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July/August 2014 Issue
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Is Your Manuscript Ready for Publication?
After an evaluation of your submission, one of the professional 2nd Draft critiquers will provide feedback and advice. You’ll not only learn what’s working in your writing, but what’s not, and—most important—how to fix it.
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These literary agents accept narrative nonfiction submissions and queries from writers. If you’re writing narrative nonfiction, see here for articles and markets.
About Madeleine: Madeleine Clark joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2011 after working for several years in the editorial department at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Born in London, raised in Virginia, and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Madeleine is an unabashed anglophile and an avid runner. She now lives in Brooklyn. Find her on Twitter. She will be taking pitches at the 2014 Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC (Aug 1-3).
She is seeking: Madeleine is interested in commercial and literary fiction as well as narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to realistic YA, literary thrillers, novels that can believably introduce a bit of fantasy/sci-fi, and books that draw heavily from their environment whether that is geographical or cultural. Read more
About Andy: Andy joined The Gernert Company in 2012 after two years working for Aram Fox, Inc., where he scouted books for foreign publishers. He grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, lived in North Carolina for five years, and worked briefly as a cross-country coach at a boarding school before starting his career in publishing. He lives in Brooklyn and runs in Prospect Park.
He is seeking: “I’m looking for literary fiction, smart genre fiction (in particular, high-concept thrillers or sci-fi), and nonfiction with a strong narrative bent. I’m a sucker for love stories and inventive narrative structure.” Read more
He is seeking: Regarding fiction: “I love literary, commercial, and upmarket fiction. Thrillers with tremendous commercial appeal and strong writing are of particular interest to me—I’m a fan of anything from Lee Child to John le Carré. As a reader, I enjoy period novels in any genre. 20th century wars provide some of my favorite temporal settings, for instance. I love novels with high concepts (think THE AGE OF MIRACLES by Karen Thompson Walker, or LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson) and books that can teach me about new cultures and transport me to new countries are always among my favorite.” Regarding nonfiction: “A self-avowed foodie, I avidly devour cookbooks and am interested in working with authors who share this passion of mine. My tastes veer towards books with a strong narrative element—I’m seeking political books, memoirs, investigative and journalistic works, or titles that place a specific region, historical event, person or thing under a microscope. For instance, I’d love to read more about the Middle East, especially works in which contemporary issues are explored in new ways.” Read more
Agent Maria Ribas is seeking: She’s interested in cookbooks, self-help, health, diet, home, parenting, and humor, all from authors with demonstrable platforms. She’s also interested in narrative nonfiction and select memoir, but she’s looking for a story that is absolutely un-put-down-able. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and proficient in Italian and will be working with select foreign authors. Read more
Genre Preferences: Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary Agency is primarily interested in Young Adult fiction of all kinds, including contemporary, emotionally driven stories, mystery, romance, urban and historical fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. Occasionally, she also considers literary and commercial adult fiction, new adult, and narrative nonfiction. Read more
Allison is seeking: She is actively acquiring literary and commercial fiction (including romance), memoir, narrative nonfiction, cultural studies, pop culture and prescriptive titles, including cookbooks. She is always looking for funny female authors, great love stories and family epics, and for nonfiction projects that speak to the current cultural climate. Read more
She is seeking: Allison is looking for literary and upmarket commercial fiction with fresh, unique voices and tight prose. She enjoys stories set in familiar, relatable settings, with everyman characters who find themselves in unlikely, surprising, and unexpected situations. She is also passionate about magical realism (more real than magic), and idiosyncratic, picaresque characters.
For nonfiction, Allison is interested in narrative nonfiction, compelling memoir, and books on popular and contemporary culture with a strong, original premise. She is looking for illustrated/graphic books for adults (both fiction and non), as well as blog-to-book projects. She also loves a good humor book. Read more
He is seeking: Christopher accepts queries in the following areas: fiction; connected stories/essays; memoir; young adult; creative/narrative nonfiction; economics; social activism; inspirational; self-help; history (last 200 years); entrepreneurship; art & design; health & beauty. Read more
She is seeking: With enthusiasm, Rachael is growing her client list with both fiction and nonfiction authors, with a keen interest in unique literary voices, women’s fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, and comedy. She hopes to build long-term relationships with clients who are passionate about developing their craft and career. Read more
About Claire: Claire Anderson-Wheeler is the newest agent to join the team at Regal Literary Management. Prior to that she worked at Anderson Literary Management in New York, and at Christine Green Authors’ Agent in London, UK. She holds an LLB from Trinity College, Dublin, and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, UK. Claire is Irish, was born in DC, and grew up in Dublin, Geneva, and Brussels. For more on Claire’s tastes, you can read an online interview here.
