Josephine Hayes is an Agent predominantly on the look-out for exciting new voices in commercial children’s fiction for all ages, particularly pacey and adventurous middle grade and teen fiction with lots of heart. She’s after strong characters and unusual heroes that you fall in love with and worry about when you’re not reading, and gripping plots that keep you totally engrossed.
We caught up with Josephine to find out more about her role and the type of work she loves to represent.
What is an average day like for you working as a Literary Agent?
My day starts with a quick scan through our agency team inbox to see if any interesting-looking email submissions have come into the agency overnight. I love this “treasure-hunting” side to my job – I’m always hopeful that an excellent piece of fiction is waiting to be discovered.
After that every day is different. I might have an internal meeting or two – we’re lucky to have a fantastic legal team, international publishing team, and dedicated royalties team all in-house who we work with very closely across all our clients; I might meet an author or an editor to discuss a project or new idea; or I’ll go through a new publishing contract or a clients’ marketing and PR plan for their book from their publisher.
If I have time, I’ll find a quiet corner in the office and get stuck into reading any new work by existing clients, new clients’ manuscripts that we’re shaping up together for submission to editors, or full manuscripts that we’ve requested from unsolicited submissions made to the agency.
I’d love to find something well-written, adventurous in tone and with heart, set in a richly built world, perhaps with a little bit of magic or humour
What do you enjoy the most about the author-agent relationship?
The best part for me has to be sharing with an author the exciting news that I’ve had an offer in from a publisher for the rights to publish them, or that a TV/film company wants to option their work. It’s wonderful to see the seed of an idea that they’ve had, and then spent time caring for and cultivating, grow into something spectacular to be shared by audiences in the UK and around the world, potentially in many different mediums.
Describe your dream submission
I’d love to find something well-written, adventurous in tone and with heart, set in a richly built world – perhaps with a little bit of magic or humour – ideally John Boyne meets Holly Bourne. A book version of something nostalgic and adventurous like Netflix’s Stranger Things would be fun to work on!
If you would like Josephine to consider your work for representation, please send it to our submissions department. Find a copy of our submissions policy here.