PITCH YOUR BOOK TO A LITERARY AGENT:
These one-on-one virtual (Zoom) meetings at the 2023 Tennessee Writing Workshop are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind. More 2023 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.
Justin Brouckaert is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Justin is interested in literary fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, and select illustrated and prescriptive works. In fiction, he is most interested in novels that are driven by flawed, magnetic characters; novels with innovate structures; novels that engage with the wide world of sports; and novels that are set in the Midwest. In nonfiction, he is most interested in memoirs that offer access to exclusive places and experiences, as well as reported narratives that shed light on under-represented people and communities. Learn more about Justin here.
Darlene Chan is a literary agent with Linda Chester Literary Agency. Darlene is interested in stories by and about BIPOC, women’s fiction, literary fiction, chick lit/rom-com, crime fiction, pop culture, narrative nonfiction, and nonfiction books on film and the entertainment industry. She’s not seeking: sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, family saga, children’s/YA or screenplays that have been turned into novels. Learn more about Darlene here.
Gabbi Calabrese currently serves as an editorial assistant for Sourcebooks, where she works on books for kids of all ages. She is seeking: “I am interested in picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction of all genres except historical fiction, as well as adult romance, thrillers, and horror. I would love to see work in the YA/adult crossover space as well as graphic novel pitches. I am particularly interested in books by marginalized voices.” Learn more about Gabbi here.
Léonicka Valcius is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. Areas of interest: “I am eager to work with people of color, including (but not limited to) trans people, disabled people, religious minorities, and queer folks. In adult fiction and young adult fiction, I like books I can read on a beach vacation — fun commercial fiction, romance that ranges from sweet to steamy, otherworldly fantasy, and sweeping historical fiction. In middle grade and younger, I love humur, adventure, and make believe. I also enjoy stories about children navigating their changing relationships with family and friends. As the founder of #DiverseCanLit and the first Chair of the Board of the Festival of Literary Diversity, serving readers and writers of color is the core of Léonicka’s career. Learn more about Léonicka here.
Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.
Maria Alcantara is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary Agency. Maria is looking for New Adult upmarket fiction, either character-driven or plot-driven. She loves to cozy up with a good mystery full of complicated characters and page-turning plot twists. If these novels are contemporary with Millennial leads then that’s even better. Maria is also looking for women’s contemporary or commercial romance and horror with inclusive voices of Latinos and the LGBTQ community. Maria loves reading stories of marginalized voices in modern-day settings that are relatable and swoonworthy. She also loves reading whirlwind escapist stories à la Emily in Paris. Learn more about Maria here.
Dani Segelbaum is a literary with the Carol Mann Agency. Dani joined the agency in 2021 as a literary agent and subrights manager. She is interested in both fiction and nonfiction. Dani is seeking nonfiction titles with an emphasis on politics, women’s issues, popular culture, and current events. Dani also loves memoir, narrative nonfiction, lifestyle, and cookbooks. In fiction, she is looking for literary and upmarket adult fiction including debut, historical, rom-coms, mysteries, and women’s fiction. In both fiction and nonfiction, Dani hopes to work with authors from diverse backgrounds to tell stories that are important to them. She loves compelling narrators and is drawn to writing that is voice-driven, highly transporting, and features unique perspectives and marginalized voices. Learn more about Dani here.
Michelle Jackson is a Literary Associate with Olswanger Literary. Michelle is seeking to work with adult fiction authors in the following genres: Commercial, Historical, Humor, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s Fiction. Sub-genres: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural, Psychological Thrillers, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense. She is also on the lookout for narrative nonfiction, biographies, self-help/spirituality. Learn more about Michelle and her interests here.
Lily Dolin is a literary agent with United Talent Agency. Lily represents clients in both fiction and nonfiction. In fiction, she is drawn to dark and offbeat humor, gripping narratives, strong commercial hooks, and nuanced female perspectives. She is not looking for historical fiction or thrillers. Short story collections are welcome. For nonfiction, she is looking for memoirs that are funny, outrageous, shocking, emotional, or all of the above. She also enjoys true crime and pop culture, and is interested in deeply researched histories about overlooked figures, as well as narrative nonfiction surrounding topics of education, climate change, and social justice. Wishlist: Upmarket, book club fiction, dark fiction, literary fiction, true crime, memoir, essay collections, select mystery. The next Mona Awad or Alexandra Kleeman! Learn more about Lily here.
Erica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity. “In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light sci-fi / fantasy and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh. Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.” Learn more about Erica here.
Shannon Snow is a literary agent with Creative Media Agency. In adult fiction, she seeks: All romance fiction (including paranormal or magical realism) and all its sub-genres; Contemporary romance that can be cute, steamy, etc.; Historical romance (I have a warm fondness for medieval, and historicals set in ancient times/place such as Rome, Greece, or Egypt; Thrillers; Psychological; Speculative Fiction like fantasy and science fiction (especially with a touch, or a lot, of romance); Fantasy (A touch of romance is great!); Soft to Medium Fantasy stories a la David Eddings, or Margaret Weiss/Tracy Hickman. Mythological stories or retellings; Science FictionSpace Operas are a favorite but I love it all; Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic (Is the world ending? Let me see!); Horror (think more eerie/creepy rather than monsters). She also seeks many types and genres of young adult fiction. Learn more about Shannon here.
Kiele Raymond is a senior literary agent with Thompson Literary Agency. She is seeking: bold new voices in literary fiction and narrative nonfiction. Her list includes critically acclaimed and award winning writers such as Lee Matalone, Tana Wojczuk, Ari Braverman, Peace Adzo Medie, Nichole Perkins, Destiny O. Birdsong, and Candice Wuehle. Learn more about Kiele Raymond here.
Renee C. Fountain is a literary agent, publishing industry veteran, a reviewer for Kirkus and New York Journal of Books, and a book scout for The CW Network. She is the president of Gandolfo, Henlin and Fountain Literary. Renee is looking for all types of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction. She prefers: thrillers, horror/dark fantasy, urban/contemporary fantasy, humor, science fiction, pop culture, memoirs, and narrative/commercial. Learn more about Renee here.
Leticia Gomez is the editorial director for Kensington Books and Dafina. Leticia is the Editorial Director for Dafina Books, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp., which focuses on high-quality fiction and nonfiction that centers on race, identity, and its impact on our experiences. Dafina’s carefully curated list is a home for dynamic stories that innovate and amplify voices too long ignored through books that entertain, challenge, and inspire. Launched in 2000 as the first African-American imprint, Dafina has led the market for more than twenty years in highlighting voices of color. Leticia is actively seeking to acquire multicultural fiction and nonfiction of all genres, including literary fiction, commercial fiction, historical fiction, romance, mystery, and narrative nonfiction of all genres with a focus on authors of color (BIPOC) hailing from all walks of life, as well as specific nonfiction projects for marginalized communities. In addition to her role at Kensington, Leticia is a prominent literary/film/television agent who specializes in bringing culturally diverse voices to the forefront. Savvy Literary is now an industry leader specializing in Self-help, Narrative Nonfiction, Memoir, True Crime, Spiritual/Inspirational, Political/Current Affairs, Suspense/Thriller, Family Drama, and the Young Adult market. Championing the work of minority writers continues to be a top priority for the agency. Learn more about Leticia here.
Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies. In Middle Grade, she’s looking for: Fantasy and sci-fi; Contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. In YA, she’s looking for: Genres from contemporary, to high fantasy, to sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!) and historical all the way back to rom-coms. In Adult, Kelly represents: Romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. Learn more about Kelly here.
Rick Lewis is a literary agent at Martin Literary Management. Rick represents authors of Graphic Novels with Illustrators (he grew up reading and loving them) as well as speculative fiction titles in the Adult and YA categories, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and magical realism. Rick is looking for novels that feature complex, realistic characters in highly imaginative worlds. Give him genuine emotions and meaningful struggles, but also at least a touch of science, magic, or the supernatural that captures the imagination while illuminating the real world. Learn more about Rick here.
Lauren Scovel is a literary agent with Laura Gross Literary Agency. “I am looking to amplify underrepresented stories and voices, and am especially interested in both fiction and narrative nonfiction with a timely, distinctive story and a diverse cast of characters.” In fiction, Lauren represents: Commercial, LGBTQ, Literary. In nonfiction, Lauren represents: History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Memoir, Pop Culture, True Crime. Learn more about Lauren here.
Ramona Pina is an associate agent at BookEnds Literary. She is interested in carving a space for and elevating underrepresented voices. Fantasy, magical realism, sci-fi, paranormal romance, horror, and a spin-off of villain retellings are her favorite genres. In YA and Adult fantasy, give her a character-driven, and fast-paced adventure that disrupts societal norms! She’s also hoping to see more Sci-Fi that focuses more on fiction and less on technology while still showcasing how to build a better world. If you have a SF/F that is slightly different from this, she’s open to being pleasantly surprised. Learn more about Ramona here.
Gordon Warnock is a literary agent and Partner with Fuse Literary. In nonfiction: Gordon seeks large-platform projects in which the book represents something bigger than the book itself, of which you are the expert, the one best fit to bring it to the page. He enjoys Memoir and Biography, Food, Graphic and Illustrated Nonfiction, Essays on Social Issues, Pop-Science, Pop/Punk/Geek Culture, Self-Help, Historical Narrative, Humor, How-To, Business and Career. In fiction: High-Concept Suspense, Book Club Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, Verse Novels for YA and MG, and Graphic Novels for Adults, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. Learn more about Gordon here.
Adrian Shirk is an agent at Drift(less) Literary. She is seeking: I represent long-form literary fiction (novels, novellas, autofiction, or linked short stories) and first person-driven narrative nonfiction (memoir, essay collections, reportage, special areas of research where the author is present in the text, e.g. not objective or scholarly). I also consider self-help or how-to books on subjects in which the author has had a significant amount of personal or professional experience. I’m especially interested in working with under-represented voices and stories, especially women and nonbinary folks, working class authors (or authors with working class backgrounds), LGBTQ+, and writers of color. I occasionally consider some genre (horror) or speculative fiction (sci-fi), but only if the stories and themes are somewhat socially-engaged (think, Octavia Butler, Ursula Leguin, Margaret Atwood). Learn more about Adrian here.
Regina Bernard-Carreno is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. She is currently open to: Middle Grade and Young Adult graphic novels that are fun and interesting and actively looking for these types of projects that deal specifically with coming of age experiences. Rom Com graphic novels in Young Adult are also welcome. She is open to limited picture book projects by BIPOC author-illustrators only. Please do not send her any rhyming manuscripts. She would really like to see picture books that deal with diverse cultures, people, and experiences. While not open to YA prose/novels, she would like to see MG or YA novels in prose from BIPOC creators that deal with international issues and cultures. In adult fiction: She is only looking for historical projects that deal with Caribbean and American slaves and their narratives. She would also accept a BIPOC rom-com a la Terry McMillan. In nonfiction, she loves a solid book about wellness (think herbs and aromatherapy), cookbooks that have a fresh take and a solid platform. She also loves work around social justice issues and matters that are contemporary and where the author has some agency around solutions and critical ideas about how a particular social injustice could be examined and possibly rehabilitated. Learn more about Regina here.
Claire Harris is a literary agent with P.S. Literary Agency. Claire is acquiring both fiction and nonfiction projects for adults. She’s actively seeking projects that shine a spotlight on people, places, and events that are often overlooked or not given the attention they deserve. In fiction, she’s looking for adult rom coms, contemporary fiction, psychological thrillers, select horror, and cozy mysteries—all for millennial audiences, specifically. Claire is happiest when reading manuscripts with unexpected endings or new twists on classic genre tropes. For nonfiction, Claire is seeking a range of projects, including lifestyle guides, pop culture celebrations, pop psychology, cultural criticism, humor, true crime, essay collections, and illustrated books for adults. Learn more about Claire here.
Rebecca Eskildsen is a literary agent with Writers House. “I am actively growing my list, with a particular interest in middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. Across the board, I’m looking to elevate LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices, among other underrepresented narratives. In middle grade, I’m mainly looking for contemporary books that make kids feel seen. Mostly I want to see fresh, engaging voices, particularly narratives with a sense of humor and a strong emotional core. For YA, I’m looking for some darker themes and twisty, gripping stories — give me your ambitious “unlikable” girls (ugh – I’ll like them). Separately, I’m looking for funny, slow-burn YA rom coms. I’m looking for a more limited variety of adult books. I’d love to have my inbox full of contemporary rom coms. I’m also looking for sagas about families and/or friends, of any age or topic, and I’m looking for 20-something coming-of-age stories. Regardless of whether you recognize your book in this MSWL, if you think we’ll be a good fit, feel free to pitch me!” Learn more about Rebecca here.
Jaidree Braddix is a Literary Agent with Park & Fine Literary & Media. Jaidree represents a broad range of nonfiction authors who are changing the ways we think about, talk about, and move through the world we live in. Her clients are Guinness World Record-holding athletes, activists who are challenging societal standards and institutions, trailblazers who have created globally trending wellness movements, and acclaimed thought leaders in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, business, and organizational behavior. Specializing in platform-driven nonfiction, Jaidree is committed to helping authors turn their assets—be they courageous ideas, academic studies, foundations for social good, popular podcasts, transformative programs, or online communities—into compelling proposals and noteworthy books. Learn more about Jaidree here.
