Laura Macdougall

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Agent: Laura Macdougall

Olivia Davies

PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL BE CLOSED TO SUBMISSIONS FOR THE WHOLE MONTH OF JULY 2024. Please do not send me your work during this time.

As a literary agent, I am lucky to work closely with a huge range of writers, across fiction and non-fiction and at different stages of their careers. I read widely and eclectically, and my list reflects my broad tastes as a reader. I have a background in classical languages and philosophy, so as well as being seduced by great writing and by an author with something new to say, I have a particular interest in books that tackle questions of what makes us who we are and the events – big or small - that shape human lives.

I represent a diverse spectrum of commercial fiction – saga, romance, historical, book club and ‘up-lit’ – and literary fiction, ranging from the quirky to the daring and experimental. I’ve always been a big fan of historical fiction and also have a soft spot for novels that explore the complexities of relationships and family life.

My non-fiction list is equally varied, spanning illustrated books to parenting titles, history and popular philosophy. I also represent a fascinating wealth of narrative non-fiction, from Scottish nature writing to death, materials science, politics, manufacturing, midwifery and the recent history of gay bars. A writer who can successfully communicate their passion, whether that’s about something niche or obscure or a global phenomenon, will always be of interest to me.

As a queer woman, I represent a large number of LGBTQ+ writers and I’m particularly keen to hear from those who also identify as LGBTQ+ and who are exploring the full spectrum of LGBTQ+ lives in their writing. I’m a former judge of the Green Carnation Prize and in 2019 I won the inaugural Inclusion Award from the RNA for my work championing diversity and inclusivity in publishing. In 2017, I was included in the Bookseller’s list of Rising Stars and in 2022 I was shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year at the annual industry awards (the "Nibbies"). My list includes a number of Sunday Times bestsellers and my clients have been recognised by prizes such as The Booker Prize, the National Book Award and the Polari Prize.

I am always keen to hear from new writers. At the moment I’m particularly keen to find: an epic family saga in the vein of Maeve Binchy or Rosamunde Pilcher; an engrossing, compelling love story (especially it it centres on queer or other under-represented voices and stories); a novel - whether commercial or literary - that focusses on ENM or poly relationships; an engrossing historical novel; novels about friendships or sisters; literary fiction that plays with form and structure. In non-fiction, I’m looking for ‘big ideas’ books as well more narrative non-fiction (by which I mean non-fiction that reads like fiction) on a wide range of topics. I’d love to hear from authors writing in the areas of: popular science, psychology and culture; sport; history; race, class, gender, sexuality and identity.

I started my publishing career in 2010 in the fiction department of Hodder & Stoughton, working with authors such as David Nicholls and Stephen King, as well as publishing some literary, reading group and historical fiction titles. I then switched sides, becoming a literary agent at Tibor Jones & Associates before joining United Agents in the summer of 2017. 

Books that I don't represent, but which I’ve read and enjoyed in the past couple of months, include: Go As A River by Shelley Read; Iris Kelly Doesn't Date by Ashley Herring Blake; Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Hitler, Stalin, Mum & Dad by Daniel Finkelstein. You can find more information on my Pinterest page.

PLEASE NOTE that I do not represent books for young adults or children. I also don't represent science-fiction, fantasy or horror. In non-fiction, I don't represent any titles in the Mind, Body, Spirit genres, nor am I looking for any cookery or food writing. If you would like to submit your work to me, please send the first three chapters and a synopsis (for fiction) and a detailed proposal (for non-fiction). Please copy in Olivia Davies when you submit your work to me.


Photographer: Kevin Cummins