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Profile Summary

Robert Kirby is one of the founders of United Agents and joint head of the literary department.  He had a varied and diverse career outside of publishing before becoming an assistant to Giles Corden. 

In 1994, he began to build his own list at PFD.  Robert is mainly interested in commercial fiction and non-fiction.  He represents a long list of high profile clients in television (James Corden), comedy (Ricky Gervais), and politics (John Prescott) and has previously received the Bookseller Industry Award for Literary Agent of the Year. 

Robert is an irregular twitter user and, beyond the UA website, doesn’t have much of a web presence, which makes it difficult to know what kind of writers he is looking for.  Our researchers have pored over his client list and unearthed a few other facts and are able to offer a few more specific details:


  • He is interested in new ideas in the fields of business, psychology and health.
  • He has a clear interest in British comedy. Rob Brydon and Marcus Brigstocke are among his clients.
  • Represents a wide range of biography and autobiography covering everything from the Beatles to military memoirs and prison experiences.
  • Fiction lists features a number of fantasy writers including James Barclay (The Raven Trilogies), Ben Jeapes and John Clute.  He also represents Anderson Entertainment (the TV & Film production company of the late Gerry Anderson of Thunderbirds fame).
  • Outside the agent world, he is a qualified trainer and coach of non-dual therapy.  Notable ‘Psychology’ clients include Paul McKenna and the psychic Anne Jirsch.
  • We think Robert would be a good agent for someone with a unique personal story to tell or a very strong commercial fiction idea, particularly in the adventure fiction genre.  However, due to an extensive celebrity client list and his long standing experience as an agent, we suspect Robert is not actively building his list.  


Detailed data

Agency:
United Agents
Agent since:
1994
Short biography:

I am a founding agent of United Agents. Previously, I trained as a psychologist, worked as a social worker with homeless men and families ran market stalls in Portobello and Camden and assisted the Aga Khan before ending up, some 20 years ago, as an assistant to the literary agent Giles Gordon. His clients included Sue Townsend, Peter Ackroyd, Fay Weldon, Barry Unsworth and Vikram Seth. I set up on my own as a literary agent with the Peters Fraser & Dunlop Group (PFD) in 1994 and since then have built up a list of good quality commercial fiction and non-fiction writers which reflects my broad range of interests. I joined United Agents in the autumn of 2007. I have spent several years studying non-dual therapy with Peter Fenner and am a qualified trainer and coach. In May 2011 I was awarded the Bookseller Industry Award for Literary Agent of the Year. In June 2012 I was promoted to Head of the Literary Department at United Agents. On 30 November 2012 United Agents acquired A P Watt Ltd and from 3 December 2012 I became joint head of the literary department with Natasha Fairweather.

Client list status:
Open to new clients
Genres this agent is interested in:
Memoir and autobiography, Mind, Body, Spirit, Food and Cookery, Other non-fiction, History, Politics, society & current affairs, Science, Travel, Religion, Women's fiction, General Fiction, Crime, thriller, action, Erotica, Fantasy, Genre romance, Historical fiction, Horror, Paranormal romance, Science fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:

I have built up a list of good quality commercial fiction and non-fiction writers which reflects my broad range of interests.

Other loves & passions:

I have spent several years studying non-dual therapy with Peter Fenner and am a qualified trainer and coach.

How to make a submission:
For submissions please send via email to hthompson@unitedagents.co.uk, with a synopsis and first three chapters. To reach Robert, please contact his assistant, Holly Thompson (email address above).
Other advice and background:

No Data.

