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Profile Summary

From 1991 to 2002, Lindsey Fraser ran Book Trust Scotland with Kathryn Ross. Wanting to further their careers in the publishing industry, the pair set up the literary and consulting agency Fraser Ross Associates. Their agency focuses on children's literature, especially picture books, representing both writers and illustrators.

While Lindsey tends to take on clients writing for the core children's market (ages 8 through 12), she is open to a wide range of submissions. As long as the manuscript appeals to her and she believes it has the potential to be a commercial success, she will consider it. Many of her authors who write a mixture of children's and adult fiction either were established writers before turning their hand to children's or found her through their children's writing first. It is worth noting that Lindsey isn't a fan of either horror or science fiction.

Her passion for young writers as well as books for young readers, Lindsey runs the Pushkin Prizes with business partner Kathryn. The prize involves a five-day course at Arvon specifically aimed at young writers and runs in Scotland and Russia. 

When submitting your work to Lindsey, be sure that you have researched the market thoroughly. Include in your cover letter where you think your book would fit. She also stresses the importance of not submitting too early. Take the time to put the manuscript aside for a few months before doing another polish. Sometimes the difference between a 'yes' and a 'no' is that one last redraft. 

Fraser Ross Associates Literary Agency and Consultancy's website does not call out individual agents' client lists, but the agency as a whole works with a variety of writers and books, including some non-fiction. Many of their most successful children's writers are actually hybrid clients, being both writers and illustrators.


Detailed data

Agency:
Fraser Ross Associates
Agent since:
2002
Short biography:
Lindsey Fraser ran Scottish Book Trust with Kathryn Ross from 1991 until 2002 before starting Fraser Ross Associates Literary Agency and Consultancy. Over the years, they have been on the judging panel for the Nestle Smarties, Whitbread and Fidler literary prizes and have attended and addressed conferences on literature and readership development throughout the UK, in the USA and Canada, in Ghana, France, Germany and Russia. She wrote the first review of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' which appeared in The Scotsman. Lindsey has been a children's book reviewer for a number of national newspapers and judged several book awards including The Smarties Prize, The Guardian's Children's Book Award and the Whitbread Award. She has edited three anthologies of short stories for young people. In addition to the literary agency, Kathryn and Lindsey are the National Co-ordinators of the Scottish Executive's 'Read Together' initiative. Lindsey is also director of the Pushkin Prizes, a creative writing competition for Scottish pupils in their first and second year at secondary school, and is on the steering committee of the Children's Laureateship. Lindsey and Kathryn administer the Blue Peter Book Awards on behalf of the BBC. Her most recent book is 'J K Rowling: The Mystery of Fiction' (Argyll Publishing), one in a series of biographies for teenagers.
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, Memoir and autobiography, Other non-fiction, General Fiction
Authors & books liked:
Children's books.
Other loves & passions:
Dog walking enthusiast, radio addict.
How to make a submission:
Agency standard submission.
Other advice and background:

The hurdle at which most submissions fall is a lack of awareness of the market. In theory it is enough to write the book you want to write, but in practice, publishing is a business and there is little room for indulgence. Talk to librarians and booksellers - they have their finger on the pulse of what the publishers are doing and what the public is looking for. Read widely and familiarise yourself with the layout of a book. For example, many people submit perfectly respectable picture book texts, but they haven't thought in terms of the book's layout. Like any industry, it's important to do as much preparatory work as possible.



An Interview with Lindsey

Q. What books/authors do you love in commercial fiction? (Crime, women’s) Give us some examples and say why you liked these books/authors.

There are so many…

But I will always want to read the new Anne Tyler, the new John Irving, the new Ali Smith and the new Alice Munro. Among many others.

I simply want a story – fiction or non-fiction – that will keep me gripped until it ends.

I don’t like horror and don’t always find science fiction entirely convincing – but I’m willing to give most things a try, especially if somebody recommends it to me.

Non-fiction is such a rich area of the market – and again, if somebody recommends a book I’ll generally try and read it.

Q. What’s your biggest turn-off in a covering letter? What would you really hope to see?

I know that writers agonise over covering letters – the best are clear and concise, avoid gimmickry, don’t make claims that simply cannot be substantiated and don’t begin ‘Dear Sir’.

