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.”

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