20 Literary Agents Actively Seeking Writers and Their Writing - Writer's Digest

20 Literary Agents Actively Seeking Writers and Their Writing

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. (Updated 9/2/2020)
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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.

(How to Write Successful Queries for Any Writing Genre.)

Let's get into this.

(Note: If you're an agent who would like to be featured on WritersDigest.com, send an email to rbrewer@aimmedia.com with the subject line "Agent Alert.")

Emily Forney of BookEnds Literary Agency

Emily Forney

Emily Forney

Currently Seeking: In picture books, seeking whimsical and fun adventure stories that allow for the setting and the world around the characters to play just as important of a role; progressive stories about childhood strength, trauma, and identity; and something spooky, maybe a little dark humor, and child appropriate fantasy.

In middle grade fiction, seeking historical fiction that turns typical histories on their head and write about "hidden" stories with plenty of humor and whimsy; paranormal and fantasy stories with conventional twists and character driven narratives; and something spooky, maybe a little dark humor, and child appropriate fantasy.

In YA fiction, seeking warm romances that capture the magic of teenage summer nights, road trips, and summer camps; paranormal and fantasy stories with solid world building and romantic twists; contemporary romances and contemporary stories that delve into how digital media affects social activism for young people; and LGBTQI+ stories that don't use identity as a plot twist.

In adult fiction, seeking fantasy stories that flip traditional tropes; historical fiction centered outside of modern and contemporary eras. I like ancient worlds, Renaissance times, and unique story arcs that don't have to do with wars with modern technology; and chick-lit made for reading on the beach to escape hot summer days.

Click here to learn more.

Analieze Cervantes of Harvey Klinger Literary Agency

Analieze Cervantes

Analieze Cervantes

Currently seeking: For young adult, I'm looking for sci-fi (a Dystopian feel, think Divergent, hacking, neurolinks, AI blend with reality); contemporary romance (think If He Had Been With Me and To All the Boys, a sweet romance that develops over time, I want to believe in love again); rom-com (a love story that provides comedic elements, meeting in a unique moment/setting); mystery (think Riverdale, twists & turns, should not give me any hints); paranormal (vampires, werewolves, blend of reality & fiction with a love story—but no zombies!); crime fiction (thorough investigation for murders and other cases, strong MC with a clear desire); LGBTQ (a love story that progresses over time, no triangles); and thriller/suspense (cliffhangers, want to be on the edge of my seat).

(5 tips for creating a believable and captivating psychological thriller.)

For adult, I'm seeking physiological & domestic thriller/suspense (think Karin Slaughter's The Good Daughter); mystery (twists & turns, want a surprise ending, should not give me hints on who "dun" it); contemporary romance (a love story that conquers all, no love at first sight); romantic suspense (a love story with suspense elements webbed in); rom-com (a love story that provides comedic elements, meeting in a unique moment/setting); paranormal (vampires, witches, etc. blend of reality & fiction with a love story—no zombies); sci-fi (soft sci-fi, blending the two worlds); and crime fiction (want to feel connected to the MC and clearly shows MC’s desire to solve a case).

Click here to learn more.

*****

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Jennifer Herrington of Harvey Klinger Agency

Jennifer Herrington

Jennifer Herrington

Currently seeking: I am looking for character and voice-driven books that I connect with on an emotional level. I want a book that makes me laugh or cry and extra points for both!

In middle grade fiction, I'd like to see contemporary stories that deal with tough and realistic issues kids are facing today; stories that feature humor and adventure; and paranormal, fantasy (except high fantasy), mystery, horror, and graphic novels are also of special interest.

In YA fiction, I'd like to see feel-good contemporary and contemporary romance; paranormals with strong world building and an interesting twist in vamps, wolves, or witches; romantic comedy; mystery series featuring a YA detective; and sci-fi, fantasy (except high fantasy), horror, and graphic novels are also of special interest.

In adult fiction, I'd like to see romance with a fresh twist on trope-driven plots includes best friend's little sister/brother, enemies to lovers, friends to lover, etc. (I like sweet to spicy); a strong sports romance (would love a heroine athlete!) or a sexy cowboy; dark paranormal romances with gritty vamps, wolves, or witches (think outside the box for world building); romantic comedy with snarky protagonists and hilarious plot lines; romantic suspense with equal parts steamy as action; mysteries, thrillers, and suspense that keep me up all night; and sci-fi and fantasy with romance threads are also welcome.

Click here to learn more.

Kristina Pérez of Zeno Literary Agency

Kristina Perez

Kristina Perez

Currently seeking: She is actively building her list in both fiction and nonfiction, and particularly encourages submissions from marginalized writers.

