Kate Rizzo - Editor
Kate Rizzo works as a Rights Director at a London literary agency, and has worked at agencies her entire publishing career. Her role in selling an author’s work abroad gives her a keen eye for what a manuscript needs to find a publishing home and captivate readers. She has sold translation rights for writers like Laura Barnett, Lucy Clarke, Kate Davies, Joseph Knox, Maria Realf, Holly Seddon, Clare Swatman, and Sarah Waters, and has worked for a number of bestselling writers in genres as broad as crime/thriller, women’s fiction, literary, memoir, narrative non-fiction and the sciences.
WHY WE LOVE KATE
Kate’s experience as an agent has given her a strong sense of a manuscript’s commercial viability.
WHAT KATE SAYS ABOUT EDITING
I’ve always loved being on the agency side of the business because of the opportunity it provides to be involved in all facets of an author’s career beginning with their initial idea for a manuscript, helping them to best formulate and craft that idea into a full-length work, and onwards through publication. I see my role in the editorial process as helping the writer to best realize their own vision of a work, and that may require detailed editing and structural changes, but it often starts with asking the right questions. I’m passionate about interrogating a work alongside a writer to tease out the various narrative threads, explore character arcs, plotting and reveals, and to help keep in mind what a reader should be experiencing and when.
My experience in publishing is often focused on “Is there a readership for this?” and “Will it sell?” and while that’s invaluable in many ways, it all relies on story and good storytelling. Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time working on commercial women’s fiction of all kinds – rom-coms, feel good, moving stories, and novels with characters you love and don’t want to leave whether that’s literary or commercial, historical fiction, crime/thrillers, memoir, and narrative non-fiction particularly reportage and history. This list is by no means exhaustive, and I’m always excited to begin a new manuscript and see where a writer wants to take me.