Sophie Hamley abandoned a potentially fulfilling legal career before it even started and instead decided to work in publishing. She has worked in the print and online publishing industries as a bookseller, editor, writer, content producer, web and interactive TV producer. Sophie joined the Cameron Creswell Agency in 2006; as a literary agent she looks after a vibrant list of novelists, non-fiction writers and writers for children who are published in Australia and abroad. She is President of the Australian Literary Agents’ Association; she was a member of the Book Industry Collaborative Council during its one-year term, and also produced and edited its blog, and is a founding member of the Book Industry Council of Australia.
Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
Who do you work for?
What’s that all about?
An agency for writers of books, screen and theatre; actors, cinematographers and others
Tell us a bit about your background – how did you get to where you are today?
Law degree (not used); bookselling while at university which set me up for a career in book publishing … I became an editor after leaving university then detoured via the online world, working as a web producer before going back into book publishing and then becoming an agent in 2006. I also teach yoga.
What storytelling work are you most proud of?
I couldn’t possibly choose between my clients! My own ‘storytelling’ work is at jolenethecountrymusicblog.com, which is where I talk to and review Australian storytelling in the form of country music.
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
Words, music, yoga, my teachers (Shiva Rea and Judy Krupp), trees, coffee, food, passion, prana, laughter, movement, hulahooping.
Which other storytellers do you admire?
Too many to list and, again, I couldn’t possibly choose out of my clients. So I’ll stick to neutral territory and name country music storytellers – currently: Lachlan Bryan, Jed Rowe, Catherine Britt, Melody Pool and the Don Walker/Troy Cassar-Daley combination.
What are the secrets to success for storytellers in the digital age?
Understanding and inhabiting their role as storytellers in their community, as narrowly or as broadly as they define that. Storytelling is an ancient and noble vocation; every culture in the world has stories. And all storytellers need an audience, so part of the ‘secret to success’ is understanding that storytelling is largely about connection with the audience.
Where can we find you?