New Literary Agent Alert: Michael Sterling of Folio Literary Management

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Michael Sterling of Folio Literary Management) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.




About Michael: “I joined Folio Literary Management in 2011. Prior to that I worked at Habitus: A Diaspora Journal, a literary magazine based in Brooklyn. My work there was editorially driven and I’ve since brought that experience to Folio, where I’ve worked with many best-selling fiction and nonfiction authors across various genres, including thriller authors, cookbooks writers, and literary novelists.”

(What makes an agent more likely to sign one client vs. another?)

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.”

(In the middle of querying? Here are some helpful tips.)

How to submit: “Please submit queries to msterling (@) [be sure to remove the parentheses], and include ‘QUERY’ in the subject line. Please include the query letter and first ten pages of your manuscript or proposal in the body of the e-mail.”


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