Andrew Lownie began his publishing career as the graduate trainee at Hodder & Stoughton, and then became an agent at John Farquharson (now part of Curtis Brown), before becoming the youngest director in British publishing when he was appointed a director. He set up the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency in 1988.
Since 1984 he has written and reviewed for a range of newspapers and magazines, including The Times, Spectator and The Guardian, which has given him extensive journalistic contacts. As an author himself, most notably of a biography of John Buchan, a literary companion to Edinburgh and a forthcoming life of the spy Guy Burgess, he has a good understanding of the issues and problems affecting writers. He is a member of the Association of Authors' Agents and Society of Authors and was until recently the literary agent to the international writers' organisation PEN.
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 wrote a regular advice column in the writing magazine Words with Jam, writes an entry each year on submitting to agents for The Writers Handbook, has contributed to The Arvon Book of Life Writing and regularly gives talks on aspects of publishing around the world.
Short-listed for Literary Agent of the Year 2013, 2014 and 2015, he has for the last five years, according to Publishersmarketplace, been the top-selling agent in the world. Andrew's latest biography Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess (2015) received much media attention and critical acclaim. It was A Guardian Book of the Year. Voted The Times Best Biography of the Year. Mail on Sunday Biography of the Year. Daily Mail Biography of the Year. William Boyd said of Andrew Lownie's biography that it is 'shrew, thorough, revelatory.'
Andrew's tutorials at 'a chapter away' are invaluable since he understands both the challenges of being a writer himself, as well as what publishers are looking for, and what it takes for a writer to succeed in an increasingly tough market.