AKA: B. (I like to keep things simple)
Agency: Diamond Kahn & Woods (DKW)
Genres Represented: Children’s books from 7+ to YA, all genres (although my taste veers towards the more literary) and commercial and literary fiction for adults.
Authors Represented: Nicole Burstein, Virginia Macgregor, S. E. Lister, A. E. Rawson, G. L. Morgan and Ishbelle Bee.
Recent deals: Nicole Burstein’s debut novel OTHERGIRL, plus a second book, to Andersen Press. WHAT MILO SAW by Virginia Macgregor, and a second novel, to Little, Brown. S. E. Lister’s literary debut HIDEOUS CREATURES to Old Street. And another very recent deal which I’ll be able to announce soon!
Wish list: I’m always looking for manuscripts that are quite dark and literary, and at the moment I’m particularly hungry for a good ghost story for older readers. I’ve always had a soft spot for fantasy and time-travel stories, and at the younger end of my list I’m keen to find some wild adventure stories, and stories that focus on friendship. But it’s difficult to define exactly what it is that I’m looking for, as I often won’t know it until I see it. The best submissions are usually ones that take me by surprise.
Favourite books: Always a tough question – I have so many favourites! But to give you a general idea, my favourite YA novels include How I Live Now (Meg Rosoff), Tender Morsels (Margo Lanagan), and I just read and fell completely in love with Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein). I also love classics such as Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein and The Woman in White. I adore fairytales, particularly those of Oscar Wilde and Hans Christian Andersen. And so many adventure stories have a place in my heart – The Hobbit, Journey to the River Sea and the Narnia books to name just a few.
Agent style: It very much depends on the client and what they need from me. I’m always prepared to be very hands-on editorially, and I will always focus on the client’s long-term career goals. One of the beauties of running a boutique agency with a small and focused list is that I get to enjoy a very close working relationship with all of my authors.
How to Submit: Three chapters and a synopsis to email@example.com. Full guidelines can be found here: http://dkwlitagency.co.uk/submissions/
Submission tips: Always persevere. Not everyone has the same taste in books, so keep trying until you’ve found an agent who will really champion your work in the way that it deserves. Be professional in your approach. Read the submission guidelines, and proof read your submission several times over (and then get someone else to proof read it too!) Do your research. Know an agent’s taste before you approach them, look at their client list and the deals they’ve done in order to know that they are the right agent for you. Keep writing. Finding an agent can be a long process, and the wait can be the perfect time to experiment with other projects, other ideas and writing styles. And then, if your first manuscript isn’t successful, write another book – a better one. Take the time to think about any feedback you received on that first book and use it constructively. And lastly, have faith in your work. If you believe in it, chances are that someone else will too.
Events: I’ll be at the SCBWI Retreat in May – and I’m really looking forward to it!
Read Nicola Morgan: How to find a good agent
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Tania Tay is an ex-advertising copywriter and has been published in Sable LitMag. She is currently writing a YA romantic thriller, and is on the editorial team at Words & Pictures.