Netflix lands rights to Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes
We’re thrilled to announce that Netflix has acquired the rights to THE CASE OF THE MISSING MARQUESS by Nancy Springer, which is the first book in Springer’s six-part series. Legendary Entertainment’s forthcoming film, titled ENOLA HOLMES, tells the story of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes’s younger sister Enola, and the mysteries which she investigates.
From FLEABAG director Sam Bradbeer, the film will be led by Millie Bobbie Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Fiona Shaw and Helena Bonham Carter.
The novels have been published to critical acclaim. Kirkus awarded its starred review, saying that Springer introduces us to ‘an innocent but capable young sleuth’ with ‘gleeful panache’.
The film’s release date is to be confirmed.
Laura Shepherd-Robinson longlisted for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year
We are thrilled to announce that BLOOD & SUGAR by Laura Shepherd-Robinson has been longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2020!
Alongside representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith and The Express, the longlist was selected by a panel of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee.
Simon Theakston, director of T& R Theakston said, ‘From the familiar faces to the new voices, we are immensely proud of this year's longlist and raise a virtual glass of Old Peculier to all the authors, and what will be another fierce contest for this much-wanted award.’
Laura Shepherd Robinson’s BLOOD & SUGAR is ‘a page-turner of a crime thriller’, according to CJ Sansom, and opens with a mysterious murder on the Deptford Docks in 1781. The debut was a Waterstones’ Thriller of the Month and a Guardian Book of the Year. It was shortlisted for two Crime Writers’ Association Awards, longlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award, and won the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown.
The public will now be invited to vote for their shortlist, which will be announced on 8th June. This will be followed by a virtual awards ceremony on 31st July.
Carol Heaton has been involved with the agency continually since 1968, which was then Elaine Greene Ltd. From 1971 to 1976 she handled translation rights for the agency. When founder Elaine Greene died in 1995, Carol took over the representation of most of Elaine’s clients. The clients Carol now represent include Michael Frayn, the Estate of P.D. James, Jackie Wullschläger and Helen Craig. Carol gained her experience in publishing while working at Penguin as their Rights Director for twelve years from 1976 to 1988, where the sale of American rights was her speciality. During this period she was a consultant to Elaine Greene Ltd, which became Greene & Heaton Ltd in 1993. When she began working full-time at the agency in 1988, she started developing a list of writers working in areas of interest to her: biography, history, current affairs, travel, gardening, health – and, of course, fiction.
We asked Carol about her longstanding career as literary agent, the agency’s history, as well as her recommended reading.
When did you start at Greene & Heaton? Tell us a bit about the agency before you joined.
I started at G&H – then Elaine Greene Ltd – in March 1968, the month I decided to get married. I remember phoning Elaine to tell her and ask was this okay with her. She – always a bit ahead of her time – said of course, as long as I intended to continue working.
At that point there was only Elaine and me; she and I were on the top floor of shared premises in a wonderfully Dickensian building in Great Russell Street opposite the museum; we also shared an accountant and a foreign rights agent with Peter Janson Smith who had sponsored Elaine when she started.
How was it different from now?
Fifty years is a very long time and we’ve inevitably seen a lot of changes. We’ve grown a great deal from Elaine being a sole agent to now when we have several agents, including a full-time foreign rights agent. Things were unimaginably different. Back then paper was king: loads of physical manuscripts coming in all the time; letters and memos were the main means of communication. We used to send an envelope of memos each week to our American co-agents to save on postage. Submissions on behalf of American agents we represented were made with physical, finished books. In an emergency we would “borrow” other people’s telex machines in the seventies. In the late eighties we invested in a fax machine – a huge step forward. At that time too, in the late 80s, I got my first desktop computer and very gradually we moved our accounts to a computerised system against great resistance from our then bookkeeper. For many years I was paid in cash each week in a nasty brown envelope with holes in. Authors were paid by cheque.
