Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephanie Hansen of Metamorphosis Literary

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 5.15.59 PMStephanie Hansen is a literary agent and founder of Metamorphosis Literary.

Stephanie enjoys prose that flows as smoothly as poetry, unforgettable plot twists, and well-rounded characters. She is actively acquiring thrillers (YA & Adult).

She is also on the hunt for the following on behalf of her fellow Metamorphosis agents: #OwnVoices, picture books (STEAM), middle grade (STEAM), young adult (contemporary, mystery, & SFF), romance (any kind), adult science fiction & fantasy. cozy mystery, women’s fiction, LGBTQ+, literary fiction, and nonfiction (stories rooting for the underdog).

She is most interested in fiction with unexpected antagonists.

Stephanie represents authors with their debut novels and New York Times-bestsellers and has brokered deals with small presses and major publishing houses. She holds a master’s degree with a Creative Writing Specialization.

Stephanie is unilaterally deaf with 90 dB tinnitus. She’s dedicated to elevating voices that often go unheard.

(She is representing her agency in replacement of Mark William Norby, who was previously scheduled but is no longer attending.)

 

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

Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.29.12 PM.pngAlyssa Roat is a literary agent with Cyle Young Literary Elite. She is seeking: any kind of young adult (but especially fantasy and speculative), middle grade fiction of any kind, fantasy (especially in non-western settings), the occasional Christian fiction title, and a rare thriller/mystery/suspense.

Specifically, she is seeking:

  • any kind of young adult (but especially fantasy and speculative)
  • middle grade fiction
  • fantasy
  • unique historical fiction
  • occasional Christian titles
  • a rare thriller/mystery/suspense

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

Alyssa has worked in a wide variety of roles within the publishing industry, as an agent, editor, writer, and marketer. Along with being a part of the C.Y.L.E. team, Alyssa is the publicity manager at Mountain Brook Ink, an editor with Sherpa Editing Services, and a freelance writer with 150+ bylines. She holds a degree in Professional Writing from Taylor University. Her debut novel, Wraithwood, releases Nov. 7, 2020 from INtense Publications.

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 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.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kerry Sparks of Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2020-01-15 at 2.41.42 PM.pngKerry Sparks is a literary agent who joined Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency in 2008, coming to book publishing after several years in the film and television industry.

With a love for all these mediums of storytelling, she gravitates toward books that have a cinematic feel or visual element that lend to film or television adaptation.

She primarily represents fiction, with a specific focus on novels for teens and young adults but regardless of age is always on the hunt for books that combine a solid hook and great writing and that have an undeniably fresh yet relatable voice. She also represents a select list of nonfiction writers.

A few of her clients include NYT and International Bestselling author Jennifer Niven, National Book Award Finalist Carrie Arcos, illustrator and author Mark Pett, bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert, novelist Camille Perri, essayist and poet Shayla Lawson, and a robust list of Jennifers— Jennifer Mathieu, Jenny Lundquist, Jennifer Gray Olson, and Jenny Torres Sanchez, to name a few.

Kerry grew up in the woods of Oregon as the extroverted early bird in a family of introverted night owls, and, as a middle child, learned how to negotiate while keeping the peace at a young age. She graduated with honors from California State University, Los Angeles with a degree in English, where she also published short stories and wrote and produced plays. After a decade in Manhattan, Kerry now heads up the LGR Oregon outpost in Portland where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Kerry is the co-author of the hipster baby name book Hello, My Name Is Pabst and will gladly help clients name their characters upon request.

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Jonathan Westmark of Albert Whitman & Company

Screen Shot 2020-01-15 at 1.24.38 PM.pngJonathan Westmark is an editor at Albert Whitman & Company.

Early in his career, he bounced between a fashion media publisher in New York and literary presses in Minnesota before finding his home in children’s publishing. Jonathan spent two years editing and writing children’s nonfiction, and in 2016 moved into trade at Albert Whitman.

