Thursday, December 14, 2017

3 Agents Actively Seeking Literary and Commercial Fiction, Nonfiction, Kidlit

Updated 11/9/29

These three agents are actively seeking writers. Jennifer Chen Tran (Bradford Literary) is interested in representing literary and commercial fiction. In nonfiction, she loves books that broaden her world view or shed new light on “big ideas.”  Amanda Annis (Trident Media Group) is looking for literary fiction and nonfiction. Wendi Gu (Sanford J. Greenburger Associates) wants illustrators, children's literature, and adult literary fiction and nonfiction that speaks to cultural identity negotiation, displacement, and race relations.

ALWAYS check the agency website before submitting. Agents may switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements may change.

If these agents do not suit your needs, you can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.

Wendi grew up in the sleepy suburbs of Chicago and studied Creative Writing at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, she interned with children’s book agent Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and continued working there as a literary assistant after graduation. She soon began representing her own picture books, middle-grade, and young adult titles with a special interest in girl power, family relationships, and the immigrant experience. She likes stories that root for the underdog. Her favorite books have voices that range from warm and lyrical, to witty and deadpan. She is lucky enough to work with authors of new and forthcoming titles like Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aidan Cassie (FSG Books for Young Readers, Spring 2018) and Paper Son: The Story of Tyrus Wong by Julie Leung and illustrated by Chris Sasaki (Schwartz & Wade, Fall 2019).

What she is seeking: For illustration, she enjoys elegant and eclectic color pallettes, and looks for nuanced character expression and dynamic composition. She is very interested in unconventional illustration mediums like cut paper and photo illustration. Wendi is always on the lookout for nonfiction picture book biographies on little-known heroes in history.

Wendi also represents adult titles in adult literary fiction and nonfiction that speaks to cultural identity negotiation, displacement, and race relations.

How to Query: You can query Wendi at with QUERY in the subject line, with query letter and a 10-page sample in the body of the email. For illustrators and author/illustrators, please attach full sketch dummies and portfolios as a PDF or FTP link.


Jennifer Chen Tran of Bradford Literary

Jennifer Chen Tran joined Bradford Literary Agency in September 2017. Originally from New York, Jennifer is a lifelong reader and experienced member of the publishing industry. Prior to joining Bradford Literary, she was an Associate Agent at Fuse Literary and served as Counsel at The New Press. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jennifer understands the importance of negotiation in securing rights on behalf of her authors. She counsels her clients on how to expand their platforms, improve on craft, and works collaboratively with her clients throughout the editorial and publication process. Her ultimate goal is to work in concert with authors to shape books that will have a positive social impact on the world—books that also inform and entertain.

Select titles that Jennifer has represented: I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER by Cori Salchert (Barbour/ Shiloh Run Press); BREAKING UP & BOUNCING BACK by Samantha Burns (Dover/ Ixia Press); THE ART OF ESCAPING by Erin Callahan (Amberjack); MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN by Amanda Stauffer (Skyhorse); A CROWDFUNDER’S STRATEGY GUIDE by Jamey Stegmaier (Berrett-Koehler).

Some of her favorite books include: NEVER LET ME GO, by Kazuo Ishiguro, THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion, THE UNWANTED by Kien Nguyen, BYRD by Kim Church, and AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Luen Yang, among many others.

What she is seeking: Jennifer is very interested in diverse writers and #ownvoices from underrepresented/ marginalized communities, strong and conflicted characters who are not afraid to take emotional risks, stories about multi-generational conflict, war and post-war fiction, and writing with a developed sense of place. She enjoys both literary and commercial fiction. In nonfiction, she loves books that broaden her world view or shed new light on “big ideas.”


Women’s Fiction (Contemporary, Upmarket, Literary)
Select Young Adult (must have distinct voice)
Select Middle Grade
Graphic novels and visually-driven projects

Nonfiction (particularly in the areas of):

Narrative nonfiction (biography, current affairs, medical, investigative journalism, history, how-to, music, pop-culture, travel)
Cookbooks & culinary projects
Lifestyle (home, design, beauty, fashion)
Business Books (social entrepreneurship, female and/or minority-led businesses, and innovation)
Select memoir with an established platform
Relationships and Psychology
Mind, body, spirit

Jennifer is NOT looking for:

Children’s picture books
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

How to Submit: Use the form on the agency's website.


Amanda Annis of Trident Media Group

For Amanda Annis, her love of books has always been at the center of her career. She has worked as a writer with a B.F.A. in poetry, a bookseller, and as an editor at several publishers including Penguin Random House, Cambridge University Press, and Love Among the Ruins. Amanda now brings that same passion to Trident as a literary agent. Here, she is able to guide her authors through every step, from the editorial board to the bookstore.

What she is seeking: Fiction: Literary fiction. Nonfiction: Self-help, Biography, Food & Wine, Health & Fitness.  “I love narratives that take me into a world I would not know otherwise, especially those that are beautifully told.”

How to submit: Amanda is accepting submissions via the online form here. Follow Amanda on Twitter @diaryofaneditor.

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