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Profile Summary

After more than a decade as an editor, Caroline Sheldon decided to jump ship, starting the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency. That was thirty years ago now. She has since built an incredible list of bestsellers. Despite an already successful and thriving business, Caroline is still on the lookout for new talent, from adult fiction to all kinds of children's books, including illustrators. 

While it might be unhelpful for a potential client to see an agent say her interests span almost all fiction genres, looking at Caroline's list suggests this really is the case. In a 2016 interview, she said that she would love to see submissions along the lines of 'a modern Rebecca, an epic family saga, a funny modern romp, an intricate and deeply layered historical novel, a psychological thriller, a weepie, anything with animals.' With her background as an editor of women's and children's fiction, these particular areas are a good bet for Caroline. She is also an active member of the Romance genre community. 

Particularly passionate about children's book publishing, Caroline has fought for better pricing for children's books, more reflective children's book bestseller lists, as well as aiming to help her authors and illustrators make enough money to live on through their published work – something which is increasingly difficult to achieve. 

We recommend keeping an eye out for conventions and events Caroline attends throughout the year, as she has mentioned these kinds of networking events as great ways to find new clients. She has stated that her new clients tend to break down into neat thirds: a third from the slush pile, personal references from existing clients or publishers, and those she meets at conferences and other networking events. When you are attempting to find representation in this highly competitive industry, any chance to stand out is important.



Detailed data

Agency:
Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency
Agent since:
1995
Short biography:
Caroline Sheldon founded the agency after working at Hutchinson/Arrow as publisher of women's fiction and children's books. Caroline was thrilled to be one of six agents shortlisted for the prestigious Literary Agent of the Year Award 2012.
Client list status:
Open to new clients
Genres this agent is interested in:
Young adult fiction, Children's picture books, Children's fiction, Children's & YA non-fiction, Women's fiction, Historical fiction, Genre romance, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:
As shoes to Imelda Marcos, so books to me. I love to read them; I love to hoard them; I love the feel of them. I work in my main areas of interest - women's fiction, children's books and compelling non-fiction stories. My tastes are catholic and commercial. Nothing excites me more than the whiff of a bestseller. In children's books, I am interested in writing for all age ranges, from picture book texts for the very young, through to fiction for the middle years, through to full length novels for teenagers. Plotting, storytelling, humour, exciting worlds and contemporary life are all the things that excite me. In adult books, I particularly look for richness of storytelling. Favourite authors and books include: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan, The Strange Death of Liberal England by George Dangerfield, 1984 by George Orwell, Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton, Bleak House by Charles Dickens, The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, And the Band Played On by Christopher Ward, The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot.
Other loves & passions:


How to make a submission:
Agency standard submission. I only take on a small number of new clients but when I do I become a passionate advocate for their work.
Other advice and background:


Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Yes
Follow on Twitter:
@carolineagent
Interesting links:
http://romanticnovelistsassociationblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/ask-industry-expert-caroline-sheldon.html
Clients:
John Agard, Scoular Anderson, Pater Bailey, Ellen Berry, Terence Blacker, Rita Bradshaw, Jim Carrington, Marita Conlon-McKenna, Penny Dale, Annie Dalton, Julia Donaldson, Donna Douglas, Elaine Everest, Katie Flynn, Fiona Gibson, Rose Griffiths, Ruth Hamilton, Rosie Harris, Lilian Harry, Pamela Hartshorne, Felix Hayes, Brian Hinton, Jenny Holmes, Val Hudson, Rose Impey, Patrice Lawrence, Angus Mackinnon, Cathy MacPhail, Peter Malone, Jenny Oldfield, Nicky Pellegrino, Kate Petty, Joan G. Robinson, Frank Rodgers, Dyan Sheldon, Jim Smith, Teri Terry, James Thorp, Kaye Umansky, Jean Ure
Full client list:
http://www.carolinesheldon.co.uk/authors.php
Email address:
carolinesheldon@carolinesheldon.co.uk

Agents of: Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency

Agency details

Website:
http://www.carolinesheldon.co.uk
About the agency:
The Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency is always looking out for exciting projects by debut authors in both adult and children's books, but out of the enormous amount we see, we select very few. On occasion we do make detailed editorial suggestions and comments but we only do so when we see real promise in the work. We do not charge a reading fee. We endeavour to reply to all submissions within 6 weeks, but during seasonal busy periods we may take longer; please bear with us. We prefer not to take telephone calls about submissions. Of course we are very selective, but the office lights up with excitement when we find something wonderful.
Address for submissions:
71 Hillgate Place, London W8 7SS
Office address:
No data
Email address:
use agent email address
Phone number:
020 7727 9102
Number of agents:
2
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
We request submissions by email only. Email the material to either Caroline Sheldon or Penny Holroyde. Do not send it to both of us! Use the subject line 'SUBMISSION/[TITLE OF WORK]/[NAME OF AUTHOR]'. This will ensure it's not accidentally deleted as spam. Just as if you were writing a letter of introduction, include full information about yourself and your work in your introductory email. Please attach the first three chapters of work, double-spaced, and a brief synopsis (two pages maximum). To make sure we can access your work, please send text attachments in either Word or PDF format, and any illustrator artwork as jpeg files. Name the attachments accordingly so it is clear to us what we are looking at. If your work is shorter than 10,000 words (e.g. shorter books for children) attach the whole typescript. If you write picture book texts and have more than one available, you can attach up to three.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
6 days
Agency Transparency Index:
35/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
None
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
None
Latest news:
none
More about the agency:
The Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency is always looking out for exciting projects by debut authors in both adult and children's books, but out of the enormous amount we see, we select very few. On occasion we do make detailed editorial suggestions and comments but we only do so when we see real promise in the work. We do not charge a reading fee. We endeavour to reply to all submissions within 6 weeks, but during seasonal busy periods we may take longer; please bear with us. We prefer not to take telephone calls about submissions. Of course we are very selective, but the office lights up with excitement when we find something wonderful.

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