Kate Evans is an agent representing books and journalism.
She studied English Literature and Journalism in Australia and New York and worked variously in music, magazines, and literary festivals before beginning her publishing career at Hachette Australia in 2012. She has been at PFD since 2014.
What I'm looking for...
I am actively looking for exciting new voices across both fiction and non-fiction.
I’m interested in non-fiction that says something about the way we live- from beautiful narrative non-fiction with a strong voice to passionate manifestos from experts in their fields. Whether it’s popular science, big ideas, nature writing, memoir, fresh approaches to history or insightful takes on pop culture, I am drawn to writing that makes social, political, and economic issues accessible and engaging.
Whatever the topic, I love to see ambitious and unconventional approaches to non-fiction. That could be history with a literary/ narrative bent or science writing that merges with the philosophical. I’m as likely to be drawn to a major reporting project (Matthew Desmond’s Evicted or Sarah Krasnostein’s The Trauma Cleaner) as I am to a genuinely useful personal development book (I’ve now given away three copies of Attached). I love memoir and am open to extraordinary writing or extraordinary personal experiences (The Rules Do Not Apply is an all time favourite but I also bring up Andre Agassi’s OPEN more than is really acceptable). I would also love to further expand my cookery and food writing list, I hoard cookbooks and never tire of good narrative cookery.
I read very widely in fiction but the common thread that runs through most novels I love is a sharply observed take on relationships and strong characters I’ll think about long after I’ve left them on the page. I want a book I can gleefully, greedily consume- that kind of crying in public, ignoring your friends level compulsiveness… but I also want it to be beautifully put together. To steal from Donna Tartt, who explains this better than I ever could, I’m eternally looking for a balance of “density and speed”. I enjoy the very literary and the page-turner in equal measure. If it’s set in a cult, an atmospheric college, an all consuming sub-culture, or a group of old friends with simmering tensions, it’s probably of interest to me. I love a sense of time and place, whether that’s a historical setting or just a vividly realised present.
I would love to see more literary suspense, a funny-sad family drama and I am forever on the lookout for a great love story.
I am largely genre-agnostic and if you’re using genre (crime, horror, speculative) in an interesting way underpinned by exceptional writing I’d love to see it. Having said this, I’m probably not the best agent for hard SFF or YA. Some writers I love (in addition to all of my own): Claire Lombardo, Tess Gunty, Meg Wolitzer, Sloane Crosley, Lauren Groff, Tana French, Helen Fielding, Emily Rapp Black, Mhairi McFarlane, Tiffany McDaniel, and Gabrielle Zevin.