Agent Confidential: Penny Holroyde

Name:   Penny Holroyde 

AKA:    Agent Pearl 

Agency:  Holroyde Cartey 

Agents: Penny Holroyde and Claire Cartey 

Genres represented: All kinds of children’s books from cradle to crossover – fiction and non-fiction – authors and illustrators.

Authors represented: Holroyde Cartey represents just under 40 clients from the established to the debut. See Holroyde Cartey for our full roster. We’re a young agency having launched only last year and we’re keenly building our list. 

Recent deals: Like most good agents, we’re doing deals all the time but in the last couple of months, most notably, a studio film deal (though these are rare!) a two-book picture book deal with a celebrity author, illustrations for a novella by a household name and an auction for a debut author/illustrator. 

Wish list: We’re really good at author/illustrator so we always want to see submissions from people who can draw and write equally well. Picture books (though we’re quite well served by our current clients in this area so they need to be really good!) middle-grade fiction that has universal appeal (i.e. avoid school settings that don’t tend to travel as well), and sophisticated YA. I’d love some historical fiction but it is notoriously difficult. 

Your favourite books: This is a bit of a mad question to ask a reader but here is a list of books that I often recommend to aspiring authors as paragons of the market they target: 
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate di Camillo – (middle grade).
No Matter What by Debi Gliori – obviously not everyone can paint like Debi but everyone should own a copy of this book and study it closely for its utter brilliance in narrative arc.
Rover by Michael Rosen and Neal Layton – child focus with message.
I’m currently reading Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, an author I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read before. About a young slave girl in revolutionary America, she shows how to do historical and make it work. 

Agent style:  I’m a consigliera. My role is to conduct my clients’ professional affairs and help them navigate the idiosyncratic world of publishing. My style adapts to the client’s particular needs and you learn who prefers the phone, who prefers email, who likes to be left to get on with it, who doesn’t, and you also learn who worries about what so you can pre-empt those worries and hopefully assuage them! 

How to submit: 

Submission tips: From authors we would like to see a covering letter in your email, and a synopsis and the whole manuscript attached as separate documents. Word is our preferred format 


Twitter: @pennyholroyde

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