Kate Burke joins Blake Friedmann

Kate Burke 2019.jpg

Kate Burke has joined The Blake Friedmann Literary Agency as a senior agent and will focus on commercial fiction. 

Burke previously worked as an agent at Northbank Talent Management for six years, and before that spent 10 years as a fiction publisher, at Headline, HarperCollins and Penguin Random House. 

Isobel Dixon, Blake Friedmann's head of books, said: “I’ve been impressed by Kate’s energy and experience, her editorial eye and agenting acumen, and am thrilled to welcome her on board. This is an exciting time for the agency, with such a fine array of authors represented by our agents, and we’re looking forward to Kate being part of this dynamic team.”

Burke said: “I’m delighted to have joined such a prestigious and collegiate team, and am looking forward to many exciting years ahead.” 

She is open to submissions across all fiction genres and can be contacted at: kate@blakefriedmann.co.uk.

New Appointments at Blake Friedmann Agency

Blake Friedmann Agency, founded in 1983 by Carole Blake and Julian Friedmann, has announced a roster of appointments intended to pave the way to the future. These moves were decided before Carole Blake’s death in October 2016, but the agency has waited until now to announce them.

Julian Friedmann

Julian Friedmann

Julian Friedmann will become Chairman of the Company and continue on the board, Isobel Dixon will go forward as Head of the Book Department and Conrad Williams becomes Head of the Media Department. The agency’s Head of Rights, Louise Brice, returns from parental leave in May and will step up to the board later in the year. Dixon is also joined in the Book Department by Juliet Pickering as Vice Head of the Book Department.

In the Finance Department, Daisy Way has recently returned to Blake Friedmann (where she was formerly Royalties and Contracts Associate), to take up the new role of Joint Finance Manager. Samuel Hodder, who joined the company two years ago as Royalties and Contracts Associate, will step up to Joint Finance Manager alongside Daisy, while continuing in a Contracts role as well.

Isobel Dixon

Isobel Dixon

‘When Carole and I merged our agencies over thirty years ago,’ said Friedmann, ‘we had two other members of staff and around forty clients between us. The agency now has fifteen members of staff and more than three hundred clients. The agency is well placed for the future, and Isobel, Conrad, Louise, Juliet and I will be working closely with the whole team to make it as fulfilling and dynamic as possible for our clients and colleagues. I know Carole would be very proud of them all.’

‘I’ve already had more than twenty happy years working with Julian, Conrad and Carole,’ Dixon said, ‘and though we all miss Carole greatly, we feel her spirit and enthusiasm in everything that we do here. She left us a rich legacy which we feel honoured to continue. The book department has an even wider range of clients and projects now that Juliet Pickering, Tom Witcomb and Hattie Grűnewald are building and consolidating their own lists and we are excited about sharing our authors’ great writing and helping them to thrive. I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead.’

Conrad Williams

Conrad Williams

Conrad Williams said: ‘The international boom in the book-into-film-and-TV market makes this the most exciting time to be a film and TV agent in the heart of a dynamic literary agency. The joint is jumping and our well harmonised team will make the most of it for all our clients – be they scriptwriters, playwrights, directors or authors.’

 ‘Carole added a quote to a press release draft before she died,’ said Friedmann, ‘and I’d like to share some of her words now. “We have a fantastic team,” wrote Carole “with some very established colleagues, gifted younger agents, a talented foreign rights department and strong support all round. The time seems ripe to put the management of the agency on a forward footing.  Blake Friedmann Agency is a company with an exciting future and these changes reflect our commitment to our colleagues and that future.”’

Juliet Pickering

Juliet Pickering

With the future of not just the agency, but the wider industry in mind, in November 2016 the company set up the Carole Blake Open Doors Project, a programme specifically aimed at encouraging candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds to enter the publishing industry. The response to the 31 December deadline for applications was so strong that instead of placing just one candidate in the first half of 2017, the agency has appointed one candidate to a full three-month paid internship, and with the support of the Book Trade Charity (BTBS) for accommodation, has awarded two places instead of one for their inaugural shadowing project in 2017. More details will follow in due course. 

Louise Brice

Louise Brice

Everyone at Blake Friedmann would again like to extend their warmest gratitude for the many messages of condolence and support received in the wake of Carole Blake’s death. Every single one is appreciated.



