Laetitia Rutherford

Literary Agent

Over July and August 2021, we are running the Watson, Little Prize for novelists of 50 years and over, in celebration of the agency’s 50th year. We are closed to general fiction submissions, while we consider entrants to the prize.

I represent a broad and diverse list of authors, ranging across Fiction and contemporary Non Fiction. My areas of particular interest are Literary and Upmarket Fiction and Crime Fiction.

Over the course of Summer and Autumn 2021, I will be looking for a new author of upmarket fiction, a contemporary voice, with international appeal and preferably a contemporary setting. If historical, let your novel speak freshly for today. A highly particular setting can be extremely resonant for being specific. I love to be transported by a distinctive sense of place and to be taken on a profound emotional journey, whether in a closely observed novel of character, or an epic dual or triple narrative.  Relationship dynamics, and moral compromise interest me, especially when caught in the winds of social change. Tones of charm and humour also work well for me. Your style could be very accessible, and more or less story-driven, as long as the scenario is one of emotional power that will speak to broad audiences and different cultures.   I don’t know the particulars until I see it, but these are the kinds of qualities I’d like to champion for your work to as many readers as possible.  In Crime, I am careful not to let my authors occupy too similar a space, so please think carefully about the distinctiveness of your project.

Among the most compelling novels (outside my authors’ work) I’ve read recently are An American Marriage by Tayeri Jones, Harriet Tyce’s Blood OrangeThe Snakes by Sadie Jones, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo – all of which have such a sharp eye for character, and weave brilliant stories rich with contemporary debate. The lockdown was also a chance to read some modern classics, like F Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, Toni Morrison’s Sula and Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners.

In Non Fiction, I respond to expertly argued, voice-driven proposals that rouse cultural debate, especially if they tackle subjects to do with how to live, whether exploring gender, sexuality, identity, trauma recovery, parenting, ecology, nature, or a writer’s passion for an extraordinary pursuit.

Laetitia grew up in London and took a BA in English from Oxford and MA in 20th Literature from Goldsmiths. Her career in books started as a Marketing Executive for Fiction at HarperCollins. After 3 years, she decided to take a year out to do a Masters degree. She then joined the pioneering small independent agency Toby Eady Associates in 2003, going on to become a literary agent and then director of the agency. In 2013, she joined Watson, Little, attracted by its long-standing reputation, its ability to work with authors in many genres, and its close associations with film, TV, stage and radio agents, to grow each writer’s potential across as many platforms as possible.