Literary agent alerts are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. Here are 20 literary agents actively seeking writers and their writing.
I love sharing the weekly agent alerts, because these are the agents who are the hungriest for finding new writers and projects to represent. That said, I’m taking a week off the literary agent alerts to share this list of our 20 most recent literary agent alerts all in one post.
Let’s get into this.
Keely Boeving of WordServe Literary
What She’s Seeking: Keely represents projects in the both the general and Christian markets. She is actively seeking nonfiction and memoir as well as select adult and MG fiction. She is particularly interested in well-researched nonfiction books in the areas of parenting and family life; health and wellness; the intersection of faith and culture; business (especially books targeting women in the workplace); social justice; and religious studies; as well as projects from diverse and under-represented voices.
For the Christian market, she is seeking books in the areas of Christian Living, spiritual transformation, devotion and worship, and women’s topics including motherhood, relationships and marriage, and calling.
Jevon Bolden of Embolden Media Group
What she is seeking: Jevon is seeking to acquire adult Christian nonfiction in the following categories: Christian living, spiritual growth, personal growth, women’s issues, prayer, faith, select Spirit-filled/charismatic topics, and select topics on race and diversity. Jevon will also consider some devotionals; some children’s books—picture, MG, or YA—Christian or mainstream; and some fiction. Authors must have a well-honed concept and well-established or actively growing platform.
She is not accepting Bible studies or personal testimonies/memoirs at this time.
Joseph Perry of Perry Literary, Inc.
Seeking: Joseph is actively acquiring nonfiction and fiction. Within nonfiction, he has a particular interest in music and sports. Specifically, he’s interested in music books about the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, as well as sports books about football, basketball, baseball, running, and golf. He is also interested in trade and academic books about film; pop culture; biography; politics; current affairs; law; medicine; journalism; history (in particular 20th Century US history and US legal history); business books (biography, history, technology, and economics); cookbooks; food and wine; parenting; philosophy; photography; psychology; science and technology; and social sciences.
Within fiction, he is acquiring literary fiction, historical fiction, graphic novels, legal thrillers, and picture books. He does not acquire fantasy, science fiction, romance, and middle grade or YA fiction.
Melissa Richeson of the Apokedak Literary Agency
What She’s Seeking: In picture books, Melissa appreciates stories with funny characters or heartfelt themes, ones that make her laugh or cry. Well-done rhymes will always catch her eye, and she finds nonfiction stories about little-known subjects fascinating.
In middle grade, she loves to see magic, humor, and a sense of imagination. A great hook and quick pacing are keys to her heart.
In young adult, she’s typically drawn to contemporary and historical, but fantasy intrigues her sometimes as well. Subtle wit and intelligent wordplay make for a fabulous read, in Melissa’s opinion, but she’s not a fit for horror, paranormal, or graphic violence.
Marlo Berliner of The Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency
What I’m Seeking: Middle Grade and Young Adult: I am interested in all genres of MG and YA fiction, with particular emphasis on adventure, psychological thriller, suspense, mystery, paranormal, urban fantasy, horror, speculative, and romance. I enjoy magic, magical realism, unusual settings, pirates, dark elements, gothic tone, secrets or secretive characters, treasure hunts, and unreliable narrators. Also, if you can take a story or intellectual property (in TV or books) that is popular with the adult crowd and give me it’s MG or YA version, then I will give it a look because I believe these types of stories may have strong potential for the market. Stories told by #ownvoices, and stories with diverse characters of all kinds, including neuro-diverse and LGBTQIA+ are all welcomed. I am also open to coming-of-age stories set in college that walk the line between upper YA and NA. While I do like contemporary tales, I may not be the best fit for ‘issue’ books where the central conflict revolves primarily around rape/rape-culture, drugs, or illness. I will also consider some select nonfiction projects in MG and YA, particularly if they involve pop-culture or current events.
Adult: I am interested in all genres of Romance, except inspirational, historical and erotic. I am also open to women’s fiction, mystery, thriller, and suspense.
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Maureen Moretti of P.S. Literary
Seeking: Maureen is actively acquiring both nonfiction and fiction.
Within nonfiction she is searching for narrative nonfiction, culture, history, biography, LGBTQ+, cookbooks, and lifestyle.
Within fiction she is looking for women’s fiction, thrillers, LGBTQ+, romance, select science fiction, literary fiction and genre-bending unique voices.
