Get to Know a Literary Agent in Attendance: Abby Saul of Lark Words

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With over 10 years of publishing experience, literary agent Abby Saul is an editorial expert with a passion for fantastic reads.

She is seeking:  great and engrossing adult commercial and literary fiction. This includes general fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, literary fiction, women’s fiction, and historical fiction.

Abby founded The Lark Group after a decade in publishing at John Wiley & Sons, Sourcebooks, and Browne & Miller Literary Associates. She’s worked with and edited bestselling and award-winning authors as well as major brands. At each publishing group she’s been a part of, Abby also has helped to establish ebook standards, led company-wide forums to explore new digital possibilities for books, and created and managed numerous digital initiatives.

A zealous reader who loves her iPad and the ebooks on it, she still can’t resist the lure of a print book. Abby’s personal library of beloved titles runs the gamut from literary newbies and classics, to cozy mysteries, to sappy women’s fiction, to dark and twisted thrillers. A magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College, Abby spends her weekends—when she’s not reading—cooking and hiking with her husband and son.

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Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: M.J. Johnston of Sourcebooks and Sourcebooks Landmark

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 4.04.07 PM.pngMJ Johnston is an assistant editor with Sourcebooks and Sourcebooks Landmark.

Fiction interests: women’s fiction with an emotionally charged hook (think Jojo Moyes or The Light We Lost); book club fiction; psychological suspense and literary thriller; and mystery (particularly cozy and crossover literary).

Nonfiction interests: smart, practical nonfiction; history, science, and social science that presents a new lens on a contemporary issue.

She is not seeking: young adult, children’s picture books, poetry, sci-fi, or romance.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cyle Young of Hartline Literary

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Cyle Young is a literary agent with Hartline Literary.

Cyle is seeking:

  • YA, middle grade, and chapter books
  • genre fiction, especially romance
  • love stories
  • speculative (sci-fi and fantasy)
  • easy readers, picture books and board books
  • nonfiction (parenting, leadership, ministry, and self-help)
  • movie and screenplays (specific details at cyleyoung.com) 

Cyle is a multiple-genre award-winning author. Winner of more than twenty writing awards, he considers himself a “binge writer” and routinely scribes 30,000 words in a weekend. His book Belly Buttons and Broken Hearts released with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in 2013.

Cyle finds great joy in writing and loves to bounce between crafting epic high fantasy tales, helpful non-fiction parenting books, and getting lost in the melodic rhythm of children’s poetry. He serves as managing editor of almostanauthor.com, a website devoted to helping aspiring writers become published authors, and is also a monthly contributor to the parenting website, just18summers.com, and the writing website, thewriteconversation.blogspot.com.

You can learn more about what genres Cyle is aquiring by visiting his website at cyleyoung.com.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Gabrielle Piraino of DeFiore and Company

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Gabrielle Piraino is literary agent with DeFiore and Company.

She is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a dual-B.A. in Honors Classical Languages and English. After graduation, Gabbie earned her Masters of Science in Publishing at Pace University. She has previously worked for both major commercial publishing houses and literary agencies alike, including Farrar, Straus & Giroux and most recently at AGI Vigliano. Gabbie joined the team at DeFiore and Company in 2016. You can follow her on Twitter @nerdplusdog. She is also the agency’s Foreign Rights Manager.

Gabbie is actively seeking: She seeks projects that you can lose an entire afternoon reading: imaginative sci-fi/fantasy with strong world building, blood-curdling horror, whip-smart thrillers, and up-market chick lit that pairs well with sand and a margarita. She’d love to see any of the above for young adult readers (virgin daiquiri, though!), and wholeheartedly enjoys spunky, stubborn characters that never do exactly what you’d expect. For children’s picture books and middle grade, Gabbie is looking for books that introduce curious young readers to new concepts—be it historically leaning or learning your manners—with compelling characters and an engaging voice. She’s also interested in author-illustrators working within the comic/graphic novel space and can’t wait to develop the next generation’s favorite villains. An avid personal baker/cook, Gabbie would also love to receive queries for cookbook and crafty lifestyle projects.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Mary Cummings of Betsy Amster Literary

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Mary Cummings is a literary agent at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises.

Mary represents fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry for children and teens, from picture books to middle grade and young adult novels, including contemporary and historical, humor, mystery, fantasy, and multicultural. She is particularly seeking middle grade novels as well as picture books with strong story arcs, a spunky central character, and warmth, humor, or quirky charm. In literary nonfiction, her areas of interest include lyrically written science, arts, nature, mindfulness, and social awareness issues.

Houses she’s sold books to include, among others: Little, Brown; Knopf; Abrams; F,S,G; Henry Holt; Holiday House; Imprint; and Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster.

Learn more about her: cummingskidlit.com and amsterlit.com

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

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Alexandra Weiss is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

Within young adult, the genres she is most interested in representing include realism, science fiction, and fantasy – but also stories that include magic (think The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern) are her favorite, as are stories that include space and science. She loves stories that include diverse and risk-taking subjects, including culture, race, sexuality, and identity.

She also seeks all types of adventurous, silly, and out-of-the-box children and middle grade books. Books with or without pictures intrigue her, and she is most interested in a character-driven story and big plot to explore.

Concerning adult fiction, she is looking for strong literary voices that take the notion that every story is a love story to new levels.  She seeks interested in complex relationship stories that surround something bigger. Alexandra is open to most adult genres, but heavy mystery, horror, or thriller stories are not for her. 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 she looks for.

Alexandra is a Books Writer for Bustle.com and PR Manager for a Chicago circus. She previously worked as an Acquisitions Editor for an award-winning anthology and holds a BFA in Creative Writing and Publishing from Columbia College Chicago.

Get to Know an Agency Assistant in Attendance: Lesley Sabga of The Seymour Agency

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Lesley Sabga is an agent assistant at The Seymour Agency.

She is taking pitches on behalf of all of the agency’s acquiring agents. She wants to hear pitches for happily-ever-after romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, young adult with a fresh voice (both contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy), science fiction, fantasy, action/adventure, picture books (especially author-illustrators), cookbooks, middle grade (all kinds), narrative nonfiction, and memoir.

Lesley is a graduate of the editorial program at the University of Chicago and also hold a BA in English from the University of Kentucky. She has experience working in two publishing houses, Entangled Publishing and Jolly Fish Press, and is currently working at The Seymour Agency. She is also a full-time freelancer for the Editorial Freelance Association and the Chartwell Literary Group.

Lesley is an avid reader and a constant occupant of local coffeeshops and bookstores. She wakes up every day thankful to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for literature professionally.