All People

Caroline Hardman

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 writers. 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 look for novels that combine great writing, plot and pace, distinctive characters, emotional depth and a strong hook – all the things that keep you turning the page. 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. I accept fiction submissions in the areas of literary, upmarket commercial, book club, historical, crime and thrillers. I don’t represent science fiction, fantasy or children’s.

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 including popular science, particularly in the fields of human biology and medicine, psychology, feminism, big ideas and current affairs. I’m interested in writing on health (of the body or mind) and food / nutrition from a well-researched, fact-based perspective, as well as selective wellness and lifestyle projects. I’m always open to writers tackling familiar subjects in new and unique ways. Finally, I love narrative non-fiction, especially compelling personal voices, first person pieces and memoir.