Name: Chloe Seager
Agency: Madeleine Milburn Agency
Genres represented: Children’s and YA

Authors you represent and recent deals:

I represent everything in children’s and YA from fun, fantasy younger middle-grade like Beatrix the Bold by Simon Mockler, to literary, historical older middle-grade like Anna Fargher’s The Umbrella Mouse, to contemporary YA like Emily Critchley’s Notes on my Family. I also do some non-fiction, for instance in YA Laura Coryton’s Speak Up! or in children’s How To Be An Astronaut by Sheila Kanani. Recent deals have included the YA sci-fi trilogy The Loop by debut author Benjamin Oliver, which will be published by Chicken House in 2020. I’ve done a three-book deal for a funny, younger middle-grade series with Hodder (to be announced) and a two-book deal for a beautiful contemporary middle-grade writer, interested in unconventional families, with Usborne (to be announced). I am also interested in YA crossover and recently sold a fantasy retelling of a classic to Harper Voyager (to be announced).

What’s on your wishlist #MSWL?
I find it difficult to answer this, because sometimes you don't connect with something that’s exactly what you’re looking for on paper and sometimes you fall head over heels with something unexpected. But at the moment I’d particularly love to find a YA romance with a good hook or a gothic, spooky middle-grade. I’m always looking for funny books – genuinely funny writers are hard to find! I’m a big fan of contemporary, but I’m also a fan of fantasy and sci-fi (usually gentle, with a strong hook). I know this is quite general, but I’m interested in anything with an original hook! Agents have to pitch books to editors who have heard it all, and I love it when authors have clearly thought about what their book’s doing differently to what’s already out there.

What is your working style with clients (eg how editorial are you)?
I’m very hands on – it’s unusual that I wouldn’t go through at least two rounds of edits before submission, and often it’s more. In fiction, I only take on authors whose writing I love and who I want to help build a long, successful career. So I don’t want to take on too many authors, but I want to work closely with the ones I do!

Do you choose books with head or heart? 
My heart mainly, although my head does have a say. For instance, if I fell in love with a book that had the exact same premise as another recently published success, I would know that I couldn’t sell it! But generally I go with my heart/gut and I have managed to sell things in genres (e.g. dystopia) that everyone said ‘weren’t working’ at the time, because publishers have fallen in love with it too.

Which book or character has stayed with you since childhood? 
Obviously classics like Alice and Narnia will stay with me (and most people!) forever. Mildred Hubble, Harry Potter and Georgia Nicolson were like best friends to me during my childhood and teen years. Then there are those one off books that stay with you like The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson which I related to as a child with divorced parents, or The Tulip Touch which portrayed complicated friendships and secret, darker sides of people in a way that spoke to me at that age.

Which house would the sorting hat put you in? 
Slytherin, forever and always! (Please don’t let it put you off submitting to me if you’re a Gryffindor, I’m sure we can get past it.)

How to submit to you: 
Submission guidelines are here.

Submission tips: 
Please write an informative but concise cover letter (we have to read so many!) Always include spoilers in your synopsis (the pitch is where you hook us but in the synopsis we want to know everything!) And please let us know where you see your book sitting in the market, but also why it’s different. We always want to know a bit about the author, too, and why they’re writing the book.

Website: Twitter: @ChloeSeager

Image of Chloe courtesy of Chloe Seager.

Kate Walker is a feature writer for Words & Pictures. She mainly writes MG fantasy as well as dabbling in picture books whenever a character grabs her imagination. Kate lives in Kent with her two children who are addicted to stories just as much as she is. Twitter: @KatakusM

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