Time to unveil the agents! Or should I say unmask? We have 24 agents joining us this year. Some are new. Some are established. All are looking to make requests. To everyone entering this year, best of luck! The Slush Pile is going to be SUPER competitive.
Only a third of the list is here. You can find the rest of the agents listed on Mike's and Laura's blogs.
If you need a refresher on the submission guidelines, click here. See you on Friday the 13th!
Founder Jennifer Azantian graduated with a B.S. in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of California, San Diego where she was an executive editor for the Trition Psychology Report. In 2011, she began her agenting career, first as an intern and then as an assistant and associate, at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. In 2014, while working with senior agent and entertainment lawyer Paul Levine, Jennifer opened her own agency specializing in speculative fiction.
Jennifer is particularly interested in stories that explore meaningful human interactions against fantastic backdrops, underrepresented voices, literary science fiction, historical fantasy, creepy stories for young readers, humorous space operas, well-crafted and hopeful futures, internally consistent epic fantasy, obscure retold fairy tales, modernized mythologies, and eccentric protagonists.
Being a literary agent is my dream job (but then again, I was a literary geek at Harvard): I get to work with writers all day long, helping them craft their book ideas and editing their proposals. And then, once the proposal is complete, I get to connect with editors to sell them on something I have passionately committed myself to for the past few months. And I get to chat — a lot (but hopefully not too much). With writers, with editors, with Caitlen. All good.
I started my agenting career in 2002 at John Boswell Associates, a literary agency and book packager that’s most noted for creating 365 Ways To Cook Chicken, as well as countless other best sellers. Because Boswell was a packager as well as an agent, he taught me how to do more than just craft a proposal and sell it; he showed me how to create a book from scratch, working with designers and production people along the way. It is that attention to detail that I bring to my current projects, even if we aren’t packaging them. I help my authors envision what their books could be.
Before becoming an agent, I was a magazine editor for 10 years, starting at GQ (Gentleman’s Quarterly) and ending at GH (Good Housekeeping). That’s where I learned to edit and copy edit, to read and reread until an article or caption or pull quote was just so. It is a skill I bring to every proposal I work on with a writer. It won’t go out until it is just so, because the proposal should beautifully and accurately represent the idea an author is dying to bring to the world.
CHRISTA HESCHKE graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children's Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively acquiring for all age groups in children’s.
For YA, she is especially interested in contemporary, thriller/mystery, fantasy and horror. She looks for a compelling voice and a strong hook that will set a YA novel apart in the flooded market. She is open to all types of middle grade and especially enjoys adventure, mystery, and magical realism. For both YA and MG, she is interested in unique settings and cultural influences, interesting structure, complicated romances, diverse characters, sister or friendship-centric stories, and stories that feature artists of any kind. In picture books she is drawn to cute, funny stories (as opposed to sweet and quiet) that will grab kids as well as the occasional nonfiction biography on a subject whose story has yet to be told.
Christa is not looking for any Adult fiction or non-fiction, paranormal or dystopian at this time.
A literary agent for over fifteen years, Andrea represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including projects for adult, young adult and middle grade audiences. Her clients’ books have been NYTimes and USABestsellers, as well as nominated for The Governor General’s Award, the Lambda Award, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and have been chosen for ABA’s Indies Introduce Program.
Andrea also teaches courses for MediaBistro and Writers Digest on topics such as nonfiction, memoir, mystery and thrillers, fantasy and sf. Her client list is quite full, however she is always actively looking to take on new authors who write in the following categories: Fiction: literary, commercial, book club fiction, romance, thrillers, mystery, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, new adult, middle grade. Nonfiction: memoir, narrative, popular science, pop-culture, humor, how-to, parenting, self-help, lifestyle, travel, interior design, crafts, cookbooks, business, sports, diet, health & fitness.
Having grown up with the same name as her favorite Sweet Valley High twin, Jess has always had a love for books, especially those that feature well developed, strong female characters. She is fascinated with complex characters and a world that she can fall in love with, stories that make her want to sob and laugh within minutes of each other, and a book that she can’t put down no matter what time it is or what rerun of SVU is on. She has a BFA in Writing for Film and Television from the University of the Arts and worked in entertainment for eight years before returning to her home state of NY where she worked at a literary agency for two years before joining Brower Literary & Management.
Jess Dallow is looking for YA and adult commercial fiction. She loves family stories (in the vein of This is Where I Leave You), thrillers (give her all the serial killers you have), mysteries, and women’s fiction, especially one that features ladies supporting ladies. She’s looking for strong, complex female characters and a book she can’t put down no matter what time it is. And as much as she loves romance, she’d be interested in seeing it more as a B plot, then a straight forward romance.
Steven Salpeter is a literary agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. A graduate of the University of Florida, Steven edited Tea and founded the Palmetto Prize for Fiction. He began his publishing career at Writers House and Brandt & Hochman before moving to Curtis Brown to assist Mitchell Waters and help Timothy Knowlton manage many of the agency’s venerable estate clients, including W. H. Auden, Stanley Ellin, John Knowles, Alfred Lansing, and Ayn Rand, among other bestsellers and literary award winners. He is now actively building his list, seeking literary fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers, young adult, and authors who can blend elements of these genres. Steven is also interested in narrative nonfiction, gift books, history, humor, and popular science. He lives in New York City.
Natascha spent most of her childhood in a leather chair with her nose in a book. Formerly an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster, her passion for books across genres and her desire to finding amazing talent drove her to make the transition from editorial to literary agent.
Her editorial philosophy stems from the idea that all books should be well written and entertaining. Some of her favorite authors include Molly Idle, Sherwood Smith, Ann Rinaldi, Sabaa Tahir, and Meg Cabot. Check out her Pinterest for a quick look at her favorite books. https://www.pinterest.com/nataschamorris/
A Texas native, Natascha can often be found hunting for the best Tex-Mex in New York. Outside of reading, she is interested in urban farming and cooking.
Natascha is primarily looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction, and narrative non-fiction. She is also looking for artists that speak to her creatively.
She is not a good fit for adult literary fiction, horror, true crime, or serious nonfiction.
Jocquelle S. Caiby is a Junior Agent and Literary Assistant
at Serendipity Literary Agency, the largest African American owned literary
agency in the U.S. With degrees in both English literature and sociology, her
specialties are project management and editorial development.
Jocquelle is primarily
interested in young adult fiction, gravitating mostly towards the subgenres of
fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism, and horror, as well as young adult works of
any genre that explore diverse experiences.
She is also looking for select
adult fiction and nonfiction. Her favorite stories are those that take her on
an adventure with vividly imagined and well-developed characters, and she is
particularly struck by stories that surprise her with shocking plot twists and