Rachel Mann

Photo credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

I grew up in Milton Keynes, so really had no option but to escape into reading. I’ve been a teacher, bookseller, theatre usher, charity director and fish-and-chip server (not in that order) but finding and shaping stories is where I’ve settled and what I love.

I spent nine years commissioning and editing books for young people at a few of the major houses, and was most recently global publishing director for the Roald Dahl Story Company. I’m now actively growing a list of writers in fiction and non-fiction, with a particular focus on children’s and YA.

I have a tendency towards the darkly funny – Shirley Jackson, Carmen Maria Machado and Angela Carter are great examples of the kind of adult writing I love. Tove Jansson, Benjamin Zephaniah and David Almond are just some of my heroes in children’s.

In all cases I want compelling voices, unpatronizing writing and complex characters. International settings and traditions, unconventional narratives and social commentary will always get my attention, and I’m particularly interested in writers from underrepresented backgrounds.

At the moment, I’m very much on the look-out for funny chapter books and commercial yet progressive middle-grade. I’m also looking for bold and emotionally engaging non-fiction across both adults’ and children’s.

Please note that I don’t currently represent picture books.