New to Agent Hunter? View our welcome video (01.30), read more about the site, or view subscription options.

Profile Summary

Hannah grew up above a bookshop and so began her love affair with literature early. After finishing her Masters in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths College London, Hannah began her career in publishing in 2007 at the Marsh Agency where she worked for seven years, becoming an agent in 2010. Since then she has been building up a list of writers that is constantly growing and evolving including both fiction (mostly contemporary women's) and non-fiction, which is a particular interest in the growth of her list, in non-fiction she is looking for strong thoughtful narratively-driven work. Particularly keen to grow her list, Hannah is very eager to hear from debut authors.

When it comes to what she is looking for, Hannah admits that her eclectic taste is 'unhelpful' for writers looking to define her taste. But as such, Hannah is rather open minded with the books she represents, though has a focus on women’s commercial fiction, book club reads, as well as crime/thrillers. For a book to grab her, the characters have to be compelling and the narrative will benefit from a strong emotional pull.

Submitting work to agents can be tricky. Hannah's advice is to be as succinct as possible. Most agents get hundreds of submissions a week, so get to the point as quickly as possible. It is no mean feat to hook an agent from only a few sentences, but no one said this writing gig would be easy! Hannah also recommends perseverance. You are bound to receive rejections when you are starting out. That doesn't always mean the work wasn't good enough but that your work wasn't right for that agent or publisher. Stick to your guns and be true to yourself. And keep at it!



Detailed data

Agency:
Hardman and Swainson
Agent since:
2010
Short biography:
I started working in publishing after finishing a Masters in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College, London. I began my publishing career in 2007 at the Marsh Agency where I worked for seven years, becoming an agent in 2010 after taking on my first author, Ali McNamara. Since then I have been building up a list of writers that is constantly growing and evolving and includes Sunday Times Bestselling novelist Miranda Dickinson, best-selling authors Giovanna Fletcher, Kirsty Greenwood, Cathy Bramley and Jo Thomas. Like most literary agents I have always been a bit of a bookworm; growing up above my family's bookshop probably nurtured that particular interest in books and reading, and I still love that feeling of excitement I get when I find a great new writer or book - be it a published one or not. I have a special bookshelf at home for those books that have stayed with me well beyond the last page and that I regularly like to lend out to others.
Client list status:
List largely complete
Genres this agent is interested in:
Travel, Science, Politics, society & current affairs, Other non-fiction, Religion, Mind, Body, Spirit, Memoir and autobiography, Food and Cookery, History, Women's fiction, Paranormal romance, Historical fiction, Genre romance, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:
I never really know what I'm looking for until I find it - which is part of the fun of the job - and makes it really hard for authors out there ... I know! But I love fiction, stories that will whisk me away to another place, be it in time, geographically, or just into another life that's different from my own. I represent a lot of women's commercial fiction, from the more literary such as Louise Walters and Nigel Packer, to the very commercial like Anna Bell and Lisa Dickenson. I love those wonderful book club reads that really capture a reader's attention or heart, and I'm always on the lookout for great young adult novels and interesting non-fiction. I have a small list of non-fiction which I'm looking to build. I like thoughtful narrative non-fiction that tells a story and helps us to understand who we are and the world that we live in. In general I'm curious about most things, so if in doubt, do send it my way. I'm always eager to hear from new authors. In an interview, Hannah was asked what authors she would love to have represented. She said, "There are so many books I would have loved to have worked on, but some of my favourite books are Life of Pi, The History of Love, Memoirs of a Geisha, and pretty much all of Nicholas Sparks' novels."
Other loves & passions:


How to make a submission:
Agency standard submission
Other advice and background:
We get so many submissions I think the key to standing out is being succinct in your approach. We have limited time to read through submissions, so the more succinct you are, the more information we'll read about your work. Injecting personality and passion whilst still remaining professional is a good start, and making your synopsis structured like a blurb you would find on the back of a book is brilliant ... There are so many tips that get bandied about, but I think what it all boils down to is perseverance. If your work gets turned down by an agent, it doesn't mean it's no good, it just means they weren't the right agent for you at that particular time. Always keep going and remain true to yourself as a writer.
Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
No
Follow on Twitter:
@AgentFergie
Interesting links:
http://londonwritersclub.com/2012/11/q-a-with-literary-agent-hannah-ferguson/
Clients:
Anna Bell, Cathy Bramley, Isabelle Broom, Lisa Dickenson, Miranda Dickinson, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Giovanna Fletcher, Kirsty Greenwood, Holly Kingston, Katie Marsh, Cressida McLaughlin, Ali McNamara, Susy McPhee, Nigel Packer, Caroline Roberts, Fiona Sussman, Sarah Turner, Louise Walters, Victoria Walters, Sue Watson, Laura Ziepe
Full client list:
http://www.hardmanswainson.com/agents/hannah-ferguson/
Email address:
hannah@hardmanswainson.com

