A list of editors and literary agents available to pick up Writers & Artists editing services. Click here to browse our full range of editing services.
If you're an editor or literary agent and would be interested in making yourself available for any of our services, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org We encourage enquiries from all backgrounds, especially editors from underrepresented backgrounds.
Rachel Rowlands is a professional member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, and has worked on over a hundred books for publishers and authors since becoming an editor, including award-winners and bestsellers. She holds a BA (Hons) in English and Creative Writing and numerous editing and proofreading qualifications from both the CIEP and The Publishing Training Centre. Her client list has included Hachette UK’s Bookouture, Black Library (Games Workshop), Canelo, and Hashtag Press, as well as independent authors.
Rachel works on adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction. She is particularly fond of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but has also edited thrillers, crime, and romcoms, and some creative non-fiction. As a writer herself, she understands the struggles authors face, and combines her editorial and writing experience to support novelists every step of the way. She loves being part of shaping a story and helping to bring an author’s vision to life.
“I've been lucky enough to count Rachel among Black Library's pool of freelance editors and proofreaders since 2018, and since then she has lent her talents to a variety of products across our range, including work on our fantasy, science-fiction and horror genres. Rachel is a professional and conscientious editor, taking the time to provide in-depth queries where necessary. She is extremely thorough in her work, always hits deadlines, and is seemingly never phased by the amount of unusual terms to be found in our fiction! She has worked on both short and long-form stories, and seems eager to tackle any task. I would not hesitate to recommend her services.” – Karen Miksza, Desk Editor, Black Library (Games Workshop)
“Rachel’s detailed feedback was instrumental in making my novel what it is today. Her insights into character development, structure and plotting have massively helped me create a much pacier and more layered book. Not only did Rachel look at overall issues and strengths of the novel, she also gave detailed chapter by chapter feedback. Such attention to detail is something I’ve rarely come across in an editor. You’ll find Rachel creative, passionate and above all professional and kind. I couldn’t recommend her more highly.” – Molly Aitken, author of The Island Child (Canongate)
“As one of my first readers Rachel’s feedback has been invaluable. She helped me tackle a particularly difficult plot hole that, in turn, carried me through a particularly difficult set of structural edits. Her keen eye, level of precision, and insight provided me with the fresh perspective on my writing that I desperately needed. I would recommend working with Rachel – you’ll find her critique both appraising and inspiring.” – Aisha Bushby, author of A Pocketful of Stars (Egmont)
Natalie Young was born in London. Her first novel, We All Ran Into the Sunlight, was published by Short Books in 2011 while Natalie was working as the Arts editor for Prospect magazine. Before that she was a journalist with The Times. Her second novel, Season to Taste or How To Eat Your Husband, was published by Tinder Press in the UK in 2014 and by Little Brown in the US and was translated into several languages. Natalie toured with the book in the UK and in New York and took part in the Edinburgh and Cheltenham Literary Festivals. Season to Taste is now being adapted for film. Since then Natalie has worked as a literary consultant, editor and mentor, and works with Bloomsbury through the Writers & Artists website, and also as the facilitator for the SO:WRITE Women Writers group with Artful Scribe. She continues to explore new forms in her writing and has been the recipient of a grant from the Royal Literary Fund and two awards from Arts Council England. Most recently she received a Work in Progress award from the Society of Authors and the Authors Foundation for her third book. She loves the process of developing works in progress and is comfortable working with writers across all genres with a particular interest in adult literary long fiction, novellas, short stories and the prose poem.
