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Profile Summary

It is perhaps too strong to say that Eve White decided to become a literary agent and more appropriate to say that she fell into it. After 20 years in acting, Eve felt a change was in order, and serendipity delivered her an author in need of representation. She hasn't looked back since. Eve's agency is highly successful and respected, and she made the shortlist for The British Book Awards Literary Agent of the Year 2017. 

Eve represents authors of both fiction (for both adults and children) and non-fiction. She isn't particularly prescriptive when it comes to genres; the only hard no's being science fiction and fantasy. Otherwise, as long as the story grips her, she is willing to give it a go. Do note that more than half of her list is taken up by children's authors when you are thinking of submitting to her.

A long-time supporter of open, unsolicited submissions, Eve does concede that with over 10,000 submissions a year, the success rate is incredibly low, with her agency taking maybe two or three new clients on per year. In describing her approach to reading manuscripts, Eve has said:

'I think about the beginning and ask myself, "If I’d just picked this book up in a book shop and read these pages, would I buy it? I get to the end and ask myself whether, if I’d bought this book, I would want to push it into the hands of a relative or friend and say, "You MUST read this."'

Eve loves being a literary agent, getting a thrill from every manuscript auction and offer made. One of her favourite parts of the job is telling a first-time author they've had their first offer of publication. She is very keen on taking on debut authors, so despite the enormous numbers of submissions she does receive, she is still a great agent to approach when you are starting out.



Detailed data

Agency:
Eve White
Agent since:
2003
Short biography:
White set up her agency in 2003 after working as an actress for 20 years. She had always wanted to run her own business and wanted an intellectual and creative challenge. The impetus to start the agency came when her son's deputy headmaster asked her to read his manuscript which he was going to self-publish. She did, and when she came back with suggestions, he asked her to represent him with sales and marketing. White arranged a meeting with the Waterstone's children's buyer, got the book included in a three-for two offer and decided to become an agent. Eve represents 'Mr Gum' author Andy Stanton and Yvette Edwards. Children's authors make up 60% of her client list. She is interested in literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction for adults, and children's fiction for 7+.
Client list status:
Open to new clients
Genres this agent is interested in:
Young adult fiction, Children's fiction, Children's & YA non-fiction, Travel, Science, Politics, society & current affairs, Other non-fiction, Religion, Mind, Body, Spirit, Memoir and autobiography, Food and Cookery, History, Women's fiction, Historical fiction, Genre romance, Erotica, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:

Some of Eve's favourite writers (that she doesn't represent!) include: Sebastian Barry, William Boyd, Sarah Waters, Sebastian Faulks, Tracey Chevalier, Marion Keyes and Michael Connolly. We're always hunting for debut fiction that works as both a literary prize-winner and an "un-putdownable" supermarket paperback, think Maggie O'Farrell or Rosamund Lupton. We love massively commercial genre fiction, particularly crime and romance, with great hooks, compelling characters, and twisting plots. Essentially, in adult fiction we're looking for books that you can't wait to lend to your friends. In terms of children's books Eve loves: Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls; Julia Donaldson's wonderfully crafted picture books; Patrick Kinney's amazing command of voice; Malorie Blackman and Jacqueline Wilson's convincing, heartbreaking stories; Francesca Simon's hilarious characters; and the fast-paced, heart in your throat plots of Suzanne Hill's Hunger Games series. To get a better sense of Eve's taste, check out some of her clients like Andy Stanton, Yvvette Edwards, Tracey Corderoy and Saskia Sarginson.

    • Fish Bowl by Bradley Somer – Ebury Press. A brilliant story about the isolation of modern living. One episode had me laughing and crying at the same time.
    • A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler – Vintage
    • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy – Harper, Perennial. Each page is exquisite; there are sentences you have to read two or three times.
    • Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw – Fourth Estate. Five fascinating and wildly different characters come together in contemporary China.
    Other loves & passions:

    In no particular order, I love: theatre, parties, good food, dancing, any kind of Spanish guitar music but in particular Flamenco, card games and Scrabble, comedy, reading, movies, family and friends, baroque music and 40s love songs, negotiating, swimming, cycling, yoga, travelling.

    'My favourite bit of this job is calling a debut author to tell them I have that first offer.'

    How to make a submission:
    Agency standard submission. There is absolutely no point in sending us anything other than your best work and a first draft is unlikely to get you an agent; you need to polish the book as much as you can before you send it out. You mustn't burn your bridges by sending unfinished work to agents because they won't read anything a second time unless they're knocked out by it the first time. We see a lot of poor copy editing, meaning that spelling and grammar errors in early pages let the quality of the work down. Also, people not following our very clear submission guidelines and, for example, sending their work to the wrong email address. Again, to reiterate, it is essential that you read our guidelines on the website- follow these and we'll always be pleased to read your submission. We'd strongly recommend that you take a good look at our client list and make an informed decision as to the kind of books that we have previously worked with. Like most agents, we don't read poetry or a single short story - try a literary magazine. Finally, please note that Eve does not accept submissions of screenplays, science fiction and fantasy for adults, and picture books for children.
    Other advice and background:

    There's probably not a high fantasy, Tolkein-esque book that will ever do it for us - certainly not one for adults. As a rule, whilst we welcome genre fiction of all types, we aren't fond of writers who do nothing new with the established tropes of their chosen type of novel. We certainly don't want to see books that we could have, essentially, read already. You are unique; your book should be too!

