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Millie Lean

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Millie Lean joined YMU in 2021 and works across fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She also offers 360° career management for a number of elite clients, including Francis Bourgeois, Jane Dunn and Jemma Solomon. She manages overall career strategy across fields such as television, brand, events, and IP.

Millie Lean started her career at Bloomsbury, and then moved to Penguin Random House where she worked as an editor in the Puffin team. At Puffin, she acquired titles for middle-grade and YA readers, and worked with authors such as Jacqueline Wilson, Roald Dahl, Naomi Klein, Fearne Cotton, Connie Glynn, Carrie Hope Fletcher, and Greg James and Chris Smith. Millie was longlisted for the 2024 Branford Boase prize for her work on The Detention Detectives by Lis Jardin.

What I’m looking for

I’m looking for fiction, non-fiction and children’s projects which feel like they could shape culture and are to-the-moment. I want to work with storytellers – creators and creatives with a strong voice and a quirky sense of humour, and it helps if they are a little bit nerdy (like me). Across adult and children’s fiction, I love a new take on a well-trodden genre, equally strong plotting and character development, clever humour and anything with a twist or mystery. In non-fiction, I’m looking for quality commercial projects with a unique way of seeing the world, often with a personal angle into a broader topic, and particularly on subjects which feel relevant to a Gen Z and millennial reader. 

Books I’ve enjoyed recently: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin; The Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead; Penance by Eliza Clark; Loki by Louie Stowell; The Ministry of Unladylike Activity by Robin Stevens; I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jenette McCurdy; and Millennial Love by Olivia Petter. My skillset also lends itself to an author who has an existing platform, perhaps on social media or elsewhere, or ambitions to grow one.