"Gave me great encouragement to dive back into my manuscript and look at it in a different way. Natalie's thoughtful critique and understanding of the story I really wanted to tell has helped me understand my work so much more." – Ryan Love
"Natalie's edit was just what I was looking for. Concise, accomplished and never a stone left unturned." – Robert Rawlings
“As a mentor and editor, Natalie is able to provide what all writers need: honesty and insight with rigour and sympathy." – Harpreet Singh
“I found Natalie as I was trawling the internet researching literary agents with a view to sending my work to somebody in the hope of getting it published. I had just completed a Creative Writing MA and received really positive feedback from my course tutors but my manuscript wasn’t yet polished and ready for market. I was nervous to work with someone else on the manuscript but I knew that I needed some expert help. Natalie has been such an incredible guide through a re-draft process. She listened carefully when we spoke about what I wanted from the mentoring package and has been supportive and encouraging every step of the way. She’s very astute, could see immediately what needed work, and her personable approach meant that she was able to communicate it to me in a way that felt solution-focused and never critical. During the many conversations I’ve had with Natalie – over email, Skype and in person – I have felt inspired to do the work my manuscript needed and feel reinvigorated in my writing journey.” – Sarah Purchon
“I thought long and hard about engaging the services of a literary consultant, slightly sceptical about their benefits and a little nervous about exposing my work in such a way. However, I’m thrilled to say my fears dissolved with Natalie. Her detailed report captured precisely what it was that was missing from my manuscript. Immediately I saw what it was that I needed to do to strengthen their story. I found the whole process thoroughly worthwhile. I’ve learnt so much and really improved as a writer thanks to my engagement with Natalie.” – Paul Coffey
“Natalie got to the heart of things, the heart of my story, the heart of my hero, my reasons for writing what it is I’m writing. Then she got to work, focussing on key issues and helping me explore new methods, new ways. It can be challenging for sure but I wouldn’t have it any other way. With Natalie’s mentoring I feel I’m taking great steps forward as a novelist.” – Paul Bradley-Cong
Alex Hammond has worked in publishing for most of his professional life, and there's nothing he likes more than talking to an author about their book, diving into the pages, and helping them identify any issues that might be holding their story back. Alex holds a BA (Hons) in American Literature with Creative Writing from UEA, an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster, and is currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Southampton. After completing his MA, Alex worked at Rogers, Coleridge & White literary agency, working with authors such as Zadie Smith, Philip Hensher, Nick Hornby, Sandi Toksvig and Joe Dunthorne.
Alex joined Cornerstones Literary Consultancy in 2014, managing editors, assessing new author enquiries, and scouting for agents. He went freelance in 2017, and his clients include Ipsita Deb (Winner of the Arvon Mushens Prize 2021) and Ravindra Rathee (True To Their Salt, Amberley Publishing, 2022). He teaches American Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.
"Alex is a skilled and empathetic editor and mentor. His knowledge of both the creative writing, and publishing process has been invaluable. He is also skilled at being able to put across complex messages with the power of good examples. It means that with his help I have developed as a writer at the same time as improving my manuscript" – James Pearce
"I asked Alex to give me feedback about my 32,000-word outline of my work-in-progress. Alex provided me with amazingly accurate and pertinent feedback. He clearly read my outline in close detail, and completely understood what I was trying to achieve. His 3,000-word written report to me was just great - full of really meaty plot, character, and tension advice. He also did a mark-up version of my 32,000 outline - which was thankfully blunt and to the point. My face-to-face meeting with him, where we talked about my novel, was even more helpful; he was able to respond in a very constructive way to my many questions and requests for advice. I could not recommend him highly enough.” – Tom Irvine, author of Amy's Proof
“Alex is an amazing editor. I have everything I need to revise the manuscript.” – Craig Moloney
“After two years work on my first novel I was totally worn out but after receiving Alex Hammond's book report I was full of enthusiasm, motivation and raring to go on what I hope will be the last edit. His comments on what I'd done well and what could be improved were spot on and I'm more than happy to recommend him.” – Kim Brooke
Rachel Hamilton has seven years’ experience as a freelance editor, mentor and consultant, and loves helping authors refine their manuscripts and find their voice. She is a literary agent with the Ben Illis Agency and has written six books, published by Simon & Schuster and OUP in the UK, and Scholastic in the US. Rachel holds a first-class BA (Hons) degree in English Literature and Language and a PGCE in Secondary English teaching, which she has put to good use running creative workshops, moderating at literature festivals, and co-presenting the ‘Talking of Books’ radio show. A graduate of Oxford and Cambridge, she is addicted to learning about the craft of storytelling and has taken writing and editing courses with Faber, Cornerstones, Arvon, The London School of Journalism and St Martin’s College. As someone who has spent over fifteen years living in other cultures (mostly in the Middle East), who has worked in two high-security prisons, and who has a fantastically neurodiverse family, Rachel enjoys working with a wide range of voices. Her varied background and unusual position as an author-editor-agent-teacher hybrid put Rachel in a unique position to support authors at every stage in their journey to turn ideas into creative and commercially viable stories.
