We represent writers and illustrators from around the globe from our offices in Sydney and Brussels.
The Zeitgeist Story
Zeitgeist Agency began in 2006 when Benython Oldfield and Sharon Galant met at a party in Shanghai. Sharon was running a chain of English language bookstores, and Benython was scouting Chinese writers to represent. After signing a number of independent Chinese writers to their fledgling agency, both returned to their home cities. Sharon to Brussels, and Benython to Sydney. American Thomasin Chinnery joined the Brussels office in 2014 to focus on Children’s, YA and Crime. Read an article on Zeitgeist Agency, previously known as Zeitgeist Media Group in Publishing Perspectives.
Benython Oldfield Sydney based Director of Zeitgeist Agency trained as a journalist and began his life in publishing at Random House in the 1990s.
They were halcyon days in the industry. Long author lunches paid for on gold credit cards, decadent team building conferences on island resorts, and writers flown in first class from NYC.
Within a few years Benython had an opportunity to go on a fact finding tour of Chinese publishing with the legendary UK Agent Toby Eady.
In the thrall of Eady’s bravado and what was possible in early 2000’s China, Benython left Random House to find writers to agent in Shanghai.
There he met Sharon Galant and had first year success with Murong Xuecun’s, Leave Me Alone, Craig Silvey’s Jasper Jones, & Tim Cope’s On The Trail of Genghis Khan.
A 2006 table at the Frankfurt Bookfair Agents Centre sealed the love affair with the industry. Ever since, Benython has been a finding new stories to resonate across the world as books, television, films and theatre.
Query him for screen, stage, book and talent representation.
Sharon Galant is the Director of Zeitgeist Agency in Europe. She has worked in publishing and the book industry for 10 years.
She started her career with Editions Complexe, an independent publisher based in Brussels that specialises in literature, history and international relations.
In 2004 she moved to China where she managed a major English language bookstore chain (Charterhouse Bookstores). In her role as buyer and events organiser, she reviewed virtually every title published about China and met new and upcoming authors, both Chinese and long-standing expats.
Sharon is a fiction aficionado but has a soft spot for thought-provoking non-fiction. This stems from a previous career in international aid organisations (European Commission, CARE International) which brought her to live in many parts of the world, including the Middle East, Africa & Eastern Europe.
Sharon handles manuscripts in English, French and Dutch and can converse in Hebrew & Mandarin.
Thomasin Chinnery joined Zeitgeist in 2014 after several years as a freelance editor and translator.
Her early career was in marketing, strategic planning and project management for a Fortune-500 US corporation.
An American living in Europe for over 20 years, she speaks distinctively Mediterranean languages – French, Italian, Spanish — and loves spending any free time she has around that wonderful European sea.
Thomasin is on the lookout for great voices in Children’s books: Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Books. She also loves a good Crime novel, be it Adult or Young Adult.
Claire Keenan recently joined Zeitgeist in 2019 as an Agents’ Assistant.
Claire studied a Bachelor of Media in Communication and Journalism at the University of New South Wales.
She works casually at Ariel Booksellers and previously for the Sydney Writers’ Festival.