On the adult side, she is looking for fantasy, romance, sci-fi, and nonfiction. Kristina loves lush historical fantasy like Tasha Suri's Empire of Sand and well-researched historical romance along the lines of Joanna Shupe or Courtney Milan. She is a huge Battlestar Galactica fangirl with a soft spot for light space opera, but she's not the right agent for hard/military SF.

For nonfiction, she is primarily looking for current affairs, cultural history, and popular science. Recently, she's enjoyed Latinx, by Ed Morales, and Invisible Women, by Caroline Criado Perez.

Kristina is open to all kinds of MG and YA, but does not represent picture books or chapter books. She adores retellings with a twist, whether it be contemporary or fantasy, especially LGBTQIA+ and those that draw on non-Western folklore and mythology. She also has a penchant for novels-in-verse. Favorite MG reads include The War that Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley; The Unicorn Quest, by Kamilla Benko; and The Storm Runner, by J.C. Cervantes.

Click here to learn more.

Pam Gruber of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency

Pam Gruber

Pam Gruber

Currently seeking: Pam is looking for adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction with literary voices and commercial hooks. She is particularly interested in layered fantasy, speculative fiction, fantastical realism, rom-coms, and coming-of-age stories with a twist. She is also open to realistic middle grade and YA graphic novels, as well as select narrative nonfiction on lesser-known subjects. Pam would not be the best fit for prescriptive nonfiction, anthologies, potty humor, paranormal, or erotica.

Click here to learn more.

Matt Belford of Tobias Literary Agency

 Matt Belford

Matt Belford

Currently Seeking: Some of my favorite reads include The Summoner, by Gail Z Martin; Kings of the Wyld, by Nicholas Eames; Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse; and Red Rising, by Pierce Brown.

I'm interested in receiving submissions for both graphic memoirs and graphic novels, as well as adult science fiction and fantasy, and some popular nonfiction. I'm not interested in YA.

Click here to learn more.

Maria Rogers of Tobias Literary Agency

 Maria Rogers

Maria Rogers

Currently Seeking: I'm currently looking for nonfiction that explores big events from new angles, whip-smart cultural criticism, as well as original and urgent journalism and science writing. I'm also on the lookout for books to engage kids in nonfiction topics, from ancient history to contemporary issues. I am not currently considering poetry, picture books, romance, science fiction, or fantasy at this time.

Some books I recently enjoyed include The Unwinding, by George Packer; Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, by Saidiya Hartman; In the Dream House, by Carmen Maria Machado; Bottle of Lies, by Katherine Eban; River, by Elisha Cooper; and Pet, by Akwaeke Emezi.

Click here to learn more.

Erin Clyburn of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

 Erin Clyburn

Erin Clyburn

Currently Seeking: In children's, Erin is looking for nonfiction picture books, high-concept chapter book series, middle grade (especially mysteries, stories with big hearts, and all things creepy), dark YA (horror, thriller, and mystery), graphic novels, high-interest nonfiction, and, across the board, magic realism.

In adult fiction, she is looking for character-driven literary fiction; plot-driven suspense, mysteries, and domestic thrillers; humor; all horror from psychological to gothic to slasher; and multi-generational family sagas.

In adult nonfiction, she is looking for pop science; high-interest nonfiction, particularly stories about fascinating people and issues that haven’t been told before; true crime; cookbooks; and science- or culture-focused memoirs.

Across the board, Erin would love to see character-driven sci-fi, stories set in the South, #ownvoices, and neurodiverse representation.

Erin is not the right person for fiction picture books, romance, Westerns, epic fantasy, political or military thrillers, hard sci-fi, short stories, or stories with a strong focus on religion.

Click here to learn more.

*****

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*****

Amaryah Orenstein of GO Literary

 Amaryah Orenstein

Amaryah Orenstein

Currently Seeking: Thematic interests include but are not limited to: contemporary + historical fiction; family relationship + coming-of-age stories; history + current affairs; social + cultural issues; memoir; food.

In addition to negotiating contracts, Amaryah works closely with each of her clients throughout every step of the publishing process, from concept development through publication and beyond. She takes a particular interest in the editorial process, offering skilled advice and guidance to help clients bring out the best in their writing.

Click here to learn more.

Abigail Frank of Sandford J. Greenburger Associates

 Abigail Frank

Abigail Frank

Currently Seeking: Her wish list includes:

  • big concept and/or offbeat picture books, preferably (but not exclusively) by author/illustrators
  • voice-driven chapter books! 
  • middle grade that is hilarious (think Better Nate Than Ever series), poetic (think The Girl Who Drank the Moon or Other Words for Home), or profound (think Tuck Everlasting)
  • swoon-worthy YA rom-coms!!
  • stories with a drop of magic or set in the not-so-distant future
  • stories that grapple with ideas of masculinity
  • select adult titles: cultural criticism and anything that looks closely at healthcare or higher education/campus life (fiction or nonfiction)
  • contemporary commercial fiction written for and about people in their 20's.

