Radhika Sanghani explains how gender-neutral book covers are the future!

In a recent article for The Telegraph Radhika Sanghani welcomes Ladybird’s decision to produce gender-neutral book covers for children.

In the article Radhika emphasizes how gender stereotypes have been consistently prevalent in all forms of media, particularly, in children’s merchandising.

She explains how this affected her own reading practices – warning that this outdated practice can lead to unfavourable stereotyping.

VIRGIN has been sold in 14 languages and we are looking forward to the release of a sequel novel in August 2015.

Madeleine Milburn Agency features in the 2015 Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

The Madeleine Milburn Agency is privileged to announce our contribution to the 2015 Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 

The annual edition of the best-selling guide to all aspects of the media and how to write and get published, the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is now in its 108th edition.  The Yearbook is acknowledged by the publishing industry, authors and writers as an indispensable companion to navigating the world of publishing – packed full of crucial advice for anyone with a desire to write, submit their work to an agent, negotiate deals and get published!

Here at the agency we are delighted to contribute to this essential publishing guide. On page 408 of the yearbook you will find our article: “Getting hooked out of the slush pile” - the article provides indispensable advice to anyone wishing to get their manuscript noticed, read, and hooked by a literary agent.

If you are writing children’s fiction, you can find the condensed version, aptly named, “How to sell your book to an agent”  on page 232 of the 2015 Children’s edition which includes a useful and concise checklist of things to remember when submitting to an agent.

Yearbook image

Madeleine Milburn Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook

“Make sure your book has a strong title”

“Create a strong and attention-grabbing one-line hook that captures the heart of your story”

“Take care to follow the instructions that are specific to each agency”

“Tailor your profile to be relevant to your writing career…”


Holly Bourne, Rupert Wallis, Lara Williamson and Dave Lowe shortlisted for Children’s Book Awards!

We are delighted to announce that four of our wonderfully talented children’s fiction authors have been nominated for prestigious book awards.

Leeds Book Awards

A BOY CALLED HOPE by Lara Williamson has been shortlisted for the 9-11 category, THE DARK INSIDE by Rupert Wallis for the 11-14 category and THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING by Holly Bourne for the 14-16 category of the Leeds Book Awards.

Worcestershire Awesomest Book Award

MY HAMSTER’S GOT TALENT by Dave Lowe has been has been shortlisted for Worcestershire’s Awesomest Book Award.

These awards are made all the more worthy as the winning titles will be voted for by the most important critics - the young readers themselves.

Schools and libraries across the country will receive the shortlisted books and reading groups will be formed to read, review, and discuss the shortlisted titles.  The voting deadline for the Leeds Book Award  is Friday 24th of April 2015 and winners will be announced at an Awards ceremony and celebration at Leeds Civic Hall on Tuesday 19th May. Votes for the Awesomest Book Award are to be registered by Friday 13th February 2015 and a ceremony for the  winning title will be held in Worcester’s Council Chamber on 25th March 2015.

ABoyCalledHope_FINAL The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis - paperback coverThe Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly BourneMY HAMSTER'S GOT TALENT by Dave Lowe

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS film out soon!

At the Madeleine Milburn Agency we are all getting excited for the film release of Cally Taylor‘s hugely popular novel, HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, produced by Jump Start Productions.

The action-packed romantic comedy starring April Pearson, Karl Davies, Lucy Griffiths and Darren Nesbit willl be out on December 5th in selected cinemas and on demand.

Home For Christmas PosterIn this modern-day fairy tale we follow the love-life of 24-year-old Beth Prince who has just one wish for Christmas – to hear someone say those three magic words: I love you.

Beth’s fairy tale ending has yet to happen in her current love story and so, determined to have her happily ever after, she takes matters into her own hands, but soon wishes she hadn’t…

Home forHome for ChristmasHome




Click here to view the trailer.

Cally Talyor’s other titles include: Secrets and Rain, Heaven Can Wait and most recently her psychological suspense novel, The Accident (as C.L. Taylor)

Lara Williamson – Shortlisted for Three Children’s Book Awards!

The best news always comes in threes…

Congratulations to Lara Williamson and her delightful debut novel, A BOY CALLED HOPE. In addition to the Lancashire Fantastic Book Awards nomination, A BOY CALLED HOPE has been nominated for both the Oxfordshire Book Awards 2015 and the Hounslow Junior Book Awards 2015. These children’s book awards were launched to encourage children to read for enjoyment, by introducing young people to exciting new children’s fiction.