“Rachel always pushes me to grow as a writer, providing insightful comments and expertise. Her attention to detail is unmatched, with an exceptional eye for plot inconsistencies. She cares not only about my manuscript but my skills as an author. I would recommend her to every writer I know.” – Mel Darbon, author of Rosie Loves Jack, nominated for the Carnegie Medal
“Rachel Hamilton is a highly skilled and insightful editor with an eye for details. She’s also funny and smart, and easy to work with.” – Jessica Jarvli, author of When I Wake Up and What Did I Do?, Montegrappa First Fiction Prize winner
“Rachel is the queen of structure. As an editor, she doesn’t simply point out where your story might need some restructuring, she suggests practical ways to achieve it so the entire book works better. She also quickly spots any places where your writing might have become a bit saggy or inconsistent - the kind of details you can easily rectify to help to make your writing really sing. If Rachel notices something isn’t quite right, you can be sure a publisher will notice it too - which makes her advice invaluable.” – Lu Hersey, author of Deep Water, winner of the Mslexia Children’s Novel Writing Award.
Cressida Downing has worked in bookselling and publishing for over twenty years. She started at Waterstones in Hampstead, working in the children’s book department for a year before going to Sussex University to read English Literature. After graduation, she worked at Dillons Booksellers in a variety of Central London locations, mainly in charge of the fiction section and was one of the inaugural bookseller judges for their First Fiction Award.
Moving into publishing, she worked at Penguin Books and Piatkus Books. As a freelance editorial consultant for the last twenty years, she has worked with a variety of publishers and literary agents on both fiction and non-fiction titles, as well as directly with authors. She runs workshops and gives lectures on editing and submission, attending conferences such as the Felixstowe Book Festival and the Self Publishing Conference.
Recently she won the inaugural Lindisfarne Prize for an unpublished crime novel set in the North-East, and is hoping to have her first draft finished soon. She also runs Reading Retreats to enable readers to have uninterrupted reading time.
She reads a wide variety of books from crime to sci-fi to fantasy to chic-lit to literary fiction. In non-fiction, her tastes are broad, covering pretty much anything that would be interesting for the lay reader. As the mother of two children, she has rediscovered modern children and teen literature.
Her house is brimming with books, but she also loves her Kindle and embraces Twitter as a way of chatting to authors she admires.
