Several promotions have been announced within the Blake Friedmann agency team, seeing Juliet Pickering, vice-head of books, and Daisy Way, currently finance manager, become directors, while James Pusey and Hana Murrell are to take up head of rights and senior rights manager roles respectively.
Pickering (pictured) and Way will both be stepping up to roles as directors on the newly formed executive board, working closely with Julian Friedmann, chairman, and Isobel Dixon, m.d. and head of books, in the management of the agency.
The agency said: "We’re thrilled to be able to recognise Juliet and Daisy’s commitment to Blake Friedmann and their sterling work, not just in their own areas of expertise, but also in contributing to the general welfare of the agency, our colleagues and our authors, and thinking creatively about the company’s future."
Before joining Blake Friedmann seven years ago, Pickering was an associate agent at A P Watt. Way joined the company first as an intern, then in contracts and accounts support, with further experience at Rogers, Coleridge & White, before returning to Blake Friedmann in 2017.
"Juliet has developed a brilliant list of writers here, which speak to the agency’s consistent commitment to inclusivity, and has played a key role in mentoring colleagues too," the agency said.
"Daisy has made an invaluable contribution to agency life and the wellbeing of colleagues in our close-knit team, in addition to her central finance role."
Pusey and Murrell, taking up roles of head of rights and of senior rights manager in the translation rights team, were praised as "an exceptional duo with wide industry experience selling our authors’ work in many languages around the world" as their contributions are recognised.
The agency works closely with Kay Peddle of Kay Peddle Literary and Emma Shercliff of Laxfield Literary Associates in selling rights for its clients internationally.
In addition to Dixon and Pickering, the book agenting team includes Kate Burke, who joined in 2019 from Northbank Talent Management and represents a broad list of crime, thriller and commercial fiction, and Samuel Hodder, who initially joined in a finance role and has moved across to agenting, building a list of literary clients.
The book agents are supported by agents’ assistants Sian Ellis-Martin and Roya Sarrafi-Gohar, and Tia Armstrong as book department assistant. Friedmann and Conrad Williams, head of the media department, are supported by Louisa Minghella, who joined in 2019 and also represents a number of her own writers. The agency welcomed Lizzy Attree as office manager in 2019 and Ane Reason as contracts manager in March 2020. Tabitha Topping was this year’s Carole Blake Open Doors candidate, the first to complete the shadowing period virtually, and is now doing some freelance support work for the agency while she continues with her Open University studies.
The agency said: "We’re proud of this talented team and all they have achieved across an extraordinary year, and we look forward to an exciting future for the agency in 2021 and beyond."