Elaine loved the telephone and used it a lot whereas nowadays we don’t use it nearly so much. Offices are quieter now whereas back then the phones were ringing all day long and there was a great clatter of manual typewriters.
What was Elaine like?
Oh she was wonderful and I loved her dearly. She was American and very proud of having worked at the renowned American imprint, Knopf, before she came to the UK. She was a lively, fun-loving person, fiercely intelligent, left-leaning (she was an investor in Ink, the radical magazine founded by Ed Victor and others in the early seventies) and a great reader. She loved crime writing so representing PD James was natural for her. Ahead of her time, she wore trousers to work and used to call restaurants beforehand to make sure it was alright for her to wear them to a lunch meeting – imagine a time when it was not ok for women to wear trousers outside the home!
What did you do prior to being an agent? Why did you decide to be an agent?
I was very young when I started as Elaine’s assistant and I had little office experience – indeed experience of any kind: short term jobs here and there including a 6-month stint in the export sales department of OUP, and a summer working with a holiday company in Italy which was fun!
I never really made a formal decision to be an agent. I grew up in a house full of books so reading was intrinsic to me from an early age. My father was a writer and his publisher, Faber & Faber, introduced me to Elaine who was looking for a new assistant; I was always clear I wanted to work with books and writers.
How did your background in translation rights help you in your career?
Immeasurably: going to the Frankfurt Book Fair, getting to know and making friends in the international world of publishing and books, developing negotiation skills, learning how to pitch, when and what to pitch and not, I could go on. Back then Frankfurt was when big books were discovered and sold around the world; London hardly existed as a Fair whereas now it’s a key moment in the annual publishing calendar. Two books stick in my mind as being the ones I had most fun with in translation: Supership by Noel Mostert about supertankers, and Jaws by Peter Benchley.
How did you feel when you did your first big deal?
Thrilled and excited! And a teeny bit nervous: would it ever happen again? (it did!)
What is one of the highlights of your career?
My first trip to New York City was one of the most exciting moments of my career.
What is the most satisfying part of being an agent?
I think this must be discovering a new writer, identifying their talents, finding them a good home, seeing them develop and then take off. And the other side of this coin: nurturing an established talent, making sure they are getting the best possible exposure to the market and are completely happy with their publisher. And all things in between. Nurture talent is our watch word; being there to support our clients must be our primary purpose in life.
Antony and Judith have grown up at the agency with your mentorship, how has it been to watch their career progression?
They have been the most wonderful colleagues throughout our long years together; watching them develop their careers has been hugely exciting and satisfying for me. Mentorship is key in our industry. Elaine mentored me in so many ways and her values continue through me, and on through Antony and Judith, to our younger colleagues today.
How do you think the agency has changed over time? What are your hopes for the future of the agency?
Inevitably we have moved with the times. Our lists have expanded exponentially and we have taken the agency into new areas of media which we would not have dreamed of back in the 60s.
I hope the agency will continue to expand in this way, developing new agents, taking on new clients, moving into new areas of the media that open up, while maintaining our core devotion to books and their writers. And using new technology as it develops: we’ve learned such a lot in recent weeks about video-conferencing. I can’t imagine how Elaine would react to such an idea!
What are you reading at the moment, and what are your recommendations for lockdown reading?
Now that Antony and Judith are running the business, while I continue to handle my own clients, I have more time to read for pleasure, though I still read a lot of our own new books and submissions. I am enjoying keeping up with things, new and old. My lockdown reading has been eclectic: among others, and avidly reading the daily papers: Jenny Offill’s WEATHER, shortlisted for the Women’s Prize, Bernadine Evaristo’s Booker Prize Winning GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER, John Le Carré’s latest, AGENT RUNNING IN THE FIELD, and now Hilary Mantel’s latest masterpiece THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT and Anne Enright’s ACTRESS. And I have a long reading list and am binge watching CALL MY AGENT, and NORMAL PEOPLE!
