Children's & YA Submissions
Our requirements are slightly different depending on whether you are submitting fiction or non-fiction so please be careful to read the guidelines and make sure you are using the correct form to submit.
The ideal pitch won't be too long, preferably not much longer than a side of A4. It will start with an elevator pitch - a line or two that covers exactly what your book is about - and then have a slightly longer pitch, possibly along the lines of what the blurb for the book might look like to really whet our appetite. We don't want the synopsis here, that comes later, we want to be engaged and excited to read more.
Do include a little biographical information, we are interested in who you are insofar as it relates to the book and helping us understand the narrative of where it comes from. If the book is funny it helps for us to know if you're a stand-up comedian, if it's crime we definitely want to know if you're a pathologist, if it's a love story then tell us what inspired it. We don't need to know your life history, just what will help us understand where you and the book intersect.
We are also are interested in why you'd like to be represented by us, if there is a particular reason. We don't want it to be sycophantic, but if there's a particular reason you feel like we would be an especially good fit for you, or if there's a book we've represented or worked on that you admire or connect with, then we would like to know about that. Though if it's simply that you'd like an agent and you come from a group under-represented in publishing then that's completely fine.
Finally we want you to include some comparative titles - books that you think people who would read your book have also read and would see similarities between your book and those books.
We can't provide a length guideline because it does depend quite a bit on how long your book is and how complex it is. We want you to include everything that's important to the plot whilst keeping it as succinct as possible. It has to contain spoilers, including any twists and we have to know what happens at the end. And whilst it doesn't need to be as well written as your book is, it is still your writing and we do still expect it to be engaging.
If you are struggling to keep it succinct or put it together in a way that works this could be a sign that you haven't quite got the structure of your book right and may need to look at how you can rework it so that the narrative shines through clearly. Likewise if any of the characters seem unclear in the synopsis you might want to look at how you can clarify them.
These absolutely have to be from the beginning of the book. It's where readers start and it's also where they'll end if it doesn't get them engaged.
Unlike with Fiction submissions where we need a book to be finished before we submit it to publishers, Non-Fiction is almost always submitted with a proposal and a sample of the writing, so this is what we need to see from you too.
Whilst we will work with you on polishing your proposal prior to submissions to publishers, it still needs to be clearly structured and well thought out before you send it to us.
You can vary from them if you think something different would suit your idea but you should be absolutely sure that the core information we need is included.
Elevator pitch - this can be the blurb that you wrote above or it can be a single sentence but it should nail as briefly and compellingly as possible what the idea for your book is so we get it and are excited by it instantly.
Slightly longer pitch - this should be up to a page (though it can be shorter) giving a broader overview of the book and the idea.
Your biography - Explain why you are well placed to write on this subject, why you have expertise in this area and why a young person or their parent / carer should choose this book over a competitor’s. Talk about why the time is right for a book on this subject and identify what makes your take on the subject stand out.
The Outline - this needs to be as thorough as you can possibly make it. Ideally you would be able to break it down by chapter, but if you don't want to stick to a rigid chapter structure you can do without and just take us steadily through the narrative / flow / progression of your book. It's incredibly important that we get a really clear vision of how it works as a book progressing from the beginning to middle to end.
Unless you have a really good reason this should be from the beginning and should ideally include a few chapters. We want to get a really clear idea of what your writing is like as well as being able to see that you can take us through the narrative or ideas engagingly and keep us reading.