What editors and agents are looking for - WFF 2014


What I'd like to see is humorous stories for our Le Meraviglie imprint which was created in 2012. So choosing would then be easy: I'd buy the books that make me laugh. Generally speaking, it isn't easy to make people laugh (or at least smile) simply by reading words on a page and that is why humour writers are usually the best writers. Again, in general, humorous writing is tightly written--jokes are carefully constructed and then edited down. Very few writers write exclusively humour. So besides humour, I'd also like to see literary fiction that can be part of our main imprint, Strade, which features original, exquisite writing, often destined for inclusion in lists sent to literary prizes. However I also enjoy commercial or genre fiction though I'm not an expert and would send the manuscript to our specialized readers, who are the ultimate arbiters.

I'm looking for stories that will capture readers' imaginations and linger, stories that remind us why reading is so magical and so important. Stories with a strong original core and which immediately speak to readers. Stories that can answer the question: why should I buy and read this story among the thousands of new books out? At the moment, we are talent scouting for genre fiction of all types: women's fiction, romcoms, thrillers, adventure stories and noir. We are less interested in fantasy since the agency doesn't represent this genre.

Literary fiction, mainstream fiction, commercial fiction in all shades of 'women's fiction', including novels that straddle that thin line between journalism and memoir. Of course the books must be well written and truly original.

I'm looking for women's fiction, ranging from romcoms to family sagas. The important thing is to be able to immerse the reader in the world or worlds of women's lives today. I'm also looking for thrillers, mysteries and historicals. Whatever the genre, however, what is essential is a highly readable writing style and a strong and meaningful plot.

Astonish me, make your manuscript literary and entertaining. We receive far too many derivative manuscripts, books without an underlying theme and books with no voice. I want proposals that are bold. In other words, I am looking for quality. As far as genre fiction is concerned, whether romance, mystery/thriller or crossover, there must be something new that makes the book unique. Lately we've been paying close attention to women's fiction because we need a new type of book, a new tone, a new way to involve readers' hearts and minds. As far as literary fiction is concerned, we want no-holds-barred stories in a broad and deep style.


Andrew Lownie was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh and the College of Law in London. He has been a bookseller, journalist, publisher, and when appointed a director of the Curtis Brown literary agency in 1986 was the youngest director in British publishing. He has run his own literary agency since 1988 and has some 200 clients . Last year he set up Thistle Publishing in a new initiative to support his list. He has been the top-selling agent worldwide on Publishers Marketplace for the last few years and was short-listed for Agent of the Year at the 2013 and 2014 Bookseller Awards. A former literary agent and committee member of English PEN, he set up The Biographers Club, a monthly dining society for Biographers, in 1997. He is , himself, the author of several books and is a regular speaker and broadcaster. He is a recognised expert on spy fiction – he wrote the entry for the Cambridge Guide to Literature in English - and is currently putting together a collection of spy short stories.




Carrie Feron is a Senior Vice President and Executive Editor at William Morrow and Avon Books, two imprints of HarperCollins Publishers. She has spent her entire career editing women's voices. Among the authors she has worked on for Morrow are New York Times bestselling authors Meg Cabot, Mary Jane Clark, Deborah Crombie, Dorothea Benton Frank, Faye Kellerman, Laura Lippman, Elizabeth Lowell, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Some recent additions to her list include Don't Try to Find Me by Holly Brown,Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova and The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford. She has been at Morrow for twenty years, where her paperback authors include Jacqueline Sheehan, Emily Arsenault, Courtney Miller Santo, Sara Gruen, Kerry Reichs, Liza Palmer, Jane O'Connor, Lisa Kleypas, Sarah MacLean and Eloisa James. Carrie is always looking for strong new voices in contemporary women's fiction, mysteries and thrillers.

Ann Collette was a freelance writer and editor for over fifteen years before joining the Rees Literary Agency in Boston, MA in 2000. Her list includes books by New York Times bestselling author B. A. Shapiro, Oprah's "Unputdownable Mysteries" author Mark Pryor, Anthony Nominee Vicki Lane, RT Award Nominees Clay and Susan Griffith, National Bestseller Carol Carr, Steven Sidor, Chrystle Fiedler and Ashley Weaver. She likes literary, upscale commercial women's, thrillers, mystery, and horror fiction; in non-fiction, she prefers narrative non-fiction, military and war, work to do with race and class, and work set in or about Southeast Asia. She also represents cookbooks. Ann does not represent children's, YA, sci-fi, or high fantasy (Lord of the Rings-type books).

Last modified on Sunday, 31 August 2014 12:43

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You are here Festival 2014 Edition The Book Fair 2014 2014 Edition What editors and agents are looking for - WFF 2014