Having long-admired Lauren Gardner’s work within the industry and list of authors – many of which have written books that he considers among his favourites – Callen (he/him) joined Bell Lomax Moreton in April 2023 to assist Lauren across her list. He also supports the wider agency with Social Media. Prior to joining Bell Lomax Moreton, Callen worked previously at another literary agency as an Agency Assistant & Partnerships Manager and, in the freelance space, as a manuscript assessor, sensitivity reader, and writing competition judge.
Callen’s first bookish love will always be children’s and YA fiction, across all genres. In these areas, he is swept away by diverse, heroic, fun, and captivating titles that balance their strong characterisation and emotional depth against plots that he, and young readers, just have to keep turning the pages of. In children's fiction, especially, he's drawn to stories that will leave kids desperate to read one more chapter before bedtime, begging their parents / guardians / carers to let them do just that. In the adult fiction space, he is drawn to commercial stories that strive to ensure that the books on our shelves are as reflective, dynamic, and diverse as the streets that we walk down. For adult non-fiction he is captivated by topical big ideas with a laser focus.
“Though it’s definitely a book’s unique premise that intrigues me, it’s the voice of the characters and their emotional depth – their heart – that I fall in love with and stick around for.”
Callen grew up in foster care and graduated Bath Spa University’s MA in Writing for Young People in 2019, becoming the first care experienced person in the history of East Sussex to study at Postgraduate level. He is passionate about representation in publishing, especially that of the care system.
Callen is not open to submission at this time, though he reads all submissions made to Lauren, discussing them with her.