"My book has attracted some fantastic praise with people talking about it being 'compelling reading' and 'beautifully written'. I do not think that this would have been the case without the help of Cressida Downing of Writers & Artists whose feedback and advice in her manuscript assessment was invaluable, especially to a first-time author. It really helped me improve the final work." – Graham Addison, author of Raiders of the Hidden Ark
"I was most impressed by Cressi’s ability to swiftly grasp what the plot and characters needed. She treated me like an authentic novelist and gave validation to my writing. She handled my work with encouragement and professionalism." – Liz Chettur
“I thought [Cressida’s] reports exemplary in their insight and helpfulness. I found the sharpness and constructiveness of her formal or aesthetic sense remarkable, and particularly helpful." – Matt Jordan
“Cressida Downing – The Book Analyst – has line-edited two of my books so far and has great insight into what changes need to be made. The service she offers is quick, without being rushed, efficient and cost-effective, and I would gladly recommend her to any authors who need a critical eye cast over their work.” – Andrew Goodman, author of Tiberius Found
“Friends can only go so far. As a professional reader, Cressida Downing analyses the good and the bad in my writing. The relationship between editor and writer becomes a dynamic process. Her suggestions help my reflection and sense of purpose.” – Margo Gorman
“Cressida Downing has assisted me for seven years assessing typescripts and proofs with a view to their publication. Her reports are concise, insightful and highly intelligent.” – Alan Samson, Publisher, Weidenfeld and Nicolson
Sara Starbuck has spent over twenty years working in UK trade book publishing. She has had experience as a commissioning editor, desk editor and development editor, and also as an author’s agent. She currently works as a freelance book editor, proofreader and writer, specialising in fiction, YA and children’s books. Sara is the author of eight published works so far, including the non-fiction memoir Breakfast Epiphanies (Atlantic Books, 2006); the children’s adventure novels, The Dread Pirate Fleur and the Ruby Heart (Random House, 2009) and its sequel, The Dread Pirate Fleur and The Hangman’s Noose (Random House, 2010); The Fairythorn Tales series under the pseudonym, Lara Faraway (Templar Publishing, 2013); and most recently two non-fiction books for children, Lions (Hachette Publishing Group /Born Free Foundation, 2015) and Leopards (Hachette Publishing Group/Born Free Foundation, 2016).
Sara is passionate about storytelling and working with writers. She has a keen eye for a good story and the ability to hone it.
“I learned more from Sara's edit on my first draft than I did in two years on a Creative Writing MA. Incisive, intelligent and creative editing that absolutely lifts a piece of writing.” – Jane Brittan, author of The Edge of Me
“Sara has the most attuned editorial eye I’ve ever come across. She notices gems no matter how deeply hidden and can coax the very best out of people with her gentle and encouraging hand. Her talent as a writer herself has, I think, a lot to do with this.” – Jodie Hodges, Literary Agent, United Agents
“I’ve worked with Sara as an author and as a proofreader, she has been a delight in every respect. Talented, reliable, responsive and extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the publishing industry, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her services.” – Felicity Johnston, Commissioning Editor, Orion Children’s Books
“Sara Starbuck commissioned my first novels at Hodder & Stougton and I couldn't have wished for a better editor. Hugely insightful, sensitive and warm, she cares passionately about her writers and their work. She helped me become a much better writer and - some thirteen years and eleven books later - she is still my go-to person for advice on all things writing and publishing and the first person I recommend to other writers seeking editorial guidance. Massively experienced, highly respected within the publishing industry AND a lovely person, what more could any writer ask for?” – Siobhan Curham, author of Dear Dylan, the Shipwrecked Series, True Face and The Moonlight Dreamers
“I highly recommend Sara to any aspiring writer. Sara understands not only the mechanics of story writing, plot construction, and character development but also makes an effort to understand the motivations of the author behind the story. I could not have asked for a better editor. Her thoughtful analysis of my manuscript made me fall in love with it all over again, and helped me identify precisely the spots that need more work.” – Sadie Noni, W&A Full Manuscript Review client
Sophia McDougall’s former editing clients who have gone on to bestseller status include Alex Lake, Daniel Godfrey and Aisha Bushby. She is can help identify both sticking points and areas of untapped potential, so that you can make your book its best self.
Sophia is an experienced and imaginative editor with a five-year history providing editing, consulting and mentoring services to writers in a wide range of genres, with a particular focus on sci-fi, fantasy, crime, YA and MG.
Sophia holds a degree and masters in English literature from Oxford University, and has worked as a lecturer in Creative Writing and Editing at the University of Bucks.
"Down to earth, practical advice. Patient and constructive. Ideal for a new writer."
"Sophia provided me with a very helpful report on my novel Gift Horse, full of suggestions which have helped me to find a publisher. I would recommend her as a consultant." – Barry Morgan
Kylie Fitzpatrick is a novelist and Creative Writing tutor and has worked as a freelance manuscript editor for over ten years. Prior to this she worked as a script editor in the UK, the US, and Australia after training at the Australian Film, Television and Radio school. She has worked for the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Commission. She is the author of four historical novels which have, between them, been published in eleven languages, and is a lecturer on the Creative Writing degree course at Bath Spa University.
