Name: Lisa Babalis
Agency: Curtis Brown
Genres represented: Children’s (but mostly middle grade and a little YA)

Authors you represent and recent deals: 

I have some really wonderful clients, but as I have only really got going building a list in the last year, I don’t have any deals that I can talk about (still dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘t’s). I’m hoping to announce an exciting middle grade deal very soon! 

Wishlist #MSWL: 

I’m looking for complete absorption into a new world. Create a magical, vivid, funny world that I can dive headlong into and lose myself in, and I'm sold! I really want to find books with authentic diverse voices – I’d love to read something outside the Western middle class perspective. 

Working style: 

It depends on the client’s needs. I work as an editor in-house at Curtis Brown, so editing is a natural step for me. But some books don’t need much, and I don’t want to change things unless it will improve the book. I have clients who really thrive on editorial discussion and notes, and I find that process very creatively fulfilling. Basically I try to adapt to the way a client needs to work. 

Do you choose books with head or heart: 

Both. I want to love the book, but also be able to see it clearly. Head helps me pitch and edit, while heart makes me read on. 

Favourite books and characters: 

Matilda; Caspian and his Dawn Treader, and Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum from The Silver Chair; The Borrowers (I loved Spiller and Arriety); Anne of Green Gables; and I could go on forever. 

If you were a character in Philip Pullman's Dark Materials which daemon would you have and why? 

An Owl. I am quite fluffy and ruffled and cross looking, and I can always see every side to an argument. I am from Athens, and the Owl is the symbol of Athens. 


Submit: Email the first three chapters and a synopsis to 

Events: The Write Stuff panel at LBF. I’m also part of the team at Curtis Brown and Curtis Brown Creative who are running Curtis Brown 120, a fantastic and creative celebration of the 120 years that Curtis Brown has been in existence – check out our CBGBooks twitter and Instagram and longer form pieces at


Image of Lisa courtesy of Lisa Babalis.

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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