The following agents and editors are confirmed to attend PitchFest 2023 at ThrillerFest XVIII.
Please check back frequently for updates.
Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment
Bio: Richard Abate has been a literary manager for over fifteen years. In 2009 he joined 3 Arts Entertainment, a premier management company based in Los Angeles, to begin their literary division in New York. He has worked with top creative talent such as Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, B.J. Novak, Guillermo del Toro, Tim Kring, Howard Gordon, and others. He has worked with the award winning scientist, physician, and NYT bestselling author Sharon Moalem on titles including Survival of the Sickest and DNA Restart. He has also worked closely with Bob Harper to create his NY Times #1 bestselling diet and health series, The Skinny Rules. He has worked with sports celebrities Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Josh Hamilton; he has also worked with top sports personalities such as Al Michaels, Colin Cowherd, and The Talented Mr. Roto, Matthew Berry. Richard represents many literary writers such as Sally Ball, Kate Christensen (PEN/Faulkner winner), Sana Krasikov (Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature winner), and Oscar Casares, and screenwriter-authors as well such as Attica Locke, Amy Sohn, and Chuck Hogan (screenwriter and author of The Town and Hammett Award winner). He also represents YA authors Daniel Kraus, Lisi Harrison, and Melissa De La Cruz. He also represents Jeff Tietz (National Magazine Award nominee), Tara Bray Smith, Pulitzer Prize winner Tamara Jones, historian James Swanson, journalist Mitchell Zuckoff, Editor-in-Chief of The Boston Globe Brian McGrory, National Book Award nominee David McCumber, and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Andrew Snyder.
He has also developed and produced for television and film. Projects he has developed, produced, or created include THE STRAIN by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, forthcoming series 59 (FX) and BLACK WATER RISING (Starz) by Attica Locke; FROM SCRATCH (Hello Sunshine/Reese Witherspoon) by Tembi Locke, and NIGHT WATCH (AMC) with Sam Rockwell attached. Feature credits include 13 HOURS with Paramount, DANIEL ISN’T REAL with SpectreVision, GODS UNKNOWN with The Russo Brothers at Amazon, and with Sony: LOVE CANAL with Patricia Arquette attached as director, and HUNTING EL CHAPO with Michael Bay attached as director.
Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Associates
Bio: Bernadette Baker-Baughman has completed a Master’s Degree in Writing at Portland State University, and spent several years in-house (first editorial, then marketing). She began agenting in 2005 and has worked with VSA since 2010. She is drawn to strong storytelling in all genres, with a special interest in thrillers, contemporary novels, magical realism, young adult, and books for kids. She is also open to pop-culture, gift books, and memoir. She loves smart writing, high concept books, work with great emotional resonance, and humor. She is always looking for authors with a distinctive voice.
Clients: She has represented a number of New York Times bestselling and award-winning writers and illustrators, including Liv Constantine,Carson Morton, Leslye Walton, Faith Erin Hicks, Tony Cliff, Maris Wicks to name a few.
Looking for: Thrillers, Domestic Suspense, Crime Fiction, YA Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Memoir.
Not looking for: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Westerns, Cozy Mystery, Straight Romance
Noah Ballard, Verve Talent & Literary Agency
Bio: Noah Ballard is a literary agent at Verve Talent & Literary Agency. After graduating from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, he began his career at Emma Sweeney Agency before moving to Curtis Brown, Ltd. to build his own list of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Noah joined Verve in 2021, where he specializes in platform-driven non-fiction, memoir, and journalism, as well as literary fiction, thrillers and crime fiction and YA, middle-grade fiction, and picture books. He also leads the book-to-screen team, where he oversees packaging intellectual property for screen adaptation. A New Jersey native, Noah splits his time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
Not looking for: Romance, hard sci-fi, religious/spiritual.
Lauren Bieker, FinePrint Literary Management
Bio: Lauren Bieker of FinePrint Literary Management is an agent actively building her list.
Looking for: She is looking for commercial and upmarket women’s fiction and YA novels in all genres. She is also open to the following in both adult and YA: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and thrillers (both speculative and domestic). She appreciates great storytelling and is a “sucker” for outstanding writing and convincing characters. While primarily interested in fiction, she will consider select nonfiction proposals. She is looking for #ownvoices stories, Feminist lit/#MeToo stories, and works by BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ authors in both fiction and nonfiction. Her goal is to “hold the mic” for authors to tell their stories and be a helpful support system.Not looking for: Lauren is NOT accepting projects in the religious or military genres. She is also not accepting memoirs.
Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates
Bio: Caitlin Blasdell has been a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates since 2002, focusing on commercial fiction. Before becoming an agent, she was a senior editor at HarperCollins Publishers. A graduate of Williams College, she lives in Westchester with her husband, four sons, and an ever-expanding flower garden.
She is looking for quality commercial fiction, which to her means a strong plot, memorable voice, clean prose, and, ideally, a good hook. Her specialties include science fiction and fantasy, romance and women’s fiction, thrillers, and historical fiction. She also handles a few select middle grade and YA authors and a very few nonfiction titles.
Her clients include Zen Cho (Hugo-Award-winning author of BLACK WATER SISTER), Scott Hawkins (THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR), Brian McClellan (The Powder Mage series), Joel Ross (THE FOG DIVER), Karen Schwabach/Sage Blackwood (STARTING AT SENECA FALLS and the JINX trilogy), Charles Stross (the Hugo-Award-winning Laundry series), and Rebecca Zanetti (NYT-bestselling author of YOU CAN RUN).
Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency
Bio: Laura Bradford established Bradford Literary Agency in 2001. She takes a hands-on approach to forming partnerships with her clients that extend from the first draft through the authors’ whole careers. Laura’s clients include debut, award-winning, and best-selling authors, and she would love to bring more LGBTQ+ and BIPOC authors (and protagonists!) into the publishing world.
Looking for: She is actively building her list and represents romance, mystery, thrillers, speculative fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, YA, upper middle grade, illustration, and select non-fiction.
Not looking for: military thrillers/narrative, mafia/mob stories, adult science fiction/fantasy, westerns, religious/spiritual, anything that celebrates violence towards women or children.
Clients: She has represented many New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors including Tessa Bailey, Katee Robert, Rachel Lynn Solomon and Darby Kane.
Joe Brosnan, Grove Atlantic
Bio: Joe Brosnan is a Senior Editor at Grove Atlantic where he specializes in crime fiction. Prior to that, he worked at St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books and managed Criminal Element for nearly a decade.
Looking for: At this time, I am exclusively looking for crime fiction submissions, particularly books from diverse authors who are using the genre to hold up a mirror to contemporary issues. I’m interested in everything from small-town noir to upmarket thrillers, and I’m looking for authors who intend to write a book every year(ish), whether it’s a series or standalone. I want to find authors who are in this for the long haul, and who I can work with for years to come.
Not looking for: I’m less interested in historical crime fiction, especially anything set before the 20th Century, and while I know cozies are having their moment, I’m not looking for those types of books either.
