Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alyssa Roat of CYLE Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 8.14.05 PM.pngAlyssa Roat is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite.

She is seeking:

  • any kind of young adult (but especially fantasy and speculative)
  • middle grade fiction (any kind)
  • fantasy
  • women’s fiction
  • contemporary fiction
  • unique historical fiction
  • children’s picture books (nonfiction or STEM elements are great)
  • some nonfiction (large platform only)
  • occasional Christian titles
  • a rare thriller/mystery/suspense

She does not want to receive Western, horror, or erotica.

“I’m especially interested in anything with these elements: Southwestern settings; non-western contemporary, fantasy, and historical settings; Amish fiction; lesser-known mythologies and mythological creatures; humor.”

Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, Alyssa’s love of words blossomed while she spent her days hiding from the scorching desert sun in dim rooms with thick books. She emerged from her dark, bookish cave to attend college, where her articles were featured in several publications. Now, she is often found writing and editing in the much cooler sunlight of the Midwest.

Get to Know a Literary Scout in Attendance: Mark William Norby of Metamorphosis Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 5.59.20 PMMark William Norby is a literary scout and assistant with Metamorphosis Literary Agency.

At the 2020 Chicago conference, he is taking pitches on behalf of co-agents and will direct your pitch to whom he feels is the best fit. He will take pitches for: romantic comedies, YA contemporary, romance (any kind), literary fiction, mainstream/general fiction, LGBTQ+, women’s fiction, middle grade contemporary, suspense, thriller, historical fiction, cozy mystery, picture books (text only or author-illustrator), and low fantasy.

The agency is not a good fit for fantasy or science fiction.

Mark began his publishing career with the LGBTQ Bay Area Reporter and Seattle Gay News. He also worked as an editor with the Dalai Lama Foundation. Mark is now working on a novel with the guidance of novelists Rick Moody, Garth Greenwell, and Mary Rakow.

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Stacy Abrams of Entangled Publishing

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.56.45 PM.pngStacy Abrams is the editorial director of Entangled Amara and Entangled Teen, the two print imprints of Entangled Publishing.

She’s been with the company since its inception in 2011, leaving the hustle and bustle of New York City and her job as an editor at Bloomsbury Children’s Books to dive into the world of romance. Stacy earned her bachelor’s in English at Northwestern University and currently resides in the frozen tundra of Chicago with her husband, two sons, and too-cute puppy. She is always looking for high-quality adult and teen fiction, specifically in contemporary coming-of-age, mystery/thriller, and of course romance.

Stacy is looking for:

TEEN:
-Contemporary coming-of-age/romance
-Contemporary mystery/thriller
-Trope-driven short romances, particularly those set in high schools
-Rom-coms
-Accessible fantasy or paranormal

ADULT:
-Contemporary romance, specifically weddings, cowboys, holiday, babies
-Political thrillers
-Literary women’s fiction, particularly “ripped from the headlines” issues

Get to Know a Literary Agent in Attendance: Beth Marshea of Ladderbird Agency

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 2.39.57 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency.

At the 2020 Tampa workshop, she will be taking pitches from attendees, and also teaching a speech.

Beth founded Ladderbird Literary Agency with the intention of bringing diverse stories tot the forefront. She has a long love of literature, but found herself disappointed by the homogeneity of canonical work. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in literature, Beth earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration and decided to merge her passions and create her own agency. Beth is passionate about writing that pushes genres and boundaries and challenges the reader to accept a new point of view.

 

What she’s looking for:

Beth is actively seeking narrative nonfiction centering around cultural phenomena, hidden histories. or weird histories, and issue-driven books.

Her first love is and always will be literary fiction, where she’s looking for work with unusual settings or work that involves clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism. Think: Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi, The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, and anything by Haruki Murakami.

Adult fiction:

Mainstream/Commercial Fiction: Multi-gen family sagas (ideally multicultural) meets cutes/RomComs (especially LGBTQ+).

Women’s Fiction: Smart, sharp, and funny, especially centered around F/F relationships, friendship or romantic,

Literary Fiction: Work with unusual settings and/or involving clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism.

