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Profile Summary

Kirsty has been a literary agent for over 20 years, previously having worked at Abner Stein Agency. Working at a small but vibrant agency, David Godwin Associates, Kirsty handles the entire agency's film, television, and stage rights. The clients represented by David Godwin Associates are incredibly varied, particularly Kirsty's list. Her interests range from young adult fiction to adult narrative non-fiction. Kirsty also runs the London Writers' Club, organising events for writers every month with speakers from different parts of the publishing industry, from editors, agents, booksellers, and published writers.

Young adult and children's fiction are genres of particular interest to Kirsty who already represents several such authors (Alex Campbell, Clémentine Beauvais, Lucy Inglis, and Rhian Tracey, for instance). She likes narratives that are steeped in realistic feeling young adult issues and are emotionally moving. While it is important for authors to be mindful of trends in any market, Kirsty is not one to dictate her tastes to the passing popular fads. Make yourself stand out while showing you understand the kind of work that is currently selling well.

It is important to do your research before submitting your work to an agent. Kirsty recommends getting to know agents via their social media presence to better understand their interests before sending your manuscript. For example, Kirsty loves cold climate narrative non-fiction. Engaging, inspirational, and truly unique memoirs will always be considered, but throw in some snow and ice to really get her attention!

Kirsty has written multiple guest blogs about the need for writers to try less traditional methods for getting a literary agent. The slush pile can reap rewards, but with the number of submissions that flow into an agent's inbox on a daily basis, the rate of success is less than 1%. Kirsty encourages writers to build an online presence, network, and approach agents in person. And of course, make sure your work is as good as it possibly can be before submitting!


Detailed data

Agency:
DGA David Godwin Associates
Agent since:
2002
Short biography:
Kirsty McLachlan has worked in literary agencies for over 20 years, and has been at David Godwin Associates for over a decade. She was previously at Abner Stein. She represents a small stable of clients and also negotiates film and TV deals for our clients.
Client list status:
Open to new clients
Genres this agent is interested in:
Children's fiction, Young adult fiction, Children's & YA non-fiction, Memoir and autobiography, Food and Cookery, Other non-fiction, History, Politics, society & current affairs, Science, Travel, General Fiction, Crime, thriller, action, Horror, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:
Enjoys Young Adult Literature and the demands of the teenage audience, stories with an emphasis on plot instead of endless pages of metaphor.
Other loves & passions:
Social history
How to make a submission:
Agency standard submission.
Other advice and background:
Do your research on all the agents you submit your work to; only send in your work when you feel it is the very best it can be; and target your submission. Don't make it feel like a mass submission. Agents like to be flattered. Be discovered by being visible on Twitter, blogging and other social media. If you are successful online, then there's a good chance you'll be successful in print. A lot of agents find authors, not the other way round, so word-of-mouth is important. Don't always go for the boss. Look for someone who's got a new list. Writing contests are good ways to get noticed. Be unusual: don't follow the usual plotlines. Give the judges something to think about: memorable lines, memorable characters, something different. Ensure your entry has undertones: even a simple story of 1,500 words can carry great meaning and go beyond the simple narrative. When people start writing they often think they have to write about themselves, because that's what they know. I disagree. Do your research, leave your comfort zone and be bold. Readers often want to be transported: you don't have to live something to write about it.
Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Yes
Follow on Twitter:
@thestormboy
Interesting links:
http://www.ideastap.com/IdeasMag/The-Knowledge/How-to-get-published http://strictlywriting.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/guest-post-by-kirsty-mclachlan-step-out.html http://www.publishingtalk.eu/writing/10-ways-to-stay-in-and-write-in-january/ http://michelleteasdale.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/guest-blog-top-agent-kirsty-mclachlan/ http://londonwritersclub.com/about-contact/ http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/agents-behaving-well.html http://pinterest.com/publishingtalk/contributors/
Clients:
Nick Abadzis, Rachael Ball, Clementine Beauvais, Lily Bernheimer, Sharon Blackie, Alex Campbell, Darryl Cunningham, Tom Ellen, Katie Green, Lucy Inglis, Lucy Ivison, Rhian Ivory, Lizzie Lees, MG Leonard, Simone Lia, Sarah Lightman, Graham Morse, Daniel Pembrey, Natasha Peskin, Christopher Plumb, Charlotte Salter, Lisa Samson, Miranda Sawyer, Julian Sedgwick, Marcus Sedgwick, Julia Shaw, Jean Sprackland, Nicola Streeten, Clover Stroud, Suzanne O’Sullivan, Thomas Taylor, Tracey Thorn, Cheryl Tipp, Sarah Ward, Ben Watt, Ian Williams
Full client list:
http://www.davidgodwinassociates.com/kirstys-clients
Email address:
kirsty@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk

Agents of: DGA David Godwin Associates

Agency details

Website:
http://www.davidgodwinassociates.com/
About the agency:
DGA is a small agency, representing an exciting and varied list of international writers of fiction and non-fiction, including novelists, poets, biographers, historians and journalists. DGA does not represent any reference, science fiction, self-help, or picture books, poetry or collections of short stories. DGA offers a comprehensive service, handling all rights worldwide including film, TV and translation. DGA has represented Booker award-winning authors such as Arundhati Roy, Aravind Adiga, as well as Vikram Seth, Jeet Thayil and Nilanjana Roy.
Address for submissions:
55 Monmouth Street, London, WC2H 9DG
Office address:
No data
Email address:
philippa@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk
Phone number:
0207 240 9992
Number of agents:
3
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
For children books (9 years +) or Young Adult books, please send the synopsis and first 20 pages via email to: kirsty@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk All other submissions should be sent by post to the above address. Please take the time to consider our existing client list. If you think that your work is suitable, send in the first three chapters of your work (or about 50 pages) with a brief synopsis and covering letter. If you would like your manuscript returned, please include the correct postage and packaging. If you would prefer a response from the agency via email then just provide your email address. We do not accept any submissions via email. Please do not contact the office to check on the status of your submission as we do not keep records of manuscripts received. If your submission is of interest, we will contact you directly. Whilst every care is taken with submissions, DGA cannot accept responsibility for any material sent to us. It is your responsibility to keep copies of any original work. Submissions that do not include the correct postage for a response will be recycled.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
8 days
Agency Transparency Index:
38/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
No data
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@DGALitAgents
Latest news:
No data
More about the agency:
DGA is a small agency, representing an exciting and varied list of international writers of fiction and non-fiction, including novelists, poets, biographers, historians and journalists. DGA does not represent any reference, science fiction, self-help, or picture books, poetry or collections of short stories. DGA offers a comprehensive service, handling all rights worldwide including film, TV and translation. DGA has represented Booker award-winning authors such as Arundhati Roy, Aravind Adiga, as well as Vikram Seth, Jeet Thayil and Nilanjana Roy.

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