Not one but two JULA authors have been shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers’ Awards 2019. A huge congratulations to Candice Carty-Williams, who has been shortlisted for the Breakthrough Author Award for her debut novel Queenie, and to Kit de Waal whose first YA novel, Becoming Dinah, is on the Young Adult Award shortlist. Time to get voting!
Ayoade on Top – Richard’s ‘funniest creation yet’ (Jesse Eisenberg) – is out now. Listen to Richard talk about the book on Saturday Live
and then get yourself a copy!
Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce has been shortlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association’s Debut Crown Award 2019. Congratulations AJ!
Five incredible books by JULA authors have been published in the last seven days. Nadia Shireen’s Billy and the Dragon, The Sound of the Hours by Karen Campbell, Emma Smith-Barton’s debut The Million Pieces of Neena Gill, Kit de Waal’s The Trick to Time in paperback AND her debut YA novel Becoming Dinah!
The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan and Brian Bilston’s Diary of a Somebody have been named as ‘books you have to read for June‘ by the Reader’s digest. Both books are published this week.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams has been named by the Guardian as one of the best books of 2019 so far – this of course is no surprise to us. See the article here.
Jo Unwin has been shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year 2019. The winner will be revealed tonight at the British Books Awards. We are all so proud of you Jo!
The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2019 has been awarded to our very own Nina Stibbe for her brilliant, warm and hilarious novel Reasons to Be Cheerful. We are so pleased – well done Nina! Read more here.
Congratulations to Emma Smith-Barton’s whose debut novel The Million Pieces of Neena Gill has been chosen as The Bookseller’s One to Watch for July! UK publication is 11th July.
Queenie has been published in the UK and is having the incredible reception it deserves! Read the Guardian review here.
The explosive finale to the best-selling INK trilogy is out today!
Reasons to Be Cheerful had its UK publication on 28th March. Read the Guardian’s review here.
Read the Guardian’s review of We Must Be Brave here
Lucy’s brilliant book is one of Stylist Magazine’s best books of February
Take a look at the gorgeous French edition of Paradise Lodge
Stylist Books vote A Manual for Heartache a summer read
We are delighted that Kit de Waal’s My Name is Leon is one of five novels shortlisted for the Kerry Group Novel of the Year Award 2017. A brilliant achievement!
Read more here.
For the past two years I’ve been working with Jo, assisting on her list of authors, and I’m now building my own list of fiction and non-fiction writers. When it comes to novels, for me it is all about people. I love character-driven stories that delve deep into internal lives and the ways that people reveal themselves in friendships, families, and romantic relationships. I’m drawn to writing that deals with darkness and complexity but is not without hope; writing that’s playful and poetic with characters that stay with me long after I finish reading. Some authors I love are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, Colm Tóibín, Arundhati Roy, Ross Raisin, Helen Oyeyemi and Meena Kandasamy. I’m not looking for sci-fi or crime.
On the non-fiction side, I’m open to a very broad range: memoir and narrative non-fiction, books on psychology, human behaviour, illness and medicine, and political non-fiction that looks at gender, sexuality or race. Examples of non-fiction books I admire are Simon Baron-Cohen’s Zero Degrees of Empathy, Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Juno Mac and Molly Smith’s Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights, and Sigrid Rausing’s memoir Mayhem.
“On the novel front, anything by P.G. Wodehouse never fails, but this year, Love Nina: A Nanny Writes Home worked just the same magic.”
Read more here.
We are entranced by the Japanese cover for The Apple Tart of Hope! Behold…
‘A beautifully perceptive debut’ Psychologies Magazine
And these glorious golden things are just the PROOFS!!!
You’ve got to love a sunlounger
It’s so exciting when you start to see a series building, and when the second book is even better than the first you know you’re on to a winner.
A Girl called Love and In the Name of Love by Louise Lee so funny, pacy and delicious. Headline publish in early 2017
The fourth in the Wilf the Mighty Worrier series by Georgia Pritchett might be my favourite so far. I have never loved a baby as much as I love stinky Dot – even my own. Superb illustrations by Jamie Littler
As a child my head was always in a book, but as a teenager I wanted to be an actress, and at university I started to write things for myself to perform. Gradually I found myself straddling two careers: I was acting a bit, and writing a bit. I wrote for TV (Byker Grove, My Parents are Aliens) and acted in theatre, commercials (remember ‘We Want to be Together‘ ?) and TV (mostly comedy: Fry and Laurie, Lee and Herring, a series of Casualty).
But then one day I had the blinding insight that what I really loved was talking about, and being around, books. So I became a scout for Aardman Features, looking to option books that could form the basis of animated feature films, and I went to work at a bookshop. The wonderful woman who ran it suggested I’d make a good agent, and I was lucky enough to meet legendary agent Patrick Walsh soon after the idea had started to take root.
I joined Conville and Walsh Literary Agency in 2008 and took to being a Literary Agent like a duck to water. I was in a shortlist of three for the Bookseller Industry Awards Literary Agent of the Year in 2010, and was picked out as one of the Bookseller’s Rising Stars in 2011.
I’ve now set up JULA Ltd, based at Somerset House, and was shortlisted again as Literary Agent of the Year in 2019.
I represent authors of literary fiction, commercial women’s fiction, Young Adult fiction and fiction for children aged 9+ but not younger (picture books again only if written by established clients). I also represent comic writing and narrative non-fiction. Suffice to say I don’t represent poetry or screenplays (unless written by my established clients).
I’m interested in books that make me consider the world around me in a different way and challenge my received ideas. I like voices that are compelling and unique. I’m drawn to novels that bring out the intimate or domestic in a way that’s entirely personal to the characters but also resonates on a wider human level. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, it’s the personal that I love: I always want to get to know people and to hear their stories, and to feel I have come to understand them.
I know I’m reading something promising when I have a physical reaction – whether it’s my heart beating faster, my face breaking into a smile, or my throat thickening with a sob.
Photo: Jonathan Ring