Mysteries: Beth loves unusual settings and prefers cozies,

Thrillers: Work about anything other than rich suburban women.

Fantasy: Books that are fast-paced with wonderful (ideally non-European) characters.

Science Fiction: Near future; unusual tech; not focused around the US.

Kidlit:

Young Adult: Contemporary (friendship stories; found family; non-US based settings) mysteries (high stakes), thrillers (stories with big twists; no unreliable narrators), fantasy (character-driven and really original).

Beth is starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books. In middle grade, she’s looking for fun, compelling characters that deal with real problems that middle schoolers face: friendship, divorce, gender identity, budding feelings of attraction or a lack of those feelings, feelings of isolation, and found family stories. In picture books, she’s dying to find books with really cute hooks like “The Day the Crayons Quit,” or nice messaging like “Not Quite a Narwhal.” She’d love to find a book that brings parents and kids together with language simple enough for a young child to read, but engrossing enough for and adult to enjoy.

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Alicia Clancy of Lake Union Publishing

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 4.01.33 PMAlicia Clancy is an editor with Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of Amazon.

Lake Union Publishing seeks absorbing works of contemporary and historical fiction for voracious readers. This includes literary fiction, mainstream fiction, upmarket / book club fiction, historical fiction, contemporary domestic suspense, and women’s fiction.

Alicia Clancy works with a wide range of fiction authors, including the bestselling suspense duo Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke and USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean. She also cultivates upmarket debut novelists with fresh voices, including Glendy Vanderah and Suzy Krause, among many other talented writers.

Prior to joining Lake Union Publishing, Alicia worked as an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press, where her acquisitions included award-winning novelist Julie Cohen and Susie Orman Schnall, among others. Previously, she also worked in sales at Palgrave Macmillan and interned for FinePrint Literary Management. An author herself, Alicia published her humorous gift book, Be My Galentine: Celebrating Badass Female Friendship, with St. Martin’s Griffin in 2017. Alicia has a British husband and an Australian cattle dog named Whiskey. Her favorite activities include hiking, SoulCycle, and working on her first novel (many have been started, but not finished).

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kerstin Wolf of D4EO Literary

Screen Shot 2019-02-26 at 5.12.00 PM.pngAfter years of interning at a number of literary agencies and publishers, freelance editing, and bookselling, Kerstin Wolf got her start as an agent in training at The Booker Albert Literary Agency before joining D4EO Literary as a literary agent in February 2019.

When not reading, editing, or doing anything related to publishing, Kerstin enjoys practicing martial arts. She has the most experience in judo, boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai. She also likes learning new languages. She has studied Spanish for a number of years now and also has some experience in Arabic, German, American Sign Language, Basque, Japanese, and Old English.

She is seeking the following for Middle Grade:

  • Fantasy of any kind
  • Science fiction
  • Mysteries along the lines of The 39 Clues series, York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby, and Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
  • Horror along the lines of Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
  • Graphic novels

She is seeking the following for Young Adult:

  • Fantasy of any kind
  • Science fiction
  • Horror along the lines of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  • Paranormal
  • Historical with magical elements
  • Steampunk along the lines of Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  • “Geeky” contemporary romance along the lines of Geekerella by Ashley Poston and When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • Graphic novels

She is seeking the following for New Adult/Adult:

  • Fantasy along the lines of V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series and Villains series and Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
  • Women’s fiction
  • Romance along the lines of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne and Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Anna Michels of Sourcebooks

Screen shot 2015-02-01 at 3.03.41 PMAnna Michels is an associate editor at Sourcebooks, an independent publisher located outside of Chicago. Over the course of her three years at Sourcebooks, she has worked on a wide variety of projects, most recently focusing on acquiring adult fiction and memoir.

She is looking for: commercial/mainstream literary fiction with interesting settings and a strong narrative voice (such as Burial Rites by Hannah Kent and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman); mystery (particularly historical and crossover literary—think Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger) and psychological suspense; and memoir by writers who connect the events of their lives to readers through incredible storytelling. She can take pitches on behalf of other Sourcebooks editors for young adult books, adult romance, and nonfiction gift books.