Nicole Bezanson of Metamorphosis Literary Agency
What She’s Seeking: Middle grade and young adult fiction in all forms and genres, new adult / college-aged novels, and adult contemporary, romance, horror, and psychological thrillers. Manuscripts featuring animal appearances are always appreciated, cats and horses in particular, as are stories taking place in Canada or ‘up north’.
Nicole loves to read about small towns, cowboys, social and mental health issues, protagonists with pets, and romantic and mysterious subplots, but is not a great fit for historical fiction, nonfiction, or memoirs at this time. She requests to only be forwarded fantasy novels focusing on mythical creatures – mermaids, unicorns, centaurs, and the like.
Claire Harris of Foundry Literary + Media
What She’s Seeking: In fiction projects, Claire looks for psychological and commercial thrillers, serial detective stories, works of fiction inspired by actual crimes, mystery, suspense, cozies, anything involving serial killers, and contemporary family dramas. She is a lover of the dark and twisted, and she’s happiest when reading manuscripts with unexpected endings, especially those that stay with you for days. Having grown up in Wisconsin, Claire has a special love of stories set in the Midwest.
For nonfiction, Claire looks for a range of projects, including humor, celebrity memoir, lifestyle guides, pop culture celebrations, and illustrated books for adults. While she is interested in a variety of nonfiction projects, those who have read this bio from the first line will not be surprised to learn that her passion lies in true crime.
Cecilia Lyra of The Rights Factory
What She’s Seeking: Cecilia is actively seeking literary and commercial adult fiction that feature diverse, layered characters and unexpected plot twists. As a feminist, Cecilia loathes the term women’s fiction — it’s just fiction — but, for the purposes of clarity, that is her favorite genre. Cecilia is also looking for unique and compelling narrative nonfiction and memoirs (think: nonfiction that would be perfect for book clubs). She is particularly passionate about representing under- or misrepresented voices and stories that contribute to a larger cultural conversation.
Do not send a manuscript where the dog dies — Cecilia can’t handle it.
Anne Tibbets of D4EO Literary
What She’s Seeking: Anne represents adult and young adult science fiction and fantasy, thrillers, horror, historical, and mystery.
No middle grade, chapter, or picture books.
No nonfiction, scripts, or self-published works.
Savannah Brooks of The Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency
What She’s Seeking: Currently, I’m most focused on YA. I’m especially interested in books that bring to light the challenges teens face in their day-to-day (uncertainty about the future, friendship tension, mental health, etc.), but I’d like to read a work where the protagonist actually enjoys high school (or at least doesn’t dread it). I’m always drawn in by a protagonist venturing into a realm where society says they don’t belong (think swapping gender norms), and characters with weird obsessions are a weird obsession of mine—teach me strange new things, and I’m yours. I’m all about magical realism, mythology, and modern retellings, but I’m not the best fit for high fantasy or science fiction. Mostly, I’m invested in representing the diverse world in which we live and would like to see that reflected in a cast of characters. Show me variations in race, sexuality, gender, dis/ability, and ethnicity without that difference being a point of contention, and I’ll be thrilled.
And, of course, I still love a chewy piece of adult contemporary fiction and would like to find more works that center around women and their careers. I recently finished Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers and was just captured by her characters. I’d love a cast equally as meaty.
Ann Tanenbaum of Tanenbaum International Literary Agency
What She’s Seeking: Ann is always looking for new authors and artists to represent. For non-fiction, she is currently accepting submissions in the areas of current affairs, cultural criticism, and narrative journalism, as well as some memoirs. Ann also has experience in collaborating with non-profits who wish to promote their message through a serious full-length book project.
For fiction submissions, she is looking for literary fiction, upmarket fiction, and young adult fiction that is off the beaten track.
Amy Stapp of Wolfson Literary Agency
What She’s Seeking: Amy is interested in in women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, historical fiction, young adult, and select narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to well-paced prose and smart, multidimensional characters.
Other authors she admires include Megan Abbott, Sarah Addison Allen, and Karen McManus.
Natalie Grazien of Martin Literary & Media Management
What She’s Seeking: Dark psychological thrillers and mysteries, witty rom-coms, historical settings, and bookclub-worthy women’s fiction are right up her alley. For sci-fi and fantasy, she prefers subtle, surreal twists in contemporary stories and feminist retellings of legends and fairy tales. More than anything, she looks for assured prose, a strong sense of place, finely-tuned plots, and smart, distinctive characters who make the unrelatable relatable. If those elements are present, any genre is welcome.
