After studying English Language and Literature at Oxford University, Jennifer Barclay began her book career in Toronto and joined the literary agency Westwood Creative Artists in 1993. As assistant agent and foreign rights agent for Bruce Westwood she worked with such authors as Naomi Klein, Rohinton Mistry and Alberto Manguel. Offering authors guidance and support at every stage of their career, seeking out the best publishing opportunities and negotiating contracts, her own client list included award-winning authors Michael Redhill, Rabindranath Maharaj, Michael Turner, Shauna Singh Baldwin and Jack Todd.
Going freelance in 2000, she travelled in Asia and lived in France, became a reader for literary agencies, wrote book club guides and catalogue copy for Random House, Knopf and Doubleday Canada, edited fiction for authors seeking publishers, and co-edited AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds (Vintage Canada).
In 2004 she returned to the UK and joined Summersdale Publishers as commissioning editor, soon appointed editorial and rights director. She acquired a broad range of commercial non-fiction, overseeing a list of 80 books a year. In 2008 the company was for the first time shortlisted for both the IPG and BBIA independent publisher of the year awards. Her role involved overseeing the rights department, contract negotiation and editorial strategy. She acquired Commando Dad and An Apple a Day, both extensively covered in national media with rights sold in several countries; other successful projects included Lost in the Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg, Are We Nearly There Yet? by Ben Hatch, A Year in the Scheisse by Roger Boyes, Twenty Wagging Tales by Barrie Hawkins and Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard. She also helped develop a health series and best-selling humour book concepts.
She moved to a Greek island in 2011 and two years later set up Jennifer Barclay Books. She enjoys outdoors adventure and writes her own books – click here to visit her author blog site.
Jennifer Barclay Books has the following international co-agents:
China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam – Big Apple Agency
Eastern Europe – Prava i Prevodi
Spanish & Portuguese world – Sandra Bruna Agency
France, French Canada – Agence Eliane Benisti
Germany – Agentur Petra Eggers
Italy – PNLA