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Profile Summary

Michael Sissons is one of the grand old men of British publishing. His list of clients includes many phenomenal talents: Simon Schama, the historian; Lord Ashdown, the former Lib Dem leader, Louise Bagshawe, the very successful women’s fiction author; William Hague, the former Tory leader and foreign secretary, Lord Healey, the great old Labour party warrior, Sir Peter Hall, the great theatre director; plus enough generals to form a small army, and countless other well-known individuals. One blogger reckons (admittedly some ten years back) that Sissons’s list included three Companions of Honour and a remarkable six CBEs. The list contains remarkably few women, though since that small number includes Margaret Drabble and Rebecca West the average quality of those women is remarkably high.

All that, however, sounds a warning to ordinary writers seeking representation in the ordinary way. Michael Sissons has been an agent since 1958. He was Chairman and CEO of PFD in its heyday (that is, before the acrimonious split that led to the creation of United Agents). Prior to that split, PFD was probably the largest and best known agency in the UK. Though the firm is still a very significant player, but it no longer boasts its former pre-eminence.

Although still a consultant to the firm, Sissons’s most active days as an agent lie well behind him. PFD does not explicitly state that Michael Sissons is no longer taking on authors, but his list is already long and glittering enough that he hardly needs to continue to recruit debut authors. If you are an ordinary novelist or non-fiction author, your interests will certainly be better served elsewhere. And even if you are a distinguished politician or general with a few honours bestowed on you by a grateful monarch . . . well, you will still probably find your interests better served by an agent still in the full vigour of his or her career.

Detailed data

PFD The Peters Fraser and Dunlop Group
Agent since:
Short biography:

Michael Sissons is a Senior Consultant at PFD, working in the Books Division and representing novelists, non-fiction writers, and public figures in London and New York. He has worked for the agency virtually all his life, and was for many years both Chairman and Managing Director.

Client list status:
List largely complete
Genres this agent is interested in:
Travel, Science, Politics, society & current affairs, Other non-fiction, Religion, Memoir and autobiography, History, Historical fiction, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:

Michael Sissons manages talents ranging from A.S. Byatt to Louise Bagshawe.

Other loves & passions:

Michael also writes, broadcasts, and consults on media topics.

How to make a submission:
Standard agency submission.
Other advice and background:

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Follow on Twitter:
Does not Tweet
Interesting links:
The following names represent a join client list which is co-represented by Michael Sissons and Fiona Petheram: Neal Ascherson, Rt Hon Lord Ashdown, Louise Bagshawe, Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, Professor Christopher Bellamy, Alex Chance, Terry Coleman, Miriam Cooke, Dr Christopher Duffy, David Faber, Professor M.R.D. Foot, Ilana Fox, General Sir David Fraser, David Gentleman, Rt Hon William Hague, Ffion Hague, Professor Sir Peter Hall, Phil Hardy, Max Hastings, David Heathcoat-Amory, Philip Hook, Sir Alistair Horne, Sandra Howard, Professor Henry Kamen, Martin Langfield, Tony Lewis, Fiona MacCarthy, Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Professor David McLellan, Russell Miller, Nicholas Mosley, Michael Nicholson, Philip Norman, Sir Tim Rice, Rt Hon Lord Healey of Riddlesden, Professor Simon Schama, Peter Sissons, Professor Lord Skidelsky, Patrick Tilley, Ion Trewin, Michael Waterhouse, Rt Hon Lord Hurd of Westwell, Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner, General Sir John Wilsey.
Full client list:
Email address:

Agents of: PFD The Peters Fraser and Dunlop Group

Agency details

About the agency:
Address for submissions:
No data
Office address:
34-43 Russell Street, London, WC2B 5HA
Email address:
Phone number:
020 7344 1000
Number of agents:
Accepts email submissions:
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
Please submit the first three chapters of your book in hard copy with a synopsis of the whole and a very brief CV about your writing career. Double spacing and one side only. Please be aware that we don't acknowledge receipt of submissions. We'd rather spend our time reading them. Also it's important that you include a stamped, self addressed envelope so that we can respond to you. If you want us to return your manuscript, make sure the postage is enough to cover the return.
More info on this agency:
Peters Fraser & Dunlop is one of the longest-established literary and talent agencies in London. We are proud to represent authors, journalists, broadcasters, speakers and estates with specialist expertise in the fields of literature, film, television and radio, public speaking, digital platforms and journalism.
Average response time:
8 days
Agency Transparency Index:
Member of the AAA:
Overseas offices:
Accepts overseas writers:
Follow on Twitter:
Latest news:
No data
More about the agency:

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