Arabella Stein is shortlisted for Agent of the Year 2019

last updated 27 March 2019

The British Book Awards champion the very best of the book trade, from agents to authors, publishers to booksellers

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Nominees have been announced and Bright’s own Director Arabella Stein has been shortlisted for Agent of the Year 2019.

We are delighted that Arabella has been shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year by The British Book Awards – this prestigious accolade reflecting Arabella’s incredible dedication to her work and further establishing her position as an industry leader.

As all those who work with Arabella know, she is direct, fast-thinking, and understands, on both a creative and commercial level, what makes a great book sell. Over the course of her career, Arabella has represented a wide range of best-selling and prize-winning authors and illustrators whom she nurtures through her encouragement and advice, helping them to create great stories and enhance their careers.

Bright has always championed fairer rights for illustrators, with our talented Global Contracts Manager Sandra Tharumalingam Willmer as an absolute advocate for our artists and authors. Arabella is steadfast in positioning her writers and illustrators to achieve the sales success and critical acclaim they deserve.

title Books by Bright authors and illustrators: Tad – Benji Davies, Hop Little Bunnies – Laura Hughes, Hey Grandude! – Kathryn Durst, The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty – Jessica Courtney Tickle

Arabella: “I am honoured to have been shortlisted alongside such widely-respected nominees. As the only Agent working solely with children’s authors and illustrators on the list, it means a huge amount to be recognised in this way, and for children’s publishing to be acknowledged and celebrated. I am so thankful for all the wonderful colleagues, artists and publishers that make each day such a pleasure and children’s publishing so rewarding.”

This accolade comes at a time of great momentum for Arabella, with her involvement in new, progressive projects such as launching The Alligator’s Mouth Award, in collaboration with The Alligator’s Mouth independent bookshop, which celebrates highly-illustrated fiction for readers age 6-8 years. She acknowledged the need for this market to be recognised – the combination of art and text acting as a crucial bridge in children’s reading journey as they progress from picture books to fiction and helping to inspire life-long readers.

title Alligator’s Mouth logo by Benji Davies, Arabella with Tony West & Margaret Wallace-Jones of independent bookshop The Alligator’s Mouth and Nigel Wyman of Gardners, launching the longlist for the award at London Book Fair

In another exciting branch of work, Arabella will head up a new literary list for children’s fiction, which Bright is launching at Bologna Children’s Book Fair this April. The list enables Arabella to apply her skills and experience to champion a broad range of authors as well as her current picture book portfolio. Associate Agent Freddie Dawson will be supporting the representation of this existing portfolio, enabling Arabella, and the agency as a whole, to expand into new areas.

With so much in the pipeline, the future certainly looks bright, and it is fantastic to see Arabella’s talent and experience celebrated through this great achievement.


‘Ever since Arabella became my agent, I knew I was in safe hands. Her literary knowledge and publishing experience ensure she has a keen sense of what is right for me as a both author and illustrator, one of the most important skills an agent can have.’ – Benji Davies, Bright Author and Illustrator


‘Arabella is sparky and smiley and full of positivity. She radiates an aura of capability. I know that whatever I come at her with, she can deal with it. But beyond that there is something about her that commands respect. I trust Arabella with all my work, and as a writer and illustrator it would be remiss of me to suggest that that did not include trusting her with my feelings. I am very cagey about things that I write or draw, and I don’t like showing works in progress to lots of people, but with Arabella, it’s different. I respect her opinion, and when we work together, I feel like we are working as a team. Arabella is the height of professional, savvy and sharp, but she is also kind and witty and encouraging. Values which are so important in all relationships. Values that you dream of in an agent.’ – Yasmeen Ismail, Bright Author and Illustrator


‘Since she arrived at the Bright Agency in 2016, Arabella has injected her own brand of energy, commercial rigour and humour with her customary flair. She has made a seamless transition to the children’s book world, building on all her experience and knowledge of the adult publishing and agenting world. Author care is very important to us at Nosy Crow, and Arabella’s intuition about the needs and preferences of her clients is as helpful as it is welcome.’ – Louise Bolongaro, Head of Picture Books and Kate Wilson, Managing Director, Nosy Crow


You can view all the other categories for the award here.

We’re looking forward to the results of the British Book Industry Award’s 2019, on 13th May!

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