Smart Quill Editorial About the Editor

Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency

Posted on February 27th, 2012

I just saw this tweeted, and thought it might make for an interesting post. Madeleine worked at the Darley Anderson Agency for many years and recently decided to strike out on her own. The announcement of her new agency was made in the Bookseller last week: (The Bookseller is great for industry news by the way.)

When writers are looking for an agent, they often go first to the big name agencies. And this makes sense if you have a  specific agent in mind for specific reasons (i.e. you know their list and have read it inside out). But do also consider independent agents. They are responsible only for their clients, which makes them flexible and dedicated. They are highly-skilled, and ambitious. And most importantly, they will be looking for wonderful new scripts to fill their books. Savvy knowledge of independent agents is a GOOD idea.

Still Quite a New Year

Posted on February 11th, 2012

I had a very lovely evening at the SCBWI Undiscovered Voices Anthology Launch Party last Thursday. The room was packed with agents, editors and the 2012 winners, some of whom had already secured representation and a book deal. Impressive!

It was also the perfect opportunity to follow up on my promise to find out What Children’s Book Editors Want… The response, unsurprisingly, was varied. One mentioned they were looking a writer like Eva Ibbotsen; beautiful, classic story-telling for 10+. Another said that Middle Grade (i.e. anything not YA and not a picture book) was in top demand. Yet another remarked that YA itself seemed to be moving away from the paranormal and dystopia towards edgy real themes: the mafia, true crime and thrillers were all cited. Interestingly these genres were once the preserve of commercial fiction… So the line between books for kids and adults is further obscured. It seems YA crossovers can do just about anything.

Is there a particular publisher you are interested in? Send me an email and I will update you on the Editors’ Wishlist 2012.