The Darley Anderson Children’s Book Agency Ltd.
The first Children’s Book Agency authors, Cathy Cassidy and John Connolly, are now both international bestsellers. Since then, the agency has grown to include authors who have been nominated for and won major prizes, including the Carnegie Prize (Polly Ho-Yen and Stewart Foster), the IBA awards (Deirdre Sullivan and Dave Rudden) and the Mal Peet Book Award (A. M. Howell), and have climbed the bestseller lists both in the UK and internationally.
Our authors have also had their works made into films and animations, including YA author Beth Reekles, whose film of The Kissing Booth was one of the most-watched films of 2018.
Alongside working with established authors, we’re committed to developing new talent. Some of the agency’s emerging authors include Rashmi Sirdeshpande, Rachel Ip and Catherine Jacob, and we always have space for exciting debut clients.
If you are an illustrator or author-illustrator and would like to submit to us, head over to the Darley Anderson Illustration Agency website for more information.
Clare joined the Darley Anderson Agency in January 2011 and is building both the Darley Anderson Children’s Agency and the Darley Anderson Illustration Agency lists. As chief talent-spotter, Clare loves to discover memorable new characters, bold and unique voices, strong concepts and gripping storytelling. She represents picture books, middle-grade, teenage and YA. Clare is particularly looking for funny chapter books for younger readers at the moment as well as YA rom coms, especially with underrepresented protagonists. Whatever the age range, Clare loves a big hook, a lot of heart, and a standout voice. For picture books she has the widest taste, from daft to lyrical, rhyming to prose. If your submission doesn’t fit a description here, it doesn’t mean Clare doesn’t want to receive it. She often doesn’t know what she’s looking for until she finds it (although she is not the person for steampunk or space opera). Her list gives a good indication of her taste.
Clare is actively looking for submissions from underrepresented writers. Please include the hashtag #diversevoices in the subject line of your email when you submit.
The clients Clare represents include Perdita & Honor Cargill, Caroline Crowe, Tom Ellen, Martyn Ford, Stewart Foster, A M Howell, Polly Ho-Yen, Rachel Ip, Beth Reekles, J.P. Rose, Lindsay Galvin, Dave Rudden, Deirdre Sullivan and Efua Traoré.
After a childhood buried in library books and Beanos, Lydia started her career in the editorial team at Egmont, where she commissioned books such as the Carnegie Medal-winning The Poet X. She joined the Darley Anderson team in 2018, and is building an engaging and diverse list of authors and illustrators. With experience on both sides of the commissioning desk, Lydia loves working editorially with her clients and developing ideas from an initial spark into a full manuscript. She represents clients across all age groups, including picture book, chapter book, middle grade and YA, and has a particular focus on non-fiction.
Lydia reads and considers widely, and among other things she is looking for snort-inducing stories for younger readers, clever and contemporary teenage and YA fiction, and non-fiction projects that take big ideas and make them easily navigable, accessible and fun. She would particularly love to see queer characters in middle grade plots, bold and bonkers young readers, and high-concept YA fantasies with truly original worldbuilding. No matter the story, Lydia is drawn to voice above anything else and will always be sucked in by a strong hook. Lydia is actively looking for submissions from all under-represented writers, and if you’re comfortable doing so, you can use the hashtag #diversevoice when you submit to indicate that you identify as under-represented.
Lydia represents clients including Soofiya, Gina Blaxill, Mark Bradley, Ryan Hammond, Alice Harman, Joyce Efia Harmer, Catherine Jacob, Hannah Moffatt, Rachel Morrisroe, Nick Sheridan, Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Eva Wong Nava. If you could sum up her tastes in three words, they would be curious, characterful and heartfelt, and in three books, they would be One of Us is Lying, Nevermoor and You Are Awesome.
Becca studied History at Cambridge and loved studying (and student life) so much that she went on to add a PGCE, a masters in Children’s literature and a second masters in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University to her CV. Whilst chasing that ‘back to school’ high, Becca has gained experience in almost every part of the publishing industry. She started out as an editorial assistant at Hot Key Books before joining the licensing world to work as a magazine editor and publishing manager for Moshi Monsters. After a spell developing original ideas for Pottermore she became a literary scout (the super sleuth of the publishing world) where she learned the importance of the foreign rights market. Becca joined Darley Anderson as a literary agent in October 2021 and is now building a list with a particular focus on the US market.
Becca is looking for new stories in all shapes and sizes, from middle grade and graphic novel to teen and YA fiction. Becca reads widely but loves books with compelling voices, twists and brave new ideas. In YA she would love to see some Queer fantasy, fat protagonists, a rom-com as if Nora Ephron had written it and contemporary stories told from a new perspective. For younger readers she love/hates the books that make her cry and is on the search for characters that stay with her long after the final page. High-stakes adventure stories are welcome as are graphic novels and books that make you want to read just one more chapter…
Junior Agent/Assistant to Clare Wallace
Chloe joined the Darley Anderson team in 2019 as agency assistant. She works very closely alongside agent Clare Wallace, assisting with her clients and talent spotting. She often gets a first look at submissions and shares any promising manuscripts and portfolios with Clare and agent Lydia Silver. Chloe has also recently started to build her own list at the agency. She is particularly fond of middle grade books of all genres, but she’s mostly drawn to stories with an element of mystery or adventure – think the Murder Most Unladylike series or anything by Katherine Rundell or Abi Elphinstone. She’d love to find contemporary stories with plenty of heart and warmth, as well as a strong and unique concept, that are relatable to today’s children and that bring in new perspectives. Chloe is also drawn to laugh-out-loud funny stories for younger readers. In terms of YA, she’d love to find a great commercial romance or a contemporary story with a unique hook or element of mystery.
Chloe would very much like to hear from authors from underrepresented backgrounds so please do include the hashtag #diversevoices in the subject line of your submission email.
Chloe previously worked in the Rights department at Pan Macmillan and as a Bookseller at Waterstones. She also has a degree in English Literature and French from the University of Edinburgh and spent a year studying in Paris.
Our in-house Children’s Book Agency Rights team is made up of Sheila David, who represents Film and Television Rights, and our three Translation Rights Agents: Head of Rights, Mary Darby; Rights Agents Kristina Egan and Georgia Fuller.
Travelling to the biggest international book fairs, the Rights Team is in contact with the best publishers and studios from all over the world, building authors’ careers both internationally and at home in print and on-screen.
For more information on Rights, please click here.