Anna McKerrow

Anna McKerrow

July 13, 2015

After rewriting CROW MOON from the feedback of a literature scout, the talented Anna McKerrow’s hard work paid off. Ben Illis at the BIA snapped up the first three chapters and then asked for the complete manuscript, where it was picked up by Quercus after only a couple of weeks of submission!


Dear Ben,

I am writing to see if you might be interested in working with me and my young adult novel, The Five Hands. John McLay recommended you as an agent who is looking for new authors; he has very kindly been advising me through a couple of drafts of the novel. I think I am ready for the next step of working with an agent to find a publisher now.

About the book:

Aimed at readers 13+, and is about a future not far from now. Energy sources are being rapidly depleted in the exploitative and war-ridden “redworld”, and Cornwall has opted out to become the “greenworld”: a pagan, agrarian community ruled by witches in local covensteads. They protect their people from the lawless gangs that roam inbetween the red and the green worlds, and guard the secret energy portals on which the wellbeing of all depends.

Danny Prentice’s mum is the head witch of his village in Dartmoor. He’s got no interest in witchcraft; he’s 17 and is into girls, drugs and avoiding school if he can help it. But when chaos strikes, Danny is forced to leave the village and go on a journey of discovery: finding magic, love and sex along the way.

Danny becomes a witch under the tutelage of Lowenna, head witch of Tintagel, and falls in love with her daughter, Saba, one of Tintagel’s five protector witches – The Five Hands. Meanwhile, Roach, the leader of the local gang and an ex-witch himself, has plans to take over guardianship of the portals and sell them to the energy-starved redworld.

Finally, the battle for the energy portals commences. Will Danny be able to lead the covensteads to victory and protect the portals from being sold to the redworld?

This is the first novel of a trilogy.

A little about me:

I am 35 and have published three books of poetry so far; this is my first foray into fiction. I’ve been working at Booktrust, the literature charity, for almost 5 years now, and working there has inspired an interest in young adult fiction: hence The Five Hands. I have an interest in all things witchy, particularly the tarot, as well as being a book nerd and a massive Twin Peaks fan. You can check out my blog here: and I am on Twitter too @AnnaMckerrow

I’d love to hear from you and am very open to thinking about how the book might be adapted to help find a good home. I had an offer on it in August last year from a publisher, but on John’s advice decided to try and go for something better with a more established one.

All best regards,

Anna McKerrow


I had approached a number of agents too early, when CROW MOON wasn’t ready, and unsurprisingly got nowhere fast. Then, I asked a literature scout if he would look at the manuscript for me which he very kindly did, and gave me some fabulous feedback which nonetheless necessitated a whole year of rewriting. When I’d done that, John suggested I take it to an agent and gave me the contact details of five newer agents that were currently accepting manuscripts. I tried Ben and two others first. Ben requested the first three chapters quickly, then the whole manuscript. One of the others came back to me belatedly asking to see it, but by that time I had met Ben and knew he was the right agent for me. He got the book totally and I knew we saw eye to eye. He asked me to do some more rewrites which took me another few months, then the book went out on submission. It had only been out a couple of weeks when Quercus made me an offer, and I took it. And here I am!