Alice Sutherland-Hawes: What I’m Looking For

Actively looking for: Diverse and marginalised authors across all ages and genres; books for people in their early twenties; graphic artists and quirky illustrators; brilliant world-building.


Alongside my role as Rights Agent, I am also growing a Children’s, YA, NA and picture book list. I’m looking for talent across all ages, from picture books to Young Adult, and am particularly keen to find new voices for the New Adult range.

I feel people in their late teens / early twenties are missed out of literature and I would love to find books to fill that gap. College years, first jobs, gap years, characters who are 19/20/21… I want it all!

I think YA readers can handle more than we give them credit for and I would love to find something which talks to them as though they’re adults, not children. Something like The Hunger Games, for example. YA is particularly tricky at the moment so something has to really stand out for me to be willing to take it on.

I would LOVE to find something for the clean teen market. Think Geek Girl meets Louise Rennison. Something for readers who are finished with MG but aren’t ready for YA.

For illustrations, I’d love to see something a little different. My favourite styles are usually graphic and quirky. I’m not necessarily looking for author/illustrators, so don’t worry if you’re not a writer. I’m not looking for picture book texts at the moment.

I’m also very keen to find more graphic novels. Think SpinningBloom, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me… You don’t have to be both the writer and the artist. I will look at scripts and/or artwork separately!

Across all ages, I’m looking to champion diverse and marginalised storytellers. I really want help to normalise these voices appearing in the Children’s, YA and NA markets, and I don’t necessarily want issue books (though am open to them). You don’t have to share your pain with me for me to consider your book.

Things I’m not good for include high fantasy (it needs to be set in a recognisable world for me to be able to work with it), verse novels, gross out, horror and most themes of suicide and self-harm. If you are submitting a book with themes of suicide and/or self-harm, please let me know in your query letter. Think of it as a trigger warning.

Ten of my favourite recent children’s and YA books

THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas

RED, WHITE AND ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston

SLAY by Brittney Morris

THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST by Emily M. Danforth

UNPREGNANT by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan

THE HOUSE WITH CHICKEN LEGS by Sophie Anderson

AMELIA FANG series by Laura Ellen Anderson

THE STORM KEEPER’S ISLAND by Catherine Doyle

THE BOY AT THE BACK OF THE CLASS by Onjali Rauf

THE ISLAND AT THE END OF EVERYTHING by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

 

Ten of my favourite picture books / illustrators

IT’S A BOOK by Lane Smith

HOW TO HIDE A LION by Helen Stephens

THE BEAR AND THE PIANO by David Litchfield

STUCK by Oliver Jeffers

RAIN by Sam Usher

SMELLY LOUIE by Catherine Rayner

THE KING OF SPACE by Jonny Duddle

Emily Gravett

Sarah Warburton

Chris Riddell