A BOY CALLED HOPE was published by Usborne Publishing in March 2014 and has since been translated into Italian, Korean, Turkish and Portuguese (Brazil).

 This book totally bABoyCalledHope_FINALlew me away. I love it. It’s the best new voice I have read in ages. Cathy Cassidy


Mel Sherratt is shortlisted for the Dagger in the Library Award

Mel Sherratt has been nominated for the prestigious Dagger in the Library crime writing award, after crime lovers everywhere voted online for their favourite authors. The five author shortlist was then compiled by a panel of judges including previous winner Steve Mosby.Mel Sherratt - Woman of the Week Unlike most literary prizes, the Dagger in the Library is awarded for an author’s entire body of work.

Discover the secret to Mel’s success – Last week Mel Sherratt appeared on Hearst UK.com as ‘Woman of the Week’ – sharing her inspirations, empowerment and success.

“Hearst speaks to one in three women in the UK, giving them – and you – the inspiration and information to live the life you choose.”  Hearst UK CEO – Anna Jones

What people have been saying about Mel Sherratt’s upcoming book, FOLLOW THE LEADER:

“Mel SFollow the Leader by Mel Sherrattherratt is a gifted storyteller. In Follow the Leader all of her skills are on show; the plot shifts from one terrifying crime to the next, never slowing in pace. The new DS Allie Shenton novel is the reading equivalent of riding a rollercoaster with no brakes. Once you begin you’ll be on a high octane journey until the final surprising page.”  Kate Rhodes

“Just finished reading it (it was impossible to put down) and it is magnificent! Pulled me in from so many angles, and it’s brilliantly plotted. It’s so powerful.”  Anne Flosnick

This eagerly awaited psychological thriller will be out in February 2015, and translation rights have already been sold in Italy and Turkey.

One Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin is out now

One Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin, published by Carina, is available on Kindle now

One Hundred Christmas Proposals Holly Martin

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to One Hundred Proposals

If you thought Harry & Suzie’s life couldn’t get anymore sweepingly romantic than Harry asking her to marry him at the end of One Hundred Proposals – think again!

It’s Christmas in a snow-kissed London, and the.PerfectProposal.com have vowed to carry out one hundred proposals in December. No easy task at the best of times – made even more complicated by Harry & Suzie trying to plan their first Christmas and a visit from the dreaded in-laws. But one hundred deliciously Christmassy proposals later they find themselves asking if everything is still perfect in their own relationship….

Welcome back to the divinely warm world of One Hundred Proposals – with a sprinkling of pure, joyful, festive magic.

Have yourself a very merry Christmas indeed with Holly Martin’s Christmas novella.

 ‘Holly Martin writes about life and love with such big-hearted warmth and flair – invite The Guestbook into your home today!’

Belinda Jones

‘One Hundred Proposals is beautifully romantic, riveting, completely irresistible and a story that will make you fall in love with love.’

Victoria Loves Books

‘Funny, poignant and riveting as well as romantic. Don’t miss The Guestbook! I couldn’t get enough of the guests’ entries and it’s got everything: humour, heartbreak, loss, love.’

I Heart Chick Lit

Frankfurt Book Fair Q & A

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Madeleine Milburn on the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014

Q Why is the Frankfurt Book Fair so important?

UK literary agent

Madeleine Milburn

After London Book Fair, Frankfurt is the biggest event on the publishing calendar. It’s such an excellent opportunity to meet with publishers from all over the world: to learn about book trends and how other markets are doing, what foreign publishers are looking for, and to check up on how our own authors are doing in translation.

Q How many meetings do you take on average?

We have back-to-back meetings with international editors every day of the fair without a single break, all of which have been organised months in advance.  They all run for 30 minutes and we have them at our tables in the Agent’s center, so my assistant and I were able to pitch our authors’ books to approximately 200 publishers over the course of five days.

Q What is the social side of Frankfurt like?

Meetings are usually followed by drinks, dinner and then more drinks! Hotels such as the Frankfurter Hof and the Hessischer Hof are excellent grounds for bumping into agents and editors, and for making new contacts.

I attend dinners and host parties to talk to international editors about all the things we don’t have time to discuss in the 30 minute slots. This makes book fairs truly exhilarating as they are packed with social occasions, but then, some of the best business is done in the evenings!