Chris Bucci, Aevitas Creative Management
Bio: Chris Bucci represents bestselling and award-winning fiction and non-fiction authors including, Bath Haus by PJ Vernon; Highway of Tears by Jessica McDiarmid; Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? by Timothy Caulfield; KISMET by Amina Akhtar; and The War Widow by Tara Moss.
Chris began his career at the University of Toronto Press as an acquisitions editor in the social sciences. He joined HarperCollins Canada in 2003 as a non-fiction editor and then moved to McClelland & Stewart. In 2008 he joined The McDermid Agency as a literary agent and later bought the agency, along with Martha Webb. In 2017 they merged with the Cooke Agency to form CookeMcDermid where Chris was Proprietor and Literary Agent before joining Aevitas in 2020.
Chris aims to work with some of the culture’s best writers, thinkers and experts—authors whose work helps us to interpret and understand our times as well as our future.
Looking for: Mysteries, thrillers, literary fiction, historical fiction, commercial literary fiction, and narrative nonfiction. For nonfiction, he seeks popular science, sports, popular culture, politics, and history.
Not looking for: YA, Fantasy and Sci-Fi.
Madelyn Burt, Stonesong
Bio: Madelyn Burt joined Stonesong in 2015 and has worked on a variety of projects ranging from adult and children’s fiction to cookbooks, lifestyle, and more. She is now actively building her own list, and looks forward to establishing long-lasting, collaborative relationships with her authors. A life-long lover of history, she earned her MA in Medieval Studies before joining the publishing world.
Madelyn is currently focused on adult mysteries, crime, and thrillers, although she is interested in both adult and children’s fiction. She is drawn to character-driven stories that feature tight-knit groups and strong friendships, quests and heists, and unique voices. She is also particularly interested in fiction and select nonfiction that is able to make a historical person or period accessible to the modern reader.
Moses Cardona, John Hawkins & Associates
Bio: Moses Cardona’s clients include International Bestselling authors Cecilia Samartin, Gregory Maguire and Gold Dagger Winner Ann Cleeves; Gail Godwin, author of Flora and Three-Time National Book Award nominee and Kate Hohl. He is a native New Yorker and a graduate of New York University, and an avid comics collector.
Looking for: His primary focus is fiction. His special interests include commercial fiction, mystery & suspense, business, science and multi-cultural fiction and the occasional bonkers narrative.
Not looking for: Military/tech narrative, Mafia/Mob/Russian stories, pet/cozy stories, or paranormal – otherwise I have an open mind.
Jenniea Carter, New Leaf Literary
Bio: Harlem born and raised, Jenniea always found herself surrounded by books. Whether it was teaching English abroad in Japan or working at Kinokuniya Bookstore, literature was always a topic Jenniea was eager to discuss. She soon found herself home at New Leaf on Joanna Volpe’s team where she is now an Associate who is eager to uplift and amplify marginalized voices. When she is not between the pages of a book, Jenniea can be found bingeing mystery documentaries and animation.
Looking for: She is happy to say that she is building her list and is looking for romance, YA, speculative fiction, middle grade and women’s fiction. Visit her MSWL for more details.
Claudia Cross, Folio Literary Management
Bio: Advocate, adviser, ally, coach, counselor, and negotiator: an agent, at times, can play one or all of these roles in the literary life of an author. In responding to the changing needs of the writers she represents, Claudia brings to each a high level of individualized attention. She began her career at William Morris, and then joined Sterling Lord Literistic, where she worked for just over a decade before joining Folio and becoming a partner. She has worked with a range of authors in both fiction and nonfiction, from CEOs, chefs and debut writers to New York Times bestsellers. Among the diverse clients she represents are the literary Estate of Mother Teresa; entrepreneur and designer Emily Ley; art historian and Renoir scholar Barbara Ehrlich White; and novelists Rachel Gibson and Christina Lynch.
Looking for: For thrillers specifically, she is looking for compelling female characters; modern espionage with a classic feel, and stories involving people going about their daily lives who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.
Sheila Crowley, The Curtis Brown Group
Bio: Born and bred in Dublin, Sheila started her publishing career at Poolbeg press before moving to London in 1991. Through the 90s and 00s, she held a number of high-profile sales and marketing positions at leading publishers, including HarperCollins and Hodder. Her knowledge of the book industry covering the UK, Ireland and international markets was developed during this period and continues to be a wonderful asset in her work with authors and publishers. She made the move to agenting in 2003. Sheila represents a wide range of authors from award-winning novelists to million-copy-selling non-fiction writers. Authors are at the centre of everything she does as an agent – one of the best things about the job is working closely with writers across all stages of the publishing process.
Looking for: Sheila has to really fall in love with the writing in order to connect with a book and so she is particularly drawn to beautifully crafted stories with a strong emotional hook. Some of her recent favourites include Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes and Wait for Me by Santa Montefiore. She would love to find a novel with the unforgettable plot and depth of character of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. She also loves compulsive thriller, mystery and suspense stories that continue to challenge the genre, such as The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish and The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh, both of which are wonderfully clever and twisty.
Not looking for: She is not looking to take on any sci-fi/fantasy or YA fiction.
Melissa Danaczko, Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency
Bio: Melissa Danaczko became a literary agent at the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency after more than a decade of publishing experience, most recently as Senior Editor with the Knopf Doubleday
Publishing Group. Today, Melissa focuses on literary and commercial fiction, and gravitates towards plot-driven novels with a fresh perspective, energetic writing, and a deep sense of place. Some of her authors in the thriller (or the thriller-adjacent) space include Gabino Iglesias, Amanda Jayatissa (the 2022 winner of ITW Best First Novel award), and John Fram.
Currently Looking for: psychological suspense, mystery, crime, speculative fiction, horror, locked room, unreliable narrators, gothic, ghostly, witchy, culty, quirky. While I can go dark (very dark even), I also enjoy more buoyant, voice-driven mysteries—especially if there’s a fun hook. I also love tales of obsession, regardless of genre, and I’m a fan of clever retellings that honor the original while standing on their own.
Not Looking for: I have found myself completely falling for the unexpected. That said, there are a few areas I’m less likely to represent like romantic suspense, SFF, legal or military thrillers; and I am primarily focused on Adult books.
Dina Davis, MIRA Books
Bio: Dina Davis is an Associate Editor at MIRA Books who loves a great adventure—whether in real life or in fiction. When she’s not traveling around the world, exploring the outdoors or visiting interesting new restaurants, you can often find her reading. You can follow Dina on Twitter @DinaJDavis.
Looking for: She’s thrilled to be acquiring commercial and upmarket fiction across genres, and she’s particularly interested in stories written by authors from groups historically marginalized in publishing. Dina’s tastes range from dark psychological thrillers, suspense and horror to lighthearted fiction that really makes her laugh. And if you have historical fiction with unique settings and untold stories or book club fiction featuring strong female characters, send it her way. She’d also love to add more speculative fiction to her list.
Not looking for: YA, nonfiction, books with heavy SFF elements, books categorized strictly in the romance genre.
Robert Davis, Forge Books
Bio: Robert Davis is an Editor at Forge Books (an imprint of the Macmillan division, Tor Publishing Group). He started off at TPG working under former President & Publisher, Tom Doherty, in 2015 and has been acquiring for the Forge list since 2019.