As an author herself, Kylie understands the sensibility with which writers approach their work, and knows from experience that writing a novel can be a deeply personal undertaking. She believes that a good editor is not only fluent in the technical language and the mechanics of crafting a novel but can also identify its underlying themes and sensibilities and help an author to identify the story that they want to tell. She understands that allowing someone to read and critique one’s writing can sometimes feel a little like having one’s soul critiqued.
Because of her teaching experience, Kylie is as comfortable and competent working with a writer who needs guidance in the basic principles of narration, composition and character development as she is with more assured and experienced writers. She is passionate about supporting emerging novelists and helping them to refine all aspects of technique, from prose through to plot. She has edited both literary and mainstream fiction, including YA and historical, and also memoirs.
“Kylie was my mentor and editor when I wrote After Everything. She was patient, encouraging and nursed me through many early drafts, always offering the most constructive and creative advice in both plot and character development. She knew when something was not working, and more importantly, knew how to fix it. I couldn't have completed the book without her encouragement and I know I wouldn't have got a two book deal with Simon and Schuster in America without her help. In short, she was invaluable. And good fun as well.” – Suellen Dainty, author of After Everything
“It’s a lucky writer who falls into the hands of Kylie Fitzpatrick. Astute, capable, experienced and with a fantastic intuition for drawing out the soul of a manuscript, Kylie is able - with great gentleness - to guide you in the right direction. I highly recommend her as an editor and mentor.” – Jennifer McVerigh, author of The Fever Tree, a Richard & Judy Summer Read
Penny Walker has a degree in English Language and Literature from Oxford, and a Masters in Business Studies. She has worked in book publishing for over 25 years: she was an editor at Century Hutchinson, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster and Reed Elsevier, and for 10 years was Publisher at Random House Children’s Books. She has had the pleasure of working with established, award-winning authors as well as discovering new, exciting talent during her time at Random House. She left that position in 2006 to move to France, from where she has been working in a freelance editorial capacity.
Penny’s speciality is children’s books (fiction and picture books). She recognises that this genre requires additional expertise, including knowledge of different formats, age group-related vocabulary and content, and the importance of illustration and design. She has teenage children, and has a particular interest in young adult fiction.
In addition to her experience in the children’s books world, Penny has interests and knowledge in a wide variety of literary genres, from literary fiction to romance and sci-fi. She has lived in France for 8 years so is happy to read French books, and she especially enjoys stories with a Gallic flavour!
Penny is an editor who is very happy giving ‘broad brush’ advice as well as more detailed editorial direction. She has a great respect for the writing process, and enjoys the collaborative process between author and editor. She is responsive to the needs of each individual author, giving expertise and support, whether that person is a first-timer or a more established writer.
“Penny’s feedback has taken my stories to a new level, which is precisely what I was looking for. She gently steered me to consider different options and gave me confidence to keep going. Not only are my stories much better now, but I have learned a lot from the experience and am more confident about approaching agents.” – Mahrukh McDonald
“I worked with Penny on a number of picture book projects when she was editor at what is now Random House Children’s Books, part of the Penguin Random Group. It was a very happy experience. She was an unfailingly fair judge of both words and pictures, no mean feat as the skills for judging both areas together require a very special ability. It was a great sadness to me when she left as working and building a relationship with a good editor is a vital part of all authorship. The author has to trust the judgement of the editor and that trust has to be won through experience. In short Penny was an ideal editor and I would recommend her to any other authors and or illustrators without hesitation.” – Ian Beck, illustrator and author
“I worked with Penny on a much cherished project and found her to be insightful, sensitive and utterly professional. She guides very gently, bringing her wealth of experience to each project, but never dominates or interferes.” – Janey Jones, author of the Princess Poppy series of books for Random House.
“Working with Penny on some of my most successful picture books over about 9 years was a joy. With the lightest touch and a clear eye she would help to resolve any problems - but more than that, she inspired. Before one book was finished, along came another. I owe her huge thanks for seeing the best in me and for steering my texts to a happy conclusion.” – Joyce Dunbar, author of This is the Star, Tell Me Something Happy, The Very Small and many other highly successful picture books for Random House.
