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Profile Summary

As of November 2016, Caroline is not accepting submissions. She keeps her page on the agency's website up-to-date so check back there for the most accurate information. Please observe the periods in which agents close themselves for submissions. 

After a successful stint at the Christopher Little agency, Caroline joined forces with her colleague, Joanna Swainson, to form a new agency in 2012. For an agency still in its infancy, Hardman and Swainson is surprisingly successful. The agency accepts both new and established writers over a wide range of fiction genres, as well as narrative non-fiction. 

Caroline is interested in manuscripts for both adult and young adult readers, but not children. While she enjoys literary fiction, it needs to accessible and broad in its appeal: commercial is her watchword. Genre fiction doesn't turn her off either. Stories that keep her guessing are what she is looking for, those that keep her glued to the page and desperate to know what happens in the end. 

In non-fiction, Caroline is eager to see investigative and questioning approaches to Mind, Body, and Spirit subjects. While she has a particular fondness for narrative non-fiction, she is also keen to see serious works in popular science. A self-confessed food lover, established and new food writers are welcome. 



Detailed data

Agency:
Hardman and Swainson
Agent since:
2004
Short biography:
Before founding Hardman & Swainson, I was an agent at the Christopher Little Literary Agency and The Marsh Agency, where I also specialized in translation rights. I have an excellent understanding of global trade publishing and have had the honour of selling rights on behalf of bestselling and prize-winning authors such as Kate Atkinson, Iain Banks, Bill Bryson, Linwood Barclay, Meg Cabot, Vikram Seth, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Jonathan Lethem. Before The Marsh Agency, I was a bookseller for Waterstones for a short time following university. I have a 1st class BA and an MA in English Literature from the University of Leeds.
Client list status:
List largely complete
Genres this agent is interested in:
Young adult fiction, Science, Politics, society & current affairs, Religion, Mind, Body, Spirit, Food and Cookery, Women's fiction, Historical fiction, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:
Nothing excites me more than discovering new talent. I'm interested in accessible literary fiction, from dark, moving and emotional novels to warm and cozy: great writing in all its guises, but nothing too rarefied. Recent examples of authors writing in this genre, aside from our own Rebecca Wait, include Kate Atkinson, Helen Simonson, Maggie O'Farrell and Matt Haig. I'm particularly on the lookout for literary and commercial crime and thrillers, especially psychological thrillers - anything that explores the dark recesses of the human condition. I recently read and loved Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach and Blacklands by Belinda Bauer. I'm also interested in quality commercial fiction, particularly the elusive book group novel and upmarket women's fiction in general, exemplified by our authors Dinah Jefferies and Liz Trenow (as well as Julia Gregson and Kate Morton). As I grew up reading Sweet Valley High, Judy Blume, and the Point Horror books (not to mention adult novels with crossover appeal), I enjoy YA and crossover fiction and would like to add more authors in that area to my list. Whether it's literary or genre fiction, I look for strong writing, original concepts and great characterization - all the things that keep you turning the page. I like to be challenged, surprised, moved to tears or on the edge of my seat by the novels I read. In non-fiction, I'm always looking for popular science, psychology, and philosophy, particularly when written by experts in their field, such as our author Daniel M. Davis, and psychologist Jonathan Haidt. I enjoy well-written narrative non-fiction in general, and I'd love to find some "big ideas" books or writers tackling familiar subjects in new and unique ways. As a health and yoga fanatic, I'm also interested in any books on food, health, the mind and the body, from an investigative rather than prescriptive approach. For example, I am not interested in diet books, but I would love to find writers of the calibre of Michael Pollen, Ben Goldacre and Joanna Blythman. And finally, I have a weakness for memoirs.
Other loves & passions:
A health and yoga fanatic. About her own business, Caroline says, "As a fan of books and reading, working in publishing is an ideal career for me, and I think all the people we get approaching us about jobs would agree. I was lucky enough to find my metier within that broader industry: agenting. Being able to see a book through to publication from the very early states is incredibly rewarding and I love the key elements of working as an agent: close editorial work with writers, and, of course, negotiating deals! There's nothing more satisfying than getting an author a publishing deal, and seeing that dream become a reality. I love receiving a batch of hot-off-the-press books. That satisfaction is topped when people read and buy that author's work. I wanted to do a job that I felt had some creative and intellectual value- to me and to other people. I'm not very practical (!) or visually artistic, but I have a deep respect for words and how powerful, meaningful, enlightening, or simply entertaining they can be in the right hands."
How to make a submission:
Agency standard submission - but note, site says Caroline is "not currently considering submissions." Check her website to ascertain the very latest submissions status. Link here: http://www.hardmanswainson.com/about_carolinehardman.html
Other advice and background:
My number one piece of advice is: READ. It seems from the submissions we get that, surprisingly, there are many people who want to write a book, who don't actually seem to read them. I think some people idealise being an author without really knowing the blood, sweat and tears writing entails. So, know the market you're writing for and appreciate what makes a great crime novel or piece of literary fiction. Then when it comes to the writing itself: EDIT. Never consider submitting a piece of work that hasn't been worked on many times, then put aside, re-read and re-worked. It's essential to cut out what doesn't need to be written or what isn't working. And keep in mind that most authors don't get published straight away. Most of them have toiled at their craft for years and been rejected by many agents and publishers before they get a deal (not always, but most of the time!).
Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Yes
Follow on Twitter:
@LittleHardman
Interesting links:
http://dowhatyouloveforlife.com/blog/2013/10/do-what-you-love-interview-caroline-hardman/
Clients:
Jenny Ashcroft, Jennifer Barclay, Tracy Buchanan, Ellie Campbell, Abby Clements, Daniel M. Davis, Miranda Emmerson, Miguel Farias, Rosie Fiore, Michele Gorman, Vanessa Greene, Alastair Gunn, Dinah Jefferies, Ishani Kar-Purkayastha, KR Moorhead, Ann Morgan, Anne H. Putnam, Martina Reilly, Miss South, Gareth Southwell, Liz Trenow, Rebecca Wait, Terry Westby-Nunn, Catherine Wikholm, Eleanor Wood, Lotte Worth
Full client list:
http://www.hardmanswainson.com/agents/caroline-hardman/
Email address:
caroline@hardmanswainson.com

