Spotlight On… Hannah Schofield of LBA Books
Good morning, everyone!
Today I am very excited to introduce you to Hannah Schofield, an agent with LBA Books.
Hannah began her journey into the publishing industry interning for Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency and was immediately hooked by the world of agenting. She also worked as an editorial intern, rights assistant, and worked for a literary scout before joining LBA in 2018 as an agency assistant. She has since been promoted to agent and is working on her own list of commercial and reading group fiction.
Hannah has had much recent success within the industry, as she recently completed her first auction in Germany for one of her debut authors, sold one of her lockdown signed books to a publisher, and has two books coming out in 2021; Amy Lavelle’s Definitely Fine (Orion) in August, and Marina McCarron’s The Time Between Us (Aria) in November.
Hannah is also one of many agents who are offering one-to-one sessions. This is our bespoke service offering both valuable and personal feedback on your work from leading literary agencies in the UK and the US.
Check out some highlights from our interview with Hannah below.
“I love to be introduced to a strong voice and compelling character, and to get quickly into the heart of the story – especially if there’s something exciting that kicks off the narrative and will make me want to read on!”
Good morning Hannah, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. We would love to know more about what you’re looking for in submissions, your favourite books, and what brought you to agenting.
Q. What brought you to agenting?
My very first job in publishing was interning for Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency, and I was immediately hooked by the world of agenting – reading, editing, and talking about books all the time?! Sign me up! I also thought that the creative and sales sides of agenting each strongly matched my skillset.
After my internship, I did a couple of other roles in publishing – editorial intern, rights assistant, and working for a literary scout – before landing at LBA in 2018 as the agency assistant. I started working with my own clients the following year as junior agent, and I was promoted to agent this summer! I’m very privileged to have had a pretty easy route into publishing, and I’m delighted to be working in the field that twenty-two-year-old me dreamed of!
Q. What’s at the top of your fiction wish-list? What authors do you love? What kind of books?
I am currently building my list of commercial and book-club fiction – I wouldn’t be the right agent for anything that was too linguistically experimental, but many of my favourite books do sit in the literary-commercial ‘crossover’ spot – like Transcendent Kingdom or Expectation. I’m interested in women’s fiction of all stamps, be it laugh-out-loud voice-driven narratives, or more ‘serious’ books about issues and experiences different women face, including outside of the American/Eurocentric bubble – for example, I adored If I Had Your Face.
I also unashamedly love heartland commercial fiction, from brilliantly twisty thrillers (I’ve recently been on a Megan Miranda kick – I think she’s fabulous), to sumptuous historical fiction, to romcoms that play on established tropes (enemies to lovers! Friends to lovers! There’s only one bed!) but feel fresh. Recent favourites in these areas have included The Appeal, The Rose Code, The Ex Talk, The Mismatch, and One by One.
At the moment, I’d love to find a page-turning thriller, especially one set in a remote or insular community – I loved Black Widows and We Begin at the End. With any book that I love, the characters are key – I need to be completely in love with them (or… vaguely frightened but compelled)!
Q. What do you love when it comes to non-fiction? What topics fire you up? Which genres leave you cold?
I tend to enjoy narrative non-fiction mostly – whether that be a memoir with a unique story to tell (think: Unfollow or Educated), or non-murdery true crime, such as My Friend Anna or Bad Blood. I’d also love to find something about the history of art or classical music, particularly if it was not from the perspective of a white, male gaze. With any non-fiction project, I’d be happy to read something that was either serious or light-hearted in tone – and much like in fiction, I am drawn to women’s stories across all genres. I wouldn’t be the right person for projects about spirituality, military history, or books about space or ‘Big Tech’.
Q. What’s been your favourite recent beach read? Your favourite recent heavyweight novel? A recent non-fiction book that you’ve been talking about with friends?
Beach read: The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. This has everything I want from a thriller: great pace, compelling protagonist, new information coming to light that changes everything, and a satisfying ending. A winner.
Heavyweight: The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré. My heart was broken time and time again throughout this novel, but Adunni’s voice was so compelling. I couldn’t put this down – I was consumed with the hope that it would get better for her. A heavy read for sure, but a truly beautiful one. [Content warning: this novel contains several scenes of child abuse.]
Non-fiction: Know My Name by Chanel Miller. This is probably the most powerful book I have ever read, and such an extraordinary act of courage. I would want every high-schooler to read this book – it’s just absolutely incredible.
The full interview will be available shortly, on Hannah’s AgentMatch profile.
If you’re interested in booking a one-to-one session with Hannah, then click here.
In the meantime, if you’re struggling with your query letter and synopsis, do check out our free resources on our website. We have lots of info to help you on your way. Or, better still, if you’re a member with us, our lovely Writers Support team will be happy to offer you a free query letter review!