Natalie has a BA in English and Minor in Spanish from Santa Clara University. Upon graduating, she worked as a sales representative for W. W. Norton and interned for two literary agencies: Kimberley Cameron & Associates and Martin Literary Management. For two years, Natalie was the Fiction Editor of The Santa Clara Review, the oldest literary magazine on the West Coast.
Devin Ross of New Leaf Literary & Media
What She’s Seeking: In adult, Devin is looking for peculiar, eccentric, character-driven, commercial or upmarket fiction that is conceptually unique. She loves all types of science fiction and fantasy, and is drawn to stories with magical realism. In nonfiction she’s looking books about pop science, pop culture, feminism and social justice.
In YA, she’s looking for commercial fiction; coming of age, plot driven books with strong voices and crossover appeal that break the status quo. She is drawn to fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers that suck you in from the very first page.
Alexandra Levick of Writers House
What She’s Seeking: Picture book author-illustrators, a wide range of middle grade and YA, and more speculative-leaning or genre-bent upmarket adult works. I’m committed to working with writers from diverse backgrounds and am looking to put forth an intersectional list of outstanding creators who will be able to provide both windows and mirrors into all kinds of experiences. I’m particularly looking for own-voices stories about historically underrepresented characters and cultures.
No matter the genre or age-range, I crave a distinctive voice and strong thematic meaning behind the work—I want to run screaming to my friends and family about your book because there is so much to discuss. I love character-driven stories that revolve around BIG topics (discussing things like mortality or grief in a new and hopefully somewhat uplifting way is always an instant lightbulb!). One might say that I have a great affinity for what used to be known as ‘issue books,’ however, I would argue that I’d like to represent authors and stories that stand for more than just a good yarn; I’d like to represent authors that provoke conversations around important topics in our world today. And I don’t just want contemporary versions of these stories, either. Send me your fantasy, your sci-fi, your genre-bender!
Please send your horizon-expanding work on over to me. I can’t wait to give it a read.
Jennifer Grimaldi of Chalberg & Sussman
What She’s Seeking: Science fiction and fantasy in both adult and YA, historical fiction, romance and horror. She is particularly intrigued by strong world-building and sense of place, and would love to see a wide variety of diversity in the gender, sexuality, presentation, race, and mental/physical abilities of characters. She also loves stories inspired by true events or myths and fairy tales, and deconstructed tropes. More than any of the above, however, she looks for genre books supported by a strong emotional core. While she is not interested in issue books, she is interested in character studies in trauma, whether that be a mysterious disappearance, extraterrestrial abduction, or emotional abuse.
She is also enormously fond of rakes and scoundrels in all varieties (thieves, pirates, spies), multi-dimensional villains, atmospheric creepiness, and longing glances.
Britt Siess of Martin Literary & Media Management
What She’s Seeking: On the Adult side, I’m looking for SF/Fantasy novels that feature elaborately built worlds and realistically flawed characters. I’m especially interested in retellings of fairytales or stories that are based on myths and legends by #ownvoices authors. I love a likeable villain, and I’m a sucker for speculative fiction that makes us confront the choices we’ve made. I’d also like to see a bit more horror in my inbox, but think more Gothic than gore.
For Middle Grade submissions, I’m looking for anything magical or spooky. I love witches, fairies, and evil queens (I’m a huge fan of Holly Black). I’m definitely looking for flawed main characters and kids who can learn from their own mistakes.
Sarah Gerton of Curtis Brown, Ltd.
What She’s Seeking: Sarah is looking for fiction and select narrative nonfiction for YA and MG audiences.
While fantasy is her first love, she’s eager to read anything for teens and tweens—from literary to commercial, horror to memoir, as long as it has distinctive writing and unforgettable characters.
Tess Callero of Curtis Brown, Ltd.
What She’s Seeking: Contemporary YA across genres, but I’m especially looking for a good romance or suspense. I’d love a heartfelt friendship story, or a coming-of-age that makes me ugly cry. I’m also interested in accessible YA fantasy and magical realism. Some recent favorites include One of Us Is Lying, They Both Die at the End, and Dear Martin.
On the adult side, I’m looking for mystery/thriller/suspense, upmarket women’s fiction, and #ownvoices romance, both historical and contemporary. I especially appreciate a smart, young, self-aware female narrator. Think Sweetbitter, The Assistants, or Luckiest Girl Alive in these categories.
For nonfiction, I’m on the hunt for food narrative, cookbooks, pop culture, science, business, history/biography, women’s issues, humor, and true crime. Recent favorites include American Fire, Cork Dork, and Bachelor Nation.
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