Ella Berthoud

I learnt to read on a journey from Tehran to Helsinki, when I was glued to books through avalanches, fields of cotton and across frozen seas. Since then, no-one’s ever caught me without a book in hand – and if not in hand, then being drip-fed through my headphones. Brilliant storytelling is what I love most in the world, and I’m looking for literary fiction that keeps me turning the pages unstoppably. Something of a literary omnivore, I love all genres from historical to children’s and young adult fiction (be it dystopian, speculative, or plain-old utopian).

I’m open to any submission with a strong narrative voice and a clear storytelling thread. Some of my all-time favourite writers are Tom Robbins, (Even Cowgirls get the Blues), Italo Calvino (Cosmicomics) and VS Naipaul (A House for Mr Biswas). In contemporary fiction, I love Ali Smith, Patrick Gale and Michel Faber. I’m looking for books that take me places I’ve never been before – whether it’s a love story set in World War I or a techno-crime thriller set in a teen’s bedroom in modern-day California – as long as it’s grabbing, brilliantly-written, and gets right inside my head.