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  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Agent Spotlight: Catherine Drayton

This week's Agent Spotlight features Catherine Drayton of InkWell Management.
Status: Accepting submissions.
catherinedraytonAbout: "Catherine Drayton graduated from the University of Sydney with a BA in English Literature and a Bachelor of Laws. After graduating from the University of NSW with a Master of Laws she worked as a litigation lawyer specializing in copyright and libel law at a major international law firm. But novels, not legal precedents, were always top of her reading pile so in 1998, after a brief stint as a literary scout, she joined Arthur Pine Associates which subsequently became InkWell. She represents a wide range of fiction from around the world for both adults and children as well as some non-fiction on subjects that intrigue her. Her bestselling and award-winning clients include Markus Zusak, Beth Hoffman, John Flanagan, Becca Fitzpatrick, Gavriel Savit, Cath Crowley and Karen Foxlee. Many of her clients are published in multiple territories and sold for film. She particularly loves working with debut authors and is looking for writing that is memorable and enduring. Catherine is InkWell’s Sydney affiliate and when she isn’t reading, she can be found swimming, surfing, hiking and cooking for family and friends." (From the agency website))
About the Agency: 
"InkWell is one of the world’s leading literary agencies, proudly representing major literary prize winners as well as many of the world’s bestselling and best-loved authors. We enjoy a considerable international reputation as a significant and innovative player in the industry.
In addition to its full-time agents and their assistants, the InkWell team includes a tireless foreign rights department and a meticulous contracts manager. We also join forces with leading literary agencies in every foreign market and have agents based in Australia, Boston, and Dallas. We continue to be excited by—and on the lookout for—original ideas, riveting stories and great writing.” (From the agency website)

Web Presence:
InkWell Management website.
Publishers Marketplace.
What She's Looking For:
Literary commercial fiction, world literature, young adult, middle grade, and picture books. (Link)
From an Interview (09/2010):
“I tend to concentrate on all genres of children’s books (picture, middle-grade and YA) and women’s fiction. In young adult, I love the very literary novel such as The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee, but I also enjoy compelling commercial projects such as Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. I look for high-end women’s fiction such as Saving Ceecee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman and am always on the look-out for novels that will appeal to women’s book clubs. I’m excited about Cleo, a memoir by Helen Brown that is about to be published, but I don’t do much nonfiction these days.” (Link)
Editorial Agent?
She makes revision requests and edits as needed.
A list of InkWell management clients is available on the website.
Ms. Drayton's clients include: Katherine Battersby, Jane Bradley, Nathan Bransford, Helen Brown, Joshua Cohen, Andrew Fukuda,Becca Fitzpatrick, John Flanagan, Peter Hartcher, Jacqueline Harvey, Beth Hoffman, Tara Hudson, Katherine Longshore, Shawn Thomas Odyssey, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Craig Silvey, Markus Zusak, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes (only).
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
In the body of an e-mail include a query letter and short writing sample (1-2 chapters). Despite what it says on the InkWell website, she prefers to receive queries directly. The e-mail address is available on her AgentQuery page.
Please see the Inkwell Management website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines and terms of agreement.
Query Tips:
"The query letter is very important to me. I want to know that an author has done their research and knows what I represent and why their book would be a good fit for my list. Then I look for imagination – a plot that is unusual, creative – and the ability to pitch the book in one paragraph. A brilliant query letter is very persuasive!" (Link)
Response Times:
The agency has a stated response time of up to two months but may not respond if not interested.
What's the Buzz?
Catherine Drayton seems to be an all-around fabulous agent. She's got the three Ps going for her - prompt, pleasant, and professional - along with a great list of clients, many bestselling, and big sales.
I recommend following her on Twitter @cjdrayton.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Podcasts:
Update on 1/26/2023
Please see the InkWell Management website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 1/26/2023.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? N/A.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's and/or teen fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.


Anne R. Allen said...

Another great profile. I've been dying to know who's repping Nathan.

I adore your blog and sing its praises to other writers. But I have a small suggestion--have you thought of changing your blog header? This blog is anything but desultory. It's focused, professional and very much to the point. So many blogs are full of time-wasting random thoughts, but this one is the opposite.

However you describe it, I'll keep coming back

Casey Something said...

Thanks so much, Anne! That very thing was on my mind yesterday. When I started the blog, the name fit. Now? Not so much. Any suggestions for a new name?

jdsanc said...

Hey. I like Rambles, and rambling. It's what I like to do, ramble through blogs and listen to writers rambling. Whatever you do, don't use anything to do with musings. I mean, how many musing blogs are there?

Yat-Yee said...

Thanks for the info. She's had my query for months now, so I suspect it's a pass. Sigh. She sounds fabulous.

K. M. Walton said...

Casey, if I ever land an agent that you've spotlighted, you are SOOOO going in my acknowledgments page. Seriously.

Thermocline said...

A great profile and the name of Nathan's agent. I wonder if he'll mention it on his blog now.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for another great post. I just started Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Hopefully it'll give me a feel if she likes the kind of fantasy I write.

lotusgirl said...

sounds like another fabulous agent. I LOVE The Book Thief. She's got great taste. Plus Nathan Bransford's agent. Hmmm. I may have to see if she'll like my work.

Unknown said...

She sounds like a fabulous agent and I'm a fan of multiple clients she reps. Thanks Casey!

MG Higgins said...

Thank you. She sounds like a wonderful agent.

Nora MacFarlane said...

Thank you for the information. She sounds terrific!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

lisa and laura love her!

Brittany Howard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brittany Howard said...

I currently have a full out with Catherine! She actually just emailed me today to say she's about to start reading it.


Jacqueline Harvey said...

I just googled Catherine Drayton and found your fantastic site. She sold the rights for my Alice-Miranda series to the US recently and I was thrilled to see my name listed among her clients (the hyperlink goes to books I did a number of years ago now here in Australia). I have a new website about go live www.alice-miranda.com and www.jacquelineharvey.com.au
I met Catherine for the first time in person this morning and she's just as fabulous as you describe!

Jacqueline Harvey

Casey McCormick said...

Hi Jacqueline!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Catherine does sound really great.

I just updated your link to include your author website. Let me know if you'd rather it be the other. Can't wait to see them live!

Anonymous said...

hi! she sounds like an awesome agent! I recently emailed her but she hasnt responded and its been 5 days does that mean that its a no? or does she follow up even on rejections?


Casey McCormick said...

Hi Anon,

She's normally fast but 5 days is nothing in publishing. I wouldn't write her off or status query for several more weeks. Response times tend to fluctuate.

Anonymous said...

She's got my requested material right now, fingers crossed I get another email back soon. She sounds great and I loved Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.


Casey McCormick said...

Good luck Ellen!

Anonymous said...

Something I would like to know is if she will email you a rejection or if she just ignores it after deciding no?

Casey McCormick said...

Anon, she normally sends a response, rejection or otherwise, but response times can really fluctuate. Hope you hear back soon!

Anonymous said...

And if two agents are reveiwing your work, one after the other, are you supposed to let them know? Or just wait and see if they're accepting you? I've tried to research this but I've come up blank.

Anonymous said...

If I have two agents looking at requested material am I supposed to clarify this between them or am I supposed to wait until either/or accepts my book?

Casey McCormick said...

Hi Anon,

It's usually a good idea to note in your query that it's a simultaneous submission, but it's okay if you didn't. Most agents expect you to be querying widely. Same thing with partials and fulls. You can mention that it's with other agents when you send the material, but there's really no need to let them know. If one of them makes you an offer of representation, however, definitely let all other agents who have your work know.

Stephanie said...

thanks for this amazing forum Casey. As a first-time author trying to navigate the literary world, I'm sincerely grateful to have stumbled upon your great site. Thank you for all of this effort - it's amazing!

Anonymous said...

Two months (for a Partial Manuscript) and no reply, do I consider it a rejection? Or do I wait it out? Or should I status query?

Casey McCormick said...

Anon, consider status querying. She usually responds sooner than two months. Something might have fallen through the cracks.

Anonymous said...

What is status querying please?

Casey McCormick said...

Hi Anon,

A status query is when you e-mail to check if your query was received and what the status is on it. Some writers do this after a couple months if the agent is known to respond (if you do, I recommend including the original query in the e-mail). Others will just write the silence off as a rejection or re-query.

Tamara said...

First a little fangurl squeal, because I love your blog! Thank you so much for all the effort you've put in to helping us find the right agent!

My question relates to Inkwell Management's disclosure statement on their submissions page. It's a very strange thing to see, and it quotes:

InkWell Management and/or any of its clients may use without obligation to me any material which is not legally protected; (iv) InkWell Management and/or any of its clients may have created, may create, or may otherwise have access to materials, ideas, and creative works which may be similar or identical to the Material with regard to theme, motif, plots, characters, formats, or other attributes; and (v) I shall not be entitled to any compensation because of the proposed use or use of any such similar or identical material that may be or may have been created by InkWell Management and/or any of its clients or that may have been created by InkWell Management and/or any of its clients that may have come to InkWell Management and/or any of its clients from any other independent source.

What does this mean? I know the agent is reputable, but the disclosure certainly makes me think twice about submitting to them, with all the blurry fine print... :(

Casey McCormick said...

Hi Tamara,

I'm not expert on contracts but the way I understand it is that Inkwell Management is guarding the agency from any potential lawsuit. So, in the event one of their clients wrote a book very similar to yours ("with regard to theme, motif, plots, characters, formats, or other attributes, etc"), you can't sue them for it.

Someone pretty much always tries to sue based on copyright when a book gets big (like HP). So they're being proactive.

They're a respectable agency, so I really don't think you need to be concerned with them stealing anything, despite how that paragraph reads.

Hope that helps!!


Tamara said...

It sure does! Thanks Casey. It was the "identical" that got me thinking, that's all.