The changing role of agents in the face of a global pandemic

Broadcast live by The Society of Authors on 3 June 2020 as part of the SoA @ Home Festival.

Author Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin led this panel discussion with publishing agents Catherine Clarke (Felicity Bryan Associates) and Isobel Dixon (MD and Head of Books, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency), alongside acting agent, Lola Williams (New Wonder Management).

We discussed the impact the pandemic has had on agents; how they have had to adapt their day-to-day working practices, and their thoughts on what the long-term effects on the sector will be as a result of the on-going health crisis.

Catherine Clarke was a Publishing Director at OUP for several years before she joined Felicity Bryan as an agent in 2001. She writers of serious non-fiction, and several bestselling and prizewinning writers for children and young adults. She became Managing Director of Felicity Bryan Associates in 2010. In 2017 she was winner of the Bookseller Literary Agent of the Year. She is currently Vice-President of the Association of Authors’ Agents. 

Isobel Dixon represents bestselling and prizewinning writers from around the world. Her clients’ work includes contemporary, historical and literary fiction, crime and thrillers, memoir, biography and narrative history. She is a Trustee of the National Centre for Writing in Norwich, on the Board of BTBS The Book Trade Charity and President of the Association of Authors’ Agents. As poet, her most recent collection, Bearings, is published by Nine Arches, who will also bring out The Landing in 2021. / | Twitter: @isobeldixon

Lola Williams – with over 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry both in front of and behind the camera, Lola Williams is an active member of WFTV (Women in Film and Television). She has been a judge for Monologue Slam and the TriForce Film Festival and with John Byrne sponsors a bursary for emerging directors and film makers which is awarded annually at BAFTA. New Wonder Management sponsored the commercial category for the first Casting Director’s Guild Awards (CDG) 2019. | Twitter: @nwm_management & @dearjohnbyrne 

Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin is the founder of the multi-award-winning writing resources website, The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and the Murder One International Crime Writing Festival. She is Ireland’s leading literary scout. Vanessa writes crime as the number one bestseller Sam Blake. Keep Your Eyes on Me is her first standalone and is out now with Corvus Books.
Websites: / | Twitter: @inkwellHQ