Polly Nolan

Polly Nolan

Greenhouse Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List

Send me your stories!  I LOVE an engrossing story.  As long as it’s for children or Young Adults, I don’t care about genres.  I simply wanted to be transported to another world/another person’s mind/away from the grind of every day life – and to believe in the place to which you take me.  I am constantly searching for a voice that will grab me, a new take on an old idea, something that will make me think, ‘Wow!  What a fantastic piece of writing’ and/or, ‘Hmm. That’s never occurred to me before’.  I like nothing more than to sit down to read something thinking I’ll spend 10 minutes at it, only to have been so engrossed that when I look up again, half of the day is gone.  (Well, I like it except when work piles up on my desk as a result.)

I particularly like MG adventure and would be SO happy to find somebody who could write the sorts of emotion-rich stories that Eva Ibbotson did so well – where a child up against the odds and with an indomitable spirit, goes on a tough/challenging journey (emotionally and physically) and comes out top.  If you can throw in a pinch of magic realism, so much the better.  I would also love to find a really good animal story – one that can melt my stony heart and bring a tear to my cynical eye.

In YA, I’m dying to find a funny, smart contemporary novel about sisterhood and friendship – and if it includes a storyline about standing up for what you believe in, so much the better.

I would also like to find something very funny (but not involving gross stuff that comes out of the body’s orifices) for readers of 7-9, especially if it has series potential.

I am really keen on anything NOT written in a first person, present tense voice. I’ve just seen too much of that in recent years.

And what have Greenhouse and I got to offer in return?  Well, we are a trans-Atlantic literary agency. I am lucky enough to look after our clients outside North America  – and am always looking for outstanding new clients from this area, as long as you write in English (my language skills are non-existent). For a long time I worked as an Editor of Children’s Fiction in many of the UK’s top publishing houses, starting as a Rights Assistant and finishing as a Publishing Director, so my editorial skills and author care were learned at the coalface. I pride myself on being able to help an author bring out the very best in his or her story. I LOVE brokering deals for authors, new and established.

Fun facts about me:

I have swum with sharks. (Scary and humbling in equal measure.)

I am terrified of spiders. (Scary and humiliating in equal measure.)

I once worked the night-shift in a commercial laundry and had to iron 100 hotel and/or hospital bedsheets an hour or I got yelled at. (Scary and stressful in equal measure.)

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to submissions@greenhouseliterary.com

You’ll find everything you need to know on our website: www.greenhouseliterary.com

Key things to bear in mind though are:

Email only. No attachments. (We delete emails unread when they have attachments, unless we’ve specifically requested them.)  Please put my name in the subject header of your email, and only query me if you are living outside North America. (For those inside North America, you’ll need to query my colleague Sarah Davies.  See her profile on this site.)

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Fiction: Children's, Middle Grade, Young Adult

Favorite sub-genres: Contemporary YA, Diversity, Domestic Suspense, Humor, Literary Middle Grade, Multicultural, Multiple POV
I’d like the next…

Eva Ibbotson

Animals of Farthing Wood (ideally without talking birds)


Roald Dahl

Captain Underpants

Great story NOT written in a first person, present tense voice!

My favorites include…

Likes:  Emotion. Good character development. A touch of magic. Anything that makes me think differently. Humour. (So, writers like Eva Ibbotson, Roald Dahl, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Dav Pilkey.)

Dislikes:  Bad fantasy (I want to believe in the world). Forced humour. Talking birds (other creatures are fine – just not birds. Please). Authors who speak down to child readers. I’m also getting jaded by first person, present tense narrative.

My Upcoming Events: