Want to get your manuscript noticed by publishing professionals? In WriteMentor’s new blog series, we invite leading literary agents to answer quick-fire questions about publishing and submissions, to give children’s writers insights and advice about the querying process.

We‘re starting with Joanna Moult of Skylark Literary.

Current hot publishing trend…

Joanna: Stories that transport us to happier places/times/emotions! Editors and readers in general are really looking to fiction to escape to and lift their mood.

Submission turn on…

Joanna: A really compelling first paragraph – something so gripping I can’t stop reading. This is always something that really excites me when I find it in a submission. Whether it’s the voice, the setting or the action, I want to be pulled straight in.

Submission turn off…

Joanna: ‘Dear Sirs…’ We are more than happy to take time to read your submission but please take two minutes to google our company and establish it is run by two women!

Current children’s read…

Joanna: Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston. Stunning in so many ways.

Biggest submission wish…

Joanna: I’m looking for outstanding writing voice for children from first readers up to YA – whether it’s funny, snappy, lyrical or quirky – something that stops me in my tracks! I’d love some warm, funny middle grade fiction or a beautifully crafted young adult romance with a fresh twist. But most importantly of all I want something that just makes me want to read and read and read it.

<strong>Joanna Moult, Skylark Literary</strong><br>
Joanna Moult, Skylark Literary

Joanna began her publishing career at Hodder Children’s Books learning from some of the best editors in the business and editing fantastic authors including Cressida Cowell, Alex Shearer and Kes Gray, as well as creating fiction for brands such as Felicity Wishes. She left to cover maternity leave, running the Children’s Editorial Department at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books. There, among other things, she edited Sophie McKenzie’s award-winning debut novel Girl, Missing and the Yuck series by the Beastly Boys.

She left Simon & Schuster to have children and spent over a year living in India and editing an ex-pat magazine. On her return to the UK, aside from nurturing her own readers-of-the-future, she became Editorial Director for Children’s Fiction at literary agents Mulcahy Conway Associates, where she worked to seek out new talent and edit submissions to publishers.

Having been inspired by this experience and bitten by the bug of discovering great new voices in children’s books, becoming a children’s literary agent and setting up Skylark with Amber was a natural next step.

Twitter: @JoannaMoult

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