Jennifer Barclay

Jennifer Barclay – Editor

Over 25 years of working with inspiring memoirs, narrative non-fiction and successful international fiction as an editor and literary agent.

Overview

I love travel memoir and fiction that teaches you about a place or a period of history. Projects over the last few years include Doug Gold's The Note Through the Wire, Tharik Hussain's Minarets in the Mountains, Ishbel Holmes' Me, My Bike and a Street Dog Called Lucy and Auguste Corteau's The Book of Katerina.

I've experienced the creative and publishing process from many different angles. I'm British and studied English at Oxford but moved to Canada in my early twenties and that was where I started working with books. I joined a literary agency in Toronto, learning the ropes by doing general admin and selling rights until I was an agent myself in the North American market.

Seven years later, needing a break, I left to travel in Asia and when I returned, I wanted more creativity in my work. I co-edited a collection of travel writing that was published by Vintage, then spent two years in France becoming a freelance editor with international clients, while starting to write my first book. Eventually I moved back to England and took on the role of editorial and rights director for a British independent publisher.

Having published my first book and started on my second, ten years ago I decided to move to a Greek island and soon went freelance again. I now have the great pleasure of working from home with authors and helping to shape stories - advising on book ideas, coaching, editing from start to finish, helping with publicity, and sometimes finding publishers for authors.

It's always fun to receive a new pitch. I love reading a new story.
Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Health & Wellbeing Inspirational Sports & Outdoors Travel
Fiction
Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime Thriller & Suspense
Languages
English (UK)

Work experience

Self-employed

Sep, 2013 — Present

Summersdale Publishers

Sep, 2004 — Jul, 2013 (almost 9 years)

I acquired a broad range of commercial non-fiction, overseeing a list of 80 books a year. In 2008 we were for the first time shortlisted for both the IPG and BBIA independent publisher of the year awards and our turnover grew threefold in three years. My role involved overseeing the rights department, contract negotiation and editorial strategy. I acquired Commando Dad and An Apple a Day, both extensively covered across national media with rights sold in several countries; other successful projects included Are We Nearly There Yet? by Ben Hatch, Cocaine Wars by Mick McCaffrey, A Year in the Scheisse by Roger Boyes, Twenty Wagging Tales by Barrie Hawkins, Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard and Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler. I also helped develop the 50 Things health series and best-selling humour book concepts such as The Deranged Book for Old-Timers and Older, Wiser, Sexier.

Westwood Creative Artists

Oct, 1993 — Apr, 2000 (over 6 years)

I worked my way up from administrative assistant, learning about negotiation, rights and choosing saleable projects. As assistant agent and foreign rights coordinator for Bruce Westwood I worked with such authors as: Naomi Klein (No Logo), Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance), Alberto Manguel (A History of Reading). From 1996 I built my own client list, offering authors guidance and support at every stage of their career, seeking out the best publishing opportunities and negotiating contracts. My award-winning, best-selling clients included Michael Redhill, Rabindranath Maharaj, Michael Turner and Jack Todd; I arranged 12 rights deals for What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel.

Portfolio

A Journey of Discovery driven by the Call of the Wild.In the depth of winter, Helen Lloyd spent three months cycling solo across one of the most remote, coldest inhabited regions of the planet - Siberia.In temperatures down to -50°C, she battled against the co... read more
'Fearlessness has got nothing to do with being unafraid. It's about doing things anyway, getting on with it, living, whether you're afraid or not...Courage is about being who you are with your whole heart.' Fuzzy-haired, neurotic, cello-playing Catrina is deva... read more
A brand new collection of remarkable travel tales from ‘Silver Travelers'. Dervla Murphy traveling in Havana at the age of 74, Matthew Parris swimming the Thames at 60, and Colin Thubron climbing the last stronghold of the Assassins in his 60s are among the wr... read more
In her mid-thirties, fashion editor Karen has it all: a handsome boyfriend, a fab flat in west London, and an array of gorgeus shoes. But when her boyfriend, Eric, leaves she makes an unexpected decision: to hang up her Manolos and wave good-bye to her glamoro... read more
The story of a madcap five-month family trip to write a travel guide—embracing the freedom of the open road with a spirit of discovery and an industrial supply of baby wipes "Hurry up," I shout at Dinah, whilst on the overhead telly Ray Mears’ Survival is play... read more
The Last Mulberry Tree

Kellaris Tranter, Christina

Headhunter

Miles Campbell

Northern Soles

Steve Ankers

“John X. Cooper has created a character, the detective Panos Akritas, who will go straight into the annals of crime fiction” -- Jack Todd, author of Sun Going DownAthens is without doubt an ancient wonder, but the twenty-first century is not treating it well, ... read more
The Lost Lyra