Agents of: Hardman and Swainson

Agency details

Website:
http://www.hardmanswainson.com/
About the agency:
Founded in 2012, Hardman & Swainson is a dynamic London-based literary agency with a diverse range of clients. We pride ourselves on providing an excellent service to our authors, working closely with them at all stages of their careers. We have an international focus and make it a priority to sell our clients' work in as many territories as possible. The agency represents quality writing of all kinds and we welcome submissions and queries from new and established writers. Please see our submission guidelines for more details. We are a member of the Association of Authors' Agents
Address for submissions:
No data
Office address:
4 Kelmscott Road, London SW11 6QY
Email address:
submissions@hardmanswainson.com
Phone number:
+44 (0)20 7223 5176
Number of agents:
3
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
We welcome submissions and are actively seeking to represent both established and new talent. (However, please note that Caroline will not be looking at submissions until further notice.) We accept submissions of literary fiction, women's fiction, historical fiction, crime and thriller, horror, YA, middle grade, memoir, narrative non-fiction including popular science and history, other quality non-fiction. We are very selective in taking on new authors so don't be disappointed if your work isn't for us. Please don't send us poetry, plays / screenplays / scripts, or very young children's / picture books. We are interested in international fiction, but US authors may be better served by an agent in the US in the first instance unless there is a compelling reason to have a UK agent. FOR FICTION: Include a brief covering letter, the first three chapters or about 5,000 words, and a one page synopsis. FOR NON-FICTION: Include a covering letter outlining your book and why it has a place on the bookshelf, why you are qualified to write it, and a sample chapter. We want to see everything in one hit, so please include the sample material along with the query - either as an attachment or in the body of the email. Please direct your submission to ONE agent (more info here) and send by email to: submissions@hardmanswainson.com and not to our personal email addresses.
More info on this agency:
Founded in 2012 by Caroline Hardman and Joanna Swainson, Hardman & Swainson is a dynamic new London-based literary agency with a diverse range of clients. We pride ourselves on providing an excellent service to our authors, working closely with them at all stages of their careers. We have an international focus and make it a priority to sell our clients' work in as many territories as possible. The agency represents quality writing of all kinds and we welcome submissions and queries from new and established writers.
Average response time:
0 days
Agency Transparency Index:
76/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
No
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@HardmanSwainson
Latest news:
http://www.hardmanswainson.com/news.html
More about the agency:
Founded in 2012, Hardman & Swainson is a dynamic London-based literary agency with a diverse range of clients. We pride ourselves on providing an excellent service to our authors, working closely with them at all stages of their careers. We have an international focus and make it a priority to sell our clients' work in as many territories as possible. The agency represents quality writing of all kinds and we welcome submissions and queries from new and established writers. Please see our submission guidelines for more details. We are a member of the Association of Authors' Agents

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