Madeleine Milburn Literary Agent interview

Last year, I met with Madeleine as part of The Writers & Artists Yearbook ‘Beat the Rejection’ Clinic – an opportunity for a one-to-one with an agent to discuss your submission (see last year’s blog post).

Since then, she’s rocketed into the skies of agenthood and set up The Madeleine Milburn Literary agency. She’s looking for new authors in all types of popular, literary and genre fiction including women’s, psychological suspense, crime and thrillers, comedy, general, narrative non-fiction, children’s books, teen, young adult and cross-over.


Before having her own Agency, Madeleine was Head of Rights and a literary agent at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV & Film Agency where she built a strong list of authors over five years. She was also Deputy MD of the Children’s Literary Agency. Before that, she worked for the independent publishing company Trojan Books in Berlin and the oldest literary agency in the UK, A P Watt Ltd, where she specialised in foreign rights.

Why did you choose to set up your own Agency? 

I want to be a Literary Agent for the rest of my life so I wanted my own Agency where everything revolves around my authors.

So far, I’m absolutely loving it. Being the captain of my own ship suits me to the ground. I get to make all the decisions and determine the focus of my Agency. I feel like it’s a real family now and everything is about my authors.

Congratulations for spotting C.J Daugherty. She is the nicest and most genuine author on Twitter and I loved her book Night School too! How important is an author’s social media presence to you?

It depends what kind of book an author has published. Social networking is hugely important in creating publicity and getting new readers. There are masses of YA bloggers and CJ Daugherty is in touch with them all. She spends half her time writing and half on publicity. Social networking is basically a free form of advertising but you do have to be driven and dedicated.

What sort of submissions are catching your interest at the moment?

I am looking for crime, thrillers, psychological suspense, accessible literary and yes, erotica(!) due to the phenomenon that E.L James’ FIFTY SHADES OF GREY has become. I will represent anything when I fall in love with the story and the voice though…

Do you have any advice (that isn’t on your website) that you’d like to give anybody who wants to submit to you?

Follow my submission guidelines and present your work well. An author’s voice can be found in their introductory email or covering letter, so I want to be gripped by this before I even look at the chapters.

How do you see the future of book publishing?

There will be masses more in ebook sales as technology evolves and devices get cheaper. It is very exciting as a lot of people who hardly ever read a book are now reading digital copies on their mobiles etc. It just means another huge outlet for sales, and a far more accessible one.

You’re holding a crime and thriller competition! How exciting! Lots of writers will be keen on this. What are you hoping for?

I am so excited about launching a crime and thriller side to the Agency, which I am looking to fill with exceptional new writers. I love authors such as Harlan Coben, S.J. Watson and Lee Child. I am looking for an incredible voice that makes you stop whatever you are doing, together with an extremely strong central character, and a plot full of unexpected twists and turns that keeps you up all night.

  • Competition: To launch an exciting new Crime, Thriller & Psychological suspense List, the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency is offering talented writers an exclusive opportunity to be represented.
  • Closing date: 30th July 2012.
  • The Prize: Representation by the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency.

Thanks for being here Madeleine! More details can be found here. Madeleine’s website has more advice about submitting in general on her blog. Check it out!


3 thoughts on “Madeleine Milburn Literary Agent interview

  1. Thanks for this 🙂 it might sound odd, but I found this interview refreshing. It's good to hear from an agent who is so genuinely passionate about books :)Nari X

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