Richard Clark

The Visitors

Catherine Burns

“Once you start Catherine Burns's dark, disturbing, and enthralling debut novel, it's hard to stop. The Visitors is bizarrely unsettling, yet compulsively readable.” —Iain Reid, internationally bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things With the smart... read more
In my late thirties, it gradually dawned on me that I had become Jason's regular hooker. It was an arrangement that worked well for a couple of reasons. He didn't need me to dress up in anything particularly risque or to do anything too vulgar, other than cudd... read more
Dementia encompasses a range of brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, that cause cognitive impairment and are much more likely to occur with age. Dementia has a serious effect on the lives of not only its sufferers, but also has a significant impact o... read more
Filled with vivid descriptions of delicious wines, great food, and stunning views, this is a unique insight into the world of the winemaker, and a story of passion, dedication, and loveWhen Caro and Sean find the perfect 10-hectare vineyard in Saussignac, it s... read more
Alone in Antarctica

Felicity Aston

What would it feel like to be out there alone in that empty vastness? Just before midnight on 24 November 2011, Felicity is left completely alone on the coast of Antarctica. The isolation is instant and devastating. Only three people in the world have crossed ... read more
We buy food we can point to. We stalk the streets until rush hour and wait for the little hatches to open in the sides of restaurants. From the steamy openings, cooks in overalls sell jiaozi (dumplings) and bowls of thick, sticky, white congee—an unholy cross ... read more
The tale of a scenic cycling trip—including an index of the 50 finest beers tasted on the trip"One more wouldn't hurt," said Mick. I looked at him doubtfully. "I'm not sure. It's gone three o'clock already. What time does it get dark in Cornwall at this time o... read more
For Anna, a cycling enthusiast, the decision to ride 4,000 miles solo around the coast of the UK wasn't that hard. Following the river from London until it became the sea, then following the sea until it reached the mouth of the Thames again was a beautifully ... read more
'For the first time in my life I felt that death was a possibility; a stupid, pointless, lonely death on the aptly named Mondulkiri Death Highway.' The Ho Chi Minh Trail is one of the greatest feats of military engineering in history. But since the end of the ... read more
The story opens in Chihuahua, North Mexico, with a chance meeting with a group of itinerant Mexican street performers. Entranced by their stories and free-roaming lifestyle, the author accompanies them on a two-year, hand-to-mouth journey across Mexico, learni... read more
This heart-warming and humorous collection of true furry tales follows the highs and lows of Barrie and his wife as they take on the challenge of rescuing large dogs. After losing his beloved dog, Elsa, Barry can't face replacing her. But when he accepts a res... read more
I haven't tasted chocolate for over ten years and now I'm walking down the street unwrapping a Kit Kat. Remember when Kate Moss said, 'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'? She's wrong: chocolate does. At the age of 32, after ten years of hiding from the tr... read more

Jennifer has 34 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Melanie P.

Melanie P.

Apr, 2024

I feel incredibly fortunate to have found Jen on here. She is a considerate, helpful, honest and encouraging editor and my book is what it is because of her wonderful advice and editing. No hesitation in recommending Jen at all.
Jennifer B.
Thank you, Mel. I'm so pleased we connected through here and I wish you the very best for the book!
Sharron M.

Sharron M.

Dec, 2023

Quick responses from Jennifer and well thought out comments. Very helpful
Jennifer B.
Thanks so much, Sharron - much appreciated! I'm glad it was useful.
Jacob B.

Jacob B.

Oct, 2023

I found working with Jennifer to be helpful. I had some specific questions about the structure of my project which she was able to advise me on. She was communicative, pleasant to deal with and I felt the price I paid was good value for money.
Christine S.

Christine S.

Feb, 2023

Jen is lovely, genuinely wanting to help, spending extra time, and sharing her thoughts openly. She's also very knowledgeable about books and the industry, so her advice is very much appreciated, and her love of reading is obvious. I had to pause our collaboration because of another project, but I look forward to working with her again soon!
Jennifer B.
Thank you so much, Christine!
Alan C.

Alan C.

Jan, 2023

This is my second book and first time working with Jennifer. I would highly recommend her. I felt she went above and beyond, providing a lot of valuable constructive criticism. Exactly what I wanted. 5 stars.
Jennifer B.
Thank you so much, Alan! I'm very pleased you found it helpful.

Sign up to read more reviews

Create a free Reedsy account to connect with Jennifer and thousands of other publishing professionals on Reedsy.

Professionals similar to Jennifer

Get a range of offers by requesting quotes from multiple professionals.

Kari Barlow

Kari B.

I'm a former journalist and unapologetic grammar nerd, and I love working on education, general self-help, and lifestyle-related content.

Pensacola, FL, USA

100% reply rate

View profile
Fiona Houston

Fiona H.

Historical fiction, non-fiction and well-being, academic works and educational resources. Worked for Nomos, Aircademy, Muddy Pearl.

Edinburgh, UK

100% reply rate

View profile
Danielle Dresser

Danielle D.

Developmental Editor with 15+ years of experience from every side of publishing and the marketplace knowledge to make your book shine.

Chicago, IL, USA

100% reply rate

View profile