Salma is seeking confident, immersive, ambitious, narrative-driven writing. She works under the tenet that quality need not be to the sacrifice of commercial success. Having come from editorial at Picador (Pan Macmillan), Zaffre and Manilla Press (Bonnier Books UK), she is keenly aware of what it takes for a book to win a publishing contract. As an agent, Salma works closely on manuscript development while always considering marketability and timing to give her authors the best shot at finding their readership.
Story is non-negotiable for Salma, regardless of whether the work is a high-concept horror or a literary doorstopper. Her submission wishlist includes a sweeping love story set against a gritty urban backdrop like An Olive Grove in Ends by Moses McKenzie; ingenious tales of time travel such as All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai and the TV series Devs; and a masterfully crafted multi-generational epic like A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth.
In non-fiction, she is looking for subject experts, journalists and memoirists who appreciate long-form literature and can breathe life into an idea, an event, a memory. Her non-fiction wishlist includes interrogations of social media use and its sometimes-devastating consequences as explored in the Netflix docudrama The Social Dilemma; captivating music writing such as Grime Kids by DJ Target and On Michael Jackson by Margo Jefferson; and ground-shifting journalism like An Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe.
Salma has published the work of a number of prize-winning poets. As an agent, her preference is for the colloquial, rhythmic, or playful, written with the ambition of forming a cohesive collection. She is keen to work with spoken word poets who are looking to bring their work to the page.
Books Salma constantly recommends include:
NW by Zadie Smith
Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
By the Sea by Abdulrazak Gurnah
The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
The Rosewater Trilogy by Tade Thompson
How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard
King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild
Poor by Caleb Femi
Surge by Jay Bernard