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Profile Summary

Julia started out as a literary agent with the commercially-driven agency, Darley Anderson, where she started the children’s list, then moved to the (US-based) Greenhouse Agency, where she was responsible for starting the London office. Now at AM Heath – a distinguised mid-sized agency – she runs their children’s and YA list there too.

AH users should certainly consult Julia’s useful profile below for a detailed view of what she loves and what she’s after, but some useful highlights include:

•    The fact (unusual for an experienced agent at a major agency) that she declares herself positively in love with debut authors and the slushpile. She says she thinks of the slushpile as “the greatest place on earth”.
•    She’s a particular fan of humorous books. When at Greenhouse, she set up an annual Greenhouse Funny Prize, which was awarded to a writer (for kids of any age) who wrote genuinely laugh-out-loud material.
•    She’ll handle everything from picture books up to YA fiction.
•    At AM Heath, she now runs an Irish Children’s Prize, so Irish writers should find a particular warm reception from her.

She blogs very usefully on the AMH site – see useful links below – and in particular we recommend her July 2014 blog post in which she sets out a wish list for submissions she’d love to see. That list will change, of course, but it gives you a good idea for the kind of things she’s most interested to see. At the moment, she wants:

•    Picture books and new fairytales;
•    Any Cathy Cassidy type fiction that gives an authentic feel of what it’s like to be a 9-12 year old girl: feelings and family; school and schoolfriends
•    Crossover work – that is, a younger tone and an older “worldly” centre.
•    A fantasy series that could grow into one of those evergreen classics: new worlds, big ideas and genuine warmth, humour and playfulness
•    Oh, and “British YA talent” that could be the next break-out hit in its genre.

If you have any of those in your bottom drawer, we suggest you open it up, and soon . . .



Detailed data

Agency:
AM Heath and Co
Agent since:
2005
Short biography:

Julia Churchill joined AM Heath in 2013 as Children's Agent, after four years building up the UK side of the Greenhouse Literary Agency.Julia began her career in books in the press office of Sheldrake Press. In 2002, she started work at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency in London as a Personal Assistant, and was appointed Agency Manager in 2004. The following year she became Associate Agent, specializing in children's books. Here Julia founded her reputation as a talent-spotter and deal-maker and developed the agency's prestigious children's books list. She also handled subsidiary rights for both the children's and adult sides of the agency. Julia has a ceaseless enthusiasm for the treasure hunt of the submissions pile and can often be found in the cafes of West London, working through a pile of manuscripts. She regularly attends British writers' events and is on the lookout for both new and established authors with storytelling magic. She is a member of the AAA, SCBWI UK and a committee member of the Children's Book Circle.

Client list status:
Open to new clients
Genres this agent is interested in:
Children's picture books, Children's fiction, Young adult fiction, Children's & YA non-fiction
Authors & books liked:

Julia loves - in random order - Robinson Crusoe, Survival Handbook/island adventure stuff, Tintin, Asterix, Stephen King, James Herbert, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby Jr. Roald Dahl, David Walliams, Susan Cooper,

Other loves & passions:

Walking, cooking - and particularly children's humour. Julia created and runs the annual Greenhouse Funny Prize. This seeks out the very best of comic writing aimed at children. (Irrespective of age: the prize is open to those writing picture books as much as to those writing for older children or teenagers.) The winner of the prize secures representation from Julia.

How to make a submission:
Agency standard
Other advice and background:

"The one thing you can't fix is voice. Voice is what excites agents and drives publishers wild. It must be original, authentic, something we haven't heard before." Characters and story must be compelling. Theme: Don't overlook theme in young fiction. "It's what stays with you after you close the novel. In many ways, it is the point of reading. Theme is the heart - and it's a key element for books of all ages. Think carefully about your themes and build them in at planning stage." Don't teach, patronise or send messages. "One of my favourite children's authors, Maurice Sendak, said: 'I've never written a book with a lesson.' You can't patronise readers; it doesn't work."

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Yes
Follow on Twitter:
@JuliaChurchill
Interesting links:
http://www.amheath.com/blog/author/julia/
Clients:
AM Heath doesn't break out authors by agent in any easy-to-find way. We will ask for clarification ad will bring you a full client list as soon as we can.
Full client list:
http://www.amheath.com/authors
Email address:
Julia.Churchill@amheath.com

Agents of: AM Heath and Co

Agency details

Website:
http://www.amheath.com/
About the agency:
Founded in 1919, A.M.Heath is one of the UKs leading literary agencies. We represent established contemporary authors, rising stars and some of the iconic writers of the 20th Century. Our focus is on working with authors to exploit the potential of their writing in as many arenas as possible. Our agents work closely together to ensure that we cover all areas of the business and each author benefits from the shared expertise of our tight-knit and supportive team. Between us we represent a wide range of prize-winning and bestselling fiction and non-fiction; journalists, historians, biographers, experts and novelists across all genres, from crime to literary, historical to YA and childrens. We are also proud to represent several major literary estates, including the Orwell estate.
Address for submissions:
6 Warwick Court, Holborn, London WC1R 5DJ
Office address:
No data
Email address:
http://www.amheath.com/contact.php
Phone number:
0207 242 2811
Number of agents:
7
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
We have all found exciting new talent through the unsolicited submissions and are keen to continue doing so. We want to hear from you and look forward to reading your work. We are no longer accepting paper submissions. Instead, we'd like you to submit online, by filling in the form that you can click to at the bottom of this page. The form will ask you for your contact details and for some information about your submission (for example, what genre it falls into, whether it's finished or a work in progress). It will then ask you to insert a covering letter (maximum 500 words) and a synopsis of the work (maximum 1,500 words). You can either type these directly into the form, or copy and paste them from elsewhere. And, finally, the form will ask you to upload a word file containing your submission (.doc or .docx - please do not upload a pdf).
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
4 days
Agency Transparency Index:
57/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
No data
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@amheathltd
Latest news:
http://www.amheath.com/news.php
More about the agency:
Founded in 1919, A.M.Heath is one of the UKs leading literary agencies. We represent established contemporary authors, rising stars and some of the iconic writers of the 20th Century. Our focus is on working with authors to exploit the potential of their writing in as many arenas as possible. Our agents work closely together to ensure that we cover all areas of the business and each author benefits from the shared expertise of our tight-knit and supportive team. Between us we represent a wide range of prize-winning and bestselling fiction and non-fiction; journalists, historians, biographers, experts and novelists across all genres, from crime to literary, historical to YA and childrens. We are also proud to represent several major literary estates, including the Orwell estate.

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