Kerry 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.
Jonathan 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)
Emma 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.
Chrysa 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.
Alice 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.
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
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
Alexandra 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.