Andrew Lownie

Andrew Lownie

Literary agent, biographer and intelligence expert
Andrew Lownie has run his own literary agency since 1988 and , according to publishersmarketplace, has been the top selling agent in the world over the last three years. In 1998 he founded The Biographers Club, a monthly dining society for biographers and those involved in promoting biography, and The Biographers' Club Prize which supports first-time biographers. He is a member of the Advisory Board for Biographers International Organisation and a judge of the Plutarch Prize for biography.

He had until recently a regular advice column in the writing magazine Words with Jam, writes an entry each year on submitting to agents for The Writers Handbook, ,contributed to The Arvon Book of Life Writing , has been the literary agent to the international writers' organisation EnglishPEN. and regularly gives talks around the world on aspects of publishing.

Educated at the universities of Cambridge (where he was President of the Union) and Edinburgh, he has been a visiting fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His books include several guides to Edinburgh's literary associations, biographies of the writer John Buchan and the spy Guy Burgess (which won the St Ermin's Intelligence Book of the Year) and a forthcoming life of Louis and Edwina Mountbatten.

The former London representative of the Washington-based National Intelligence Study Centre , he was the British representative on the six-man planning committee for the International Spy Museum in Washington and has written widely on intelligence for the London Times, Spectator, Telegraph, Guardian, Australian Age and Wall Street Journal. He is a trustee of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.
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Keynotes

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Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess

A popular power point presentation, which has been given at over a hundred festivals worldwide, on the life of Guy Burgess showing that he was the most important member of the Cambridge Spy Ring. Lownie's book on the subject was a Book or Biography of the Year in the Times, Guardian, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Spectator and won the major prize for an intelligence book. It has also been optioned for drama and is a BBC documentary.
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John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier

John Buchan is best known as the author of the spy novel The Thirty-Nine Steps but he wrote over a hundred books including historical fiction, biographies, poetry, children's stories and tales of the supernatural as well as having a full public life culminating in becoming Governor-General of Canada. Andrew Lownie is a leading expert on Buchan , now recognised as an important Scottish writer , having written the standard biography, edited Buchan's complete short stories and poetry and written introductions to many of the novels.
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Literary Edinburgh

Few cities can boast such a distinguished literary pedigree as Edinburgh. From Stevenson, Scott and Burns to Alexander McCall Smith and JK Rowling many significant writers have lived in and been inspired by the city. Visitors have included Daniel Defoe, George Eliot, Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray and the city inspired numerous classic novels, ranging from Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting and Ian Rankin's Rebus crime novels. Andrew Lownie has written several books on Edinburgh's literary associations as well as leading literary tours of Scotland's capital.
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How to get Published

Andrew Lownie has run his own literary agency since 1988, having worked in publishing and been a director of the Curtis Brown literary agency, and is regarded as one of the top literary agents in the world.

He has long been a champion of indie and assisted publishing and with Thistle Publishing pioneered the development of agent-assisted publishing. He is a regular at literary festivals and book fairs giving advice on how to get published, find an agent and the future of publishing.
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History and Freedom of Information

Andrew Lownie is a trustee of the Campaign for Freedom of Information and a campaigner for more disclosure of historical documents. He has extensive experience of using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain historical documents and fighting cases through the Information Commissioner and tribunal system. His talk looks at how different countries deal with Freedom of Information and gives advice on how best to frame requests.

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