I recently received a Christmas card with nothing other than a memory stick glued inside – no address, name or anything to identify it. Presumably that information was on the memory stick – but there was no way I was going to risk opening it. That kind of approach is attention-grabbing – but not in a good way.

 

Q. What are your biggest peeves in an opening page or opening chapter? And what do you love to see?

I want the voice to be secure and to invite me to keep turning the pages.

Q. Would you take on an author who had self-published? What kind of self-pub sales would make you sit up?

We might take on an author who has self-published, but we wouldn’t represent their self-published book. They would need to have written something new.

Q. What single piece of advice would you most want to give writers?

Don’t submit too soon.

Q. How many submissions do you see annually? And how many of those submissions will end up on your list?

We receive upwards of 350 submissions per month. Last year we took on 3 new clients.

Q. Do you look for social media and online presence? Do you care?

I do look – but not because I think it’s essential, more because people reveal quite a lot of themselves online and it often offers insights that a covering letter doesn’t.

Q. When people are pitching the concept for a book to you, what do you find is the most common failing?

I would rather they pitched the story.

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Yes
Follow on Twitter:
@LindseyFraser
Interesting links:
http://girlsheartbooks.com/2011/10/31/guest-blogger-lindsey-fraser-literary-agent/
Clients:
Full agency client list: Sorrel Anderson, Gill Arbuthnott, Tim Archbold, Alice Balfour, Jason Beresford, Erica Blaney, Thomas Bloor, Ella Burfoot, Emma Crabbe, John Cresswell, Judy Cumberbatch, Fiona Cummings, Vanessa Dawson, Robert Dodds, Lari Don, Nicole Dryburgh, Jane Eagland, Richard Edwards, Teresa Flavin, Anne Forbes, Margaret Forrester, Vivian French, Joe Friedman, Roy Gill, Lesley Glaister, Gemma Green, Gus Grenfell, Edward Hardy, Chris Higgins, Barry Hutchison, Julie Irwin, Charlie James, Cate James, Graham Jones, The following names represent the full agency client list: Damian Kelleher, Ann Kelley, Tanya Landman, Joan Lennon, Joan Lingard, Janice Mackay, Liz MacWhirter, Fraser MacLean, Jack McLean, Mike Maroney, John Newman, Judy Paterson, Helena Pielichaty, Sue Purkiss, Lynne Rickards, Jamie Rix, Sarah Rubin, Karen Saunders, Daniela Sacerdoti, Robert Sproul-Cran, Dugald Steer, Linda Strachan, Chae Strathie, Rosie Wallace, Adrian Wisniewski, Matilda Webb
Full client list:
http://www.fraserross.co.uk/clients.html
Email address:
No Data

Agents of: Fraser Ross Associates

Agency details

Website:
http://www.fraserross.co.uk/
About the agency:
We want our writers and illustrators to feel supported, not only in the business side of their careers, but also in their ideas and writing plans. Every one of our clients has different needs; we aim to offer solutions based on guidance and information gleaned through a wide network of contacts throughout the book industry.
Address for submissions:
Fraser Ross Associates, 6 Wellington Place, Edinburgh EH6 7EQ
Office address:
No data
Email address:
kjross@tiscali.co.uk
Phone number:
0131 657 4412
Number of agents:
2
Accepts email submissions:
No
Submission type:
Other - see details
Further submission info:
All work should be sent hard copy, one side, double-spaced and with pages numbered. We do not accept email submissions or submissions on disk. For novels, please send the first three chapters (or equivalent). Word count of the complete novel (or equivalent). Synopsis of novel (Please note - we need a synopsis, not a blurb.) For picture books, please send the complete manuscript. If you are the illustrator, please include 2 or 3 sample copies of your artwork - colour and black and white - plus a rough storyboard/thumbnail sketches of the complete story, or, if you prefer, a dummy rough of the proposed book. A writing cv including past publications, publishers approached and results, and your writing ambitions. If you wish your manuscript returned, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope. We cannot return manuscripts to writers living overseas. Full contact details.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
8 days
Agency Transparency Index:
43/100
Member of the AAA:
No
Overseas offices:
No data
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
None
Latest news:
No data
More about the agency:
We want our writers and illustrators to feel supported, not only in the business side of their careers, but also in their ideas and writing plans. Every one of our clients has different needs; we aim to offer solutions based on guidance and information gleaned through a wide network of contacts throughout the book industry.

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