"Penny's intelligent feedback was gold for me!" – Teresa Viarengo
Craig Hillsley has edited a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, the most prominent being Graeme Macrae Burnet’s Man Booker Prize-shortlisted His Bloody Project. The books that Craig has worked on have won or been shortlisted for forty major literary awards, including the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Wainwright Prize and the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown. As Editorial Director of the award-winning independent publisher Saraband, he was named as a Bookseller “Rising Star”, and he is particularly adept at editing historical, literary and crime fiction, as well as memoirs, nature writing and narrative non-fiction.
Craig’s strength is establishing fruitful working relationships with authors, be it on the overall development of manuscripts or detailed copy edits. His years of publishing experience (and as a journalist) have taught him to help writers hone the technical aspects of their writing and attain the essential balance needed in any manuscript: achieving commercial viability whilst preserving the author’s artistic vision.
His passion is, simply, good writing. And working with new or established voices to create absorbing stories: books that uplift, fascinate, inspire and – importantly – sell.
“I have always found Craig to be a sympathetic and insightful reader, sensitive to what I am trying to achieve as a writer. He has an incredible attention to detail both in terms of fact checking and in the appropriate use of language, something that was of great importance to the success of His Bloody Project. I would recommend him wholeheartedly.” – Graeme Macrae Burnet, author of His Bloody Project, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2016
“Committed to diversity, unafraid of risk-taking, and always seeking excellence, Craig was Editorial Director at Saraband and Contraband for eight years, during which he proved himself invaluable as an editor with an enviable range of experience and abilities. His skills as a development and copy editor are outstanding and wide-ranging, with particular strengths in history, nature and environmental subjects for a general or academic audience, as well as in literary, historical and crime fiction. Craig also writes accurate, persuasive copy and headlines, often to tight deadlines, and with his background in journalism he is able to plan and execute effective press campaigns.” – Sara Hunt, owner of award-winning independent publisher Saraband
“Craig is an excellent editor. He possessed the skill, vision, tact and sensitivity that was required to help me edit my first novel, As The Women Lay Dreaming, and deserves a great deal of credit for the warmth of the reception the work received on its publication. Would I work with him again? Yes. Yes. Yes. In fact, I am doing so as I write this, relishing once more the skill and judgement he employs time and time again.” – Donald S Murray, author of As the Women Lay Dreaming, winner of the Society of Authors’ Paul Torday Memorial Prize, 2020
“I began working with Craig in 2012 and he has edited every one of my books since then: two mainstream titles, a series of eight short monographs, and a quartet of books based around the seasons; fourteen books in eight years. His light-touch approach is thoughtful, meticulous when it needs to be, reassuringly respectful of writing style, considered when it comes to making suggestions. It is all achieved with good humour and admirable professionalism. In more than thirty years as a full-time writer, I have never worked with an editor who inspires such confidence.” – Jim Crumley, author of The Nature of Spring, BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, April 2019
“Working with Craig was a rewarding experience. Having produced a full manuscript and being somewhat nervous about how it read, Craig invested time in my work and suggested helpful tweaks that captured the spirit of what I was trying to do. The relationship between writer and editor is a crucial one; Craig was easy to work with and fun.” – Dr Claire O’Callaghan, author of Emily Brontë Reappraised
"It's been a good experience working with Craig, and it's brought the novel forwards a long way. He said he hoped to make the story as good as he could, and I think he's done that. It has become a much richer book with a strong dual narrative set within contemporary themes that make it an appealing commercial read. He's also made me optimistic that with the strong plot outline for the whole novel now complete, that I can be confident in being able to complete the final 12 chapters (25k words) before I begin the redraft." – Dave Pescod, W&A Bespoke Mentoring client
Lucy Courtenay has been writing children’s fiction for almost 20 years, working as a team writer on series such as Animal Ark, Dolphin Diaries, Beast Quest, The Pet Finders Club and Heartside Bay. She has several series under her own name, including Wild, Scarlet Silver and Space Penguins, and the romantic teen comedy The Kiss (Hodder 2015). She is a freelance editor of children’s fiction for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and the author of Get Started in Writing an Illustrated Children’s Book for the Teach Yourself series (John Murray 2016). She is represented by Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown Ltd. See www.lucycourtenay.com.