Jenny Offill's novel WEATHER is "A gorgeous, funny, deadly serious and warmly revelatory mesh of perfect paragraphs", and has been shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction! The aim of the prize is "always to celebrate women’s creative achievements and international writing, whilst also stimulating debate about gender and writing, gender and reading, and how the publishing and reviewing business works."
On the 21st April 2020, the longlist of sixteen novels was narrowed down to six shortlisted novels, including Offill's "miracle of a novel".
The winner of the prize will be announced on the 9th September 2020, and they will receive £30,000, and a limited edition bronze figurine called the ‘Bessie’.
Our submission guidelines can be found here.
I joined the agency in 1995, having spent several years as a fiction buyer for one of the major chain bookstores. Originally from Stockport in the northwest, I studied English at St Anne’s College, Oxford. My interests span the full breadth of the agency’s activities, from literary representation to TV to brand consultation. I represent historical thriller writers, contemporary and historical literary novelists, upmarket genre and bookclub fiction, science writers, food writers, historians, nature writers, music journalists, memoirists, and cultural critics.
Find out more on Antony's Agent Page.
I joined Greene & Heaton in 2015 and am actively building a list of fiction and non-fiction clients. In non-fiction I am looking for writing on current affairs, language, lifestyle and popular science as well as memoir. I am also looking for literary and upmarket commercial fiction.
Find out more on Holly's Agent Page.
I joined Greene & Heaton in 2018, having studied English and Gender Studies. As well as handling the agency’s contracts, I’m actively building a list of fiction and non-fiction authors.
In non-fiction, I’m looking for proposals about food, nature, the environment, politics, history, identity, usually with a strong narrative or personal element, from academics and journalists who are writing their specialist subject for trade publication.
In fiction, I’m looking for book club, accessible literary fiction, historical fiction, and crime and thriller. Most of all, I’m interested in a strong voice or a vivid main character that catches your attention from the very first page. I love books that spark conversations, are totally immersive, socially or politically engaged, or offer a fresh take on a genre. I’m always drawn to queer stories, set now and in the past, so please do send them my way.
Find out more on Imogen's Agent Page.
I joined the agency in 1995. Before that I was a talent scout for translation publishers and worked as an editor for various publishers. I studied English literature at Wadham College, Oxford. I love literary fiction and well-written genre fiction, including thrillers, crime, historical novels, gothic, clever horror (not too gory) science-fiction, fantasy, romantasy, rom-coms and epic love stories; and literary non-fiction including history, biography and memoir.
Find out more on Judith’s Agent Page.
I joined Greene & Heaton in 2013 to handle the agency’s translation rights. I began working in publishing at The Robbins Office, Inc. in New York before moving to London in 2009 and continuing to work in translation rights at AM Heath, Ltd. and Mulcahy Conway Associates.
I work closely with sub-agents in some territories and directly with publishers in Brazil, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia, and Spain in order to sell the agency’s authors’ works into as many languages as possible, and help their writing careers extend beyond the UK and the English language.
I’m also keen to find aspiring writers, and am interested in stories that explore our recent history or show us something about our world, whether through fiction or research and reportage. I’m always on the lookout for fantastically funny and compulsive commercial women’s fiction from rom-coms to romance to feel-good to novels that sweep you off your feet and everything in between.
Find out more on Kate's Agent Page.
I started at Greene & Heaton as an agent in 2018, having worked at PFD from 2011 after studying Classics at Oxford. I have a broad list across different genres of fiction, alongside a smaller non-fiction and children’s book list, and I’m always looking for new and exciting projects.
Find out more on Laura's Agent Page.
Dorian Lynskey’s THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH (Picador) has been longlisted for The Orwell Prize for Political Writing. Examining the cultural influence of George Orwell’s final novel NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH is joined by eleven other works of non-fiction in the category.
The prize for political writing, which is awarded by The Orwell Foundation, aims to ‘celebrate honest writing and reporting, uncover hidden lives and confront uncomfortable truths’. Winning entries will strive to meet Orwell’s own ambition to ‘make political writing into an art’.
THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH was reviewed as ‘engrossing [and] enlightening’ by The Sunday Times and ‘wide-ranging and sharply written’ by The New York Times Book Review. It was also longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2019.
The Orwell Prize shortlist will be announced in Mid-May and the winner on 25th June.
We are thrilled to support Leon Restaurants in their initiative to raise £1m to help feed NHS workers with one hot, healthy meal each day. The campaign was launched on Friday 27th March, spearheaded by actors Damian Lewis, Matt Lucas and Helen McCrory.
FeedNHS will be starting in the hardest hit hospitals in London, before branching out to help workers on the front line nationwide. The initiative, backed by chain restaurants Wasabi, Pizza Pilgrims and Dishoom, will aim to serve 6,000 meals a day.
Any writer seeking publication who would like to join us in supporting NHS workers can send confirmation of their donation to FeedNHS, no matter how big or small, and we will randomly select 20 winners to receive one-on-one feedback with an agent by phone or video call. Along with the screenshot of your confirmation, please send a covering letter, synopsis and the first three chapters of your work ready for feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 14th April.
More information on how to donate to this fantastic cause can be found here.
Until further notice, if you wish to contact the agency, please email email@example.com for general enquiries. Our submissions are open as usual – even more than usual – so please do send to firstname.lastname@example.org, as per our agency guidelines.
Jenny Offill longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction
Jenny Offill's "dazzling state-of-the-nation novel" Weather has been longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020. The award celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing, and the winner is awarded a limited edition bronze statuette known as the ‘Bessie’, and a cheque for £30,000.
The longlist of 16 novels will be whittled down to a shortlist of 6 novels to be announced on April 22nd. The 25th winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced on Wednesday 3rd June.
Lookout Point options Joseph Knox's Aidan Waits series
London-based independent production company Lookout Point has secured rights in Joseph Knox’s Aidan Waits series, beating ten other studios.
Comprised of SIRENS (2017), THE SMILING MAN (2018), and THE SLEEPWALKER (2019), the series follows the story of Mancunian detective Aidan Waits.
Hailed by Lee Child as ‘razor-sharp noir’, the bestselling series has been published by Doubleday in the UK and Crown in the US to widespread critical acclaim. The Times said Knox’s novels hold ‘the promise of a classic series’, while Val McDermid called Knox ‘the real deal’.
Lookout Point’s recent credits include Sally Wainwright’s GENTLEMAN JACK and Andrew Davies’s LES MISÉRABLES and WAR AND PEACE.
Temi Oh wins the American Library Association’s Alex Award
Temi Oh has won the American Library Association's Alex Awards in the young adult division for her novel Do You Dream Of Terra-Two? - "A strong, haunting, character-driven story."
The Alex Awards recognise ten books published for the adult market with special appeal to teens.
S. G. MacLean wins the CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger
S.G. MacLean won the Crime Writers' Association Sapere Books Historical Dagger for her novel Destroying Angel - "a suspenseful, atmospheric addition to one of the best historical crime series around".
The Sapere Books Historical Dagger is for the best historical crime novel, mainly set in any period up to 50 years prior to 2019.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in new BBC One series EASY WAYS TO LIVE WELL
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall teams up with BBC Breakfast presenter, Steph McGovern, in new BBC One series Easy Ways to Live Well.
Equipped with expert health advice, Hugh and Steph speak to families and communities to find easy ways to improve our diet, fitness and mental wellbeing. Over three episodes, the pair take on snacking, screen-time and stress in the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
The first episode airs on BBC One on Wednesday 22nd January at 8pm, and will be available on iPlayer.
Laura Shepherd-Robinson has won the Historical Writers' Awards Debut Crown for her novel Blood & Sugar - "a tightly-plotted and frightening crime story".
The Historical Writers’ Association, whose membership is made up of ‘authors, publishers and agents of historical writing, both fiction and non-fiction’, run the annual awards.
The HWA Debut Crown is awarded to the best historical novel by a first-time fiction author published in the UK.