Julia has worked in publishing for over 20 years as an editor, bookseller and, since 2016, as an agent representing a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. She has an MA in Comparative Literature from UEA, and loves to read voice- and character-driven fiction across the spectrum from commercial to literary, particularly when it opens a door into a previously inaccessible world or experience (Crazy Rich Asians, Prep), exposes our flaws and hypocrisies in new ways (Such a Fun Age, My Year of Rest and Relaxation), or upends expectations with wit and energy (My Sister the Serial Killer). She is also drawn to the combination of the acutely personal and the universal that makes great memoir (Educated, Wild, House of Glass), as well as the blurring of the lines of form and genre in books such as true crime/memoir (The Fact of a Body) and the novel/short stories in A Visit to the Goon Squad and The Wonder Spot.
She is looking for work by writers of all ages and backgrounds. At the moment she is particularly (but not exclusively) looking for crime with a series character (Attica Locke, Tana French and Susie Steiner are favourites), upmarket thrillers (Gillian Flynn, Liz Nugent and Renee Knight are benchmarks), and a beautifully written, compelling historical novel with a strong voice (think The Crimson Petal and the White, The Doll Factory). She grew up in London in a noisy Middle Eastern Jewish family, and is particularly keen to represent more stories exploring identity and belonging in whatever form that takes, whether fiction or non-fiction. In non-fiction she is also keen to hear from journalists and experts illuminating new stories and previously unexplored subjects, and on the practical side she represents a number of writers in health and wellbeing and is interested in original evidence-based proposals in this area from experts with a strong platform. She loves to work with writers and on books that shape and change readers’ view of the world.
As well as her core work as an agent, Julia is strongly committed to increasing representation and accessibility for writers across the industry, and regularly supports and contributes to the work of organisations and events such as Word Factory, Spread the Word, Byte the Book and the Working Class Writers Festival, through workshops, panel events, 1-2-1s and mentoring. She is also the judge for the Bath Novel Award 2021.
Note: Julia Silk is currently open to submissions. Although she enjoys and represents speculative crossover fiction, she does not represent SFF or children’s (apart from by existing authors).