Looking for: For Forge, Robert is looking for addictive page-turners with characters I want to root for, particularly in the categories of near-future fiction, technothrillers, and (outdoor) survival adventures.
Not looking for: Robert is seeking adult fiction only.
Celeste Fine, Park and Fine Literary & Media
Bio: Celeste is regularly ranked as one of the top literary agents in the business and advises dozens of New York Times bestselling authors who sell millions of copies of their books in every language around the world, such as Jennifer Weiner, Janet Evanovich, Rachael Ray, William Li, David Sinclair, Hal Elrod and JoJo Siwa. Celeste has a special interest in authors who are creative and ambitious. In addition to working closely with clients to develop their proposals and edit their manuscripts, Celeste is known for negotiating 7- and 8-figure deals. Her favorite part of the job is helping new authors launch life-long careers and helping established authors plan their legacies. She thoughtfully counsels on marketing and publicity campaigns, television and film deals, and professional opportunities—such as podcasts, speaking, social media, events, and book clubs. Her goal is to keep people paying attention to her authors and their books, year after year after year.
Originally from California, Celeste graduated magna cum laude in Government from Harvard University, received certifications in international conflict resolution and mediation in The Hague, and takes seriously her role as a member of her clients’ trusted inner circle.
Looking for: She is currently seeking commercial fiction authors, thriller writers who can crossover to television and film, contemporary young adult writers, literary children’s writers, and in nonfiction, authors who want to change the world.
Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency
Bio: Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. A cross-platform company providing development, representation, and strategic career management for clients in all media, their goal is to represent clients in all stages of their careers, from the most established to those developing their craft, as well as debuts. Both former partners in NYC based litigation law firms, Liza and Ginger bring a combined 40 years of negotiating experience to the field. This background, along with connections rooted in publishing, movies and television, allowed them to focus and build on a referral based clientele.
Clients: Robert Bailey II, Isabella Maldonado, Amy Impellizzeri, Sara DiVello, Retired FBI Agent Jerri Williams, Jon Lindstrom, Kimberly G. Giarratano, Estate of Marc Olden, among others.
Looking for: Domestic Suspense, all kinds of Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Police Procedurals, State/Federal Law Enforcement (if author is/was a LEO), Medical (would love the next generation of Quincys or Scarpettas)
Not looking for: High Sci/Fi or Fantasy, Crazy Presidents, Russia/China/Middle East Espionage/Terrorists, Military Thrillers (unless author is/was Military), Covid/Pandemic Stories
Carolyn Forde, Transatlantic Agency
Bio: Carolyn is a Partner and Senior Agent at Transatlantic Agency, in addition to overseeing the International rights division at the agency. She represents bestselling and award-winning authors and is always on the lookout for more compelling stories and talented writers. Currently she is seeking upmarket commercial fiction by female identifying authors, really funny and romantic romcoms from diverse voices, agenda setting non-fiction – either investigative journalism or literary memoir that offers a window into an unusual or rarely seen part of society. Her authors include USA Today bestselling Karma Brown (RECIPE FOR A PERFECT WIFE), critically acclaimed romcom author Jean Meltzer (THE MATZAH BALL), bestselling thriller author Hannah Mary McKinnon (NEVER COMING HOME), bestselling memoirist Clayton Thomas-Muller (LIFE IN THE CITY OF DIRTY WATER) and bestselling investigative journalist Sarah Berman (DON’T CALL IT A CULT).
She is not looking for YA, fantasy, military/CIA thrillers or children’s books.
Renee Fountain, Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management
Bio: President of Gandolfo, Helin & Fountain Literary Management, Renee C. Fountain is a publishing industry veteran, and former book reviewer for Kirkus and New York Journal of Books. Renee spent five years working for the CW Television Network as a book scout and story analyst for the television development division, and is currently on the faculty of Manuscript Academy providing developmental editing, and story critiques.
During her almost decade-long tenure with major houses such as Harcourt Brace and Simon & Schuster, Ms. Fountain had the great fortune of working with some of the best writers and illustrators in the publishing world.
Over the years, Renee has been lucky enough to discover wonderful crime thriller writers, such as Sarah Cain’s The 8th Circle; Michel Logan’s Hell’s Detective and Jonathan Fredrick’s Cain City series.
Looking for: Renee is looking for all types of adult and YA fiction and non-fiction. She prefers: mysteries, thrillers, horror dark/urban/contemporary fantasy, humor, pop-culture, memoirs, narrative, prescriptive and commercial non-fiction.
Not looking for: She DOES NOT represent screenplays, previously published books (in any capacity), hard science fiction, space opera, middle grade, picture books, erotica, poetry, novellas, short story collections, anything with strong political/religious views, or featuring viruses and/or epidemics.
Gráinne Fox, United Talent Agency
Bio: Gráinne Fox is a seasoned Literary Agent with two decades of experience representing award- winning novelists, NYT bestselling journalists, and academics. Before joining UTA in 2023, she worked at Fletcher & Company for many years and before that, she worked in London with Ed Victor.
Her clients have been shortlisted for, or won, various awards including The William Hill Sports Book of The Year, The Booker Prize, The Women’s Prize, The Irish Book Awards, The British Book Awards, The Orwell Prize, The Plutarch Award, the RTÉ Short Story Competition and the NBCC.
She loves books of all stripes that “stimulate the mind and satisfy the heart” which covers the gamut in all categories from Literary to Reading Group fiction (like Kate Doyle, Nuala O’Connor Lauren Mechling & Rachel Dodes) and smart, narrative non-fiction that catches you by the throat to explain a slice of social history or emerging research on human behavior through exceptional storytelling (like Jennie Wallace, Sonia Purnell and Duncan Hamilton). She is proud to work with The International Spy Museum and obsessed with espionage stories and narrative history (Vanessa Wilkie, Francesca Cartier-Brickell, John Guy & Julia Fox).
She grew up in Ireland and naturally has a passion for Irish and European writers who appeal to a broad, international audience. She holds a degree in English Literature from Trinity College, Dublin and is a fierce advocate for her clients and their work.
Looking for: Her guiding principle is a book that can “stimulate the mind and satisfy the heart” and this illuminates every read, regardless of categorization. In short: gorgeous writing combined with propulsive, immersive storytelling.
She is eager to find new literary fiction from American and International voices that is modern and swoon-worthy on a line level but with an equally enveloping plot. She loves stories about dysfunctional families (aren’t they all?) and is passionate about Irish Writing, and always keen to read more. She loves a singular, transporting piece of historical fiction that can appeal to a modern reader. She loves high concept crime and genre-bending thrillers.
She is fascinated by smart non-fiction that makes her question her thinking and teaches her something new about human behavior and the world we live in. She is passionate about narrative nonfiction that just might involve spies & espionage, or that spotlights a surprising slice of social history she has not encountered yet.
In the crime / thriller/ suspense space she is looking simply for originality. She works with some UK agents for certain brand name authors such as Sarah Pinborough, Lucy Clarke, and Harriet Tyce and Sophia Bennett. BEHIND HER EYES by Pinborough remains one of the more scary and brilliant novels she’s worked on in the past decade.
She loves genre bending books like that, or books that can fit into the “grounded sci-fi” category. Books that play with form or are classified as a literary thriller.
She would love to find a female Thomas Harris, as RED DRAGON remains a favourite read. She loves spy stories. Other writers she loves: Tana French, PD James John leCarré.
Not looking for: She does not have a vision for novels that celebrate violence or trauma against women, children. She is not the person for procedurals with an entirely male POV, or very cozy mysteries or traditional Sci-Fi.
Lori Galvin, Aevitas Creative Management
Bio: Lori Galvin worked as a book editor before moving to the literary agent side in 2015. She works with a diverse group of writers of both fiction and nonfiction. Some her clients’ projects have been optioned by A24, Netflix, and CBS Studios. She has signed and sold books by writers she has met through Pitchfest, including Wanda M. Morris (All Her Little Secrets and Anywhere You Run, Morrow 2021, 2022) and Cheryl A. Head (Time’s Undoing, Dutton 2023).
Looking for: Captivating writing across crime and suspense, both commercial and literary—and from all voices, especially authors who are using the genre to explore contemporary issues—but through story, not sermons. In addition to twisty, dark novels of crime and suspense; mystery/horror crossovers, cozies with a bit of an edge, espionage and high concept thrillers; she is eager to work with writers whose work engages the reader on an emotional level; ie, a story that sticks with you.
Not looking for: Traditional military thrillers; traditional cozies (see above); organized crime novels a la ‘mob’ novels, or technothrillers/biotech thrillers that are so centered on the technology aspect, they might date quickly.
Clients include: Harrison Ash, William Brashears, Cambria Brockman, Cheryl A. Head, Jennifer Lavallee, Tamara Miller, Wanda M. Morris, Jennifer Morita, Sebastian J. Plata, Samantha Skal, Sarah Stevens, Ross Wilcox.
Elana Gibson, CamCat Publishing
Bio: Elana Gibson is the Associate Editor and Acquisitions Manager at CamCat Publishing, a boutique publisher of award-winning genre fiction. She joined the CamCat team in 2021 and previously interned at Browne & Miller Literary Associates.
Looking for: YA and adult mystery, suspense, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, romance, horror, western, historical fiction, and true crime
Not looking for: middle grade fiction and younger
Katie Gisondi, Laura Dail Literary Agency
Bio: Katie Gisondi is the newest agent at Laura Dail Literary Agency, in addition to being the Foreign Rights Associate. She graduated from Hamilton College in 2020 with a BA in Creative Writing. She resides in Brooklyn with her cat Salami.
Looking for: in Adult thrillers: led by victims and anyone not in the government, international settings. In Adult cozy mystery: multiple POVs, uncommon settings.
Not looking for: romance/thriller crossover, spy thrillers, or military thrillers.
Doug Grad, Doug Grad Literary Agency
Bio: Doug’s path on the road to publishing may have been set early. His first job in the industry came in 1978, walking up and down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan wearing a sandwich board advertising a new book during the 1978 New York City newspaper strike…for $5 an hour. The next year, he took creative writing at Stuyvesant High School with Frank McCourt, nearly two decades before he won the Pulitzer Prize for Angela’s Ashes. He studied creative writing at Northwestern University with Reginald Gibbons. Doug opened the Doug Grad Literary Agency, Inc. in May 2008. As a third generation New Yorker and 25-year resident of Brooklyn, Doug moved to Salem, Massachusetts in 2021. No, he has not been turned into a toad by a witch (yet), and yes, he made out like a bandit on the sale of his apartment…
After starting at Simon & Schuster as an assistant to the assistant of Michael Korda, 2022 begins Doug’s 36th year as a publishing professional. An editor with imprints at Simon & Schuster, Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins for 22 years, Doug acquired and edited fiction and nonfiction bestsellers. On the nonfiction side, Doug has worked with astronauts, generals, war heroes, gangsters, cops, politicians, sports stars, journalists, musicians, historians and humorists. His work is never boring!
Since becoming an agent, Doug has taken on a number of high-profile clients, including New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction Jeff Shaara (whose first two novels Doug edited); New York Times bestseller Kerri Rawson (daughter of serial killer Dennis Rader, known as BTK); New York Times bestselling WWII historian Larry Alexander; jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli; former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh Shelton, and true crime and mob writer Michael Benson, among others. In the mystery/thriller genre, Doug represents Agatha Award and three-time Lefty Award winner Ellen Byron (and her alter-ego Maria DiRico); Jerome Preisler, author of the NET FORCE series created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik; New York Times bestseller David L. Robbins; Debbie Babitt; Matthew Betley; and A.J. Chambers.
Currently Looking For: On the fiction side, Doug’s looking for mysteries (cozy, contemporary or historical), all stripes of thrillers, and contemporary fiction with interesting voices. On the nonfiction side, Doug’s looking for military, narrative nonfiction, celebrity memoir, history, politics, travel, music, science, language, and sports.
Not Looking For: Children’s picture books, YA, science fiction, fantasy
Bob Gussin, Oceanview Publishing
Bio: Robert Gussin is the CEO of Oceanview Publishing and Oceanview Vineyards. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson and Johnson. Oceanview is a traditional publisher of thriller, mystery and suspense novels. Titles are published in all formats: hard cover, paper, digital, and audio.
Clients: Raymond Benson, Miles Corwin, Ward Larsen, Matt Coyle, and approximately one hundred others.
Looking for: He is interested in adult mystery and suspense fiction. Psychological thrillers are also of great interest, and thrillers in general are part of their scope.
Not looking for: Paranormal or young adult.
Jordan Hill, New Leaf Literary
Bio: Jordan Hill is an Agent at New Leaf Literary and Media. Prior to agenting she worked in the advertising world at a boutique agency, and before that was a bookseller.
Looking for: She is primarily pursuing literary and upmarket fiction for adults, and is more inclined towards thrillers or mysteries that have a speculative bent, are queer, or include a messy and unreliable narrator. She loves intergenerational stories that grapple with complexities of families and culture through time and anything with an unreliable narrator or a speculative bent. She’s also a fan of weird short fiction. In the YA space, she’s drawn to contemporary thrillers–anything with high stakes and a heart. For Middle Grade readers, she looks for adventure or contemporary stories that deal with tough topics for kids. Across the board, she also considers historical fiction or retellings with a fresh approach and compelling perspective.
Not looking for: I am not interested in police procedurals, legal thrillers, or those that involve the FBI or CIA as launchpads.
Jenna Jankowski, Sourcebooks
Bio: Jenna Jankowski is an Associate Editor at Sourcebooks, a midsized publisher based in the Midwest. She began her career in publishing with internships at Sourcebooks and Browne & Miller Literary Associates (while cobbling together odd jobs, of course). Jenna works primarily under two imprints, Sourcebooks and Poisoned Pen Press.
For fiction, Jenna is looking for psychological suspense, crime fiction, literary thrillers featuring fresh voices, trade paperback cozies, and horror with feminist elements. She also acquires rich and immersive historical novels that illuminate stories from marginalized communities, feminist retellings, mainstream contemporary fiction with a literary edge, upmarket women’s fiction, and speculative fiction—all with an emphasis on diverse voices.
Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit
Bio: A native of Los Angeles, California, Kirby attended Pomona College and got his JD at UC Hastings College of the Law. Kirby has worked for Charlotte Sheedy Literary, Vigliano Associates, WME, and Janklow & Nesbit.
Kirby represents both literary and commercial authors. Some of his clients include award winning science fiction writer Ted Chiang, Edgar Award winner James A. McLaughlin, former Director of the FBI James Comey, AH Kim, Ed Lin, Ling Ling Huang, and Adam White.
Looking for: He’s most interested in receiving manuscripts that straddle the fence a bit, with upmarket expression combined with a genre element or plot device. When it comes to straight literary work, he’s alternatively drawn to rich, sweeping stories that try to encompass a time or a place or tightly written, narratively innovative stories or voices with award potential. His commercial interests include thrillers, mysteries, and some speculative fiction. He’s looking for general literary thrillers with distinct settings and characters as well as commercial thrillers.
Not looking for: legal thrillers.
Elizabeth Kracht, Kimberley Cameron & Associates
Bio: Elizabeth Kracht joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in the fall of 2010 and is the author of The Author’s Checklist: An Agent’s Guide to Developing and Editing Your Manuscript. She represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist, and writer.
Elizabeth’s career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor and proofreader for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland, she found her “vein of gold” in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors to build their careers, and is currently in graduate school earning her MFA in creative writing at San Jose State University.
Elizabeth’s eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice, and is thematically layered. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by multicultural themes and characters and is drawn toward strong settings.
Looking for: In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, historical, and crossover YA. In nonfiction, she is interested in high concept, health, science, environment, prescriptive, investigative, true crime, voice- or adventure-driven memoir, sexuality, spirituality, and animal/pet stories.
Sandy Lu, Book Wyrm Literary Agency
Bio: Sandy Lu founded Book Wyrm Literary Agency in 2020 after working as a literary agent for more than a decade at the L. Perkins Agency. Her client list includes Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestsellers, Stoker Award, Hammett Prize, and Anthony Award nominees, Goodreads Choice Awards finalists, and New York Times Best of the Year recipient.
Sandy is seeking stories that will draw her in with a unique voice, make her miss her bedtime with a thrilling plot, and characters that will stay with her long after she turns the last page. Bonus points if you can make her laugh out loud or unable to hold back tears. She especially loves historical fiction, atmospheric world building, and anything dark, twisted, or with a supernatural bent. She favors unreliable narrators and serpentine plots that will keep her guessing till the end. And her white whale is a great spy novel set in early 20th century Shanghai.
Looking for: mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, and YA.
Not looking for: Picture books, graphic novels, and screenplays.
Clients: M. H. Boroson, B.J. Graf, Heather Levy, Jeneva Rose, and Randall Silvis.
Cecilia Lyra, P.S. Literary Agency
Bio: Cecilia (“CeCe”) Lyra is an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency representing adult fiction and non-fiction. A long-term strategic thinker, CeCe prioritizes the creative reach and sustainable longevity of her authors’ careers, and she is especially looking for clients with whom she can build fruitful, lasting relationships. As a mixed race Latinx immigrant, CeCe understands the power of seeing oneself reflected in books, hence her passion for championing under or misrepresented voices and narratives that contribute to a larger cultural conversation. The popular podcast The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, for which CeCe is a co-host, has over one million downloads. CeCe is also a recovering lawyer but asks that you do not hold that against her.
Looking for: CeCe is looking for adult fiction and nonfiction. In fiction, CeCe’s taste gravitates towards books by women, for women, whether commercial, upmarket, or literary. She is particularly drawn to family sagas, female friendship, edgy psychological suspense, closed-setting novels, anti-heroines, and found family. In terms of nonfiction, no title is too serious or too accessible for CeCe’s taste. She is a fan of expert-driven narratives with provocative throughlines that culminate in paradigm-shifting takeaways.
Not looking for: In fiction, CeCe is not looking for YA, children’s books, or heavy SFF. In nonfiction, CeCe is not looking for sports, music, and true crime.
Beth Marshea, Ladderbird Literary Agency
Bio: Beth is the owner of Ladderbird Literary Agency. She has a BA in Literature and a Masters in Business Administration and is always looking for new and exciting ways to bring more diversity into publishing and beyond. Outside of agenting, Beth teaches writing in her local community with a focus on bringing reluctant writers and readers into the magical world of books. She relentlessly searches for more ways to encourage writers to create stories that matter! Outside of books, she loves the outdoors, all things water related, and has a strong attraction to abstract art.
Looking for: She represents Adult and YA, Non-Fiction, Literary, Mainstream/Commercial, Mysteries, Thrillers, and Fantasy. In all areas Beth would like to see more works from disabled writers, LGBTQIA+ writers, Black writers, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern, and all other groups who do not regularly get to see their stories in print. She would love to see more Non-binary and Ace representation across categories.
Beth loves deeply character driven stories that showcase joy, resilience, love, clever twists, exciting moments of action, thought provoking concepts, and really anything that can make her get deep into her emotions.
Not looking for: She is not looking for stories of trauma, and cannot accept works that feature sexual violence, or violence to children or animals, or war whether real or imagined. This is not to say these stories are not important, but rather she must protect her own mental well-being. In both fiction and non-fiction, she is not a good fit for books on the Judeo-Christian religions, military stories, or stories focused on police.
Paula Munier, Talcott-Notch Literary Services
Bio: Paula Munier is a literary agent and USA TODAY bestselling author whose roots in the crime writing community run deep. As Senior Literary Agent and Director of Storytelling for Talcott Notch Literary, she specializes in crime fiction, representing many great crime writers, including Cate Holahan, James R. Benn, and Brendan DuBois, among others. She’s the author of the Mercy Carr series: A Borrowing of Bones won the Dogwise Book of the Year Award and was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award; Blind Search also won a DWAA award. The Hiding Place (2021) and The Wedding Plot (2022) both made several “Best Of” lists. Home at Night, the fifth book in the series. will be out in Fall 2023.
Paula’s also written three popular books on writing, the bestselling Plot Perfect, The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings, and Writing with Quiet Hands, as well as Happier Every Day and the memoir Fixing Freddie. She’s an active member of MWA, SinC, and ITW. She served as president of the New England chapter of MWA for four terms and has served on the committee for the New England Crime Bake for more than a decade. She lives in New England with her family, three rescue dogs, and a rescue cat. Find out more at paulamunier.com and careerauthors.com.
Clients: USA Today bestselling author Cate Holahan (One Little Secret), Sue Grafton Memorial Award nominee Emilya Naymark, Lilian Jackson Braun Award nominee Connie Berry, Lefty winner and Agatha nominee Alexia Gordon (the Gethsemane Brown series), Agatha nominee Bruce Robert Coffin (the Detective Byron series), James R. Benn (the Billy Boyle WWII mystery series), Cynthia Riggs (the Victoria Trumbull Martha’s Vineyard mysteries), Thriller and multiple Pushcart Prize nominee Richard Thomas (Breaker), Tony Hillerman Award winner Carol Potenza (the Nicky Matthews series), Roger Johns (the Wallace Hartman series), and many more.
