Thursday 13 December 2012

3rd Day of Christmas: DKW Literary Agency

DKW's Deepest Desires

DKW is a new and creative boutique literary agency founded this year by Bryony Woods and Ella Diamond Kahn. The agency boasts a select and extremely talented list of debut authors, and they are currently looking to expand their list. Bryony previously worked at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, and Ella came to DKW from Andrew Nurnberg Associates.

Ella and Bryony

 Hmm, what would we at DKW like the slushpile (a.k.a the ‘amazing folder of mystery and wonders’) to bring us this Christmas?

Dear Slushpile Santa,

On the 1st day of Christmas, I would like to find: some beautiful, bewitching prose – a voice that will haunt me long after I turn the final page of a manuscript. This is what really pulls me into a story and makes me fall in love with it.

On the 2nd day of Christmas, I would like to find: Vivid characters. Characters that leap off the page and demand to be heard, who are interesting and different, and whose story I simply have to know.

On the 3rd day of Christmas, I would like to find: some really interesting and playful language. I love it when a writer has such a deep connection to the words on the page that they can bend and stretch and break them, to come up with something wonderfully imaginative and new. Something that makes their voice utterly unique.

On the 4th day of Christmas, I would like to find: A brilliantly retold fairytale. Yes, I admit it – fairytales are a huge weak spot of mine. I love the darkness and beauty and power that they wield. I don’t mind how they are retold, so long as that dark fairytale essence shines through.

Richard Doyle illustration for Princess Nobody (1884), Wikimedia Commons

On the 5th day of Christmas, I would like to find: A really great adventure story. Something with action and excitement and mystery, a few brilliant twists and turns, and a really good villain.

On the 6th day of Christmas, I would like to find: Something unexpected. It’s impossible to say exactly what I’m looking for, as in reality I won’t truly know until I’ve found it.

So go on – surprise me!

(Also, Slushpile Santa - would it be cheeky to ask for some cake??)
Bryony x

Dear Slushpile Santa,

On the 7th day of Christmas, I would like to find: a fantastically original fantasy that fires my imagination and transports me to a new, richly imagined world. I’m a sucker for evocative world-building!

On the 8th day of Christmas, I would like to find: a suspenseful, page-turning plot that hooks me in from page one and keeps me guessing till the very end with skilfully handled twists and turns.

On the 9th day of Christmas, I would like to find: a gutsy, proactive heroine or hero with a distinctive voice who will tackle any challenges with wit and warmth and make the reader passionate about cheering them on.

On the 10th day of Christmas, I would like to find: an inventive, intelligent science fiction story that explores some of the mind-bending questions scientific innovations pose about what the future might hold... think ‘what if….?’

On the 11th day of Christmas, I would like to find: a novel inspired by a little-known corner of history, whether an unusual time, a far-flung place, or an intriguing archaeological artefact – something that piques my fascination with the richness of the past.

On the 12th day of Christmas, I would like to find: something extraordinary that manages to combine elements of all of the above: a high-concept, plot-driven book with exceptional voice, engaging characters and an intriguing setting.

And if that’s not greedy enough, Slushpile Santa, a mince pie or two wouldn’t go amiss either!

Love, Ella x


  1. Love these Christmas posts. Nope, I haven't heard of DKW yet. Thanks!

  2. Good luck Ella and Bryony I hope that you get all you wish for - including mince pies and cakes. You both sound so enthusiastic I'm sure DKW will be a great success.

  3. Wow, that's a busy Christmas, DKW! I hope you'll take some time off to read for fun as well :-)

  4. Hope all your Christmas wishes come true!

  5. I love to hear that beautiful prose still matters in this world of high concept wham bang. Congratulations on your new venture and I hope DKW can help discover some exciting new voices.

  6. This is a fabulous and truly inspiring list. Good luck with the new venture and it was wonderful to meet you with Imogen at the SCBWI's party.


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