Rachel Mann

Photo credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

I’ve been a secondary-school English teacher, bookseller, theatre usher 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 quickly realised that I’m much more interested in helping people tell new stories, so am 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, Ottessa Moshfegh and Angela Carter are great examples of the kind of adult writing I love. Tove Jansson, Benjamin Zephaniah, David Almond and Jason Reynolds are just some of my heroes in children’s.

In all cases I want compelling voices, unpatronizing writing and vivid, 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, especially if those stories are genre fiction, lifestyle or comic non-fiction, for both adults and children.

At the moment, I’m particularly on the look-out for funny, commercial chapter books and middle-grade series. I’d love to see strong concepts and rich worldbuilding, often with both humour and darkness.

I’m also looking for bold, voice-driven and emotionally engaging non-fiction across both adults’ and children’s.

Please note that I don’t currently represent picture books, except for existing clients.