Agents Juliet Mushens and Robert Caskie have formed their own agency: Caskie Mushens Ltd.
Mushens has left United Talent Agency to make the move and brings with her a list of clients including bestselling authors Jessie Burton, Taran Matharu, Claire Douglas, James Oswald and Debbie Howells. Mushens, a Bookseller Rising Star in 2012, was shortlisted for the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize for excellence in young women in publishing in 2013 and for Literary Agent of the Year in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She will continue to represent a range of commercial fiction and non-fiction – including the brand Very British Problems – and said she will be looking to expand her list further.
Caskie was a senior agent and chief operating officer during his eight years at PFD, until he decided to leave in January 2016. During that time he represented bestsellers Sarah Winman, Ruby Wax, Celia Imrie and Rev Richard Coles, and the journalism of Julie Burchill, Simon Schama, Mariella Frostrup and Monty Don. He was previously an agent at TV and talent agency MacFarlane Chard Associates (2006 – 2008), and Capel & Land Ltd (2000 – 2006). In 2015 he founded and launched Ipso Books, a digital publishing company within the PFD group, which released 40 books in its first year. Caskie's new list will focus on "writers with passion and commitment who have something to say about life and the world we live in".
Nathalie Hallam, who has been Mushens' assistant at United Talent Agency since January 2016, will also join the new company to assist them both.
Caskie said: “I have represented a tremendously eclectic and gifted list of writers over the years which has allowed me to work not only in publishing but also journalism, film and television too and I am looking forward to using all this experience in our new venture. Taking a few months off last year allowed me to focus on what I wanted to do next and I came to the realisation that it needed to be something simple, pared down and totally author centric, so setting up an agency was the ideal solution. I have always had huge admiration and fondness for Juliet and can think of no better a person to have as a business partner. She is such a talented agent who commits totally to each and every writer she represents. It is a time of great opportunity for writers, in all media, and one of our primary aims is to help them utilise fully all the new avenues available for their content.”
Mushens said: “Owning my own agency has always been a dream of mine and I am thrilled to be doing this with Robert. We worked together at PFD and he has always been a mentor to me: I hugely respect his eye for talent, his dealmaking skills and his sense of fun. The face of agenting continues to evolve and we want Caskie Mushens to build a reputation for innovation and proactive approaches to finding talent and new opportunities for authors.”