Skip to main content

Meet the Agent: Anjali Singh of Ayesha Pande Literary

Literary Agent Anjali Singh has been with Ayesha Pande Literary for 2 years. In this profile, learn about her best writing and pitching tips.

Anjali Singh grew up splitting time between New Delhi, India (her father’s hometown), and Alexandria, VA (her mother’s), while spending summers on the Rhode Island coast with her grandmother. A graduate of Brown University, Singh went on to study Hindu, Urdu, and French in Wisconsin and Paris, and took time to travel around India before eventually settling in New York City. She did editorial stints at various publishing houses—including Vintage Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Simon & Schuster—then turned her focus to agenting, joining Ayesha Pande Literary in 2015.

Singh works in Harlem and lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and two daughters.

Image placeholder title

Seeking

“Graphic novels (YA and adult)—particularly stories we haven’t seen before, memoir, literary fiction.”

Dream Project

“Any project that opens up a new world to readers. I’d love to find another truly great graphic novel or young adult book that is at once very personal but opens up an important piece of history. I’d also love to read and represent more books that contribute to our understanding of the minority/immigrant experience in America, or a book like Patti Smith’s, at once very personal and also beautiful, while illuminating a certain time and place.”

Writing Tips

“Build a community.”
“Practice your craft.”
“Read widely, know who you’re writing for.”

Pitch Tips

“Be able to describe your book succinctly in one or two lines.”
“Have a sense of who your audience might be and which authors have inspired you.”
“Know what it is you want to say, what your books is contributing to the world and why it’s important.”

Query Pet Peeves

“Speaking about yourself in third person.”
"Using more than 350 words to describe your book.”
“Not being able to compare your book to any others (it’s unlike anything else ever written).”

Mentor

“My colleague, Ayesha Pande. She was an editor long before I was, and then modeled for me the kind of agent I want to be in the world. [Her best advice:] Represent projects you find meaningful, and always treat others—authors and colleagues—how you would want to be treated.”

Why She Agents

“I started out in publishing because I loved reading and writing. I’ve stayed because it’s a wonderful community to belong to, and being an editor—and now an agent—has allowed me to help people whose stories I believe in become published writers.”

Clients

Sherine Hamdy and Myra El-Mir, an untitled graphic novel about growing up Muslim in America (forthcoming from Dial Books for Young Readers)

Bridgett M. Davis, author of What Does Happiness Play For? (forthcoming from Little, Brown)

Arif Anwar, author of The Storm (co-agented with Ayesha Pande; forthcoming from HarperCollins Canada and Atria in the U.S.)

Fun Facts

“I love biking around NYC. Citibike has changed my life!”
“My favorite vacation would involve a good long hike along a seaside cliff or forested mountain trail followed by an afternoon in a hammock with a good book.”

Favorite

Drink: “Manhattan”
Blog: “The Millions (themillions.com)”
Living author: “Patti Smith. I just heard her interviewed and was reminded again of what an amazing artist and human being she is.”
Dead poet: “Michael S. Harper”
Poem: “‘A Blessing’ by James Wright”
Mantra: “Don’t compare your insides to anyone else’s outsides.”
Place: “South County, Rhode Island”

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 2.57.50 PM

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

If you’re an agent looking to update your information or an author interested in contributing to the GLA blog or the next edition of the book, contact Writer’s Digest Books Managing Editor Cris Freese at cris.freese@fwmedia.com.

Freese-Headshot
How To Write and Research a Local History Book

How To Write and Research a Local History Book

Let award-winning writer Jennifer Boresz Engelking help you uncover local mysteries and put the puzzle pieces together when writing and researching a local history book.

From Script

Vulnerability as an Asset (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with Netflix’s acclaimed mini-series “Keep Breathing” creators Martin Gero and Brendan Gall, and BounceTV’s “Johnson” creator and star Deji LaRay.

Michael J. Seidlinger: On Asking Questions in Horror

Michael J. Seidlinger: On Asking Questions in Horror

Author Michael J. Seidlinger discusses the writing process of his new literary horror novel, Anybody Home?

10 Tips for Building a Realistic and Vibrant Fictional World

10 Tips for Building a Realistic and Vibrant Fictional World

World-building of any kind can seem like a daunting task. Here, author Nalini Singh shares 10 tips for building a realistic and vibrant fictional world.

Adalyn Grace: On Writing for Escape

Adalyn Grace: On Writing for Escape

New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace discusses combining her favorite genres into her new YA fantasy novel, Belladonna.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Our September/October Cover Reveal, a Competition Deadline Reminder, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our September/October 2022 cover, a competition deadline reminder, and more!

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Author John Cameron discusses how nonfiction history and historical fiction are more similar than they are different.

Bob Eckstein | Publishing Survival Tips

Top 10+ Survival Tips for Publishing

Poignant advice from some of the funniest people in publishing.

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

New York Times bestselling author Zac Bissonnette discusses the process of writing his new cozy mystery, A Killing in Costumes.