Clare Wallace

Managing Director & Literary Agent

Clare has been working with Darley Anderson since 2011. Her clients have been Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers, Irish Book Award winners, shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, been picked as Waterstone’s Children’s Book of the Month, shortlisted for the Branford Boase, nominated and longlisted for the Carnegie, to name a few, with many titles adapted for or in development for the screen.

Before joining Darley Anderson, Clare proof-listened to audio books, got an MA in Creative Writing, coached international students, worked as a research assistant, assisted at a specialist non-fiction agency, waitressed and bartended for years, cherry-picked for months in Gumeracha, and worked for one night in a casino emptying ashtrays.

It took her a while to find her career forever-home, but now she has, Clare can’t imagine ever doing anything else.

Working closely with her clients, Clare is in it for the long term, guiding and championing her authors through the whole publishing process and the ever-changing world of children’s books. Editorially, she loves creative discussions and developing ideas as well as the satisfying polish of a last line edit before a manuscript goes out on submission.

Representing everything from picture books right through to YA and a boutique list of adult fiction, Clare has wide and varied taste but is always led by and looking for standout voices and characters.

Clare is passionate about inclusivity and is always keen to read submissions from under-represented writers.

 

 

 

My Wishlist

What do you want to say with your work, why is this the book that only you can write? What is the hook? Can you make me see or experience the world differently? Are the stakes high enough? These are some of the questions I’m asking when I’m reading submissions. I want to discover unforgettable characters, I love a strong hook, or a high concept, and books that are ambitious in scope, but most of all I’m a reader first. Like a browsing bookshop customer, ultimately, I’m looking for an amazing reading experience that will make me feel!
Favourite Genres
  • Contemporary
  • Fantasy
  • Funny
  • Horror
  • Illustrated Fiction
  • Non Fiction
  • Romantasy
  • Middle Grade
  • YA

I love close narration and real immediacy when reading. I want the author to bring me very close to their characters so as a reader I experience the world just as their character does. I’m utterly voice driven. By voice, which is a hard thing to define, I mean an authorial voice that is authentic, distinctive, and truly unique to that author. Just like when you hear a voice on the radio and you immediately know which artist is singing. So, on my list, if you’re looking for an example of what I mean, go and have a look at anything Nathanael Lessore, Olivia Levez or Ayaan Mohamud have written. Also, incidentally, all of these authors, through humour or heartbreak, have something important to say with their writing. Something else that I’m drawn to.

I’m always keen to read contemporary stories, about real life, and real kids, but not necessarily gritty, dealing with real problems and sometimes alongside a speculative or fantastical twist (hi Polly Ho-Yen).

You’ll have me at ‘inspired by real events’ and you’ll see from A M Howell and Lindsay Galvin’s work that I’m interested in middle grade historical fiction – especially if it has a particular relevance to today or explores an experience or event we haven’t heard much about before (just like J P Rose’s upcoming title Birdie).

My heartland is YA and I am always, always looking for love! Be that new YA rom-com, romance or romantasy. I’ll balance the light with some dark here though as I also absolutely adore a terrifying horror or twisty thriller. Again, my list is a great indication of my tastes, and this is reflected by Beth Reekles, Tom Ellen and Deirdre Sullivan. I don’t have a big YA fantasy on my list at all and would love to find one.

I’m always looking for new younger illustrated fiction and can’t wait for Claire Powell’s debut illustrated fiction series about Marty Moose to publish in 2025. Finally, I also like unusual or historical non-fiction with a vibrant and accessible tone.

Books I am a big fan of include:

Bite Risk by S J Wills

Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher

The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger written by J. T. Williams and illustrated by Simone Douglas

Gwen & Art Are Not In Love by Lex Croucher

Happy Head by Josh Silver

And anything by Danielle Jawando, Kathryn Foxfield, Jennifer Killick, Phil Hickes or Nadia Shireen