He acquires fiction and nonfiction in the following categories:

  • Picture Books
  • Early Readers
  • Chapter Books
  • Middle Grade (contemporary, historical)
  • Young Adult (all genres)

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Emma Hintzen of Sourcebooks

Screen Shot 2020-01-15 at 1.15.07 PM.pngEmma Hintzen is an assistant editor at Sourcebooks.

She hails from Metro Detroit and earned her bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University. Before moving to the Chicago area and diving into the world of KidLit, she worked in adult nonfiction at HarperCollins Christian in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Emma is a big fan of the Midwest.

Emma is seeking: Kids’ nonfiction (board books, picture books, and middle grade) that is commercial and entertaining for both kids and parents, offers a unique perspective, gives voice to people and topics that are underrepresented in kid lit, or hits a unique or overlooked need.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Chrysa Keenon of CYLE Literary

ChrysaChrysa Keenon is a literary agent with CYLE Literary.

She is seeking: For adult novels, she seeks humorous romance, LGBTQ+ romance, and low fantasy. In young adult, she seeks humorous/lighthearted contemporary romance, fantasy LGBTQ+, diverse romance, magical realism, and stories about characters from marginalized backgrounds. She also will consider fairytale retellings/spinoffs and middle grade fantasy.

Chrysa holds a degree from Taylor University in Professional Writing with minors in Public Relations and Creative Writing. She began her agenting career as an intern at The Seymour Agency and gained experience in the editorial world at GenZ Publishing. She is the recipient of the Blue Seal Award for 1st place YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy fiction and 1st Place News and Feature Story from the Indiana Collegiate Press, among others. She has over 400 publications and currently works as a content writer for a Midwest bridal magazine. Chrysa enjoys puns, coffee, and traveling to oceanside cities.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-21 at 2.32.54 PM.pngAlice Speilburg founded Speilburg Literary Agency in 2012, bringing with her the editorial and business expertise she had developed in previous publishing positions at John Wiley & Sons and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, and she is a board member of Louisville Literary Arts. She is currently building her client list and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction.

Nonfiction:

She enjoys nonfiction in the areas of History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Travel, and True Crime. “In nonfiction, I’m looking for cultural narratives, microhistory, nature, and pop science written by journalists and academics. I’d love to see more nonfiction proposals, so even if you think your nonfiction project is not quite what I’m looking for, please send it over so that I can take a look.” She’d love to see

  • Pop Science Narratives that inform some particular quirk of our human nature or the world around us, like STIFF, or ON TRAILS
  • Pop Science Narratives that tie closely with political discussions regarding the environment, social issues, etc., like INFERIOR, OVERRUN, or LOST MOUNTAIN
  • Nonfiction Narratives that weave history or science through memoir, like THE OREGON TRAIL, or SPINELESS
  • Nonfiction narratives that focus on the intersection of two — perhaps unlikely — subjects, like WAR AND WINE, or EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
  • Journalistic Narratives that focus on a specific place, thing, or circumstance to show something about our culture at large, like JANESVILLE, THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, GHOSTLAND, or WILD ONES

Fiction:

She represents women’s fiction, crime fiction, some fantasy (specifics below), historical fiction, mystery, thriller, action/adventure, and horror.

“In fiction, I’m looking for stories that sidestep into history, magic, mystery, horror, or adventure. My favorite sub-genres are feminism, narrative nonfiction, and upmarket genre fiction.” She would love to see

  • Historical Fiction that reimagines factual events, especially crimes or mysteries, like BURIAL RITES, THE BALLAD OF TOM DOOLEY, or THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT
  • Women’s Fiction that oscillates between modern and historical perspectives like THE DOLLHOUSE
  • Historical Fiction that sidesteps into magic, like OUTLANDER, A SECRET HISTORY OF WITCHES, or THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON
  • Fantasy based on American folklore, earthy and magical, like THE VINE THAT ATE THE SOUTH
  • Fantasy that contains mythical elements, like THE BIRD KING, THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI, or THE BEAR & THE NIGHTINGALE
  • Adventure Fantasy with fresh and unique magic, like A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, THE BOOK OF DUST
  • Police Procedural Mysteries that are grounded in both a unique investigator and an evocative setting like the ARMAND GAMACHE series and the ALEX MCKNIGHT series
  • Psychological Thrillers that border on horror with smart female protagonists, like IN A DARK, DARK WOOD

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lindsay Smith of Speilburg Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-01 at 11.31.03 PMLindsey Smith is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary.

