Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Analieze Cervantes of The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency

Analieze Cervantes is a literary agent with The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency.

“As an Agent for The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. I am looking for character-driven books that grip me from the first page until the very end. I want fantastic world-building, a clear plot, and want to know your main character’s desire by the time I get to page ten. Time shouldn’t exist when I read your manuscript. I want to be hooked and pulled into your world. Great writing is awesome, but your characters matter most to me. I want books that make me cry, laugh, and to feel connected to your main character. For thrillers, I want to be on the edge of my seat and have no clue on how your book is going to end.

“I want to vouch for your main character and cheer them on by the end of your story. I’m especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices.”

She is seeking:

“I am looking to represent Author/Illustrators for Picture Books, and Graphic Novels. And Writers for Middle Grade, Young Adult and Adult genre Fiction and am actively building my list in the following categories:

Illustrators: Creators that illustrate any age group from picture book, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels.

Picture Book: Creators who bring a distinctive, well-developed point of view to their work.

  • Anything sweet to hard topics written in a creative way and will tug on the heartstrings.
  • Stories about friendships, animals, and the earth.
  • Heartfelt, whimsical stories that revolve around kid issues.
  • Stories about baking, food, music (any sort of craft), interactive, and educational (as simple as learning how to bake a cake).

Graphic Novels: Superheroes/young detective/scientist who can share their story in a concise and creative way. Really open to anything. If you think I may be a good fit then send it to me! 🙂

Middle Grade:

  • Contemporary (something really cute, out of the box, character desire that molds the MC)
    Friendship (a story about two friends who do everything together, solve things, and really want to make their friendship work–diverse friendships)
  • Mystery (twists & turns, young detective who has a desire to solve the case, something out of the box, cute voice)
  • Sci-fi (cute voice, a young scientist/inventor on the brink of discovering something that shapes the MC and is meaningful to the MC, think Meet the Robinsons)

Young Adult:

Stories about friendship, enemies-lovers, sibling relationships, a diverse cast, family (the importance of family/the brokeness of family and how they come together), mother-daughter/father-son relationships (either strained or close), and remind us how valuable life truly is.

  • 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)
  • RomCom (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) No Zombies.
  • Crime Fiction (thorough investigation for murders and other cases, strong MC with a desire)
  • LGBTQ (a love story that progresses over time, no triangles, funny quirks that will show how love transforms into something beautiful)
  • Thriller/Suspense (cliffhangers, want to be on the edge of my seat)

Adult fiction:

  • Physiological 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)
  • RomCom (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)
  • Crime Fiction (want to feel connected to the MC and clearly shows MC’s desire to solve a case)

What I’m NOT looking for:

— Fantasy
— Short story collections
— Inspirational works including religious overtones
— Erotica
— Nonfiction
— Memoir
— Horror (please nothing with Zombies)
— Westerns
— Novellas
— Anything Political
— Poetry
— Screenplays

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lindsay Auld of Writers House

Lindsay Auld is a literary agent with Writers House, LLC.

Writers House is one of the largest literary agencies in the world and is known for providing an extraordinary amount of individual client attention combined with the benefits of full service foreign rights and subsidiary rights departments.

“I started at Writers House in the West Coast office, where I apprenticed with Steven Malk and had the opportunity to work with some of the very best authors and artists in the industry. Before taking time off to start a family, I helped launch the careers of several bestselling and award-winning authors. I’ve now re-joined Writers House and I’m actively building my list.

I’m seeking: books in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories, including illustrated and graphic novel submissions. I’m particularly drawn to mysteries, fantasy, historical fiction, friendship stories, romance, magical realism, adventure, and books with humor–light or dark or both. Growing up, I loved (and still love) stories by Lois Lowry, Beverly Cleary, Madeleine L’Engle, Mildred D. Taylor, Philip Pullman, Katherine Paterson, and E. L. Konigsburg. As someone who is an environmentalist at heart, I would be happy to read submissions with an environmental element or streak. I would also love to see manuscripts from diverse and underrepresented authors and artists. I’ve always been passionate about children’s and young adult literature, and, as an agent, I’m eager to help bring fresh voices, characters and stories to a new generation of readers.

MOST RECENT SALES / FORTHCOMING BOOKS

A COMB OF WISHES by Lisa Stringfellow (Quill Tree/HarperCollins)
WHAT BEAUTY THERE IS by Cory Anderson (Roaring Brook/Macmillan)
HUSH-A-BYE by Jody Lee Mott (Viking/Penguin)
WHAT IF, PIG? by Linzie Hunter (HarperCollins)
HOW TO BE A ROCK STAR, Lisa Tolin (Putnam/Penguin)
MY FIRST COOKBOOK, Rachel Stubbs (Walker UK)
I’M GONNA PUSH THROUGH, Jasmyn Wright (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
LITTLE ECHO by Al Rodin (Penguin Random House UK)
BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WORLD by Sandra Salsbury (Peachtree)
OH LOOK, A CAKE! by Jonathan McKee (Clarion/HMH)
TWINKLE, TWINKLE, WINTER NIGHT, Megan Litwin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
HOW TO TEACH YOUR CAT A TRICK, Zoe Si (Tundra)

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Allison Hellegers of Stimola Literary Studio

Allison Hellegers is a literary agent and rights director at Stimola Literary Studio.

Allison (who also goes by that name Alli at the Studio) received her degrees in Journalism and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After spending a semester abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris, she was thrilled when her jobs as Literary Scout and Foreign Rights Manager would take her back to France (among other countries). Alli also volunteered with the non-profit Girls Write Now, and empowering teen girls became one of the biggest drivers in her career. After working with the YA packager, Alloy Entertainment, Alli spent the last 10 years as Foreign Rights Director with Rights People. She also co-agents books for all ages on behalf of foreign publishers and agencies (international, British, and Australian) to represent projects into North America. Alli loves hiking in nature, listening to music on road trips, and spending time with her friends, husband, young son (a new reader!), and her rescue mutt in Brooklyn.

“As both Foreign Rights Director and Literary Agent, my tastes leans towards books that have emotional hooks mixed with strong plot, film/TV and/or translation appeal, and take the reader on a journey.

“Please send me your middle-grade and young adult submissions: I’m looking for strong, real voices (#ownvoices a plus, especially LGBTQ+ and BIPOC), diverse stories, gut-wrenching romance and impossible love triangles, coming-of-age family dynamics/drama, charming magical realism, quirky humor, survival stories, 80s/90s nostalgia, and books that have a profound new angle and emotionally resonate. Above all, it should say something new, uniquely.

“Children’s authors I like: Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Natalie Babbit, Lois Duncan, Jean Craighead George, Roald Dahl, Renee Watson, Walter Dean Myers, Nicola Yoon, Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, Katherine Applegate, Kate diCamillo, Cecily von Ziegesar, Karen M. McManus, Ruta Sepetys, Tae Keller, Erin Entrada Kelly, Thanhha Lai, Jenny Han, Maggie Stiefvater, Jodi Lynn Anderson, Kathi Appelt, Andrea Beaty, Mo Willems

“Please do NOT send picture book texts, but I would look at an author-illustrator submission with an already existing dummy.

“For adult fiction and nonfiction, I’m drawn to powerful and engaging stories told from the voices that we don’t often hear. I love psychological drama, gripping family dysfunction and stories that go in unexpected directions. Adult authors I like: Ruth Ozeki, Jeanette Winterson, Meg Wolitzer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Katherine Heiny, Khaled Hosseini, Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth, Megan Miranda, Liane Moriarty, Jeffrey Eugenides, Janice Erlbaum, Paula McLain, Kay Redfield Jamison, Michael Cunningham, Truman Capote, Celest Ng, Kristin Hannah, Sally Rooney, Lynn Steger Strong, Julia Whelan, Ada Calhoun, Stephanie Land, Ibram X. Kendi, Kate Atkinson, Roxanne Gay

“Favorite TV shows I’d love to find book versions of: Mad Men, Skam, GLOW, Insecure, Veronica Mars, Better Things, Fleabag, Russian Doll, Friday Night Lights, Skins, The Queen’s Gambit, The Affair, Hannah, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Sex and the City, Breaking Bad, the Americans, The Great, Dickinson, Succession, Pen15, Cobra Kai, Euphoria, Punky Brewster.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Elisa Houot of The Seymour Agency

Elisa Houot is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Recently graduated from uni, a Master’s degree in publishing in her pocket, Elisa Houot is a bookworm. If you can’t find her with a book in her hands, she’s probably writing stories of her own. Four of her stories have already been published. Enthusiastic about discovering new voices, Elisa has reviewed novels for an online magazine for five years. She lives in France with her adorable and barking companion, Muffin.

“I am actively seeking kid lit, from Picture books to Young Adult including Middle Grade and Chapter books, everything but horror.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephanie Winter of P.S. Literary

Stephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary.

She holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in English Literature and an M.A. in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London.

Stephanie is primarily acquiring across three pillars: adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. In fiction, she particularly enjoys Commercial and Upmarket projects (Rom-Coms, Thriller/Suspense, etc.) that offer millennial and/or queer-affirming perspectives. In nonfiction, she’s on the hunt for Pop Culture, Cultural Criticism, millennial Business and Finance, Narrative Nonfiction, How-To, and Lifestyle projects. Overall, she’s looking for stories that will engage with and change the way we view the world around us.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alexandra Weiss of Azantian Literary Agency

Alexandra Weiss is a literary agent with Azantian Literary Agency.

Alexandra joined the world of publishing in 2016, as an associate agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. In 2021, she joined Azantian Literary Agency where she represents fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, and select adult nonfiction. She holds a BFA in creative writing and publishing from Columbia College Chicago and has written for Bustle and Buzzfeed, among others. She regularly volunteers with literary organizations and has a soft spot for working with young readers. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably baking up a storm or snuggling with her cat.

“Across the board, I’m dedicated to representing marginalized creators and diverse stories. I’m actively seeking BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, genderfluid, neurodiverse, and disabled voices for all ages and genres”

Graphic Novels:

Please send me your early reader, MG, and YA graphic novel proposals! I’m actively seeking contemporary projects but am open to all genres. Some recent favorites include THIS WAS OUR PACT, SEANCE TEA PARTY and GO WITH THE FLOW. I’d also love to see some nonfiction graphic novels that cover fascinating topics.

Picture Books:

I love heartfelt, funny, and whimsical picture books. If you have a clever concept that’s never been done before or provides a fresh twist on a classic tale (such as PRINCE AND KNIGHT), please send it my way. I’m also eagerly searching for picture books books that introduce STEAM concepts and make complex topics approachable (and fun!) for young readers.

I’m also interested in representing more author/illustrators. I enjoy a lot of different styles but generally lean toward art that’s unique, bold, and playful.

Middle Grade:

I adore all types of adventurous, smart, and out-of-the-box chapter and middle-grade books. Silly schemes! Fantastic friendships! Ambitious adventures! If it has magic, science, or time travel, I’m all in. I’m also a big fan of contemporary middle grade that pulls at your heartstrings (think I’LL SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS and SONG FOR A WHALE). I’m particularly interested in finding more middle grade that isn’t afraid to explore the complicated emotions and challenges preteens face today.

Young Adult:

I’m most drawn to contemporary, light science fiction and fantasy, as well as magical realism in YA. I’m looking for strong, distinct, and diverse voices that authentically capture the coming-of-age experience. I’m a fan of angsty characters and stories that explore difficult situations, but I’d also love to see more lighthearted and fluffy romcoms. I’m also interested in YA stories that take place outside of the US or feature mythology from non-western cultures.

Select adult nonfiction:

Currently, I’m seeking nonfiction proposals from scientists and experts in their field. Some topics I’m interested in include global warming, space exploration, and mental heath. I’m also open to unique gift books that bring something new to the table.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jeff Silberman of Folio Literary Management

Jeff Silberman is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management.

Folio Literary Management is a boutique literary agency (if 18 agents still qualifies as boutique) with vast resources. We represent a wide range of authors, including Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, celebrities, journalists, novelists, humorists, scholars, chefs, and other distinguished authors. We have had the good fortune of representing over 100 bestsellers in the past 5 years.

WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR:

“I’m a new horizon hunter. My interests are wide, my passions run deep, and the books I represent cut a wide swath. A videogame impresario who has explored new technology, outer space, and the ocean’s depths with equal passion. A neuroscientist who created ground breaking technology for studying the brain, and whose prose is utterly stunning. A rock and roll legend who bares his soul. A scholar in Timbuktu who risked his life to save ancient Egyptian and African manuscripts that helped pave the way for Western civilization. A biomedical engineer bridging the gap between art and science, and creating things that matter. An ingénue who left rural North Carolina and found womanhood as she became a part of the cultural explosion of Fellini’s Rome and the French New Wave. A Hall of Famer the players nicknamed God.

“There’s nothing quite like rich narrative nonfiction or a daring memoir. Making science and technology sing. Savoring food, diving deep into important social issues – or the animal kingdom… I haven’t done a math book yet, but I’d love to. History? I’m in. Humor, health, pop culture – there’s pretty much no category of nonfiction that doesn’t intrigue me and for which I wouldn’t happily accept an invitation to take a ride.

“Fiction: I am currently representing a number of novelists working on their debuts, and their work runs the gamut from book club / commercial to literary, and in one case, literary hilarious. I’d love more.

