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 contemporary stories with unexpected twists, ‘real-world’ books, a unique voice or unreliable narrator, 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 her favourite children’s books are: