Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Joanna MacKenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 12.29.03 AM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Joanna MacKenzie is a literary agent with Nelson Literary.

She seeks to expand her list in both adult and YA. She’s looking for the epic read that, at its center, beats with a universal heart. In particular, she is drawn to smart and timely women’s fiction, as well as absorbing, character-driven mysteries and thrillers – both, ideally, with a little edge. She has a weird obsession with, what she calls, “child in jeopardy lit” and can’t get enough kick-ass mom heroines. On the YA side, she is interested in coming-of-age stories that possess a confident voice and characters I can’t stop thinking about.

“I owe my love of books to the librarian of my childhood bookmobile, who, after I had worked my way through The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High, lifted the velvet rope and let me in to the grown-up section, where I discovered V.C. Andrews. And to my father, who gifted me Cat’s Cradle, Wuthering Heights, and One Hundred Years of Solitude for my 15th birthday. In 2002, I got my start in publishing at a Chicago-based literary agency and while there, I successfully placed numerous manuscripts that have gone on to become critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling novels. I love working with authors who embrace the full publishing process (read: love revisions) and am committed to the stories my clients want to tell both with the words they put on paper, as well as with the careers the build. Originally from Poland, and by way of Canada, I’m all about narratives that deal with the themes of identity and the immigrant experience as well as those that delve into all aspects of the relationships that make us who we are – parents, siblings, best friends, and first love.”

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