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Profile Summary

James started reading for the agency to earn pocket money, shortly after it was founded by his mother in 1995, and graduated to writing editorial notes when he finished school. He bravely struck out on his own to read music at Oxford, followed by an M-Phil in Musicology and Performance and a long, oddly angry thesis on historical vocal technique in classical singing. But all the while he was earning his keep by reading and editing and eventually, perhaps inevitably, the agency claimed him.


He comes to agenting from an editorial perspective, from a love of words and their rhythm, and of the structure and power of narrative. Funnily enough, those musical studies were helpful after all. Singing is the business of unearthing the music latent in language. And studying music is about trying to grasp the workings of narrative in its most abstract form. All this feeds happily back into the editing and the telling of stories, which he now does for a living, polishing up his authors’ stories and gleefully reading them out to editors. (The short ones, anyway.)




Detailed data

Agency:
The Catchpole Agency
Agent since:
2010
Short biography:

James started reading for the agency to earn pocket money, shortly after it was founded by his mother in 1995, and graduated to writing editorial notes when he finished school. He bravely struck out on his own to read music at Oxford, followed by an M-Phil in Musicology and Performance and a long, oddly angry thesis on historical vocal technique in classical singing. But all the while he was earning his keep by reading and editing and eventually, perhaps inevitably, the agency claimed him.


He comes to agenting from an editorial perspective, from a love of words and their rhythm, and of the structure and power of narrative. Funnily enough, those musical studies were helpful after all. Singing is the business of unearthing the music latent in language. And studying music is about trying to grasp the workings of narrative in its most abstract form. All this feeds happily back into the editing and the telling of stories, which he now does for a living, polishing up his authors’ stories and gleefully reading them out to editors. (The short ones, anyway.)

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:

The Catchpole Agency are only interested in children's literature.

To take examples from our own list, Polly Dunbar’s Penguin, Michelle Robinson’s Odd Socks, Sean Taylor’s Hoot Owl, Emer Stamp’s Diary of Pig, SF Said’s Phoenix, Steve Tasane’s Nobody Saw No One.


Other loves & passions:

Music, singing, football (both the two-legged and the one-legged versions – see ‘interesting links’ below)

How to make a submission:
Please see the submissions guidelines on our website. http://www.thecatchpoleagency.co.uk/submissions/
Other advice and background:


Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
No
Follow on Twitter:
@peachjamcloset
Interesting links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVdJ8hZc3-E
Clients:
Dawn Casey, Jane Clarke, Patricia Cleveland-Peck, Malachy Doyle, Polly Dunbar, Sarah Edmonds, Ursula Jones, Susannah Lloyd, Leonie Lord, David Lucas, Eoin McLaughlin, Dawn McNiff, Angie Morgan, Sue Pickford, Julia Rawlinson, Michelle Robinson, SF Said, Jane Simmons, Emer Stamp, Steve Tasane, Sean Taylor
Full client list:
http://www.thecatchpoleagency.co.uk/
Email address:
james@thecatchpoleagency.co.uk

Agents of: The Catchpole Agency

Agency details

Website:
http://www.thecatchpoleagency.co.uk/
About the agency:
The Catchpole Literary Agency is based in London and Oxford. The agency was founded in 1996 by Celia Catchpole. Her son James joined her in 2010. We only take on new clients if we feel moved and enthused by their work, so our list remains deliberately short. This in turn allows us to spend more time doing what we love: working with our clients to make their stories as good as they can be.
Address for submissions:
No submissions by post.
Office address:
53 Cranham Street, Oxford OX2 6DD
Email address:
james@thecatchpoleagency.co.uk
Phone number:
07789 588070
Number of agents:
1
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Other - see details
Further submission info:
A short, snappy cover letter with just a couple of details about the sender. A one- or two-sentence pitch for a story idea, to set out the hook of its premise. A brief nod to the intended readership and then a sample of writing pasted into the body of the email (a whole picture book text or a couple of chapters of a novel). If the sender is an illustrator, link to a website where we could view their work; plus some writing, be it samples of text or just outlines of story ideas
More info on this agency:
We're a small, family-run literary agency based in Oxford, specialising in children's literature from board books for babies up to novels for teenagers. Our particular qualities as an agency are the deliberate smallness of our list - we try not to spread ourselves too thin, for our and our clients' sake, and the strength of our editorial work. We tend to do a good deal of work with our clients editorially, to help them ensure their stories are as well structured and powerfully told as they can be, before we take them to market. We find that for the most part editors (and other agencies) can't afford to set the time aside for this often vital stage in a story’s creation. For us, it's the core of what we do.
Average response time:
0 days
Agency Transparency Index:
35/100
Member of the AAA:
No
Overseas offices:
None
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@peachjamcloset
Latest news:
No data
More about the agency:
The Catchpole Literary Agency is based in London and Oxford. The agency was founded in 1996 by Celia Catchpole. Her son James joined her in 2010. We only take on new clients if we feel moved and enthused by their work, so our list remains deliberately short. This in turn allows us to spend more time doing what we love: working with our clients to make their stories as good as they can be.

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