Q What was your big book at the fair?

We discuss all of our authors’ work with potential publishers at the fair, although our YA début, The Creswell Plot by Eliza West, was covered in The Bookseller Daily newsletter announcing our major publishing deals with Disney in America and Quercus in the UK. Our adult début, Recipes for Melissa by former BBC presenter Teresa Driscoll, was sold in a seven-way German auction at the fair.

Q Why is the Frankfurt Book Fair such an important event in the year for your agency?

This business is all about relationships, so the stronger the relationship we have with an international publisher, the more we know about their individual lists and the books they’d love to publish.

I’ve been attending the Frankfurt book fair for the last eight years so I have really strong relationships with the international publishers I work with. When I’m reading a client’s book, I immediately have in mind the publishers I want to send it to, not just in the UK but in Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and the rest of the world!

Q What was the fair like for your Agency this year?

MM Agency New Titles Lists

MM Agency New Titles Lists

Frankfurt was buzzing for the Agency – we had lots of outstanding new titles to pitch by existing authors, and we also had exciting debuts by new clients.

I love getting a début novel into as many hands as possible, and even doing deals at the table, but what I find incredibly rewarding is matching backlist titles with international publishers – titles that may not have been popular in a particular country a few years ago can have a new life now.

Q How important do you think foreign rights are?

I love working internationally because my authors get opportunities for success all over the world.  For instance, my author Janet MacLeod Trotter has sold over 150,000 copies in Russia alone; C.J. Daugherty’s books are translated into 22 different languages and she’s a No.1 bestselling author in Poland and No.2 in Germany.

The rights deals we negotiate not only provide our authors with a library of foreign editions, but they can earn a valuable income with advances and royalties from each country their work is translated in.

My role as an agent is to ensure that my authors are reaching an audience around the world.  Every single book sale is important to me – I only have a good night’s sleep if I’ve done a deal that day :)

literary agent translation rights

Agency authors and international publicity

Author of the international bestselling Night School series

C.J. Daugherty has been on several international tours this year, seeing her publishers and fans at book signings, panel events and literary festivals.

Recently, C.J attended the Festival du Livre de Mouans-Sartoux in France, and towards the end of this month, she’ll be attending the Krakow Book Fair with her Polish publisher (where she is a No.1 bestseller!)

C.J. Daugherty at Festival du Livre

C.J. in conversation with a French journalist at the Festival du livre


Author of Don’t Stand So Close

Luana Lewis is currently on a publicity tour in Amsterdam, being interviewed by journalists to promote her debut novel, Don’t Stand So Close (Dicht Bij Mij), published by Transworld in the UK.

Don't Stand So Close Dutch

Dutch book cover


Author of Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting

Holly Bourne appeared at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, where she lead a workshop on How to Blog, and at The Southbank Festival where she took part in the Gender and Pop Culture event, chatting alongside Holly Smale, Non Pratt and the film actor Danny Lee Wynter. Holly also appeared at the first ever YA Lit Con, where she signed copies of The Manifesto on How to be Interesting (all copies sold out on the first day!)

In other news, Soulmates has made the shortlist in two categories of the BookBlogger UKYA awards for ‘Best Contemporary’ and ‘Most Heart-breaking’!

holly ya lit con

Holly at the YA Lit Con

Author of Soho, 4am and Summer Lies Bleeding

The London launch for Summer Lies Bleeding took place at The Society Club in Soho. Following a successful London Books on the Underground campaign, Nuala Casey read from her latest novel and had an interesting Q & A session with Huffington Post Journalist Jason Holmes

Summer Lies Bleeding by Nuala Casey - Books on the Underground

Books on the Underground campaign


Dave Lowe’s 5th children’s book out today

Dave Lowe books

The fifth book in Dave Lowe’s hilarious Stinky & Jinks series is out today.

Illustrated by Mark Chambers, My Hamster is a Detective, features nine-year-old Ben and his sarcastic talking hamster Jasper Stinkybottom.  When their kitten Delilah is cat-napped, Ben’s sister Lucy is devastated so the newly-formed detective duo spring into action.  Can they catch the culprit?

Suitable for 6 – 9 year olds (and adults!) Dave promises laughter on every page.  Copies can be found in shops or ordered on Amazon by clicking on the cover below:

My Hamster is a Detective by Dave Lowe