Natalia Smirnova was born in 1978 in Moscow. After studying law and working as a lawyer for a while, she moved to St. Petersburg to work for a publisher as a foreign rights manager. In 2006 together with Julia Goumen Natalia founded Goumen&Smirnova Literary Agency representing Russian authors worldwide. Julia Goumen was born in St Petersburg, Russia, in 1977. With a PhD in English, she has been working in publishing since 2001. After 3 years as a foreign rights manager she started an independent business as a literary agent. Since 2006 Julia Goumen runs Goumen&Smirnova Literary Agency together with Natalia Smirnova.