Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Devon Halliday of Transatlantic Literary

Devon Halliday is a literary agent with Transatlantic Literary.

Devon joined Transatlantic as a Literary Agent in the summer of 2020, with prior experience at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Susanna Lea Associates, Writers House, Maria B. Campbell Associates, and Folio Literary Management in agenting and scouting. She grew up in Athens, OH, and studied Comparative Literature at Brown University. After years in the NYC publishing scene, she has returned to Ohio and is building a list at Transatlantic in literary and upmarket fiction and niche nonfiction.

“I’ve worked with a vast range of authors across all genres, and I’m always excited to discover new subjects and ways of seeing the world. With that said, here are a few of the things I gravitate towards:”

In Fiction:

  • Literary and upmarket writing, which means striking that perfect balance between precision, surprise, and clarity
  • Stories that complicate good vs. evil, protagonist vs. antagonist, strong vs. weak
  • Speculative fiction and meta-fiction, a couple clicks along the spectrum but stopping short of high fantasy/hard sci-fi
  • Unusual, trope-subverting, or repurposed story structures
  • Timely though not time-restricted topics such as climate change, feminism, internet culture
  • Intensely memorable characters who feel as complicated as real people (esp. millennials)
  • Impeccable spelling and grammar, the Oxford comma, creative (and consistent) uses of punctuation
  • A love story whose complications arise from the flaws of the characters involved, rather than from the machinations of the plot
  • Branching video game-esque plotlines (Russian Doll, Detroit: Become Human)
  • Young adult with any of the elements above

In Nonfiction:

  • Popular science, philosophy, psychology, medicine, etc.: anything that introduces a layperson (me) to niche and fascinating subjects
  • Big-picture memoirs or investigative journalism that tackle broad societal truths
  • Essay collections on the unique and bizarre
  • Research-backed explorations of productivity culture, millennials, fandom and gaming culture, news addiction, etc.
  • Passionate, invested writing about subjects I never would have known I was interested in

She is NOT seeking:

— Thrillers, horror, true crime, mysteries, or hardcore suspense
— Pop/instagram poetry, screenplays, or novels in verse
— Children’s books (though I do consider YA–see above)
— Religious, spiritual, or self-help books
— Retellings of classic stories
— Unreliable narrators (emotionally/observationally unreliable is fine, but I try to avoid narrators that actively mislead the reader about the events of the book)
— Characters whose lives start out bad and get progressively worse, or plots that rely on their characters’ humiliation
— Protagonists who are writers, MFA candidates, etc.
— Books about dogs

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