Looking for: Feel-good mysteries, high-concept thrillers, noir. Rom coms, women’s fiction, book club fiction. Nonfiction and narrative nonfiction, especially in the areas of science, nature, and mind/body/spirit.
Not looking for: Memoir, poetry, picture books, SFF.
Lynnette Novak, The Seymour Agency
Bio: Lynnette Novak is an agent at The Seymour Agency. Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent seventeen years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Lynnette earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent. Lynnette has since closed her editing business and is excited to bring her passion for the written word to agenting.
Although Lynnette was born and raised Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends. She loves dark and suspenseful, mysterious twists, unique worlds, light and funny, a good love story, and lots of voice. Follow Lynnette on Twitter: @Lynnette_Novak
Looking for: (Always looking for own voices, diversity, and LGBTQ+!!!) In adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and mysteries (traditional, amateur sleuth, and cozy). In young adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary, mysteries, and fantasy. In middle grade fiction: contemporary, horror, fantasy, action/adventure, mystery, humor, and novels in verse. In children’s fiction: fiction and non-fiction picture books (non-rhyming preferred). In graphic novels: chapter books, early readers, MG, and YA.
Not looking for: science fiction in any age category, historical romances, Christian romances, adult fantasy, adult horror or non-fiction MG to Adult, including memoirs. (This list changes, so check Query Manager and our website for the most updated version.)
Jeff Ourvan, Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency
Bio: Jeff Ourvan, an attorney, published author and writing instructor, has been for ten years a literary agent with the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. His interests are varied: he represents nonfiction works, especially narrative nonfiction, histories, biographies, science, food and sports. He also represents fiction writers, particularly in the young adult, thriller and romance categories. Jeff heads the Agency’s book-to-film efforts, and he is the founder of The WriteWorkshops, an intensive writing workshop based in New York. Authors Jeff represent include Christopher Knowlton, Peter Houlahan, Tatsha Robertson, and the thriller writer Dugald Bruce-Lockhart.
Looking for: He is looking for page-turners with tight plotting and unique characters in the thriller, grounded science fiction, romance and YA/MG genres.
Not looking for: He is not looking for epic fantasy, memoir or children’s picture books.
Gina Panettieri, Talcott Notch Literary Services
Bio: Gina Panettieri is Founder of the Milford, Ct-based Talcott Notch Literary, a five-member literary agency seeking the freshest voices in adult and juvenile fiction and nonfiction. Some of her more prominent recent sales includes SONS OF VALOR and DARK INTERCEPT by WSJ-bestselling authors, Andrews & Wilson, THE HIDING PLACE by USA-Today bestselling author, Paula Munier, and UNDER COLOR OF LAW, by Aaron Philip Clark.
Clients: Her list includes Jeffrey Wilson and Brian Andrews, Scott Deitche, Dr. Seth Meyers, Drew Eric Whitman, Paula Munier, Kevin Wolf, Aaron Philip Clark.
Looking for: Gina wants to see all types of crime fiction, including mysteries, thrillers and suspense. She’d like to see well-researched stories set in less common settings. She is open to historicals and is particularly interested in stories set against iconic world events and biographical novels about groundbreaking real women. She is also open to nonfiction – true crime, organized crime history, memoirs and biographies of major figures in law enforcement.
Not looking for: She is not keen on crime fiction involving drug cartels, sex trafficking, child sexual abuse, or cults. If one is writing a story set in the military or law enforcement, accuracy is absolutely essential and she is not interested in stories where the research has exclusively consisted of reading other novels set in those worlds.
Mel Parker, Mel Parker Books
Bio: Mel Parker has worked in virtually every area of trade book publishing, from mass market and trade paperback to hardcover and book clubs. Before launching Mel Parker Books, LLC, a book packaging firm and literary agency, Mel was Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of Bookspan, the book club partnership formed by Time Warner and Bertelsmann. Mel came to the book clubs from Time Warner Trade Publishing, where he served as Senior Vice President of Warner Books and Publisher of its paperback division, working with bestselling authors such as Dean Koontz, James Patterson, David Morrell, and Nelson DeMille. Prior to joining Warner, Mel was Editor-in-Chief of the Berkley Publishing Group, where he acquired many bestselling books, most notably The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. Clients: Robert McCaw, Jill Fordyce, Dickson Despommier, Jennifer Grayson, David Weill, Tara Well
Looking for: High-concept psychological suspense, character-based crime fiction, high-profile true crime, and narrative nonfiction
Not looking for: Military thrillers, spy thrillers, SF/fantasy, horror, graphic novels, illustrated books, poetry, children’s/YA, screenplays, cozies, romantic suspense
Sophia Ramos, New Leaf Literary
Bio: Hailing from South Florida, Sophia M. Ramos earned a Masters of Science in Publishing from New York University. Prior to joining New Leaf Literary, she worked as a literary scout, and later moved into foreign rights and international sales where she rounded out her understanding of book publishing as a global industry. Sophia now works as a Literary Associate on various top author brands, and has a wide-open list she’s ready to fill. She is a Diet Coke enthusiast and champion axe thrower.
Looking for: Sophia is looking for middle-grade, young adult, and adult projects that help us escape from the everyday. She will sit up for anything speculative, from high fantasy to historical horror to contemporary literary fiction with a supernatural twist. She’s most interested in books that explore complex family dynamics, ancestral revenge, generational trauma, metaphorical inheritances, reluctant heroes, anti-heroes, descents into madness, and magic systems rooted in specific items or ceremonies.
Melissa Rechter, Crooked Lane Books
Bio: Melissa Rechter is an Editor at Crooked Lane Books, an independent publisher of crime fiction, mysteries, and thrillers and Alcove Press, their new book club fiction imprint, based in New York. She joined the team in 2019, while obtaining her Masters in Publishing.
For Crooked Lane, Melissa is seeking cozy mysteries, suspense and thrillers that deal with small town secrets, complicated family dynamics, and has a particular interest in unreliable narrators, cults, poisonous plants, and locked room mysteries. She’s also looking for historical and traditional mysteries with interesting premises.
For Alcove Press, Melissa is seeking historical fiction (particularly in the 20’s, 40’s) and is always looking for new stories about women and their roles in WWII, stories that center around female friendships and found family, and book club fiction that sparks conversation.
Michelle Richter, Fuse Literary
Bio: Michelle Richter is a Senior Agent at Fuse Literary, which she joined from St. Martin’s Press. Crime fiction is her true love, from police procedurals to domestic suspense to thriller. Not to mention heists and con artists. She’s rarely found a British or Scandinavian crime show she couldn’t get wrapped up in. Recent favorite authors include Ruth Ware, S.A. Cosby, P.J. Vernon, Halley Sutton, and David Heska Wanbli Weiden. She is currently looking for suspense, thriller, amateur sleuth, traditional mystery, police procedural, YA thriller/suspense, commercial women’s fiction, book club reads. She loves family secrets, sister/friend stories, lots of twists, and unreliable narrators. LGBTQ, BIPOC, and disabled voices are very welcome. She is not looking for military or espionage thrillers, science fiction/fantasy, poetry, middle-grade, memoir.