    An Interview with Eve

    Q. What books/authors do you love in commercial fiction? (Crime, women’s) Give us some examples and say why you liked these books/authors.
    Fergus McNeill’s crime/thrillers are very well written commercial fiction. Gripping, with scary, well-drawn, believable characters and great pace.

    Q. What books/authors do you love in literary/historical/book group fiction? Examples and reasons, please!
    I love reading group fiction; strongly written novels with lots of layers. Jane Shemilt’s Sunday Times Bestseller, Daughter, is a great example and was in the top ten of the book charts for nine weeks.

    Q. On the non-fiction side, are there particular areas that interest you? Does your non-fiction list have a particular slant to it?
    There’s a lot of narrative non-fiction on our list and we very much enjoy working with that. However, we are on the look-out for any interesting real-life stories and can sell a book to publishers on a two- or three-page proposal. We represent a talented ghost writer who takes over the writing where the author needs help. A recent case is that of At the Coal Face (working title) which will be published next year and is a nostalgic memoir of a 1970s miners’ nurse who went underground to treat injured miners. Joan Hart is the nurse/author and Veronica Clark the ghost-writer

    Q. Is there anything in particular you’d love to see at the moment?
    We would love to see some more reading group fiction like Saskia Sarginson, Jane Shemilt or Mark Haysom.

    Brilliant children’s fiction for eight-to-twelve year-olds – pacey adventures or mysteries with strong sympathetic protagonists.

    Q. What’s your biggest turn-off in a covering letter? What would you really hope to see?
    Spelling mistakes. Mass-submissions. People who clearly haven’t been to look at the guidelines on our website.

    Q. What are your biggest peeves in an opening page or opening chapter? And what do you love to see?
    It’s obvious that sometimes authors polish the first three chapters at the expense of the rest of the novel – it must be riveting from the first page to the last. 
    An opening must grab by communicating the premise immediately, introducing the style and forcing the reader, no matter how, to keep turning the pages.

    Q. Would you take on an author who had self-published? What kind of self-pub sales would make you sit up?
    Yes, we would. We don’t mind how many it has sold if the book’s amazing.

    Q. What single piece of advice would you most want to give writers?
    WRITE FROM THE HEART

    Q. How many submissions do you see annually? And how many of those submissions will end up on your list?
    10,000 submissions come into our submissions accounts each year and we probably end up representing two or three of these.

    Q. Do you look for social media and online presence? Do you care?
    It always helps with marketing a book but it’s not what we look for in an author initially; it’s all in the writing. A good agent and publisher should help an author with this side of things.

    Q. When people are pitching the concept for a book to you, what do you find is the most common failing?
    To a large extent, we aren’t interested in an author’s pitch. Just send the work as per our guidelines. It’s an agent’s job to figure out how to come up with a pitch. 

    Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
    No
    Follow on Twitter:
    @EveWhiteAgency
    Interesting links:
    http://www.novelicious.com/2015/05/manuscript-wishlist-literary-agent-eve-white.html
    Clients:
    Sarah Benwell, Ivan Brett, Adam Britten, Naomi Cartwright, Carolyn Ching, Veronica Clark (Ghostwriter), Nick Cook, Susannah Corbett, Tracey Corderoy, Katie Collins, Ellie Daines, Jimmy Docherty, Rae Earl, Yvvette Edwards, Shanta Everington, David E Flavell, Davin Ireland, Ann Hill, Kara Lebihan, Abie Longstaff, Gordon Lowe, Jim Lusby, Kate Maryon, Fergus McNeill, Charlie Mitchell, Michaela Morgan, Rachael Mortimer, Ciaran Murtagh, Sarah Naughton, Simon Nicholson, Chris Pascoe, Dave Paul, Lorrie Porter, Gillian Rogerson, Preston Rutt, June Taylor, Ruth Saberton, Saskia Sarginson, Kate Scott, Alexander Stobbs, Andy Stanton, Tabitha Suzuma, Ruth Warburton.
    Full client list:
    http://evewhite.co.uk/agents/eve-white/
    Email address:
    eve@evewhite.co.uk