Peter James awarded the Tess Gerritsen Award for Best Series

Acclaimed British writer Peter James has been awarded the Tess Gerritsen Award for Best Series last weekend at Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, in Harrogate, for his bestselling Roy Grace series. This prestigious prize is awarded every year to a writer with a career marked by excellence and success. Novels eligible are those crime novels published in paperback any time during the previous year. Voting is by the public with decisions of a jury-panel also taken into account.

Peter James’ 12th Roy Grace novel LOVE YOU DEAD was published in May and remained in the Top 10 Hardback bestseller list for 7 weeks and his ghost story THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL was published in paperback last month and spent 3 weeks in the Paperback Top 10. His first non-fiction book, DEATH COMES KNOCKING: POLICING ROY GRACE’S BRIGHTON written with Graham Bartlett was published on 15th June and will be in the Sunday Times paperback non-fiction chart at No. 7 this weekend. This means that within the same month, Peter has been in the Top 10 bestseller charts for hardback fiction, paperback fiction and paperback non-fiction – a stunning achievement.

Peter James has been twice Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and has won many literary awards: as popular internationally as in the UK, he is published in more than 3 dozen languages. Last year he was voted by WH Smith readers as The Best Crime Author of All Time.  He is currently writing three more Roy Grace novels and two standalones for Macmillan.


Praise for Peter James:

'Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business.' – Karin Slaughter

'Exceptional, knock-your-socks-off.' – Washington Post

‘Sinister and riveting… Peter James is one of the best British crime writers, and therefore one of the best in the world.’ – Lee Child

Find out more about Peter James at Blake Friedmann's, Pan Macmillan's and Peter’s websites and follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

UNDER A CORNISH SKY by Liz Fenwick published tomorrow in paperback!

UNDER A CORNISH SKY by Liz Fenwick is published in paperback tomorrow by Orion. This is the fourth novel by Liz to be published by Orion, who have already commissioned her next two books. Her previous novel, A CORNISH STRANGER, was published in paperback in April 2015.

In this deliciously irresistible tale set in the heart of Cornwall, Demi receives a surprising, puzzling inheritance: half of the beautiful Boscawen Estate. The conflicts that ensue and the discoveries made change her life forever.

Liz Fenwick was born in Massachusetts, now lives in London with her family, and visits her Cornish house as often as possible. Her novels are translated into 11 languages so far.


'Liz Fenwick has done something very brave: she’s stepped outside the norms of the genre to explore love, ageing and – in a wonderfully unexpected moment – society’s casually unthinking sexism.' – Vulpeslibris.wordpress.com

Praise for Liz Fenwick:

'An intriguing, deeply felt and poignant story, stuffed with insight and observation.' – Elizabeth Buchan

‘Intriguing with a great sense of place. The perfect ‘Cornish’ holiday read.’ – Katie Fforde

SLEEPER'S CASTLE by Barbara Erskine published today

Harper Collins releases SLEEPER’S CASTLE by Barbara Erskine today in a beautiful hardback edition. In this new novel, Sunday Times bestselling author Barbara Erskine returns to Hay in the year that marks the 30th anniversary of her sensational debut bestseller, LADY OF HAY.  SLEEPER’S CASTLE is published on the very day that LADY OF HAY celebrates 30 years in print!

Two women, centuries apart. One endless nightmare tearing Wales apart – and only they can stop it.

Hay-On-Wye, 1400 – War is brewing in the Welsh borders, Catrin is on the brink of womanhood and falling in love for the first time. Her father is a soothsayer, negotiating a dangerous game playing on the mixed loyalties and furious rivalries between Welsh princes and English lords. For two hundred years, the Welsh people have suffered under the English yoke, dreaming of independence. And finally it looks as though the charismatic Owain Glyndwr may be the man legend talks of. In the walls of Sleeper’s Castle, Catrin finds herself caught in the middle of a doomed war as she is called upon to foretell Wales’s destiny… And what she sees, is blood and war coming closer…

Hay, 2015. Miranda has moved to Sleeper’s Castle to escape and grieve. Slowly she feels herself coming to life in the solitude of the mountains. But every time she closes her eyes her dreams become more vivid. And she makes a connection with a young girl, who’s screaming, who’s reaching out… who only Miranda can help. Is she losing herself to time?

Barbara will be at History in the Court at Goldsboro books on Thursday, along with Blake Friedmann authors Elizabeth Chadwick and David Gilman.

Barbara Erskine is the author of 13 novels and 3 volumes of short stories, and her work has been translated into 26 languages.

Praise for Barbara Erskine:

'Barbara Erskine's storytelling talent is undeniable.' - The Times

'The Queen of timeslip epics.' - The Bookseller