Clients: E.A. Aymar, Kellye Garrett, Tara Laskowski, Jennifer Gold, Alan Orloff, and Carl Vonderau.
Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein, McIntosh & Otis
Bio: Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein, President and senior agent at McIntosh & Otis, has degrees from New York University and Manhattan School of Music. She began her book publishing career in subsidiary rights and then took on the responsibilities of acquisitions editor at a major audio publishing imprint. Initially, she joined McIntosh & Otis to manage all subsidiary rights but began working as an agent shortly thereafter. Her primary interests include literary fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, romance, mystery/suspense, and memoir, along with narrative non-fiction, history and current affairs. Elizabeth represents numerous New York Times bestsellers, and both Agatha and Edgar Award winners and nominees.
Kathy Schneider, Jane Rotrosen Agency
Bio: Kathy Schneider has been a literary agent at the Jane Rotrosen Agency since 2017. Her clients include NYT’s bestselling thriller writer Kate White; award-winning writer Karin Lin-Greenberg (You Are Here; Counterpoint), novelist Midge Raymond (My Last Continent; Scribner), USA Today bestseller Jacqueline Friedland (He Gets That from Me), national bestseller Samantha Greene Woodruff (The Lobotomist’s Wife), and many debut novelists. Her non-fiction includes Kindra Hall, author of the WSJ bestseller Stories That Stick (HarperCollins); Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action and author of Fight Like a Mother (HarperOne), and recording artists, Courtney Barnett and Shirley Manson.
Previously, she worked at Penguin Random House and was SVP, Associate Publisher at HarperCollins, where she worked on books by Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Ann Patchett, Lisa Scottoline, Kimberly McCreight, Alafair Burke, Mitch Albom, Michael Crichton, Harper Lee, Madeleine Albright, and Anderson Cooper.
Looking for: I am looking for upmarket, commercial debut fiction that is well-written and accessible, with memorable characters; atmospheric domestic thrillers and dark psychological suspense with unusual settings, and a unique hook. Recent thriller faves: Wrong Place Wrong Timeby Gillian McAllister; The Maid by Nita Prose, The Butcher and the Wren by Alaina Urquhart, and The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. Also, thrillers with a touch of magic or the supernatural, such as Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes; high-concept psychological horror, like Grady Hendrick’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Vampires, and horror that is both creepy and uplifting, such as Catriona Ward’s The Last House on Needless Street.
Not looking for: I am currently not seeking Sci-Fi, Young Adult, espionage, mafia stories and noir/hard-boiled mystery.
Alec Shane, Writers House
Bio: Alec majored in English at Brown University, a degree he put to immediate use by moving to Los Angeles after graduation to become a professional stunt man. Realizing that he prefers books to breakaway glass, he moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a career in publishing. Alec quickly found a home at Writers House Literary Agency, where he quickly began building his own list. He is still aggressively looking for new talent across a wide variety of genres.
Currently Looking For: Horror, thriller, mystery, noir, grounded sci-fi, YA and middle grade “boy” fiction, and beautifully written historical fiction. In nonfiction: humor, biography, history, pop science, and all things sports.
Not Looking For: Romance (paranormal or otherwise), politics (fiction or nonfiction), women’s fiction, picture books, high fantasy, and science fiction featuring aliens/intergalactic warfare.
Clients: Casey Barrett, Hank Early, Stona Fitch, Ronald Kidd, Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Jack Murphy, Christopher Price, among others.
Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency
Bio: Victoria Skurnick is with the Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency, and represents both fiction and nonfiction. Among the books she has represented are Turn of Mind, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, Jar of Hearts, Bad Things Happen, The Unexpected President, Anonymous Sources, and The Dangerous Book for Dogs.
Victoria has been with LGR for 14 years; before joining the agency, she was editor-in-chief of The Book-of-the-Month Club, Senior Editor at St. Martin’s Press and Pocket Books, and Advertising Director of Holt. She is also the co-author of seven novels published under the name Cynthia Victor.
Clients: Victoria’s client list includes Susan Elia MacNeal, Jennifer Hillier, Mary Louise Kelly, Mariah Fredericks, Alice LaPlante, Harry Dolan, and Kermit Roosevelt among others.
Looking for: Suspense, literary fiction, and nonfiction.
Not looking for: Science fiction, fantasy, or romance.
Amy Stapp, Wolfson Literary Agency
Bio: Amy Stapp received her BA from Samford University and MA from Georgia State University before beginning her publishing career at Macmillan, where she had the privilege of working with numerous New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Amy is now actively building her list at Wolfson Literary Agency, with an interest in women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, upmarket book club fiction, historical fiction, mature young adult, upper middle grade, and select narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to a high concept commercial hook, polished, well-paced prose, immersive settings, and smart, multidimensional characters. As an editorial agent, she enjoys working hand-in-hand with authors to take their work to the next level. Find her online at wolfsonliterary.com.
Looking for: I’m most eager to find twisty, intelligent suspense, upmarket book club fiction, women’s fiction that explores complicated friendships and multigenerational ties, light magical realism, and historical fiction from a new region or diverse perspective. I’m very picky in YA, but I love a fast-paced, “unputdownable” YA with a mature voice in a variety of genres—romance, mystery, historical, and unique coming-of-age stories. I am always looking for stories from underrepresented voices and in diverse settings. For a more extensive wishlist please visit my MSWL page.
Not looking for: Hard science fiction, Epic fantasy, Military thrillers
Nikki Terpilowski, Holloway Literary + Talent
Bio: Nikki Terpilowski is an accomplished professional with an impressive track record in the publishing industry. With a B.A. in English and Marketing, along with a minor in creative writing and a graduate degree in international relations, Nikki’s passion for literature and thirst for knowledge led her to pursue a career in the publishing world. She established Holloway Literary in 2011 and currently has two associate agents on her team.
Nikki’s outstanding achievements include representing RITA nominated titles, RT Book Reviews Top Picks, and starred Publishers Weekly reviews. Notably, her Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Globe & Mail, and iBooks UK best-selling author bestselling author, Kimberly Belle was a Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best Mystery/Thriller in 2017.
She has also worked with several best-selling authors, including Amazon US & UK best-selling author Katie Oliver, USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns, and Daytime Emmy nominee BlackSouthernBelle.com’s Michiel Perry.
As a full-service agency, Holloway Literary represents writers in various genres, including romance, women’s fiction, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, literary fiction, southern fiction, and select young adult. Holloway Literary is a member of Sisters In Crime and International Thriller Writers, among other associations further establishing Nikki’s credentials as a respected industry leader.
Nikki is often a judge for League of Romance Writers competitions, and consults with entertainment industry websites Stage 32 and Writer’s Roadmap on both novel and screenplay writing.
Lastly, Nikki is a tv and film producer specializing in book IP with several projects in development.
Looking for: Nikki is looking for small-town romance, Regency romance, historical mystery, light fantasy and scifi in both adult and ya, fresh takes on domestic suspense, westerns, Afrofuturism, thrillers written by veterans/law enforcement/intelligence operatives, lifestyle non-fiction, southern fiction and magical women’s fiction.
