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Profile Summary

Gordon Wise had a long and successful career in publishing before coming to the agency side. He was Publishing Director at John Murray (part of Hodder Headline, which is itself part of Hachette) and had previously been Publisher of a significant group of imprints at Pan Macmillan.

Coming to Curtis Brown in 2005, Gordon has built a strong selection of non-fiction clients (led by celebrities, history and lifestyle topics), but also looks after a range of novelists too. He is currently a VP of the Association of Authors Agents and was named Agent of the Year in 2015. The Bookseller’s commentary on that win ran: ‘The judges cited bestsellers including Lynda Bellingham’s memoir There’s Something I’ve Been Dying to Tell You, which was “sensitively handled”, and Boris Johnson’s The Churchill Factor. His “energetic work on licensing deals and the revival of many authors’ backlists” also led to Wise’s win. “He’s a fully-fledged and rounded agent, and he keeps dishing up great debuts as well as big-brand authors,” said the judges.’

Gordon is currently President of the Association of Authors' Agents (2016–2018).

Our own analysis of his list suggests:

  • It includes plenty of actors and celebs (Miranda Hart, Gareth Malone, Lynda Bellingham, Anton Du Beke, Dan Dare (!), Ulrika Jonsson, Denise van Outen, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson & others). Gordon also represents writers who write about celebrities, for example, Sean Smith who has written books on Cheryl Cole, among others
  • A number of great names, including estates (Winston Churchill, Nina Bawden, Brian Aldiss, Malcolm Bradbury, Mary Renault, & others)
  • Plenty of interest in serious non-fiction from academics, broadcasters & journalists – for example, criminologist David Wilson; sports economist Stefan Szymanski;
  • An interest also in lifestyle themed non-fiction (Sasha Wilkins, Lou Stoppard)
  • A relatively small selection of novelists, including the literary novelists, DJ Taylor, Anthony Swofford, Helen Schulman.

Gordon would not be a natural agent for novelists writing genre fiction.



Detailed data

Agency:
Curtis Brown Group
Agent since:
2005
Short biography:

Gordon Wise began working in publishing as a bookseller. He has worked as Publishing Director at Hodder Headline/Hachette, and Publisher of the Pan Macmillan divisions Sidgwick & Jackson, Boxtree and Channel Four Books. In 2005, Gordon joined Curtis Brown. He has worked in New York in both the agenting and publishing sides of the business. Gordon is currently on the Committee of the Association of Author's Agents.

Client list status:
List largely complete
Genres this agent is interested in:
Travel, Politics, society & current affairs, Other non-fiction, Mind, Body, Spirit, Memoir and autobiography, Food and Cookery, History, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:

Thriller, crime writing

Other loves & passions:

Gordon is a CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger judge.

How to make a submission:
To submit your work in search of representation, visit www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk. Please note, the book agents are no longer accepting paper or email submissions. If you would like to submit your work, go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk
Other advice and background:

The worst kinds of submission letters are vague and look for our opinion. When we get these, I have to respond, 'No, no what do you think?' You need to get something under your belt that you absolutely believe in. We want something that's watertight and has been road-tested on other people. Only then can we start to work together. Authors need to be plugged into the kind of other books people are reading, as well as TV shows and films. Books are one of many forms of entertainment and they need to earn their place on the shelf. You've got to find a way of appealing to the kind of things people are after, not just in the world of books. Publishers are looking for people who can arrive on their doorstep with a 360-degree view of the world around them. This will make them a more attractive business partner.

