Welcome to the website of Selwa Anthony Author Management Agency - one of the leading literary agencies in Australia. Here you will find information about Selwa, her authors and the books she has helped get published.
How Selwa became my agent
After twelve years teaching Suzuki Piano and running multi-piano workshops and concerts in Sydney, culminating in my staging The Suzuki 21 Piano Salute to the Bicentenary, (that included 21 pianos, strings, woodwind, 200 kids and 20 teachers), I needed a change. Encouraged by my husband to ‘Give it a go’ and follow my dream to write bestsellers, I wrote and published Pain-free Living, a cookbook for arthritis sufferers. I then joined every writing group I could find and started writing my first novel. One of those groups was the Society of Women Writers. They were desperate for a secretary. “Anne McCullagh Rennie”
Fifteen years ago, I thought I had my first publishing deal all sewn up, but when it came to the nitty gritty I was out of my depth. As a freelance journalist I was accustomed to selling my writing and negotiating payments, but book publishing was a whole new world and I wasn’t coping.
By chance I interviewed another journalist-turned-author at that time and told her of my difficulties.
After years of working on a memoir and finally honing it to her satisfaction, my editor recommended me to Selwa.
I’d been aware of Selwa Anthony for years, but never dreamed I would make the grade to be one of her authors.
Within days of receiving the manuscript Selwa called me! “Gwen Wilson”
Ah, the circuitous route to the place you should have been all along!
It felt like a backdoor entry to a special club – no secret handshake or code word, but certainly the right introduction from the right person.
And from the very beginning it was a matter of working together as opposed to being ‘taken on board’. Selwa was able to help uncover the possibilities in a writing career that was underway but in need of direction. “Andrew Daddo”
In 1999, the year we married, our story appeared in The Australian Women’s Weekly. Tucked away at the end of the article was a throw-away line that happened to mention we would like to write a book about our story one day.
A few days later a note arrived in our mailbox from a literary agent called Selwa Anthony – who at that stage we hadn’t heard of. We quickly discovered she was a legend in the publishing industry. We made contact with her and she re-iterated her offer to help if we wanted to write our story. “Sam & Jenny Bailey”
An author needs a great agent. One who knows the changing climate of the literary world. One who is always at your back, fights for your rights and has the wisdom to know how to give you constructive criticism that helps lead you to successful publication.
Selwa Anthony has been all that and more to me throughout the writing and publication of my first four Australian historical novels: Ironbark, Ghost Gum Valley, The Lace Balcony, and Golden Hope in Australia and overseas, and their Talking Book editions. “Johanna Nicholls”
I met Selwa through friends.
I flew to Sydney from Kununurra to meet her. She was extremely helpful. She picked me up from the hotel to come to her place for afternoon tea. The homemade scones were delicious.
I was very, very impressed by all the books she had helped to be published. “Frauke Bolton-Boshammer”
Around 2001, I decided to write an account of my life with the real Crocodile Dundee. Writing the story of how your ex-husband killed a police officer and wounded several other people, and was then shot dead, was not something I wanted to do, but it was necessary.
Before I ventured down that road, I rang an editor friend in Sydney. She said mine was a sensitive and difficult story to write. I needed an agent, and the agent I needed was Selwa Anthony.
“She’s the best person you could get to represent you,” she said. “Joanne van Os”
To cut a very long story short, in the mid-90s I found myself with a decommissioned manuscript. That is, the publishing house I was contracted to had decided to let my publisher go and, therefore, cancelled all their commissioned works. How I got the original publishing deal was through a friend of a friend. So now, I had no agent and no idea on what to do with the manuscript.
To distract myself I began editing the manuscript and took up ten-pin bowling. At the time, it was decided bowling would be an exhibition game at the 2000 Olympics. I wasn’t bad at the game and, well, a young bloke can dream.
In one of the many leagues I bowled, I meet an accountant who told me they had a literary agent as a client. “John Suter Linton”
Many years ago, when I worked at the Advertiser, I came across a feature in our Broadsheet newspaper about this exciting agent for Australian authors. It was in the 1990s, and for some reason I kept it, taken by the striking woman whose portrait took up half the page.
In 2004, I met a widower, a handsome French-born Australian with a melodic Gallic accent, who took me back to France, wooed me and won my heart. I had been a feisty feminist and forged a career as such at the Advertiser. I once wrote a column about the “romance myth” and here I was, a 50-something middle-aged woman, falling to his charms. “Nadine Williams”