She is seeking: YA with a strong voice (realistic or high-concept), works of narrative non-fiction and pop culture/pop psychology, literary fiction, and commercial women’s fiction driven by strong contemporary issues. Read more
She is seeking: She enjoys literary and upmarket fiction of all types in addition to commercial—including well-researched historical and well-told women’s fiction. She also loves a page-turning mystery, suspense, or thriller with sharp wit and unexpected twists and turns. She has a soft spot for distinctive, strong, contemporary characters set in small towns. Amy always looks for an unexpected story arc, a suitable pace, and a compelling protagonist.
She is interested in narrative nonfiction when the plot and characters are immersed in a culture, lifestyle, discipline, or industry. She will also consider a travel or adventure memoir. Read more
This interview features Frank Weimann of Folio Literary Management. The founder of the Literary Group International since 1986, Frank and LGI joined Folio Literary Management in July 2013 as Senior Vice President and Director of Operations. He has worked with celebrities, athletes, and novelists, as well as Pulitzer, Caldecott, and Nobel Prize winners, and his client list has included Joe Bonanno, Larry Bird, Terry Bradshaw, Bill Russell, Britney Spears, Gregg Allman, Sammy Hagar, Maria Menounos, Rodney Dangerfield and Nancy Grace. In addition to book sales, he has optioned and licensed numerous titles for film and merchandise, including October Sky, Flags of Our Fathers, and I Heard You Paint Houses.
He is seeking: Narrative and prescriptive nonfiction, memoir, military, history, diet & fitness, science, as well as young adult. He does not seek: Poetry, screenplays, or YA paranormal Read more
About Sharon: Sharon Pelletier is joining DGLM after working for Europa Editions, Vantage Press, and Barnes & Noble. She graduated with English and History majors from Hillsdale College in Michigan in 2006, and moved to New York in 2009 to work with books in the city of skyscrapers and brunch. Born in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, she now lives in Astoria.
She is seeking: Sharon is interested in witty literary fiction and smart commercial fiction featuring female characters who are strong but not necessarily quirky. She is also interested in compelling narrative nonfiction that tells a little-known story. Read more
Linda is seeking: Accessible literary fiction, upscale commercial fiction, vibrant narrative nonfiction, some fantasy, and compelling memoirs. She also accepts middle-grade and YA fiction. Her nonfiction areas include alternative health and parenting books, cookbooks, select memoirs, and the right spiritual/self-actualization book. She does not accept: Bodice-rippers or anything with dead, maimed, or kidnapped children; thrillers; horror; romance or traditional science fiction.. Read more
Emma is seeking: “I am on the lookout for literary and commercial fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, historical fiction, narrative nonfiction, pop culture, memoir, food writing, and YA and MG fiction and nonfiction. I’m open to mostly any project with strong writing, an original premise, and a story that immediately grabs me – and I still think about weeks after I’ve finished reading it. I’m especially drawn to stories that make me cry, laugh, or transport me to a world that’s new to me. So long as the writing is strong, I don’t shy away from dark or quiet stories. I don’t tend to like category or genre fiction.” Read more
William is seeking: “In fiction, I’m looking for strong voices that have the authority to draw me into a different world—even if that just means a fresh perspective on the world we live in day to day. I like novels of many different styles—Larry McMurtry, Ann Patchett, Walker Percy, Evelyn Waugh, and Daniel Woodrell are some favorites—but I always appreciate authors who strive for that challenging balance between inspired, inventive prose and a gripping, detailed story. Being a native North Carolinian, I love southern fiction, and would be proud to help keep the tradition going strong. I also have a soft spot for story collections, although the market for them is very tough these days. In nonfiction, I’m interested in literary memoir, popular science, narrative history, and smart sportswriting. I am not interested in practical nonfiction (cookbooks, diet books, how-to), YA, or genre romance/thrillers/fantasy.” Read more
This installment features Kristina Holmes of The Holmes Agency. She began her literary career at Ebeling & Associates, and after six years left to start her own venture. Fueled by a passion to bring meaningful books to the world, on January 2012, her agency was born. From her home base in Boulder, Colorado, she`s been positively impacting authors ever since.
