DHH Literary Agency is travelling to York - which is agency founder David Headley's home city - in a concerted effort to find "distinctive and diverse" voices outside of the M25.
The agency announced it is hosting a ‘Pitch an agent day’ in York this December, in search of diverse writerly talent, and from the end of the week (21st September) will be open to first proposal submissions.
For a chance to pitch to one of the team on Saturday 1st December in York City, aspiring authors should submit a one-page synopsis of their novel and the first 5,000 words. The agency will be reviewing submissions between 10am Friday 21st September and 6pm Thursday 25th October, with the address to send to email@example.com.
All authors will be notified by Thursday 22nd November at the latest, if not before, if they have been successful. The 110 successful authors will then be invited to a hotel in York and given 10 minutes to pitch directly to the agent.
Headley said it felt right to venture outside of the capital in pursuit of fresh "distinctive and diverse" talent, particularly being from York himself.
"I felt that it was important to go to another part of the country other than London to find distinctive and diverse voices. Many people aren’t able to spend hundreds of pounds travelling to London, so we plan to start travelling around the UK to look for them. York is my home city, so it feels right to start there. I am proud of being from York. I spent a lot of time in Spelman’s Bookshop and York City Library as a child and teenager and my love of books started then. Going home to find new voices, great stories, feels the right thing to do," said Headley.
He added: "I’m looking forward to finding really great stories and, given York’s diverse history and centuries of immigration, I’d love to find an historical York-based series featuring an immigrant family."
Headley, who has a particular fondness for crime, thrillers, adventure and romance, is joined on the team by: Hannah Sheppard, specialising in children’s fiction from 8+ to YA and commercial adult fiction, and seeking out "swoony, feminist, contemporary romance and a thriller with a unique premise"; Broo Doherty, who is looking for novels that "put a new spin on the familiar"; Natalie Galustian, keeping an eye out for compelling narrative non-fiction, literary fiction, short stories and humour; and Harry Illingworth, who would love to find "mould-breaking genre fiction with unique voices and strong concepts; books that can crossover from genre fiction to the commercial market", whether epic fantasy, high-concept crime and thriller or accessible science fiction.
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