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Thérèse Coen

*Thérèse is currently closed to submissions*

I was born and raised in Belgium, on a diet of frites and Tintin. I moved to England in my late teens with my family, then stayed in London to do a History degree and Masters at University College London. Having been brought up bilingual, translation rights seemed like the logical next step. I started off in the rights department at Bloomsbury Publishing, before hopping across the square to Ed Victor’s agency, and found experiencing both the publishing and agency side of publishing incredibly valuable.

I have been building my own list of authors alongside selling translation rights since early 2016, which I have hugely enjoyed; 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!

What I’m looking for

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 would like to see 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.

In terms of adult fiction, I have a huge soft spot for historical fiction, having read Early Modern History at university, but am also very much on the hunt for crime, coming-of-age stories and high-concept love stories. 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 am really excited about finding fresh, new voices! I love all things funny, 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) and definitely something set in the jungle, or with dinosaurs, as well as any other non-extinct animal. I like very vivid, well-crafted and imaginative worlds, for example stories set in a toy factory 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'm interested in

Here are some of my recent and perennial favourites:

Middle Grade: Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson, 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.

Young Adult: We 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.

Fiction: The 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, 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.