Literary Agent of the Year

Overview

As the warm testimonials on the entries to this award show, good literary agents are worth their weight in gold to authors. With sensitive care of their clients,  a steadfast attitude towards dealmaking and a collaborative approach to publishing, these eight agents all demonstrate a fine balance of skills. In a sign of the pipeline of emerging talent in the UK at the moment, all but three of the eight— including 2018 winner Madeleine Milburn— appear on this shortlist for the first time.

The Shortlist

  • Clare Alexander
    Aitken Alexander Associates
    Clare Alexander helped a host of authors achieve critical acclaim in 2019, with three reaching the Women’s Prize shortlist—Pat Barker, Diana Evans and Oyinkan Braithwaite. Her instinct for talent and her loyal support of clients inspire great admiration.
  • Sarah Ballard
    United Agents
    Sarah Ballard of United Agents had a standout year, nurturing the bestselling fiction début of the year in Bridget Collins’ The Binding , and helping Hallie Rubenhold to capitalize on her Baillie Gifford Prize triumph with The Five.
  • Abigail Bergstrom
    Gleam Titles
    Abigail Bergstrom of Gleam Titles is leading a new wave of literary agents plugging publishers into the zeitgeist. Within influencer-focused agency Gleam Futures, she has turned social media phenomenon Mrs Hinch into a massive book brand.
  • Jenny Brown
    Jenny Brown Associates
    Brown's Edinburgh-based business raised the profiles of narrative non-fiction, crime and literary fiction writers, including Kathleen Jamie, Shaun Bythell and Clare Hunter. Beyond the agency, she did a lot of work to promote Scottish publishing too.
  • Sam Copeland
    RCW
    Sam Copeland of RCW steered a remarkable year for Alex Michaelides, whose début The Silent Patient, plucked from the slush pile, sold more than two million copies worldwide. From children's authors to celebrities, his roster is impressively broad.
  • Clare Hulton
    Clare Hulton Literary Agency
    Clare Hulton of Clare Hulton Literary Agency agented the uber-bestseller of 2019: Pinch of Nom . Hulton’s transformation of two unknowns into multi-book, multimedia superstars is reward for 10 years’ hard work on her agency.
  • Madeleine Milburn
    Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency
    Madeleine Milburn of the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency had a bestever year for deals and big hits from authors including C J Tudor, Fiona Barton and C L Taylor—as well as keeping sales rolling for Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant.
  • Karolina Sutton
    Curtis Brown
    Karolina Sutton did what no literary agent has ever done, before and will probably never do again: represent two Booker Prize winners in a single year. She helped to steer lots of other bestsellers too.