interests range from the decidedly off-beat to the unashamedly popular side of popular culture but I am always looking for writers with an edge who are experts in their fields. At present, I'd particularly love to see strong, narrative non-fiction, including history, sport, science, popular music, comedy and website/blog-based material."
James was Secretary of the Association of Authors' Agents from 2009-2011.
Susan started her career in publishing in the early ’90s and gained valuable experience at, amongst other publishers, Virago (now part of Little, Brown Book Group) and Penguin Books Ltd (Penguin Random House). Susan completed an MPhil in Critical and Creative Writing before founding SYA eight years ago, starting the successful careers of debut writers Kerry Young (shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award) and Prajwal Parajuly (shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize). The agency represents a broad range of adult fiction and non-fiction as well as children’s and YA fiction.
Sharon has provided editorial services to publishers and private clients worldwide, from beginners to published authors. A former English Literature academic, having studied at London and Cambridge, she possess fifteen years of teaching experience, including extensive knowledge of mentoring writers through all stages of the writing and submission process. Sharon’s first novel, Welcome to Sharonville, was published last year by Unthank Books and was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award. She edits fiction though her range is broad, spanning from literary fiction through women's commercial to crime and sci-fi. She has also worked with writers on non-fiction and academic book proposals, as well as editing poetry collections since she was previously Young Poet of the Year. Having worked with authors and publishers from across the globe, Sharon is also conversant with the nuances of American and Australian English and aware of the differences relating to international book markets.