“I seek books that in some way leave us different than we were before. It could be because a new world was opened up to us, or our relationship to the one we thought we knew was changed, because we learned something, or had our hearts opened wide, or simply guffawed nonstop.

“I work closely with everyone I represent, from editorial input to deal making to marketing, and all points in between. Heart and soul.”

WHAT I AM NOT LOOKING FOR:

Fantasy, Sci-fi, Horror, books on serial killers, fictional plagues, Romance (love stories OK), Plays, Teleplays, Screenplays

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kirsten Aguilar of Ladderbird Literary

Kirsten Aguilar is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary.

Currently, she is only looking for Adult Fiction and Nonfiction. She is not open to YA, MG or PB.

Kirsten was born and raised in Sonoma, California and currently lives in Chicago. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame and has had internships at Folio Literary Management and Penguin. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys tending to her (too) many plants, attempting to cook, and visiting mountains as often as she can. She’s obsessed with whales and hummingbirds. You can find her on Twitter @LitAgentAguilar.

Across the board, she is looking for work that represents the complexity, intersectionality and diversity of the world without tokenization. She is especially dedicated to representing writers of marginalized communities whose stories are often left out of the publishing landscape. She would love to see work that centers BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ experience.

Please do send her: atmospheric writing with a strong sense of place. Narrative voices that are mesmerizing, hypnotizing and have the ability to cast a spell on the reader. Work that experiments with form while being mindful of function. Writing that is playful, lyrical, and revels in language. In all categories, she is looking for work that deals with grief, climate change, diaspora, mental illness, and that imagines or represents ways of living against or outside of capitalism and patriarchy. She loves a good ghost story, a plot that hooks her without tricking her, inescapable family lore, characters whose desires are clear (even if contradictory!), anything that deals with the complexity of friendship, and work that makes room for joy and people being good to one another. At the same time, she is absolutely here for your “unlikeable” protagonists and your unreliable narrators. For books that take place in the US, she has a soft spot for those set in California, the Southwest, the South and the Midwest. That being said, she is particularly seeking work that doesn’t frame the US as being the center of the world. For genre fiction, she is especially interested in books that use tropes to question those very tropes.

Across all categories, she is looking for work that is well-researched, immersive, and brings to light a piece of the world that has been overlooked in publishing.

She is enamored with Luster by Raven Leilani, Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, Mean by Myriam Gurba and The Emissary by Yoko Tawada.

Please don’t send her writing that tokenizes, perpetuates stereotypes or depicts suicide as a spectacle.

Across all categories, she would love to see more works-in-translation.

In Adult Fiction she is open to:

Literary
-In Literary Fiction, she is especially interested in works that blend reality and non-reality (Fabulism, Surrealism, and Magical Realism). Think Samanta Schweblin’s short story collection Mouthful of Birds, Carribean Fragoza’s Eat the Mouth that Feeds You, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, and Aimee Bender’s The Butterfly Lampshade.
-She is also seeking books that are propulsive while attempting to interrogate the life of the mind. Think Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment.

Commercial/Upmarket
-In Commercial/Upmarket Fiction she is interested in books with a well-crafted plot and high-stakes both internally and externally. She is seeking drama that centers on a relationship/relationships and on how people prioritize their commitments. She is also highly interested in books that center a blended family.

Thriller
-In Thriller she is looking for books that provide social commentary. She is also interested in a plot that takes a character to an unfamiliar place or returns a character to a place they knew a long time ago. She is not interested in books that center gratuitous violence.

Mystery
-In Mystery she is looking for books in which the “detective” is not a member of law enforcement. She is particularly interested in work that centers a character who stumbles upon a cover-up and she is inclined to political mysteries that focus on local politics (ie: city councils, boards of supervisors, etc.).

She is NOT open to:
SF/Fantasy
Historical Fiction
Multi-Generational Family Saga (although she does love books with a large dose of family gossip/lore)

In Adult Nonfiction she is open to:

Creative Nonfiction
-In Creative Nonfiction, she is looking for Braided Narrative Memoir, Essay Collections, and Family Mythology. She is looking for work that uses the deeply personal to explore a deeply researched topic. She is always looking to learn something. Think The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee, Mean by Myriam Gurba, and The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson.
-She is not interested in memoir that only explores one person’s life without offering commentary on the world.
-She would love to see books about sustainability and climate change.

She is NOT open to:

Cookbooks
Sports
Religion
True-Crime
Biography

Follow Kirsten on Twitter: @LitAgentAguilar