Josephine Hayes

Josephine Hayes is an Agent.

Josephine studied History at the University of Exeter. After graduating she joined Bell Lomax Moreton and gradually began taking on her own clients. She then moved to The Blair Partnership where she continues to grow her list of children’s authors across picture books to Young Adult, and some adult non-fiction. Her clients have won or been shortlisted for accolades including The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards, WHSmith Non-fiction Book of the Year, The Carnegie Medal, The Blue Peter Book Award, and Crimefest’s Best Crime Novel for Children.

Jo enjoys working collaboratively and the creative process of working hands-on editorially with authors and advising on manuscripts with the intention of finding the right editor and publishing house for authors’ work.

She is currently open to submissions of children’s books that you can nimbly describe in one or two sentences and is particularly looking for stories with unexpected twists, ‘real-world’ books with a sprinkling of magic, a unique voice or unreliable narrator, brilliant world-building, epic journeys, classic adventures, alternative worlds, and diverse and marginalised authors writing across all genres and age ranges.

She naturally gravitates towards quality middle-grade fiction, especially a good mystery or adventure with a dash of light fantasy (nothing high fantasy), or something whacky with a great sense of humour.  In teen and YA fiction she loves an anti-hero, and is always keen to see strong young female characters taking centre stage.  She’s after a standout YA romance or something with strong relationships and characters who you fall in love with and think about even when you’re not reading. Across 7+ to YA she’s looking for humourous chapter books with series potential, particularly for readers at the younger end. She’s also searching for children’s author/illustrators for 2-7+ with a contemporary, quirky style and non-rhyming picture book texts.

Some of favourite children’s books are:

  • ORANGEBOY, Patrice Lawrence
  • JULIAN IS A MERMAID, Jessica Love
  • THE HATE U GIVE, Angie Thomas
  • THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE, Sue Townsend
  • WONDER, RJ Palacio
  • WE WERE LIARS, E Lockhart
  • ONLY EVER YOURS, Louise O’Neill
  • AM I NORMAL YET, Holly Bourne
  • OI FROG! Kes Gray and Jim Field
  • THE BOOK THIEF, Markus Zusak
  • THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME, Mark Haddon
  • THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, John Boyne
  • A MONSTER CALLS, Patrick Ness
  • CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, Tomi Adeyemi
  • ONE, Sarah Crossnan

See more about what Josephine is on the look-out for here and send submissions to [email protected]. You can follow Jo on Twitter here.

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