Guest Post: Agent Harry Illingworth’s Christmas Wish List

Today’s post comes to us from Harry Illingworth. An associate agent at the DHH Literary Agency and Marketing and Communications Manager for Goldsboro Books, Harry is an endlessly enthusiastic Agent with a keen eye for what he wants. And here he is:


I’m Harry Illingworth, Associate Agent at D H H Literary Agency, and I’m on a hunt. A dangerous one. I’m looking for authors…

Instead of tracking you down one by one I thought I’d start off with a little Christmas Wish List. Yep, I’m putting the bulls eye on my back; hit me with your submissions.

So, here goes.

  • I’d like something dark and gritty. I’m not going to say grimdark, but looks like I just did…
  • I’d like to see some big, epic, secondary world fantasy with some crazy magic. I love magic. Who doesn’t love magic?
  • I’d like to see some high-concept science fiction. Wool by Hugh Howey is one of my favourite science fiction books ever… I want my mind to be blown. Space opera for example, where’s it all going? Bring it to me.
  • Literary sci-fi. It’s a grey area, what is literary sci-fi? But for me perfect examples are Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and anything by David Mitchell. There’s also the mighty Ted Chiang. Love love love these authors…
  • Women who write fantasy. There are, of course, many exceptionally talented female fantasy authors, but I’d like to find some for myself.
  • Memorable characters. Anything different, unusual and unforgettable. I want a character I can’t get away from. I want a character I love to hate. But I do need to love that character…
  • Talking of memorable…. Heroic. Heroic fantasy. There’s always a space for this and even though yes, I like dark stuff, I’ve always got room for a hero.
  • I want to be made to laugh. You might not be able to tell that from the above points, but it’s true. Not all fantasy and science fiction has to be serious. You can do both… Some of the best books I read are littered with amusement, see Scott Lynch.
  • We need to talk about Pierce Brown. The Red Rising Trilogy is one of my favorites ever. Bring me a novel with that kind of pace and anger and you got yourself an agent.
  • Bring me a tale of revenge. It’s been done before, you say? Well it can be done again, and we can do it better.  Nothing beats a revenge tale. Nothing.

If I haven’t scared you off. I really do want to read your novel. If you think it’s right for me, I’m waiting. Oh and one more thing? Please do follow the guidelines for submitting your novel. And when you do, send it to me here:

You can also chat to me on twitter: @harryillers

And D H H Literary Agency: @DHHlitagency

And finally, Goldsboro Books: @Goldsboro Books


Thanks, Harry. So if you’ve got something that fits his list, get in touch. You’ll make his Christmas and maybe yours too…

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