What Are Children's Agents Looking For?

I chaired a most interesting Irish Pen night last week on Writing for Children and Getting Published and I took some notes for you all. (See how nice I am?) The panel included - Anna Carey, newbie author who is on the current shortlist for the Irish Book Awards; Oisin McGann, highly experienced author and illustrator;  and Julia Churchill from Greenhouse Literary Agency, London. Click on that link to read an interview with Julia. So here goes - what Julia wants - she said she'd love a big love story set in space, but she's not all that concerned with the market. She loves the slush pile.

This is what she is looking for in a nutshell:

1/ concept 2/ character 3/ story 4/ theme 5/ voice 6/ setting

She wants books with a great hook and premise and she needs to get excited about a book to take it on. She likes books with high stakes and for her, character is vital. She likes books with a strong sense of place like the Northern Lights series (Oxford). Overall, she is a young, hard working, vibrant agent who is worth considering if you are the next Derek Landy or Eoin Colfer.

So there you go - some thoughts to get your writing teeth into.

Yours in writing,

Sarah XXX

This is an updated version of a previous post.