Milly Reilly

An avid reader, I like dividing my time between reading and discussing books. I recently graduated from King’s College London, where I spent a year studying for a Master’s in Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory. Prior to that, I completed a degree in English Literature at the University of York. I was introduced to the professional world by way of First Story, a charity that sets up creative-writing programmes in schools serving low-income communities. I worked there for just over a year as a Fundraising and Marketing Assistant before starting as Jo’s assistant. When I’m not reading, I enjoy watching stand-up comedy or sad films: it depends on my mood. At other times I like to draw pictures, make pots and paint glasses.

 

Jo Unwin

Jo Unwin

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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.  I never like to define what I’m looking for, as you just don’t know what’s round the corner. Suffice to say I don’t represent poetry or screenplays (unless written by my established clients). 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.

@jounwin

 

Photo: Jonathan Ring