Lindsey is interested in cookbooks, lifestyle, health, pop culture, gender issues, self-help, true crime, and current events. She is especially interested in podcast-to-book ideas, journalists who specialize in specific research, and cookbooks that have a niche and/or narrative voice. Please do not pitch diet books.

Lindsey is excited to work with first-time authors as well as those who are established. She is seeking nonfiction only, specifically prescriptive nonfiction that is compelling, and voice-driven, with the ability to shed light on a topic that might be unknown. She especially loves projects and people that bring humor to serious situations.

Lindsey got her start in the publishing industry as an author. After her own publishing success, she started working with other writers to help launch their books and shape their careers. To date, Lindsey has worked with over 1,000 authors and negotiated book deals even before becoming an agent. Her unique perspective helps shape her passion for the industry and her role as an advocate for her clients.

Formerly a publicist and hailing from the world of self-publishing, Lindsey understands the importance of branding, and she works with each client not only to sell a book but to build a career.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alexandra Weiss of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 9.47.12 AM.pngAlexandra Weiss is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

She is seeking:

Young Adult: “I’m looking for writers who have the ability to turn their pens into paintbrushes; in other words, beautiful writing. The genres I’m most interested in representing include realism, science fiction, and fantasy – but stories that include magic (think The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern) are my weakness, as are stories that include space and science. Please do not me those. I’m looking for strong YA voices, and ones that go beyond the coming-of-age story. I love stories that explore culture, race, sexuality, and identity. I’m passionate about representing literature from diverse and underrepresented voices.”

Middle grade and children’s picture books: “I love all types of adventurous, silly, and out-of-the-box children and middle grade books. Children’s picture books with or without pictures intrigue me, and I’m most interested in a character-driven story and big plot to explore.”

Adult fiction: “I’m not looking for romance, but I am looking for strong literary voices that take the notion that every story is a love story to new levels. I’m interested in complex relationship stories that surround something bigger. I’m open to most genres, but heavy mystery, horror, or thriller stories are not for me. Books that are written in or include uses of uncommon formats (uses of letters, screenplay, photos, poetry, or collection of short stories or essays) is another unique quality I look for.”

Alexandra is a Books Writer for Bustle.com, the PR Manager for a local Chicago circus, and an all-around literary bookworm. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing and Publishing in 2015. Previously she’s worked as an Acquisitions Editor for the award-winning anthology Hair Trigger, interned as a publicist for Kaye Publicity, and was a loyal volunteer for Columbia’s annual Story Week: Festival of Writers event for the past four years. Ever since she was little, her main goal has been to inspire with words, just like the many beloved books and authors have done before her.

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Leah Pierre of Ladderbird Literary

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 12.43.24 PM.pngLeah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary.

A Texas native, Leah moved to the east coast to pursue her dream of working in publishing. Leah spends her time enjoying the company of fictional characters more than people. When not in the company of fictional characters, Leah hangs out with friends and family, cooks, and catches up on movies and TV shows.

She is seeking: “I am looking for diverse and unique work that is faced paced, that I will not be able to put down, and will leave me on the edge of my seat. As much as I pretend to hate them, I do love a good plot twist and a shocking ending. I love stories with a complex cast of characters and I am a sucker for camaraderie, banter, and the tight-knit, family-like group of friends trope.”

Adult novels: romance (ideally interracial), fantasy with elements of myth and legends, historical fantasy/fiction, social-justice-inspired espionage/heist.

New adult novels: romance, coming-of-age, finding one’s identity, F/F friendship, the college experience as well as the post-college experience.

