Maddy Belton

Saturday 20 May 2023

10:45 to 11:45


Day 2 of the I Am Writing Festival contains another literary agent panel with Maddy Belton from Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV and Film Agency, Molly Jamieson from United Agents and Jo Williamson from Antony Harwood. Come and find out how approachable agents are as you put to them your burning questions about what you need to do in order for your submission to stand out from the crowd.

After graduating from St Andrews University with a degree in English Literature and Art History, Maddy followed her love of literature to an internship at non-fiction literary agency Graham Maw Christie. At GMC, Maddy worked her way up to Agent and built a list of authors who wrote for both for adults and children, spanning history, tarot, and nature writing. An avid reader of anything magical, Maddy joined Madeline Milburn in 2022 to build a list specialising in SFF.

Agent one-to-one appointments are available with Madyy. Once you have booked your festival ticket you will receive link and details about Maddy’s available timeslots. Please note #Agent121 sessions are charged extra at £60 each.

Maddy would like to see SFF across all genres for all ages, including: grim dark, thriller, historical, romance, cosy fantasy, sci-fi, epic, YA fantasy, dark academia, contemporary fantasy, fantasy middle-grade, mythology, fairy tale and queer fantasy. Inspiring children’s non-fiction.

She loves worlds to get lost in, adventures that transform what it means to be a hero, and unique magic that offers as many problems as solutions. She likes books that make her cry and books that change her mind. Above all, when she finishes a story about another world, she wants it to have taught her a lesson which helps her live in this one.

She loves all fantasy, but favours richly imagined, complex worlds with a history to discover and a future to protect. Worldbuilding is one of her favourite aspects of this genre and she is always looking for a new, dense world with series potential. Think Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere or the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the bigger the better! She also likes character-driven fantasy with a diverse cast to root for (or root against) and she wants to see a range of different relationships depicted authentically. She particularly like epics that dip into big, universal themes such as grief, climate change, or war and which ask impossible questions in the vein of R.F. Kuang or N.K. Jemisin. She is also excited by authors that play with form and language in a fantasy setting.

In YA, she is looking for much the same as in an adult fantasy, but with younger protagonists and a closer focus on relationships. She wants to see the tropes she knows and loves in new and exciting forms and her favourite YA books often centre around belonging and becoming. She likes a dash of romance in everything, because she is sentimental that way, but it’s particularly important in the YA space.

Sci-fi is a big passion of hers, especially when it comes with a strong hook. She is a huge fan of Becky Chamber’s The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and Michaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds. She likes space as a metaphor, and would love something that explores different alien species. Please send her your space operas and sci-fi romances which combine space, magic and mayhem!

In fantasy middle grade, she favours whimsy and animal companions; she would love to follow a group of kids through magic school. She tends to look for plenty of humour with a strong friendship at the centre, and she wants middle grade stories which engage with the concerns of children growing up as well as offering an all-important escape (preferably on a dragon/unicorn’s back).

She is also looking for children’s non-fiction for all ages. In this space, she wants something as creative as it is informative, and thinks diverse voices are increasingly important.