“Huge thanks to Lucy for my critique. A eye opener into POV. Grateful for this evaluation now at this stage. I have some work to do but remain confident my writing will improve to the betterment of my manuscript.” – Lucy P, W&A Your Children's Book delegate
“I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your classes and how much I've learned. I knew fiction writing would be hugely different from the feature writing I've done for years, but there really is more to consider than I had realised. Thank you for 'opening my eyes' and hopefully I can use all the info to get a little book out some day.” – Eileen, W&A Your Children's Book delegate
“I learned so much from the workshop and your book, and came away thoroughly inspired and excited about putting it all into practice.” – Alexandra Strick, Get Started In Writing An Illustrated Children's Book delegate
Kieron Connolly has worked in non-fiction publishing since 2006, both as an editor for Amber Books Ltd and Weldon Owen International, as well as freelance work for HarperCollins, Little, Brown and Omnibus Press. As an author, his books include Dark History of Hollywood and Abandoned Places, while for children he has written Stories of the Constellations and Disasters, among others.
A graduate in history from the University of Edinburgh and in screenwriting from the National Film & Television School, he also helps new writers with their TV and film work through The Literary Consultancy.
As a journalist, he has worked mainly for The Mail on Sunday books desk, and has written for The Times and the Daily Mail.
A short story of his was runner-up in the Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction 2021.
Kieron edits non-fiction, with an emphasis on history, culture and memoir, as well as film and TV scripts. He is happy to consider projects at any stage of development.
“I have worked for very many years, both inside publishing and as a freelance writer of non-fiction and fiction. I can thoroughly recommend Kieron as an editor who is calm, reliable, efficient, creative and always good-humoured. He has a logical head and can untangle knots in plots whilst working to a tight schedule.” – Philip Steele, Escape the Mummy’s Tomb (Blue Streak Books)
“Kieron edited my novel in its early days and gave me very specific advice on what I needed to improve in terms of plot structure as well regarding certain aspects of my writing such as setting and dialogue. I would highly recommend Kieron and am very grateful for the detailed written feedback and the valuable discussion.” – Siya Turabi, The Last Beekeeper (One More Chapter)
“I hired Kieron to do a structural edit on my travel book and memoir, The Bicycle Clip Diaries. He was detailed and contentious throughout. His editing work was excellent and his comments incredibly useful in guiding the book towards a final product aimed at the general reader. The book itself was well-reviewed, and benefited greatly from Kieron’s input, even though I knew that this was not one of his specialised subject areas. He was happy to talk through his comments and always on-time with communications.” – Nick Raistrick, The Bicycle Clip Diaries
“I found Kieron a close and careful but un-fussy editor, quick to spot my mistakes or infelicities but never inclined to intervene just for the sake of it. I really feel he got the best out of me as a writer.” – Michael Kerrigan, Amazing Churches of the World (Amber Books Ltd)
Imogen Pelham is a literary agent at Marjacq Scripts, representing authors including Costa Short Story Award winner Angela Readman, Wellcome Prize shortlisted Emily Mayhew and Encore Prize longlisted Olivia Glazebrook. Prior to Marjacq, she worked at Aitken Alexander Associates for five years where she began building her list whilst working alongside Gillon Aitken. She represents literary and high-end commercial fiction, as well as a range of non-fiction including history, psychology, travel and food.
Davinia Andrew-Lynch is the founder of ANDLYN, a boutique agency dedicated to children's fiction and content. The aim of the agency is to find authors whose material can not only exist on the page but can also find an outlet through other media territories. Davinia was previously an associate agent at a highly reputable film and television agency, and worked simultaneously as a freelance children's fiction editor and reader for various publishers, literary agencies, consultancies and scouts.
