The following panel of enthusiastic and well-respected editors and agent selected the extracts to be included in the anthology:
Literary Agent, Andlyn
Davinia Andrew-Lynch is a literary agent and the founder of boutique agency, Andlyn. Initially specialising in children’s and YA Fiction the agency has now expanded to represent a focused list of adult authors of commercial fiction and non-fiction. Davinia co-created the Fab Prize in association with Faber Children’s, which is now going into its’ fifth year. With the aim of discovering black and ethnic minority writers and illustrators the prize has acted as a springboard to many successful careers. Previously, Davinia was an associate film/TV agent and a freelance editor. She has drawn upon these skills to offer her clients a tailored and intimate service with big ambition. Her clients include: Annabelle Sami, Malcolm Duffy and Bex Hogan.
Davinia loves pacy storytelling with heart. In Middle Grate she’s on the look out for epic, bold, contemporary and fresh adventures; and is particularly keen to see stories about girls’ friendships in all their forms. For the YA market she’d love to find a clever twist on a heist type situation – and she’s always a fan of an unconventional genre mash-up!
Literary Agent, Watson, Little Ltd
Megan graduated from Goldsmiths with a BA in English and American Literature in 2013 and worked as an intern at Watson, Little and Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency before returning to the agency as the assistant in July 2014. She is now a Literary Agent and is building her own list.
Megan is looking for writers in a variety of areas (fiction, non-fiction and children’s) and from a variety of backgrounds. In Children’s and YA, Megan would love to see contemporary YA tackling realistic issues and big, epic love stories as well as funny, female focused MG – think Louise Rennison – and an Abi Elphinstone style adventure for that age group too. Megan loves anything creepy and spooky for the MG audience too, and would love to find horror for YA readers.
Literary Agent, Greenhouse Literary Agency
Sarah founded Greenhouse Literary when she moved to the US in 2007 after a long career as a UK children’s publisher, working with many internationally celebrated authors. She has built the agency into one of the leading boutique-sized children’s literary agencies in the USA, and her authors have won many accolades and starred reviews, as well as film deals. In addition to picture books, middle grade and YA fiction and non-fiction, she also represents some adult fiction, including breakout New York Times bestselling suspense writer Megan Miranda.
Now back in the UK, Sarah continues to enjoy finding and developing new talent for the agency and sharing all she has learned after several decades in the books business on both sides of the Atlantic. She has addressed conferences and writers’ events across the USA, Europe and Britain, and loves to share her inspirational thoughts on writing craft and career longevity. She is a member of SCBWI and AAR in the USA, and says, ‘Everything you need to know about Greenhouse is in its name.’
Editorial Director, Penguin Random House Children’s Books
Jane Griffiths has worked in children’s publishing for over fifteen years and is currently Editorial Director at Penguin Random House Children’s Books, having previously worked at Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins. Over her career, Jane has commissioned and worked on a wide variety of books and edited numerous award-winning and bestselling writers, including Abi Elphinstone, Philip Ardagh, Tom Fletcher, Steven Butler, Danny Wallace, Danielle Jawando, Polly Ho-Yen, Ben Miller and Liz Kessler, as well as looking after global authors and series like Cassandra Clare, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries. She has been nominated several times for the Branford Boase award, was shortlisted for Editor of the Year at the 2017 British Book Awards and chosen as a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016.
Jane loves working with debut authors and is always looking for strong voices and stories with that magical quality to inspire a lifelong love of reading.
Senior Commissioning Editor, Farshore Books
Sarah Levison is Senior Commissioing Editor at Farshore Books, part of HarperCollins publishers. With over twenty years experience in publishing, Sarah commissions and edits across Egmont’s diverse list, from funny books for 6-8 year olds to hard-hitting YA. She works with many best-loved and award-winning authors, including Laura-Ellen Anderson, David Levithan and Holly Jackson, and was shortlisted for the 2020 Branford Boase award alongside author Aisha Bushby. Past roles have seen Sarah developing bestselling series fiction lists including Rainbow Magic and Beast Quest.
Sarah is always on the lookout for compelling books that keep her reading – be that something that makes her laugh or gives her a good scare! She has a soft spot for spooky books (for which she thanks an early and enduring love of Stephen King) and dark humour.
Website: Farshore Books
Commissioning Editor, Scholastic
Yasmin Morrissey is a Commissioning Editor at Scholastic, working across young fiction, middle-grade and YA. She previously worked at HarperCollins and PRH, assisting with some of the biggest authors in the industry, including Eoin Colfer, Anna James, Jenny Valentine, Veronica Roth and Tom & Giovanna Fletcher. She is Editor to Katy Birchall’s upcoming middle grade How Not to be a Vampire Slayer, Beth Garrod’s YA, as well as her upcoming younger fiction series The Inflatables; Cynthia Murphy’s YA thriller debut Last One to Die which published in January 2020, The Nightsilver Promise series by Annaliese Avery (part of the 2020 Undiscovered Voices Anthology), and Malice in Underland by Jenni Jennings. Before publishing, she worked in law.
She has a soft spot for daring, magical MG adventure, full of heart and humour.
Literary Agent, Antony Harwood Ltd
Jo began her career in publishing in the 1990s, working in Children’s PR at Dorling Kindersley, HarperCollins and Orion before switching to a career as an agent. She has worked with Antony Harwood since 2008, representing authors across all genres from picture books, MG and up to YA. She loves discovering talented new authors and guiding them through every step of the publishing process. She is lucky enough to work with wonderful clients including Peter Bunzl, Andy Shepherd and Chris Naylor-Ballesteros and her authors have been shortlisted for many awards including the Waterstones Book Prize, Branford Boase Award and the Kate Greenaway Prize. Jo is passionate about supporting the careers of her clients for the long term and doing so with a strategic vision, energy and tenacity.
There is nothing to beat opening an email submission, reading the first chapters and getting that tingling feeling! Jo is looking for an authentic and memorable voice and a story that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned.