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Profile Summary

Elizabeth worked at William Collins, Methuen, and Hamish Hamilton Children's Books before moving on to the Children's paperback list at Hodder, a list she ran for 12 years. Setting out on her own, she set up the Elizabeth Roy Literary Agency to represent talented children's book authors and illustrators. Please note that Elizabeth is only interested in children's titles, though this covers a range of ages and styles, from novelty books, picture books, fiction, and non-fiction.

The agency is very small, so keeps its list highly focused. Elizabeth works with rights specialists, lawyers, and sub-agents in order to bring the highest level service to her clients. Elizabeth posits that the small size of her business is an asset, providing close, personal, and supportive relationships with her clients.

Before you consider submitting your work to Elizabeth, or indeed any agent, be sure to research the current children's book market. Elizabeth appreciates receiving submissions and cover letters from authors who had taken the time to do their research on not only Elizabeth's clients but the wider market in general. She is looking for clients who have the potential for a long and successful career rather than simply one book idea, and the best way to demonstrate this is an understanding of the industry and a passion for the subject matter.

Whether you are a writer or an illustrator, Elizabeth wants submissions from creators with a style all their own. But, most importantly, that style must engage with children. A passion for encouraging children to read and finding new ways to hook them is crucial for doing well in the industry. As much as it might sound like a cliche, Elizabeth wants to find manuscripts that compel her to keep turning the page!

Detailed data

Elizabeth Roy Literary Agency
Agent since:
Short biography:
Elizabeth Roy has worked in publishing one way or another for over thirty years. Starting as a secretary (in the days before interns!) she worked at William Collins and Eyre Methuen before spending 18 months in production at Hamish Hamilton Children's Books, where her education in children's books began. An invitation to join the children's paperback editorial team at Hodder led to 12 years of running that list, and becoming a director of Hodder & Stoughton. Made redundant prior to Hodder's takeover by Headline, she then became a children's literary agent, representing writers and illustrators for all age groups - and often wonders why she didn't take that route earlier! Creating careers in children's books for creative people is her passion and joy.
Client list status:
List largely complete
Genres this agent is interested in:
Young adult fiction, Children's picture books, Children's fiction, Children's & YA non-fiction
Authors & books liked:

Other loves & passions:

How to make a submission:
All submissions from writers and illustrators should be sent by post together with a stamped addressed envelope for return postage - essential if you require a reply of any kind. I do not consider emailed submissions. I do try to look at work on a regular basis but if a Book Fair is looming in March or April, it can take a little longer. Submission letters are important - they should give me a flavour of who you are and what makes your writing special. Potential authors should send a synopsis (which should give a broad brush outline of your plot) and three sample chapters of their fiction typed in double-line spacing on A4 paper with numbered pages preferably without staples or fancy binding, together with a covering letter giving relevant information (including word count of the finished manuscript: please don't contact me unless the manuscript is complete) about themselves and their plans, and details of where their work has been sent previously. I don't usually have time to consider work that's been sent out on multiple submission. Obviously if you're submitting picture book texts, you should send the complete text: but I'd need to see more than one text. Illustrators should send some samples of their work, directions to their website and again information about their experience and training and interests. Because of the great volume of submissions received, I'm unable to give advice on any unsolicited manuscript unless I really believe it has potential. There are editorial consultancies listed in publications such as Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook for this kind of assistance. Never, ever send your only copy of a story or illustration.
Other advice and background:

What am I looking for?

Not a silly question at all, but not easy one to answer. Perhaps if I tell you what I'm not looking for that will help: I don't represent science fiction, poetry, plays or adult books of any kind.

I'd love to find a new writer of funny fiction (not an easy genre to write for), a writer of gentle romance for young teens, someone who writes wonderful picture book texts that engage today's pre-school child - and works not just for the UK market (and just because the wonderful Julia Donaldson has made such a success of rhyming texts, please don't think these are an easy option) and someone who can come up with some great ideas for series for the 8-12 middle grade fiction market.

More than anything, I'm looking for a voice that will excite, provoke, amuse and compel me to turn the page. And an illustrator who will make me fall in love with a picture.

What not to do.. Send me tea bags/ sweets/stuffed toys instead of return postage and a carefully considered submission.

What makes me cross?

  • People who think children's books are an easy way to get into print.
  • People who haven't taken the trouble to look at what I do represent: adult horror or self-help manuscripts are never going to be of interest to me.
  • Parcels wrapped with so much parcel tape and so many layers of packaging that I have to make a cup of strong coffee before I feel able to attack them.
  • Return envelopes so old that the sticky bit doesn't work.
  • Handwritten letters of questionable legibility.
Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Follow on Twitter:
Does not Tweet
Interesting links:
The agency do not publish a full client list on their website but illustrators include: Steve Antony, Katja Bandlow, Claire Barker, Judy Brown, Gillian Clements, Catalina Echeverri, Claire Henley, Adrienne Kennaway, Nicola Killen, Anna C Leplar, Marion Lindsay, Mike Mason, Mike Smith, Wendy Smith, Pam Smy, Cherry Whytock.
Full client list:
Email address:
No Data

Agents of: Elizabeth Roy Literary Agency

Agency details

About the agency:
Elizabeth Roy Literary Agency represents some of the finest writers and illustrators in the children's book market.
Address for submissions:
White Cottage, Greatford, Stamford, Linconshire, PE9 4PR
Office address:
No data
Email address:
No data
Phone number:
01778 560672
Number of agents:
Accepts email submissions:
Submission type:
Other - see details
Further submission info:
The Agency is always interested in seeing work from new illustrators who have studied the market and believe they have something unique to offer. Samples should be sent to the postal address below: return postage is essential.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
8 days
Agency Transparency Index:
Member of the AAA:
Overseas offices:
No data
Accepts overseas writers:
Follow on Twitter:
Latest news:
No data
More about the agency:
Elizabeth Roy Literary Agency represents some of the finest writers and illustrators in the children's book market.

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