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Profile Summary

Having spent six years at Greene & Heaton and previous time spent at the Blake Friedmann Agency as well as a stint in editorial at Macmillan, Chris Wellbelove moved to Aitken Alexander Associates in early 2017. He is still keen to build his list, in both fiction and non-fiction. He claims to have extremely varied tastes, something in evidence within his client list. He represents everything from literary fiction, science writing, art and design, to political journalism.

While he is ostensibly a literary agent, he is actively embracing the potential for cross-media personalities when it comes to new clients. As such, if you have another kind of presence -- a blog, social media following, TV presenter experience, or other -- Chris may be the right person for you. He is happy to hear proposals where a book might not be the right medium. Chris also encourages authors to have online profiles.

In fiction, Chris is interested in experimental and complex literary fiction as well as commercial and genre fiction, including YA manuscripts. A great book, to Chris, is one that is highly immersive -- don't simply illustrate a new world but suck him in! He also loves fiction that implements some aspect of social commentary alongside an engaging plot.

On the other hand, in non-fiction, he likes both 'popular' non-fiction subjects as well as more academic approaches on subjects as varied as science, sports, history, and current affairs. Most importantly, any non-fiction submissions should have unique perspectives on familiar subjects. Why is the story you want to tell different to everything else out there? As long as your proposal has an interesting hook, it may well catch Chris's attention.



Detailed data

Agency:
Aitken Alexander Associates
Agent since:
2008
Short biography:

Chris Wellbelove joined Greene & Heaton in 2010 having previously worked at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, and in editorial at Palgrave Macmillan. Chris works with Antony Topping on his client list, and is building relationships with radio and television production companies with a view to creating opportunities for new and existing clients.

Client list status:
Keen to build client list
Genres this agent is interested in:
Young adult fiction, Travel, Science, Politics, society & current affairs, Other non-fiction, Religion, Memoir and autobiography, Food and Cookery, History, Historical fiction, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:

I am actively building my list, and open to submissions from a range of genres. In fiction this could mean ambitious and experimental literary fiction, high-concept novels, tightly plotted crime and psychological suspense, and books that blur the genre boundaries. I am also on the lookout for YA fiction set in the real world; think RJ Palacio's Wonder, John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, or Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. I love fiction that makes me think or says something about the world we live in just as much as I like to be transported to new worlds, or thrown into a murder investigation. As a guide, novels that I've read and enjoyed recently include The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Belinda Bauer's Rubbernecker, Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and Philip Meyer's The Son. In non-fiction I am a big reader of popular science, psychology and history, current affairs, and sports books so always looking for interesting stories that have the potential to be something bigger, or a new angle on a subject. I'd love to hear from academics who are working on something popular just as much as I'd like a proposal from a writer following the Rwandan cycling team (although not actually following the Rwandan cycling team, that's already been done). Among my favourite non-fiction books are The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Steven Johnson's Future Perfect, Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, The Sports Gene by David Epstein, Running the Table by Jon Wertheim, Craig Taylor's Londoners, and pretty much anything by Jon Ronson or Malcolm Gladwell. As well as non-fiction writers in the traditional sense, I am on the hunt for writers or presenters with cross-media potential. I do quite a lot of work on the talent side of the business, negotiating contracts for television presenters and public speakers, and like receiving approaches from people who are experts in their field but perhaps not wedded to starting their careers with a book. Maybe you have a large blog, Twitter or YouTube following and you want to know what to do next, have had approaches from television production companies, or have an idea for which a book may not be the best outlet: if any of those apply then get in touch!

Other loves & passions:
No Data
How to make a submission:
Agency standard.
Other advice and background:

No data

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Yes
Follow on Twitter:
@ChrisWellbelove
Interesting links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yol9JXnbwXA
Clients:
The agency does not break down their client list by agent.
Full client list:
http://www.aitkenalexander.co.uk/authors/
Email address:
submissions@aitkenalexander.co.uk

Agents of: Aitken Alexander Associates

Agency details

Website:
http://www.aitkenalexander.co.uk/
About the agency:
Gillon Aitken first founded Gillon Aitken Limited in 1976. From its inception, the agency has placed great emphasis on overseas rights. In 1998, former Viking and Macmillan Publisher Clare Alexander joined the agency and in 2005 the name of the agency was changed to Aitken Alexander Associates. In 2008, Andrew Kidd, previously Publisher of Picador and Macmillan, joined as a director. In 2011, Lesley Thorne joined the board of the company alongside Gillon, Clare, Sally and Andrew. Gillon, Clare and Andrew represent a wide range of prize-winning and bestselling fiction and non-fiction authors. The focus of the agency remains on writers and writing. Gillon Aitken first founded Gillon Aitken Limited in 1976. From its inception, the agency has placed great emphasis on overseas rights, and Sally Riley joined the agency in 1989 to head up the Translation Rights department. In 1998, former Viking and Macmillan Publisher Clare Alexander joined the agency and in 2005 the name of the agency was changed to Aitken Alexander Associates. Aitken Alexander also enjoys strong associative relationships with the agencies of Anthony Sheil, Mary Pachnos and Lucy Luck, each of whom boasts strong and distinctive lists. In 2009 the agency opened an office in New York, under Anna Stein, and, in 2011, in New Delhi, under Shruti Debi. Both moves reflected Aitken Alexander's strong commitment to the best of international writing.
Address for submissions:
18-21 Cavaye Place, London, SW10 9PT
Office address:
No data
Email address:
reception@aitkenalexander.co.uk
Phone number:
020 7373 8672
Number of agents:
9
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
Send a cover letter, synopsis, the first 30 pages to submissions@aitkenalexander.co.uk. They do not represent illustrated children's books, poetry or screenplays.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
8 days
Agency Transparency Index:
28/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
Y - New York and New Delhi
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@aitkenalexander
Latest news:
http://www.aitkenalexander.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=1&Itemid=128
More about the agency:
Gillon Aitken first founded Gillon Aitken Limited in 1976. From its inception, the agency has placed great emphasis on overseas rights. In 1998, former Viking and Macmillan Publisher Clare Alexander joined the agency and in 2005 the name of the agency was changed to Aitken Alexander Associates. In 2008, Andrew Kidd, previously Publisher of Picador and Macmillan, joined as a director. In 2011, Lesley Thorne joined the board of the company alongside Gillon, Clare, Sally and Andrew. Gillon, Clare and Andrew represent a wide range of prize-winning and bestselling fiction and non-fiction authors. The focus of the agency remains on writers and writing. Gillon Aitken first founded Gillon Aitken Limited in 1976. From its inception, the agency has placed great emphasis on overseas rights, and Sally Riley joined the agency in 1989 to head up the Translation Rights department. In 1998, former Viking and Macmillan Publisher Clare Alexander joined the agency and in 2005 the name of the agency was changed to Aitken Alexander Associates. Aitken Alexander also enjoys strong associative relationships with the agencies of Anthony Sheil, Mary Pachnos and Lucy Luck, each of whom boasts strong and distinctive lists. In 2009 the agency opened an office in New York, under Anna Stein, and, in 2011, in New Delhi, under Shruti Debi. Both moves reflected Aitken Alexander's strong commitment to the best of international writing.

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