Wednesday 19 December 2012

9th day of Christmas: Literary Agent Anne Clark

Three thoroughly thrilling thoughts
from Literary Agent Anne Clark

Anne Clark of the Anne Clark Literary Agency

I've been having a great time setting up my new literary agency dedicated to children's and YA authors. I have been lucky enough to work in children’s books for twenty years: until recently as a commissioning editor at independent publisher Piccadilly Press and before that as a commissioning editor/editorial director at Hodder Children’s Books. I cut my editorial teeth in educational publishing, having started my career with a brief spell in marketing, following an English degree at Oxford.

 Three things I’d like in my Christmas stocking this year:

1. Warmth. It’s a quality that’s hard to pin down, but it can make a book exceptional. Frank Cottrell Boyce is a great example - his affection for his characters really glows through his writing.

2. Surprise. There’s something so enjoyable about a book which makes you gasp – I loved the jaw-dropping moment in one of the current Costa shortlist titles.

This year's Costa Children's Shortlist

3.  Food for thought. I want a book to expand my mind, make me see things a bit differently – life from another perspective, or an irresistible ‘What if?’

Composite image by Candy Gourlay


  1. Great list of wants, Anne: there's always room for more warmth!


  2. I agree about surprise too - we're surrounded by so many stories nowadays that it gets harder and harder to pull the carpet out from underneath the reader. But if you can do it and play fair to your story at the same time, then the reader will follow you anywhere after that.

    1. So true about fair play ... Every surprise and cliff hanger must deliver satisfaction in equal measure ... no random acts of god to get your characters of a scrape!

    2. What! You mean 'one bound and he was free' is a no no!!!! Back to the drawing board on that ending then.

  3. I'll go in to bat for food-for-thought, then. All three make for a very satisfying read, but perhaps the grey matter stimulus can last the longest if we get it right. Great list, Anne. Isn't this just a brilliant series of posts? A real treat.

    1. I so agree! There is a cohesion to their thoughts and yet every agent and editor came up with theirs independently.

  4. Another great post by another lovely person in publishing. Thanks everyone at Notes from the Slushpile for creating a brilliant advent calendar.


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