ANDLYN are actively looking for new talent and want to discover stories that will smack them between the eyes and capture their hearts. They welcome picture books, middle grade, young adult and cross-over fiction alongside non-fiction material and represent both writers and illustrators.
Davinia is also expanding into commercial fiction and has a particular love of ‘out of the box’ cosy crime/mystery.
Thérèse Coen was born and raised in Belgium and moved to England in her late teens with her family, and then stayed in London to do a History degree and Masters at University College London. Having been brought up bilingual, speaking French and Dutch, then picking up German and English later on, translation rights seemed like a very logical next step. Her first job in publishing was at Bloomsbury Publishing, where she started as an intern and left as Rights Executive. Thérèse then worked at Ed Victor Ltd where she was lucky enough to learn from one of the most renowned and experienced literary agents in the world, handling huge celebrity titles alongside Booker-prize winning authors.
Thérèse has been building her own list of authors alongside selling translation rights since early 2016 and is now Rights Director and agent at Hardman Swainson. She is happy to cut her teeth on genres across the board and loves nothing more than keeping her reading and her authors an exciting and wide-ranging mix of styles and readerships.
Within these varied spheres, what is needed to grip Thérèse is an original concept or hook, polished and pacey writing, captivating worlds and always a strong kick-ass protagonist, be they fictionalised or real. She wants original, distinct and memorable voices, books that make you feel (tie your heart in a million knots or smash it into a million pieces), laugh until you have a stitch, or stay with you and make you ponder for weeks. For non-fiction, Thérèse wants these books to teach her, without making her feel ignorant.
Samar Hammam founded Rocking Chair Books Literary Agency in 2013 after six years as a Director at Toby Eady Associates. Prior to that she worked as a literary scout in New York City for Linda Clark Associates. She is a primary agent, but works with other agencies to represent their rights in translation. Samar represents a genre-spanning number of clients, from poet and writer Warsan Shire to comedy fiction author Amita Murray. She lives in London with her fella and two kids.
Juliet Pickering worked for Waterstones as a bookseller and fiction buyer before starting at A P Watt in 2003, where she became an Associate Agent in 2007. Juliet joined Blake Friedmann in 2013, becoming Vice Head of the Book Department in 2017, and her authors have been shortlisted for Booker, Costa, and Guardian First Book Awards, won the Whitbread and Green Carnation Prizes and, in 2015, the prestigious French literary award Prix Femina Etranger. Her fiction interests range from literary through to book club, and she enjoys commercial novels with fresh, contemporary and feminist central characters; the main requisite is that these stories have a deep emotional heart, and rich, multi-layered, real characters. She also represents many non-fiction writers across the board, including memoir, pop culture, social history, writing on issues of race, gender and class, cookery and food, humour, and all sorts in-between. She is always looking to bring more under-represented voices to readers, and for her writers and their books to provoke conversation.
Laura Williams joined Greene and Heaton as an agent in 2018. She worked at Peters Fraser and Dunlop from 2011, after completing a degree in Classics at Oxford. She is actively building a fiction list and a small non-fiction list. She is currently looking for literary fiction, edgy commercial fiction, psychological thrillers and high-concept contemporary young adult, as well as narrative non-fiction of all types. Her taste is quite dark, and she loves gothic, ghost stories, horror and anything sinister. She also loves books that make her cry, from a big love stories to intense family dramas.
Megan Carroll graduated from Goldsmiths with a BA in English and American Literature in 2013 and worked as an intern at Watson, Little and Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency before returning to the agency as the assistant in July 2014. She is now an Associate Agent and is building her own list.
Megan is looking for commercial fiction & reading group fiction with original voices and an interesting hook, YA with realistic themes and characters, memoir and good narrative non-fiction writing on film and popular culture. She’s especially keen on finding debut authors as well as growing a list of talented illustrators. Megan is also interested in discovering new, quirky and imaginative voices across all ages in Children’s Fiction