Young adult novels: Fantasy with elements of myth and legend (lesser know myths/legends i.e. Middle Eastern), Meet-Cute/Coming-of-age that involves romance and self-discovery/self-love, Contemporary, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries and thrillers (unreliable narrators are okay), fairy-tale retellings, and a good heist concept.

“A lot of what I am looking for does overlap, so please use your best judgement when submitting. If you’re not sure, give it a try.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kenzi Nevins of CYLE Literary Elite

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 4.23.30 PMKenzi Nevins is a junior literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite.

Kenzi personally seeks picture books (text only is fine, but author-illustrators are her favorite), middle grade (all kinds), young adult (all kinds, including graphic novels with images), and adult fantasy. She is also happy to take pitches on behalf of her many co-agents, and pass on great submissions to them after the event. That means she will take pitches for romance (all kinds), literary fiction, mainstream fiction, science fiction, high & low fantasy, historical, mystery, thriller, suspense, women’s, and Christian/inspirational. For nonfiction, she will take pitches for parenting, leadership, ministry, devotionals, and self-help. She will also take pitches for board books and chapter books.

“My personal interests lie in mythology and retold fairy tales, so I would say that fantasy and magic realism generally get me the most excited, but I will look at anything.”

Kenzi is an award-winning writer with a passion for magic realism and mythology. A graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing and theatre programs, she spent two semesters studying in the story-laden Wicklow Mountains of eastern Ireland. Previously, she won second place for theatre journalism and critique from the Kennedy Center for American College Theatre, and her short story, “The Last Freedom,” was published in eBook and paperback by StoryShares.

When she isn’t writing, Kenzi can be found watering her fairy garden, experimenting with little-known tea flavors, or wandering the aisles of her Kentucky library.

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Emily Clark Victorson of Allium Press

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 12.09.01 AM.pngEmily Clark Victorson is the co-founder and publisher of Allium Press of Chicago.

After receiving degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Michigan, Emily moved to the Chicago area, where she has lived for over twenty-five years. Prior to starting Allium Press, she worked as a librarian, historian, and book designer for such organizations as the Newberry Library, the Chicago History Museum, and History Works, Inc.

Allium Press was founded in 2009 as a small, independent press and
publishes literary fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers, middle grade, and
young adult fiction — all with a Chicago connection.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.53.46 PMEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary.

Eric began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working social media and marketing on numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University, and his MA in English at Arcadia University. A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books appear on BookRiot, The Huffington Post, Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine’s Books section, and more. A published author with Quirk Books and Bloomsbury, he seeks to give his authors the same amount of love his writing has received. Follow him on Twitter: @ericsmithrocks

Eric is seeking: Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in Young Adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), and Literary and Commercial Fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in Cookbooks, Pop Culture, Humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Dan Cramer of Flannery Literary

Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 9.34.57 PMDan Cramer is a literary agent with Flannery Literary.

He is seeking:

  • picture books with great rhythm, fiction and nonfiction (no rhyming please)
  • middle grade adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy
  • young adult contemporary (rom-coms), science fiction, dystopian, historical fiction, and thrillers
  • LGBTQIA+ themes

He is not seeking nonfiction middle grade or YA

“My love of reading started when I was young with The Chronicles of Narnia. I loved that I could escape into a world where magic and adventure existed. That love of books grew and has followed me into adulthood. Some of my best friends and greatest loves, through the years, have been fictional characters. They have inspired and motivated me in almost every facet of my life, from my first career as a Forensic Scientist with the FBI to an Associate Literary Agent with Flannery Literary.”

“While I love all books, my heart beats for Children’s Literature for many reasons, but the main reason is Children’s Literature, from Picture Books to Young Adult Novels, is fearless. These books and their authors are not afraid to tackle tough topics, to celebrate diversity, or bring awareness to issues that others would turn their backs on. Children’s Literature never ceases to surprise me with its fortitude.”

“I live in Burr Ridge, Illinois with my husband and two rescue dogs, Timmy and Zoe. When I’m not reading, I enjoy the outdoors, horror movies, and baking (and I’m definitely not imagining I’m on the Great British Bake Off… ok, I’m totally doing that).”