Eva Scalzo is a Literary Agent with Speilburg Literary. In Adult Fiction, Eva represents Romance novels (all subgenres except inspirational) and Science Fiction/Fantasy novels. She also represents all subgenres of Young Adult Fiction. She is interested in submissions from diverse authors. Learn more about Eva here, as well as her specific interests and what is seeking from writers.
Kayla Cichello is a literary agent with Upstart Crow Literary. Kayla brings nearly a decade of experience in children’s publishing to her agent position. She is open to all kid lit — picture books through young adult, as well as illustrators, and is searching for those voices that make her laugh and keep the pages turning. Some of her clients include author Ana Otaru, author of the upcoming MASQUERADE FOR GRANDPA (Atheneum/S&S, 2023) and author/illustrator Kirbi Fagan, illustrator of SUMMER OF THE TREE ARMY (Sleeping Bear, 2021). Learn more about Kayla here.
Maria Vicente is a senior literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency. Maria represents bold and innovative books for kids, teens, and curious adults. Her favorite books to work on show readers something new about the real world or invite them into new worlds they never want to leave. Maria is acquiring fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages. She is looking for: literary fiction and upmarket speculative fiction (fantasy, magical realism, horror); young adult novels; middle grade novels; illustrated picture books; illustrated graphic novels, graphic memoirs, and graphic nonfiction; and narrative nonfiction for kids, teens, or adult readers about culture, arts and entertainment, history, and science topics. She welcomes and encourages submissions from BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled creators. Learn more about Maria here.
Kristy Cambron is a literary agent with Gardner Literary. In fiction, she seeks: Fiction for the CBA (Christian market) or clean fiction for general market — contemporary women’s fiction (especially BIPOC and diverse voices), romance (closed-door), rom-com, suspense and romantic suspense, historical and historical romance, YA and YA fantasy (including steampunk and fairy tale retellings with a unique approach; YA requires a strong platform). In nonfiction, she seeks: CBA (Christian market) all Christian living topics; Bible studies (adult and teen girls); gift books and devotionals (with a strong platform); select general market projects on hearth/home living, travel, art/faith topics (with a strong platform). Learn more about Kristy here.
Reiko Davis is a literary agent with DeFiore & Company. Reiko’s interests are varied, but on the adult side she’s primarily seeking literary and book club fiction. She loves historical, contemporary, or multigenerational novels both in the U.S. and internationally; family sagas; voice-driven coming-of-age stories; the occasional rom-com; and fierce, compassionately written works that grapple with identity and belonging and portray diverse lived experiences. She’d love to connect with promising writers of short fiction who are at work on a debut story collection and/or novel. She also represents select narrative non-fiction projects that explore social justice, issues of race and gender, and the history and experiences of women and people of color. She consumes a lot of true crime in her free time so is open to seeing projects in the vein of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. On the children’s side, Reiko is actively looking for middle grade fiction and nonfiction. Learn more about Reiko here.
Shauna Turnmire Golden is a literary agent at Arthouse Literary Agency. Shauna is looking for New Adult fiction, YA Fantasy, and historical fiction – including a particular interest in books that give a glimpse into the Holocaust experience. Shauna is often drawn to stories that are a little strange, and especially ones that use speculative or fantastic elements in beautiful, original ways (grounded sci-fi and fantasy). Across the board, she’s looking for an inclusive cast of characters, across gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, and mental health spectrums. Shauna is also looking for contemporary or commercial romance. Shauna is intrigued by historical fiction, preferably centered around the Holocaust and the French Revolution. She would love to see anything centered around Irish or Celtic history and lore/mythology. Learn more about Shauna here.
Lindsay Flanagan of Tobias Literary Agency is an agent assistant, editor, and author living in Utah. As of 2023, she is now taking on her own clients. She’s looking for adult work only in fantasy (all categories), mystery, thriller, romance, women’s fiction, upmarket, and maybe even a thriller. Her dream acquisition would have been The Night Circus. She likes work that has hints of magic and a bit of darkness. She is open to all voices and is seeking a diverse list of authors to represent with a particular interest in seeing work from Indigenous creators. Lindsay is also happy to take pitches on behalf of co-agent Jacqui Lipton. Jacqui is head of the Adult Department, although she selectively represents children’s books, particularly middle grade and young adult novels and nonfiction. Jacqui is open to pretty much anything but has a soft spot for genre fiction (mystery/thriller, romance, selective science fiction). Jacqui is not the best fit for high fantasy (think Game of Thrones) or books with animal protagonists. Jacqui is open to unique takes on nonfiction but is not seeking memoir currently. Learn more about Lindsay and Jacqui here.
More 2023 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.
These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.
(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. It is $29 per 10-minute meeting. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings.)