    Agents of: Eve White

    Agency details

    Website:
    http://www.evewhite.co.uk
    About the agency:
    White set up her agency in 2003 after working as an actress for 20 years. Fans of 'Hollyoaks' might recognise her; her last acting gig was four years on the soap as Sue Morgan, head of the Morgan family. When the Morgans were written out of the show, White decided to leave acting to spend more time with her children. The impetus to start the agency came when her son's deputy headmaster asked her to read his manuscript which he was going to self-publish. She did, and when she came back with suggestions, he asked her to represent him with sales and marketing. White arranged a meeting with the Waterstone's buyer, got the book included in a three-for two offer and decided to become an agent. Her big break came just a year after starting when unpublished children's author Stanton, after being knocked back by the first five agents at the front of the Children's Writers' and Artists' Yearbook, turned to the back and found the Eve White agency. He phoned her, they had a great conversation and she told him to send a sample. White eventually signed Stanton with Egmont and since 2006 his Mr Gum books have had sales of more than £3.7m through Nielsen BookScan.Children's authors such as Stanton make up about 60% of her list. Though her roster of clients has increased steadily, White has kept the business small and nimble - for the first seven years the company consisted of just herself and a roster of freelances, readers and interns. It is no longer a one-woman band, however, as she recently appointed her first assistant, Jack Ramm.
    Address for submissions:
    54 Gloucester Street, London, SW1V 4EG
    Office address:
    No data
    Email address:
    eve@evewhite.co.uk
    Phone number:
    020 7630 1155
    Number of agents:
    1
    Accepts email submissions:
    Yes
    Submission type:
    Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
    Further submission info:
    Interests: We are currently reading literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction for adults, and children's fiction for 7+. We do not accept poetry, short stories or screenplays. We are not currently reading any science fiction and fantasy for adults, or accepting picture book submissions for children. We are not looking at work by authors from Australia, Canada and the US, partly because we think they would be better served by a local agent and partly because we have such a quantity of submission from the UK at present that we cannot cope with the numbers. We do reply to everybody. Depending on the number of submissions we are receiving, we will be able to make a decision about your work any time between one day and six weeks of you sending it. An automatic email will be sent to you, acknowledging receipt of your message. If you don't receive this, it means that your email has not arrived and you should send it again. Once you have received it, there is never any need to ask us whether we have received your manuscript. Please be patient and we will get to it as soon as we can, but we are normally working six weeks behind. We prefer not to receive enquiries by telephone. This enables us to keep the administration down, giving us time to look at everything that is sent to us. Please read the FAQs on the website before asking us any questions. Unlike most literary agents, we are experimenting in being 'green' (and saving authors money) by asking for email submission. All samples of writing should be sent as attachments, either as a word document or PDF. We will not read work sent in on Sky drive or anything else using cloud storage. Adult submissions should be sent to fiction@evewhite.co.uk or nonfiction@evewhite.co.uk. Please don't send any general correspondence or questions about submissions to either address, only adult fiction samples or adult non-fiction proposals or samples. Please send one email with just one attachment. For fiction: the three opening chapters (double line spaced) and a very brief synopsis of the whole plot (with a word-count of the complete book) together in one WORD DOCUMENT. Please do a title page and number the pages in case we decide to print it. For non-fiction: together in one WORD DOCUMENT: a proposal which tells us the date you could complete the book, the full word-count, a detailed outline of the story (synopsis) and three chapters (double line spaced) if you've written them. Please do a title page and number the pages in case we decide to print it and could you let us know how much of the book is available should we want to read on. Please make sure the manuscript attachment is a word document or PDF. Please do not send the full manuscript until we invite you to and do not send photographs or any scanned material; such submissions have to be deleted immediately as they overload, and can shut down, our system. The email: in both cases your covering letter should be in the body of the email and be as short as possible. It should include a little about the book and a little about yourself. Please make the subject heading of your email your book title and your name. Submissions for Children and Young Adults should be sent to childrens@evewhite.co.uk. Please follow the submission guideliness above. Don't send any general correspondence or questions about submissions to this address: only children's fiction samples. N.B. we are not looking at picture books or books for under 7s at the moment.
    More info on this agency:
    No data
    Average response time:
    6 days
    Agency Transparency Index:
    61/100
    Member of the AAA:
    Yes
    Overseas offices:
    None
    Accepts overseas writers:
    No
    Follow on Twitter:
    @EveWhiteStaff
    Latest news:
    http://www.evewhite.co.uk/new/news/
    More about the agency:
    White set up her agency in 2003 after working as an actress for 20 years. Fans of 'Hollyoaks' might recognise her; her last acting gig was four years on the soap as Sue Morgan, head of the Morgan family. When the Morgans were written out of the show, White decided to leave acting to spend more time with her children. The impetus to start the agency came when her son's deputy headmaster asked her to read his manuscript which he was going to self-publish. She did, and when she came back with suggestions, he asked her to represent him with sales and marketing. White arranged a meeting with the Waterstone's buyer, got the book included in a three-for two offer and decided to become an agent. Her big break came just a year after starting when unpublished children's author Stanton, after being knocked back by the first five agents at the front of the Children's Writers' and Artists' Yearbook, turned to the back and found the Eve White agency. He phoned her, they had a great conversation and she told him to send a sample. White eventually signed Stanton with Egmont and since 2006 his Mr Gum books have had sales of more than £3.7m through Nielsen BookScan.Children's authors such as Stanton make up about 60% of her list. Though her roster of clients has increased steadily, White has kept the business small and nimble - for the first seven years the company consisted of just herself and a roster of freelances, readers and interns. It is no longer a one-woman band, however, as she recently appointed her first assistant, Jack Ramm.

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