Agents of: Hardman and Swainson

Agency details

Website:
http://www.hardmanswainson.com/
About the agency:
Founded in 2012, Hardman & Swainson is a dynamic London-based literary agency with a diverse range of clients. We pride ourselves on providing an excellent service to our authors, working closely with them at all stages of their careers. We have an international focus and make it a priority to sell our clients' work in as many territories as possible. The agency represents quality writing of all kinds and we welcome submissions and queries from new and established writers. Please see our submission guidelines for more details. We are a member of the Association of Authors' Agents
Address for submissions:
No data
Office address:
4 Kelmscott Road, London SW11 6QY
Email address:
submissions@hardmanswainson.com
Phone number:
+44 (0)20 7223 5176
Number of agents:
3
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
We welcome submissions and are actively seeking to represent both established and new talent. (However, please note that Caroline will not be looking at submissions until further notice.) We accept submissions of literary fiction, women's fiction, historical fiction, crime and thriller, horror, YA, middle grade, memoir, narrative non-fiction including popular science and history, other quality non-fiction. We are very selective in taking on new authors so don't be disappointed if your work isn't for us. Please don't send us poetry, plays / screenplays / scripts, or very young children's / picture books. We are interested in international fiction, but US authors may be better served by an agent in the US in the first instance unless there is a compelling reason to have a UK agent. FOR FICTION: Include a brief covering letter, the first three chapters or about 5,000 words, and a one page synopsis. FOR NON-FICTION: Include a covering letter outlining your book and why it has a place on the bookshelf, why you are qualified to write it, and a sample chapter. We want to see everything in one hit, so please include the sample material along with the query - either as an attachment or in the body of the email. Please direct your submission to ONE agent (more info here) and send by email to: submissions@hardmanswainson.com and not to our personal email addresses.
More info on this agency:
Founded in 2012 by Caroline Hardman and Joanna Swainson, Hardman & Swainson is a dynamic new London-based literary agency with a diverse range of clients. We pride ourselves on providing an excellent service to our authors, working closely with them at all stages of their careers. We have an international focus and make it a priority to sell our clients' work in as many territories as possible. The agency represents quality writing of all kinds and we welcome submissions and queries from new and established writers.
Average response time:
0 days
Agency Transparency Index:
76/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
No
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@HardmanSwainson
Latest news:
http://www.hardmanswainson.com/news.html
More about the agency:
Founded in 2012, Hardman & Swainson is a dynamic London-based literary agency with a diverse range of clients. We pride ourselves on providing an excellent service to our authors, working closely with them at all stages of their careers. We have an international focus and make it a priority to sell our clients' work in as many territories as possible. The agency represents quality writing of all kinds and we welcome submissions and queries from new and established writers. Please see our submission guidelines for more details. We are a member of the Association of Authors' Agents

Similar agents

Lisa Moylett
Lisa Moylett founded Coombs Moylett in 1997. She previously worked fo ...
View agent
Robert Caskie
Until recently Robert Caskie was a senior Agent and COO at Peters Fras ...
View agent
Nicky Lund
Nicky is a director of David Higham Associates. Before joining David H ...
View agent
Danielle Zigner
After reading Philosophy and Theology at Oxford University I spent a y ...
View agent
Juliet Burton
There is very limited information on this agent in the public domain.
View agent
June Bell
There is very limited biographical information about this agent in the ...
View agent
Sarah Manning
I first worked at Orion before doing a stint in script development for ...
View agent
Robert Caskie
Until recently Robert Caskie was a senior Agent and COO at Peters Fras ...
View agent
Eunice McMullen
I was born and brought up in The Lake District and studied English at ...
View agent
Robin Wade
While working as a Political Risk Insurance Broker in the City, Robin ...
View agent
Caroline Hardman
Before founding Hardman & Swainson, I was an agent at the Christopher ...
View agent
Joanna Swainson
After a degree in French from Newcastle University, I ran a business f ...
View agent
Hannah Ferguson
I started working in publishing after finishing a Masters in Creative ...
View agent
Juliet Pickering
Juliet Pickering studied English Literature at university before worki ...
View agent
Peter Tallack
Peter studied genetics at University College London before beginning a ...
View agent
Stephanie Roundsmith
In 1999 I began my career as a junior show jumper. I had a successful ...
View agent
Philippa Milnes Smith
Philippa Milnes-Smith joined LAW as an agent and director in 2001. Pri ...
View agent
Joanna Swainson
After a degree in French from Newcastle University, I ran a business f ...
View agent
Nicola Barr
Nicola studied English at Glasgow University. She joined the agency as ...
View agent
Molly Ker Hawn
My time in the children's publishing industry has included editor ...
View agent
Clare Wallace
Clare joined the Darley Anderson Agency in January 2011. She began her ...
View agent
David Haviland
David Haviland has been associated with the Andrew Lownie agency for a ...
View agent
Michael Berenti
There is very limited biographical information about this agent in the ...
View agent

Edit this agent