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Yes
Follow on Twitter:
@RobertKirbyUA
Interesting links:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-kirby-a7604b9
Clients:
Joe Abercrombie, Dr Dannie Abse, William Ash, Dr Lucy Atcheson, Shaun Attwood, Keith Badman, Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton, Richard Bandler, James Barclay, Professor Geoffrey Beattie, Richard Belfield, Charley Boorman, Dr John Briffa, Marcus Brigstocke, Sandra Brown, Rob Brydon, Monica Cafferky, Paul Carr, Mike Carter, Stephen Cave, Craig Charles, John Clute, Justin Lee Collins, Storm Constantine, Julian Cope, James Corden, Richard Curtis, Hunter Davies, Emma De Vita, Christie Dickason, Jason Donovan, Alastair Dryburgh, Nic Dunlop, Rachael English, Emerald Fennell, Owen Fitzpatrick, Brendan Foley, Dawn French, John Geddes, Ricky Gervais, Paul Gorman, Trevor Griffiths, Clare Grogan, Jeff Gulvin, Gus the Fox, Matthew Gwyther, M.G. Harris, John Hegley, Tim Ewbank and Stafford Hildred, Boyd Hilton, Professor Bruce Hood, Anthony Horowitz, Jonnie Hughes, Sir Bernard Ingham, Clive James CBE, Ben Jeapes, Anne Jirsch, Matthew Jukes, Max Kirsten, Steven Knight, Andy Lane, Jim Lawless, Robert Llewellyn, Simon's Cat Ltd, Management Today, Russ Malkin, John Matthews, Nigel McCrery, Ewan McGregor, Paul McKenna, Julie Meyer, Andy Milligan, Neil Mullarkey, Michael Neill, Seka Nikolic, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Gerry O'Carroll, Dermot O'Connor, Ruth Padel, Dr Sam Parnia, Julia Pascal, Susie Pearl, John Prescott, Christopher Priest, Alun Rees, Simon Reeve, Alastair Reynolds, Alessio Roberti, Nick Ryan, Andy Secombe, Michael Smith, Owen Smith, L. Vaughan Spencer, Ian Stafford, Suggs, Jonathan Tulloch, Mick Wall, Dr Kevin Warwick, Trevor White, June Whitfield.
Full client list:
http://unitedagents.co.uk/robert-kirby?dept=3&filter=13
Email address:
kwalsh@unitedagents.co.uk

Agency details

Website:
http://unitedagents.co.uk/
About the agency:
United Agents was established in 2007, following the departure of all 75 members of staff from PDF (Peters Dunlop Fraser), in protest against PDF's parent company. UA is owned by its employees. UA represents actors, authors, cinematographers, composers, designers, directors, editors, playwrights, presenters, and voiceover artists. United Agents is currently in the final stage of negotiations to take over A.P. Watt, the world's longest-established literary agency. UA claim to offer its clients "unrivalled service and creative opportunities with a unique understanding of traditional and emerging media platforms".
Address for submissions:
12-26 Lexington Street, London W1F 0LE
Office address:
No data
Email address:
info@unitedagents.co.uk
Phone number:
020 3214 0800
Number of agents:
18
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
As an agency, we value and welcome approaches from prospective authors. Instead of writing generally to the Book Department, however, we request that you take a look at our literary agents' pages on our website, and make a specific and informed approach to one agent only. Each agent may have specific requests in terms of how they wish to receive material, and those instructions will be on their individual pages. Generally, we ask you to email a full outline for non-fiction projects, or a synopsis of your novel and the first three chapters, together with covering note telling us about yourself and your writing career to date.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
8 days
Agency Transparency Index:
34/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
None
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@unitedagents
Latest news:
http://unitedagents.co.uk/news_archive
More about the agency:
United Agents was established in 2007, following the departure of all 75 members of staff from PDF (Peters Dunlop Fraser), in protest against PDF's parent company. UA is owned by its employees. UA represents actors, authors, cinematographers, composers, designers, directors, editors, playwrights, presenters, and voiceover artists. United Agents is currently in the final stage of negotiations to take over A.P. Watt, the world's longest-established literary agency. UA claim to offer its clients "unrivalled service and creative opportunities with a unique understanding of traditional and emerging media platforms".

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