Philip Gwyn Jones
After thirty-three years as an editor and publisher, just over half of them in corporate publishing, just under half in independent publishing, Philip made the Damascene conversion to agenting early in 2023 in order to move upstream closer to the wellspring to work with writers and thinkers in developing their ideas, their texts, their careers, and defending their interests.
In reverse chronological order, he was Publisher of Picador at Pan Macmillan, Scribe UK, Granta & Portobello Books, Flamingo and Fontana Press at HarperCollins. Writers he published won the Nobel, Booker, Pulitzer, James Tait Black, Women’s Prize for Fiction, PEN, John Llewellyn Rhys, US National Book Award, French Goncourt, German Book Award, Canadian Governor-General’s, US NBCC and CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction prizes, and were shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Orwell Prize, Goldsmiths Prize, Baillie Gifford Prize, Costa Book Award, Commonwealth Writers Prize, amongst many others.
Philip believes there is nothing more thrilling than first reading a style, a character, an idea, a fusion, a vision never encountered before. He is proud to have been the first British publisher to have spotted the originality in and offered a contract to Patrick Ness, Jenny Erpenbeck, Julian Gough, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kathryn Schulz, Magnus Mills, Naomi Klein, Ben Marcus, Mark Lynas, Azadeh Moaveni, Gavin McCrea, Melissa Broder, Anthony Doerr, Eleanor Catton, Zadie Smith, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Katherine Boo and Anna Burns, amongst others. As an agent, he is looking for their equals in invention, intelligence and impact.
Made in Wales, educated there and in Yorkshire, trained in London, now living under Cambridgeshire’s dreaming skies, Philip has had the privilege of having the world opened up to him by the book business, participating in many editorial fellowships and literary festivals worldwide. He has served it as a Trustee and President of the Royal Literary Fund and as Trustee of English PEN for about a decade apiece, was a Creative Writing Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, and currently does his national service on the Grants Panel of the Books Council of Wales.