Click here to learn more.

Heather Carr of The Friederich Agency

 Heather Carr

Heather Carr

Currently Seeking: I'm on the hunt for voice-driven narrative nonfiction that teaches me something new, especially from what I like to call "kooky experts." Think Caitlin Doughty's From Here to Eternity, Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an Octopus, or Kate Cole-Adams' Anesthesia. I'm also interested in long-form journalism, especially as it relates to gender and sexuality.

In fiction, I love literary novels about dysfunctional families and friendships, high-concept commercial fiction with elements of suspense, and anything with a singular voice a la Weike Wang's Chemistry or Jen Beagin's Pretend I'm Dead.

I'm exclusively looking for fiction and nonfiction for adults, so no YA, MG or picture books, please!

Click here to learn more.

Gail Fortune of The Talbot Fortune Agency

 Gail Fortune

Gail Fortune

Currently Seeking: She is currently looking for upmarket commercial fiction in the following categories: domestic suspense, psychological suspense, thrillers, crime novels, espionage novels, mysteries of all types, historical thrillers, women's fiction, historical fiction with suspense elements. She's a big fan of dual narratives, different time periods and multiple POV. Authors she loves to read include Ruth Ware, Elin Hilderbrand, Kate Morton, Harlan Coben and Fiona Davis.

In nonfiction, she loves food and travel narratives, as well as history titles that would have a commercial readership.

Click here to learn more.

Bibi Lewis of the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

 Bibi Lewis

Bibi Lewis

Currently Seeking: For children's books, she is interested in picture books and chapter books as well as middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction. She enjoys fiction with well-developed characters and a strong hook. She gravitates towards realistic stories and books with magical realism but not necessarily high fantasy or science fiction. In nonfiction, she enjoys projects that center on women and POC historical figures.

On the adult end, Bibi is most interested in commercial and upmarket women's fiction, contemporary romance, mysteries, and thrillers. In all ages, she is excited to read more projects from marginalized voices.

Click here to learn more.

Rita Rosenkranz of the Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency

Currently Seeking: She represents first-time as well as seasoned authors, and looks for projects that present familiar subjects freshly or lesser-known subjects presented commercially. The agency does not accept submissions for screenplays, poetry, fiction, children’s or YA books.

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Representative titles include Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad by Betty DeRamus (Atria Books; essence.com best-seller), Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World (Wiley; James Beard Award winner) by Gil Marks; 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker (Da Capo Press; New York Times bestseller, MS Awareness Award Winner, Books for a Better Life), and A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley, Ph.D. (Tarcher).

Click here to learn more.

Peter Rubie of FinePrint Literary Management

 Peter Rubie

Peter Rubie

Currently Seeking: Peter's philosophy is broadly that books (both fiction and nonfiction) help us figure out who we were, who we are now, the times we live in, and where we’re possibly going. So he is always looking for writers who can help us understand these things. He represents a broad range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction and is a sucker for great writing. He specializes in children's books, particularly middle grade and YA and in adult books, narrative nonfiction such as the occasional memoir, biographies, history and current affairs, as well as books on business, popular science, spirituality, politics (really hard to sell though), technology, parenting, music, and food. In adult fiction, he does crime novels, thrillers, commercial women’s fiction, fantasy, science fiction, and exceptional literary fiction.

What many people do not know about Peter is that he is also an active jazz musician. In any given week, he can be heard playing guitar around jazz venues in New York City—and occasionally in London. His latest novel is doing the rounds of publishers as you read this . . .

Click here to learn more.

Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

 Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Currently Seeking: Hi! I'm seeking diverse and inclusive Young Adult fiction across all genres (and would love to find some more YA nonfiction!), accessible science fiction and fantasy, literary fiction that does a bit of genre blending (think Station Eleven or The Night Circus), and nonfiction in the realm of essay collections, memoir, pop-culture history, and cookbooks!

If you want to get a sense of my taste, look up some of my recent projects, like Mike Chen’s accessible sci-fi novel Here & Now & Then, Tom Ryan’s latest Young Adult novel Keep This To Yourself, Erica Boyce’s literary novel The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green, and Sam Slaughter’s cocktail book Are You Afraid of the Dark Rum?

Click here to learn more.

Keely Boeving of WordServe Literary

 Keely Boeving

Keely Boeving

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.

Click here to learn more.

Jevon Bolden of Embolden Media Group

 Jevon Bolden

Jevon Bolden

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.

Click here to learn more.

Joseph Perry of Perry Literary, Inc.

 Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry

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.

Click here to learn more.

Marlo Berliner of The Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency

 Marlo Berliner

Marlo Berliner

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.

Click here to learn more.

*****

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