* Please note that I am not currently accepting submissions *

 

I love being a literary agent: the thrill of finding brilliant new writers, working with them to hone their work, sending their manuscripts to the right editors, getting great deals, and then seeing those books on the shelves or in the hands of enthusiastic readers. I’m honoured to represent a growing list of critically praised, up-and-coming and bestselling authors, most of whom I’ve worked with from the beginning of their careers.

Before co-founding Hardman & Swainson I was an agent at the Christopher Little Literary Agency and The Marsh Agency, where I also specialised in translation rights. I have an excellent understanding of global trade publishing and have had the privilege of selling rights on behalf of many renowned authors, such as Kate Atkinson, Iain Banks, Bill Bryson, Linwood Barclay, Meg Cabot, Vikram Seth, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Jonathan Lethem.  I grew up in south Manchester and I have a 1st class BA and an MA with distinction in English Literature from the University of Leeds.

What I’m looking for:
Nothing excites me more than discovering new talent, though it’s hard to predict in what form that talent will come. I wouldn’t know where to begin to give a list of the books I’ve loved over the years, but favourite recent reads (apart from my own authors’ books, of course!) include Elizabeth is Missing, The Rosie Project, The Book of You, Disclaimer, Apple Tree Yard, Station Eleven, The Examined Life and Do No Harm. 

I’m primarily interested in fiction at the intersection of literary and commercial, where great writing meets broad appeal. I look for novels that combine beautiful writing, plot and pace, distinctive characters, emotional depth and a strong hook – all the things that keep you turning the page.  I accept submissions of accessible literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, crime, psychological suspense, thrillers and Young Adult fiction. Whether it’s literary, genre or fiction for teenagers, I like to be challenged, surprised, moved to tears, or left on the edge of my seat (preferably all of those things!), by the novels I read.

In non-fiction, I’m fascinated by books that give me an insight into how we live and what makes us tick, in whatever form they come (basically: I’m nosy). I’m always looking for serious non-fiction, particularly popular science in the fields of human biology, medicine, and psychology. I love narrative non-fiction, especially compelling personal voices, first person pieces and and memoir. I’m interested in writing on health (of the body or mind) from an investigative or narrative, rather than prescriptive, approach. I’d love to find some ‘big ideas’ books or writers tackling familiar subjects in new and unique ways. And as an inveterate foodie I always want to hear from aspiring and established food writers.