Born and raised in Belgium, on a diet of frites and Tintin, I moved to England in my late teens with my family. I then stayed in London to do a History degree and Masters at University College London. Having been brought up bilingual, French and Dutch, then picking up German and obviously English later on, translation rights seemed like the logical next step. My first job in publishing was just down the road from my university at Bloomsbury Publishing on Bedford Square, where I started as an intern and left as Rights Executive. I later hopped across the square to work at Ed Victor ltd. where I 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. Therese Coen

I have been building my own list of authors alongside selling translation rights since early 2016, which I have hugely enjoyed doing this side of publishing; working with authors right from the book’s conception, while also experiencing the thrill of selling my own authors’ works in the UK and US as well as in translation to publishers across the globe. I think it’s the perfect job!

A voracious reader since I excitedly ran into a bookcase and split open my forehead aged 6, I am happy to cut my teeth on genres across the board and love nothing more than keeping my reading and my authors an exciting and wide-ranging mix of styles and readerships. I can be reading a humorous boysy middle grade book one minute, historical fiction or fantasy the next, followed by some a big, sweeping love story, and rounding things off with a Booker prize winner or a literary classic.

Within these varied spheres, what is needed to grip me is an original concept or hook, polished and pacey writing, captivating worlds and always a strong protagonist, be they fictionalised or real. I want original, distinct and memorable voices, books that make you feel (tie you 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.  Therese Coen

I recently wrote a *slightly more specific* wishlist; though don’t worry if you don’t fall into any of these categories, it doesn’t mean I am not keen to read!

In terms of adult fiction, I am a total sucker for historical (ranging across the commercial spectrum), and would love some more international historical stories ranging from the Renaissance era to the 20th Century. Right now, I’d love something set in the art world, a mystery, crime or romance. That international setting is something I’d also loved to be pulled through into crime or thrillers, or high-concept love stories. Modern mysteries and romances are so often on a global scale nowadays, and I think our literature should reflect that. I love strong female characters, especially when they go through an evolution as the story progresses and gradually find that inner strength.

On the children’s fiction front, I love all things fantasy and adventure – across lands, time and space, and involving strong friendships and strong lead characters. I want to be transported straight away when I start reading a manuscript. Right this moment, I would love to see something involving an Orient Express-style train, or maybe an Agatha Christie-type cruise boat (perhaps without the gruesome murder). I like very vivid, well-crafted and imaginative worlds, for example stories set in a toy factory, or an all-female pirate ship, or in an underwater world. I’d love some more adventures set in space, à la Stark Trek and Wall-E. I want mysteries, quirky characters, explorers and imaginary friends.

In short, send me anything that transports me into a world, era or mindset straight-away and gives me that buzz of excitement. I am wide open to submissions, and here are some of my recent and perennial favourites:

Middle GradeWonder by R.J. Palacio, The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson, The Explorer by Katherine Rundell, The Imaginary by AF Harrold, Witch Wars by Sibéal Pounder, The Nothing To See Here Hotel by Steven Butler, Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy, The Train to Impossible Places by PG Bell and The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle.

Young AdultWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart, A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas, Rebel of the Sands series by Alwyn Hamilton, The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, Caraval by Stephanie Garber, The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

FictionThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Stoner by John Williams, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary and Expectation by Anna Hope.

International Fiction: Real Life by Adéline Dieudonné, The Savages by Sabri Louatah, The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells, Nothing Holds Back the Night by Delphine de Vigan, The Club by Takis Würger and The Order of the Day by Eric Vuillard.