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Diane Banks Associates has relaunched as creative talent agency Northbank Talent Management, aiming to be a “new force in the agenting world”, in collaboration with business leader Luke Johnson, who is financially backing the venture.
Northbank's c.e.o. Diane Banks approached Johnson, formerly chair of Channel 4, last year with the idea of creating a “360 degree service”. The revamped agency will now give equal weighting to books, broadcast, brand licensing and public speaking.
Agent Kate Burke will be responsible for the fiction side of the books strand and Chloe Seager will oversee children’s, young adult and fantasy. Northbank’s executive director Martin Redfern will deal with non-fiction, James Carroll will handle broadcast and brand licensing, while Northbank's non-executive director Alex Hickman will head up the public speaking bureau which aims to be "market beating". Banks promises that "Alex and I will use our combined experience of the bureau and talent management models respectively to create a new model which integrates the two".
Margaret Halton has left United Agents to join PEW Literary and will handle all foreign rights for the agency.
Halton joined PEW on Monday (11th June) and will work alongside Patrick Walsh and John Ash as an associate agent.
She has worked in publishing houses and literary agencies on both sides of the Atlantic and has been responsible for selling international rights in non-fiction titles such as Margaret Thatcher’s Memoirs and Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, as well as novels by Toni Morrison, Zadie Smith and Nick Hornby.
Literary agency Peters Fraser + Dunlop is to rebrand its e-book list Ipso Books as Agora Books, and will look to expand its digital output with commercial frontlist titles.
Ipso Books was launched in September 2015, drawing on PFD’s estates business, with titles from the likes of Eric Ambler and Margery Allingham. The rationale was that in cases where publishers did not want to publish deep backlist titles, or did not have the rights, the agency would make them available to readers via e-book and print on demand.
Agora will also now seek to publish new writing, leading its push with Missing Pieces, a début novel by Laura Pearson, on 21st June, part of a three-book deal the list has struck with the writer.
Writers are all too familiar with dry spells, creative roadblocks, and blank-page totalitarianism. The analogies are plentiful, and for good reason. But once victory is claimed -- finished manuscript raised triumphantly in the air -- what next?
In part, this is exactly the question that Writers & Books and its Executive Director Kyle Semmel want to answer with the new literary conference called The Ladder. The June 16 conference at Rochester Riverfront Hotel will be a marathon: a day-long boot camp featuring the expertise of more than 40 literature industry professionals -- published writers, editors, agents, and assorted panelists among them -- and 12 different workshops, all designed to help writers up their game.
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