Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 27, 2017

Agent Sarah Davies – Likes and Dislikes



Sara was a publisher for 25 years  before becoming a literary agent in 2008 and launching Greenhouse. She’s lived in both the States and UK, so her experience of the publishing industry is unusually deep and wide ranging. The international scene is part of her view of publishing potential, and she loves MSS that could work around the world (though that’s not essential). She was an editor for many years, and her ability to help develop/build stories with authors has been key to our success. She called the agency Greenhouse because she’s passionate about the cultivation of talent.

She particularly specializes in chapter book series, MG and YA, though she sells picture books by existing clients – and even adult fiction, if my clients diversify. She loves strong concepts/hooks, which intrigue her and make her turn the page, but also make her think. She likes MSS with new ideas she has not seen before – even if they still need a bit more development. Sara loves interesting narrative structures, formats, timelines, and writers who take risks and have big ideas. She is very open on genre; and just ready to fall in love!

MG: Her sweet spot is classic, gorgeous fiction with tons of heart that takes the protagonist on an inward AND outward journey. This might be contemporary/realistic or magical realism (which she currently loves). She is also seeking action-packed stories with a uniquely adventurous premise.  Again, structures, formats, illustrative potential are great.

YA: Sara is seeking smart, freshly told love stories with diverse characters and backdrops; she’d particularly love to see more from the Muslim experience. Also:  twisty-turny mysteries that keep her guessing and pose impossible conundrums; narrators she maybe can’t trust; foreign settings that feel absolutely authentic and bring to life political or cultural situations (the Middle East, France, modern Scandinavia?); fantasy/myth that interacts in some way with the real world. Sara has a particular wish to find a) a sexy historical set in the French Revolution (think THE LUXE with guillotines!) and b) a horror/thriller with a very scary house/town that holds secrets and ghosts, whether real or figurative and c) a novel from the Scandy Noir tradition – think TV series like The Bridge, The Killing – but for teens.

She has a strange passion for:  oceans, ice, plants, science in fiction (though she’s not a scientist), and she’s a big history buff, though that can be really tough to do in fiction . . .


Don’t send her vampires and dystopia that goes along all-too-familar lines. Other than that she’s really open to falling in love with a story, so query her!


Her first job (age 14) was as assistant in a hair salon; she got fired and it was terrible.
She used to perform as a singer-songwriter (Says she had lots of curly red hair and wore a lot of black leather; don’t judge) – and she still sings a lot.  She has twin sons who are grown, and  two wire-haired dachsunds called Sarge and Olivia who are very noisy and very cute. She likes wild places, walking, and growing things (whether authors or plants). Um, she also likes cemeteries – says they tell you everything about a place and who lived there.
She’s very driven and has been described as being “like a dog with a bone” when she wants to achieve something. If you are her client, that’s a good thing!
Favorite color?  All shades of blue and green.

Sarah Davies (Agent representing US/Canadian authors) BIO:

Sarah founded the Greenhouse when she moved to the US in 2007 after a long career as a UK children’s publisher. She now divides her time between London and New York.

Sarah has been an editor most of her life and has considerable experience in contract negotiation, marketing and rights. Excellent publishing contacts in both the USA and Britain, and many years spent living in both countries, have given her an unusually transatlantic view of the children’s books industry, from both sides of the desk.  A member of AAR, Sarah has crossed America and Europe talking about children’s books and writing craft. She says, ‘Everything you need to know about Greenhouse is in its name.’

Submissions should be emailed to
All our queries are by email and must have “Sarah Davies” in the subject line.  Basically a brief intro to yourself, target market, MS length, pitch (2-3 paragraphs) and brief bio.  And then the first 5 pages of the story pasted into the body of your email.
But . . .please go to our website to see our latest guidelines before you submit as guidelines occasionally change (and very occasionally we close for a short period of time).

Talk tomorrow,


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