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
No
Follow on Twitter:
@gordonwise
Interesting links:
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jul/01/how-do-i-become-a-literary-agent
Clients:
Brian Aldiss, Sam Attwater, Ken Auletta, Maziar Bahari, Daisy Bates, Nina Bawden, Anton Du Beke, Lynda Bellingham, Peter Bentley, Michael Bilton, Isla Blair, Dominic Bradbury, Malcolm Bradbury, John Brant & Alberto Salazar, The Dawson Brothers, Colin Brown, Nick Bryant, Christopher Buckley, Simon Bullivant, Angela Buttolph, Dominic Byrne, Deborah Cadbury, John Caird, Claude Choules, Sir Winston Churchill, CinemaNX, Matthew Cole, Dan Dare Corporation, Rebecca Cripps, Neil Cross, Willie Daly, Andrew Davies, Penelope Dening, Keith Dewhurst, Philip Dodd, Mark Dolan, Stacey Dooley, Richard Dowden, Dragonfly, Bret Easton Ellis, Irving Finkel, Rodney Foster, David Gentle, Alex Gerlis, Abi Grant, Matt Greene, Gavin Griffiths, Celia Haddon, David Hall, Tizzie Hall, Peter Hardy, Gemma Elwin Harris, Paul Harrison, Miranda Hart, Jonathan Harvey, Anjum Hasan, Sarah Hedley, Brian Hoey, Richard Hoggart, Judith Holder, Brian Hollywood, Walter Isaacson, Jermaine Jackson, C L R James, Matt James, October Jones, Ulrika Jonsson, Bill Murphy Jr, Hannah Kent, James King, Carol Klein, Simon Kuper, Matt Lacey, Richard Langworth, Thomas Cairns Livingstone, Gareth Malone, Karl Marlantes, Sharon Marshall, Armistead Maupin, Rory McGrath, Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, Kimberley Motley, David Muniz and David Lesniak, Barbara Nash, Jeremy Nicholas, Annie Nightingale, David Nokes, Barry Norman, Mass Observation, Oonagh O'Hagan, Denise Van Outen, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Camellia Panjabi, Nicholas Parsons, Alexis Petridis, Alex Polizzi, Mary Renault, Andy Riley, Cleo Rocos, Daniel Rosenthal, Shaun Sewell, Laurence Shorter, Olly Smith, Sean Smith, Howard Sounes, Penny Sparke, Alan Spence, Bob Spitz, Jacques Steinberg, Stefan Szymanski, Philip Taubman, D J Taylor, June Thomson, Gillian Tindall, Kara Tointon, Tim Wapshott, Chris Ward, James D. Watson, Sasha Wilkins, Bryn Williams, Nigel Williams, David Wilson, Conor Woodman, John Wright
Full client list:
http://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/gordon-wise//clients/
Email address:
wiseoffice@curtisbrown.co.uk

Agents of: Curtis Brown Group

Agency details

Website:
http://curtisbrowncreative.co.uk/
About the agency:
Curtis Brown is keen to discover new authors from the 'slush pile.' They accept unsolicited submissions via their online form on which a preferred reader can be chosen for the submitted manuscript or proposal. Curtis Brown has been behind some of the biggest debuts of recent years and has a dedicated New Writing team which meets once a week. They look for excellent writing, great storytelling, original ideas, a new voice. They prefer to work with writers seriously committed to building long-term, rewarding careers in writing. The Curtis Brown submissions blog lists submission tips from their agents and the agency also runs a writing school. The agency was instrumental in establishing the reputations of several British and American writers, including John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Norman Mailer, C P Snow, Angus Wilson, Lawrence Durrell, Gerald Durrell, Kingsley Amis and Isaiah Berlin.
Address for submissions:
Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4SP
Office address:
No data
Email address:
cbcsubmissions@curtisbrown.co.uk
Phone number:
+44 (0) 207 393 4400
Number of agents:
13
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
We no longer accept physical manuscripts. If you have written a novel or a proposal for a non-fiction book, please fill in the form on the website: http://curtisbrowncreative.co.uk/submissions/submit/. In order to submit your work, you will need a Cover Letter, Synopsis of up to 3,000 words, sample material of up to 10,000 words. Once you have submitted your work, you will be sent an email with a confirmation that we have received it. If you don't hear from us in eight weeks' time, please get back in touch and let us know something is amiss.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
8 days
Agency Transparency Index:
44/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
New York, London
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@CurtisBrownGrp
Latest news:
http://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/books/
More about the agency:
Curtis Brown is keen to discover new authors from the 'slush pile.' They accept unsolicited submissions via their online form on which a preferred reader can be chosen for the submitted manuscript or proposal. Curtis Brown has been behind some of the biggest debuts of recent years and has a dedicated New Writing team which meets once a week. They look for excellent writing, great storytelling, original ideas, a new voice. They prefer to work with writers seriously committed to building long-term, rewarding careers in writing. The Curtis Brown submissions blog lists submission tips from their agents and the agency also runs a writing school. The agency was instrumental in establishing the reputations of several British and American writers, including John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Norman Mailer, C P Snow, Angus Wilson, Lawrence Durrell, Gerald Durrell, Kingsley Amis and Isaiah Berlin.

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