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Profile Summary

Agent and director at Johnson & Alcock, Ed Wilson has a varied list of current writers and estates across both fiction and non-fiction. His taste is incredibly varied, covering literary and high concept fiction to commercial genre fiction like crime, young adult, and SFF. In non-fiction, he is interested in sport (he is an avid cricket fan), popular culture, humour, and anything quirky or unusual. He is always on the lookout for unique voices and manuscripts that present a new take on established genres.

Ed is an active tweeter and attends many writing workshops and festivals. He has given numerous online interviews about getting the attention of an agent and stresses the importance of that first impression. His advice includes:

  • Read and re-read your submission for silly errors and typos. Don't make it easy for an agent to say 'no' to your submission.
  • Keep your cover letter brief and to the point, focusing on the book. While it is important to add some contextual detail about yourself, make sure it is relevant. The book needs to be strong enough to sell itself.
  • Research the agent you are submitting to and ensure they are interested in the subject matter/genre you are sending. It is also worth nothing that not all agents are editorially focused (some are looking solely for that quick and easy 'big deal' without taking the effort to help an author grow). Make sure the agent you choose offers the right service for what you need. 
  • Most agents will state on their website how long they take to respond to submissions. DO NOT CHASE before that time period has elapsed. And even then, be aware that agents get hundreds of submissions every week.

Detailed data

Johnson and Alcock
Agent since:
Short biography:

Ed Wilson has been an agent at Johnson & Alcock since 2007.

He represents a diverse list of fiction and non-fiction, encompassing everything from new and debut writers to established, bestselling and award-winning authors. 

In fiction, he looks for anything with originality and style, both literary and commercial: books with an imaginative setting, strong narrative voice and compelling premise. He is actively building a SFF list and is always on the lookout for books that transcend genre. High concept writing, intelligent crime and thrillers, crossover teen and YA should all be sent his way.

His non-fiction tastes cover sport, natural history, popular culture, intelligent and original graphics and infographics, and anything quirky. He is not currently taking on children's authors and does not represent poetry or scripts. 

Ed also looks after the majority of the agency’s Estates, in conjunction with Andrew Hewson: these include Beryl Bainbridge, Dick Francis, William Trevor and Elizabeth Taylor. 

You can follow his ramblings (mainly about gin, cricket and cats) on Twitter at @literarywhore.

Client list status:
Open to new clients
Genres this agent is interested in:
Young adult fiction, Travel, Science, Politics, society & current affairs, Other non-fiction, Religion, Mind, Body, Spirit, Memoir and autobiography, Food and Cookery, History, Women's fiction, Science fiction, Paranormal romance, Horror, Historical fiction, Genre romance, Fantasy, Erotica, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, JR by William Gaddis
Other loves & passions:
Ed is always on the lookout for more unusual books that transcend genre: strong stories with elements of noir, dystopia, or even science fiction. He also loves graphic novels, and (for his sins) even has a couple of poets on his list. Above all, he's passionate about original writing in all its forms, and isn't afraid to be challenged, as a Masters degree on William Gaddis and Thomas Pynchon will testify.
How to make a submission:
Agency standard. By post to: Johnson & Alcock Ltd,Clerkenwell House,45-47 Clerkenwell Green,London EC1R 0HT. By email to agent email address.
Other advice and background:


Q: Tell us what you/your company does in 20 words or fewer?
Ed: We’re a literary agency, pure and simple. Representing the finest authors, from bestselling commercial books to prize-winning literary writing.

Q: Tell us the 1 thing about your company/business that we need to know…
Ed: A portrait of Captain Oates, hand-dedicated by Dame Beryl Bainbridge, keeps an eye on us every second of the day.

Q: Which writer would have loved to have met – and why?
Ed: I’m a glutton for punishment, so a night on the tiles with Kerouac would be pretty special. Ideally on a night Neal Cassidy was passing through town. Ok, Ginsberg can come too.

Q: The one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out in publishing today is…?
Ed: Perseverance. And tenacity (if I’m allowed two). The only way to get ahead.

Q: What was your first job in the book industry?
Ed: If we’re talking permanent job, I’m still doing it! I had various short-term roles at agencies and publishers, but landed a permanent role at J&A (where I’d interned) in April 2007 – and I’m still here…

Q: What is the silliest thing you have on your desk?
Ed: For a brief period in January I had loan of a taxidermied weasel. I don’t think it gets much better than that. See my twitter feed (@literarywhore) for evidence.

Q: Tell us about a passionate interest you have outside the business
Ed: I’m a cat man. There, I’ve said it.

Q: Who has been your greatest inspiration, and why?
Ed: Our MD here at J&A, Andrew Hewson: he has taught me everything I know about this business, and if I can be half the agent he is I will count myself a success. A true gentleman, and a consummate literary agent.

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Follow on Twitter:
Interesting links:
This list represents all the agency's clients. They do not produce an individual agent client list: Vivien Alcock, Michael Alexander, Patrick Alexander, Candace Allen, Antony Alpers, Zoe Anderson, David Austin, Dame Beryl Bainbridge, Cara Black, Thomas Blaikie, Tamsin Blanchard, Michael Bloch , Dr Ronald Blythe, Lauren Booth, Douglas Botting, Dr. Marjorie Boulton, John Broderick, Vincent Caldey's, Philip Callow, Ian Cameron, Patricia Carlon, Mike Carlson, Chantal Coady, Joan Collin, Barbara Comyns, Judy Cornwell, Elaine Crowley, Dr. C. W. Cunnington, Dr. P. E. Cunnington, Adrian and Michael Daniel, D. M. Devine, Dr Thomas Dixon, Tom Dixon, Marcia Douglas, Jonty Driver, Elaine Dundy, Kate Dunton, Richard Dyer, Richard Ehrlich, Gillian Stead Eilersen, Max Fatchen, Kate Fenton, Christopher Fildes, Peter Fleming, Clare Francis, Dick Francis, Felix Francis, Rivkie Fried, Alexander Fullerton, Leon Garfield, Dr Yehudi Gordon, Sandra Greaves, Mark Griffiths, Joanna Hall, Michael Hamburger, James Hamilton-Paterson, Joseph Hansen, Michael Hastings, Elizabeth Hawksley, Dr. David Boyd Haycock, Bessie Head, Thomas Hinde, Ben Hinshaw, Ursula Holden, Clarissa Hyman, Martin Jensen, Jenny Joseph, Gabriel Josipovici, MRC Kasasian, Eric Kaufmann, Jessie Kesson, Rohan Kriwaczek, Chris d'Lacey, Dr. Jordan Lancaster, Charlie Lee-Potter, Peter Levi, David Luke, Jonathan Lunn, Alastair Macaulay, Thom Madley, David Magarshack, Sara Manuelli, Marcella Evaristi, Kathryn Marsden, James Vance Marshall, Richard Masson, Christina McGhee, Claire McGowan, Graham McInnes, Patricia Meehan, Martin Miller, Raynes Minns, Roger Mortimore, Eileen Mulligan, Courttia Newland, Andrea Newman, Barbara Newman, Wilfrid Noyce, Michael Ormiston, Charles Osborne, Paul Overy, Claire Heafford, Louise Hall, Donald Payne, Julie Peakman, Delores Phillips, Alison Plowden, David Pownall, Alex Preston, William Radice, Forrest Reid, Susan Richards, Phil Rickman, Gillian Riley, Ian Robertson, Gail Robinson, John Martin Robinson, Lynne Robinson, A. L. Rowse, Lawrence Scott, Karen Smith, Gordon Snell, Charles Spencer, Colin Spencer, Ali Spritzler, Adrian Stewart, Louie Stowell, Alan Strachan, Arthur Swinson, Elizabeth Taylor, Philip Temple, D. M. Thomas, Grace Thompson, William Trevor, Barry Turner, Lowri Turner, Peter Underwood, Warris Vianni, Philip Walling, Geoffrey Wansell, Fran Warde, Merlin Waterson, Daniel Weissbort, Martin Vander Weyer, Hugh Ross Williamson, Henry Wilson, James Wilson, Stephen Wiltshire, Jacqueline Winspear, Trevor Wright, Qiu Xiaolong, Victoria Young, Jessica Ziebland.
Full client list:
Email address:

Agents of: Johnson and Alcock

Agency details

About the agency:
Johnson and Alcock are a boutique literary agency based in leafy Clerkenwell, representing a diverse selection of prestigious writers of fiction and non-fiction. They represent a list of writers who appeal right across the commercial and literary ranges, served by the most reputable subagents around the world. Clients include, Beryl Bainbridge and Joan Collins.
Address for submissions:
Clerkenwell House, 45-47 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0HT
Office address:
No data
Email address:
Phone number:
020 7251 0125
Number of agents:
Accepts email submissions:
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
If you would like the agency to consider representing you for your work, please contact them by post or by email at For works of fiction submit a synopsis and three chapters. For non-fiction please supply a full outline and chapter breakdown along with at least 30 pages of the text. All submissions should be double spaced and on A4 paper. Remember to include a covering letter with your biographical details and relevant experience, and a stamped addressed envelope either for the return of the manuscript or for their reply. If you submit via email you will only receive a reply if they are interested in discussing representation. If possible, do note the name of your preferred agent in the subject line. Children's or YA submissions should also be clearly marked. Do not accept poetry, screenplays, children's books 0-7, and board or picture books.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
6 days
Agency Transparency Index:
Member of the AAA:
Overseas offices:
Accepts overseas writers:
Follow on Twitter:
Latest news:
More about the agency:
Johnson and Alcock are a boutique literary agency based in leafy Clerkenwell, representing a diverse selection of prestigious writers of fiction and non-fiction. They represent a list of writers who appeal right across the commercial and literary ranges, served by the most reputable subagents around the world. Clients include, Beryl Bainbridge and Joan Collins.

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