About the agency

About the agency

The Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency is a dedicated, passionate and renowned literary agency based in London.

Known for launching authors’ careers, we are a literary agency always looking for new writers for whom we will negotiate significant deals in the UK, US and foreign markets. We have close ties with publishers around the world, and work directly, or in partnership with film agents in London and LA, to option Film & TV rights to leading production companies and film studios.

We work with authors across all genres, and have had notable successes in upmarket fiction including crime, book club and psychological suspense. We also handle children’s books, teen, young adult, New Adult and cross-over fiction, as well as exciting new non-fiction authors with a focus on narrative non-fiction, history, self-help, memoir and biography.


The company was founded in 2012 by Madeleine Milburn, one of the top literary agents in the UK. Since graduating from the University of St Andrews with a degree in English Literature and Language in 2004, Madeleine has worked for the independent publishing company Trojan Books in Berlin and the oldest literary agency in the UK where she specialised in foreign rights. Prior to having her own Agency, Madeleine was the Head of Rights and a Literary Agent at the most commercial agency in the UK, handling the rights to three No.1 bestsellers.

In 2011, Milburn (née Buston) was chosen as one of the book trade’s Rising Stars in The Bookseller’s first annual feature on the crop of people who will lead bookselling and publishing for decades to come, and in 2017 she was one of a small handful of agents to be included in The Bookseller’s list of the 100 most influential people in the book trade, alongside the likes of J. K. Rowling, Jamie Oliver and the CEOs of the major publishing houses. She has appeared in the list every year since.

In 2018, Madeleine won Literary Agent of the Year at the British Book Awards. She was praised for her ‘prolific deal-making‘ and ‘long-term vision for her authors‘. She is known by editors as a ‘tenacious negotiator and an excellent collaborator with a nose for commercial success‘. In 2020, she was shortlisted again for the same award.

Liane-Louise Smith was also shortlisted for Rights Professional of the Year in 2020.

That same year, the Agency moved to The Factory, a large converted warehouse in Clapham. The Factory is both an inspiring place of work, but also an event space for our authors and colleagues within the industry, and it is quickly becoming known as a hotbed of ideas and creativity.

The agency, now in its ninth year and with five other full-time agents, a thriving international rights department and two in-house editors, has been described by The Bookseller as a major force in publishing’.