Not looking for: cozy mysteries, crime fiction, horror, erotica, crimes against children, serial killers.
Ann Leslie Tuttle, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret
Bio: Ann Leslie Tuttle joined DG&B in 2017 after working for 20 years at Harlequin Books where she worked on an extensive and varied list of bestselling and award-winning titles in romance and women’s fiction. She received her B.A. degree from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from the University of Virginia. Helping to grow the careers of established and debut writers has always been Ann Leslie’s passion. Ann Leslie lives in New York City with her husband and young daughter, who is just discovering the magic of books and writing.
Looking for: Ann Leslie is especially seeking women’s fiction (e.g. relationships, family sagas, historical fiction and psychological thrillers) romance (e.g. romantic comedies, medical romance and contemporaries) and Southern Gothics on the adult fiction side as well as Middle Grade fiction and narrative nonfiction.
For thrillers/mystery/suspense, she is especially looking for domestic thrillers and cozy and historical mysteries and would welcome some #OwnVoices authors. She would also welcome some that have a speculative element, and thriller/mysteries for the YA market.
Not looking for: stories with a dystopian element or science fiction.
Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary Agency
Bio: Lisa Erbach Vance represents numerous bestselling and award-winning authors at the Aaron Priest Literary Agency, which she joined in 1993 as Director of Foreign Rights. She began representing her own clients shortly thereafter. Her thriller/mystery clients include Harlan Coben, Gregg Hurwitz, Alex Finlay, Glen Erik Hamilton (met at PitchFest!), Gayle Lynds, B.J. Daniels, Aaron and Charlotte Elkins, G.M. Ford, Anthony Franze, and more.
Prior to joining the agency, Lisa’s publishing career began at Random House, Inc. where she was selected as one of the first participants in their new Management Trainee program, after which she became an associate in the foreign rights department at Crown Publishers. Lisa was born and raised outside of Chicago, and she has a degree in English Literature from Northwestern University.
Looking for: Propulsive, emotionally engaging suspense—contemporary or historical, domestic or international. Moody psychological suspense. Near future speculative fiction. Diverse and unique narrative voices; under-represented voices of all backgrounds and identities. Character development is as important as plot and pacing. A great sense of humor is a plus, but deep and dark are also most welcome.
Not looking for: horror, science fiction/fantasy, traditional procedural, geopolitical.
Martha Webb, CookeMcDermid Literary Management
Bio: Martha Webb is an agent and co-owner of CookeMcDermid. Her list comprises literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction and a broad range of non-fiction, including investigative journalism, memoir with a particular focus, popular science, history and philosophy, and some self-help. She is drawn to rebels and contrarians with a good sense of humour, and to books that are topical, deal with important issues, or strive for social betterment while also being great reads. She values distinctive voices and good storytelling, in whatever form. Her clients include Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Jen Agg, Michael Crummey, Claudia Dey, Robyn Doolittle, Sonya Lalli, Justin Ling, Laurie Petrou and Saleema Nawaz.
Martha began her career in publishing in 2005 with The McDermid Agency, of which she later assumed co-ownership prior to the creation of CookeMcDermid. She holds an MA in literature from the University of Edinburgh, and was born and raised in Montreal.
Looking for: She is currently seeking investigative non-fiction (including true crime) thrillers and suspense novels that are propulsive and have complex characters, from different voices and perspectives.
Not looking for: She is not seeking YA or children’s books.
Sally Wofford-Girand, Union Literary
Bio: Sally Wofford-Girand co-founded Union Literary 10 years ago (merging Brick House Literary Agency with another boutique agency). Union authors include international best-selling, New York Times best-selling, award winning authors such as: Jenny Offill (DEPARTMENT OF SPECULATION, WEATHER), Michael Frank (THE MIGHTY FRANKS and forthcoming ONE HUNDRED SATURDAYS), Vanessa Diffenbaugh (THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS and a new novel in the works), Grace Paley, James Welch, Susie Yang (WHITE IVY), Jenny Lee (ANNA K), Alyson Richman (THE LOST WIFE and forthcoming THE THREAD COLLECTORS with debut novelist Shaunna Jones), Jardine Libaire (WHITE FUR), Debra Magpie Earling (THE LOST JOURNALS OF SACAJEWEA) Laura McHugh (THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD and most recently WHAT’S DONE IN DARKNESS) and emerging talent, such as first novelist Ana Reyes (THE HOUSE IN THE PINES).
She is definitely looking for the next Laura McHugh (this is Thrillerfest!) and also literary horror, and character driven thrillers, suspense and crime novels. She loves an unreliable narrator and history. She cares as much about good writing, a strong voice, and engaging characters as she does about plot. Some favorite authors include Shirley Jackson, Amor Towles, Laura Dave, Jess Kidd, Jane Harper (The Dry), Daphne du Maurier, Madeline Miller, Lucy Foley (The Paris Apartment), Kevin Wilson, Maggie O’Farrell and a recent find, Antoine Wilson, author of MOUTH TO MOUTH.
She is a hands-on agent with a passion for great storytelling. She loves the thrill of discovery in working with debut novelists. Union has a network of literary agents around the world and they are active in the foreign market. They work with film agents across the board–from WME, CAA, UTA, ICM to a number of independent agents. Sally is a founding board member of the non-profit Literary Agents of Change, a member of the AALA and the DEI committee. She is also a board member of Writers Omi, an international writers colony in New York. She lives in New York City with her husband and children.
Terrie Wolf, AKA Literary Management
Bio: Since founding AKALM in 2010, Terrie has been honored to manage authors who are at all stages of the writing journey and their eclectic and unforgettable works. She primarily represents adult fiction (mystery, thriller, women’s, regional and inspirational), the occasional non-fiction offering, and children’s fiction (especially MG mysteries) and non-fiction. Maintaining a global outlook, Terrie has sold rights in more than forty countries and thirty languages. She was named ACFW Agent of the Year in 2021.
Clients: Terrie’s clients include Forest Jones, Brian Tracey, Kirsche Romo, Byron Graves, Margaret Mizushima, Jeff Nesbit, Maria Shriver, and the estate of “the King of the Paperbacks” Harry Whittington. She also represents two cozy mysteries series co-authored by Jeff Ayers and Brian Tracey.
Looking for: in adult fiction: debut, general/other, historical, mystery/crime/thriller/suspense, inspirational, paranormal (light), regional saga, women’s fiction, romance. Terrie is also looking for picture books, young adult and middle grade.
Not looking for: in adult fiction: anthology, erotica, horror, literary, poetry, sci-fi/fantasy.
Faye and Jonathan Kellerman*
Larry D. Thompson
J. Jackson Bentley
Jack F. Du Brul*
Eric Van Lustbader*
D. P. Lyle M.D.*
Michael Palmer (2004-2013)*
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Susan Arnout Smith
B. J. Daniels
Vince Flynn (2004-2013)*
Bonnie Hearn Hill*
Harley Jane Kozak
Dennis Lynds (2004-2005)*
Carl T. Smith*
M. Diane Vogt*
Inkwell Management, LLC*
*original member joined by June 4, 2005