She is seeking: practical and literary nonfiction: health & wellness, business, spirituality, relationships, sex, nature, environmental issues, science, cookbooks, gift books, creative nonfiction and memoir. Read more
Reminder: New literary agents (this spotlight featuring agent Kezia Toth of Union Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.
Kezia is seeking: She is especially interested in narrative nonfiction, “big idea” books, American cultural history, and pop culture. Kezia is also passionate about all sorts of fiction, including young adult and middle grade novels. Read more
I’m not considering this a true New Agent Alert because agent Jody Klein (of Brandt and Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.) is not brand new. That said, this post resembles an Alert in that Jody did tell me recently how she is actively looking to build her client list right now — and that is something writers should be happy to know. All details below for those interested in querying her!
She is seeking: Jody is actively acquiring literary and commercial fiction, crime/suspense, historical fiction, graphic novels/memoirs, and magical realism, as well as narrative nonfiction (especially related to sports, science, or history), and prescriptive nonfiction. Read more
He is seeking: “The most important thing I’ve learned in over twenty years in publishing is also the simplest: plot sells. And the definition of what makes a great plot is also very simple: interesting, well-drawn characters thrown into unpredictable situations. I’m looking for: commercial fiction, including Mysteries/Thrillers, Romantic Suspense (emphasis on the suspense), and Historical Fiction); Narrative Nonfiction, including Biography, History and Current Affairs; and Young Adult Fiction, particularly if it has adult crossover appeal. I am NOT interested in SF/Fantasy, Memoirs, Vampires and writers trying to capitalize on trends.” Read more
She is seeking: As a domestic agent, Rachel seeks children’s projects of all stripes, from picture books through to young adult fiction, as well as select fiction and nonfiction projects for adults that are wonderfully written and completely absorbing. “In terms of adult fiction, the strength of the voice and quality of the writing is what is most important to me. I am seeking literary as well as upmarket/commercial projects, and would love to see projects with crossover potential as well as those that blur the boundaries between genres – especially in the thriller, fantasy, and historical categories (but a polite no thank you to straight genre writing)…” Read more
Margaret is seeking: adult fiction only. Specifically, she seeks romance, science fiction, thrillers, action/adventure, historical fiction, Western, fantasy (think Song of Fire and Ice or Dark Tower, NOT Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia). Please do not query with YA, MG, or children’s books. Also, Margaret does not seek steampunk, Christian/religious literature, chick lit, poetry, screenplays. Read more
She is seeking: Sam is looking for character-driven stories with strong voice. She likes characters who are relatable yet flawed, vibrant settings that take on a life of their own, and a story that lasts well beyond the final page, generally falling within the categories below: Literary fiction, Historical fiction, Mystery/suspense, Magical realism, Psychological thrillers, Young adult (realistic), Narrative nonfiction. Read more
NEWS: Literary agent Erin Harris has moved from the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency to Folio Literary Management, where she will focus on growing their literary fiction list, in addition to representing book club fiction, YA, and select narrative nonfiction titles.
HOW TO SUBMIT TO HER: Click through to read an in-depth Q&A about what the move means for her, her submissions, her response time to queries, the categories she seeks, and more. Read more
“Agent Advice” (more than 170 interviews so far!) is a series of quick interviews with literary and script agents who talk with Guide to Literary Agents about their thoughts on writing, publishing, and just about anything else.
This installment features Lindsay Edgecombe of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. Prior to becoming a literary agent, Lindsay graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University where she edited The Columbia Review and worked with students to develop writing in the Writing Fellow program. Read more