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Nicole Etherington

As a teenager, I was convinced I would have a career as an artist, painting Hockney-esque landscapes. I studied Fine Art at Falmouth University, but it wasn’t long before I realised I wasn’t a natural with a paintbrush and my interest lay in telling stories. In 2015, I joined the MA Writing course at Liverpool John Moore’s University. Words felt much more cooperative and forgiving than oils and acrylics and my love for reading grew.

Before joining Hardman & Swainson as an assistant in 2018, I interned at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency.

What I’m looking for:

Although I like to read outside my comfort zone, my tastes lean towards literary and bookclub fiction. I love stories set in isolated places like The Island Child by Molly Aitken, The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex, and The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh. I’m drawn to issues driven contemporary fiction that explores nuanced relationships or darker topics like What Red Was by Rosie Price, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney and My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, novels based on true events like Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, A Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson and The Rapture by Claire McGlasson or novels loosely-inspired by true events like Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Language of Birds by Jill Dawson and The Girls by Emma Cline. I’m on the lookout for new voices, dynamic characters and unique concepts.

In terms of nonfiction, I’m drawn to books that make me think or explore familiar topics in interesting ways like Charlote Runcie’s Salt on Your Tongue. I’m hooked by anything Malcolm Gladwell writes, Talking to Strangers in particular, and I’m fascinated by writing with an investigative focus like Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s She Said.

Some of my favourite reads in recent years include Ghostwall by Sarah Moss, My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson, Supper Club by Lara Williams, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman, Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow, Saltwater by Jessica Andrews, Luster by Raven Leilani, Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson, Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez and A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum.

Please don’t send me crime, thrillers, or children’s fiction.