Ciara McEllin

Associate Agent

I joined Watson, Little in 2017 and am now an Associate Agent. I work closely with Laetitia Rutherford and Donald Winchester while actively building my own list of fiction and non-fiction.

I read widely across book club, upmarket and literary fiction. Within these areas, I am drawn to novels that examine family and relationship dynamics, sexuality, identity, and vulnerability. I am keen to hear from writers who take a fresh approach to these themes, whether that be a new perspective on a traditional narrative or a focus on characters and voices that remain underrepresented: think Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters, Real Life by Brandon Taylor or Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. I would also be eager to see an atmospheric and existential thriller in the vein of Intimacies by Katie Kitamura, In The Cut by Susanna Moore and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk.

I will always want to read beautifully written novels with a strong sense of place, tangible characters and an essence that stays with you – living deep in your bones – long after you’ve finished reading. I have recently enjoyed: The Love Songs of W.E.B Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead, Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, The Idiot by Elif Batuman, Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados, Bear by Marian Engel, Highway Blue by Ailsa McFarlane, My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong.

In non-fiction, I enjoy narrative, memoir and essay collections. I am interested in hearing from experts, academics, critics and journalists writing about society, culture and food, and I am excited by writers seeking to revise, reshape or revolutionise the conversation in their area of expertise. Some of my favourite non-fiction titles include How To Survive A Plague by David France, The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye, the Living Autobiography Series by Deborah Levy, Last Witnesses: Unchildlike Stories by Svetlana Alexievich, Notes To Self by Emilie Pine, King Kong Theory by Virginie Despentes; and I particularly enjoy the work of M.F.K Fisher, Annie Ernaux and Natalia Ginsburg.

I am not looking for Children’s, YA or Fantasy.

What am I currently reading?

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje