Friday, September 18, 2020

Art Does Not Apologize ... And Neither Do I

Over the past three and a half years, I have gotten a number of comments regarding my critical stance on Trump, expressed mildly at the top of my blog with the statement: "...in the interest of protecting the 1st Amendment, she did not vote for Trump." I've been repeatedly admonished, sometimes with a great deal of anger, to "just stick to writing." Politics, I have been told, should have no place on my blog.

The attitude that writers should "just stick to writing," as if what we write is completely divorced from the world we live in, is patently absurd. But more to the point, opposing Trump and all that he stands for is not "politics." It is a matter of life and death, quite literally.

To put it plainly, Trump is a fascist. He is also a racist, a misogynist, and a traitor. He has brought us nothing but chaos, death and destruction. He has allowed a pandemic to run rampant, and encouraged people who lack critical thinking to reject science and actively spread a disease that is killing men, women, and children by the hundreds of thousands. To support him is not only antithetical to every tenet of democracy, but to everything that comprises human decency. Opposing the erosion of democratic norms and principles that Trump has promulgated is not a political stance. It is a requirement if we are to continue living in a democracy.

Where do writers fit in? As citizens in a democracy, we must support the principles that uphold it: that all men and women are created equal, that all are entitled to the protection of the law, that we all have a voice. As artists, we have a duty to make sure that our voices are lifted to the full extent of our craft, and to resist the multiple pressures to "just stick to...," because that admonition simply means "shut up." Silencing dissent is the hallmark of authoritarian regimes.

The looming election, with all its anxiety-producing impediments - the attempted sabotaging of the USPS, the erosion of confidence in the electoral process, the multiple threats of election tampering, rigging, and hacking, the fear that the entire basis of the democratic system will be abandoned - requires that, as writers, we do, in fact, have to stick to writing - not divorced from the world we live in, but engaged with it in the deepest sense.

As a writer of fiction, I am vehemently opposed to using art strictly as a vehicle to make a point. That's not what I am recommending. Once your story becomes subservient to a point, it loses its impact.  Our overriding commitment is to tell a story the best way we can - with artistry, with beauty, with passion, and with honesty. The message should unfold naturally and organically as an inherent part of the story. An artist is inseparable from the art he or she produces. What we create is imbued with who we are. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, how you think will be apparent in every sentence. All writing is, in that sense, autobiographical. Your thinking processes are impossible to hide.

That is why every authoritarian regime makes a point of locking up, or simply killing, its artists. We are the eyes and ears of society, its conscience, its awareness, its embodiment in tangible form. When our society is in crisis, we do not hide our heads in the sand and pretend everything is fine when it clearly isn't. We speak up.

It goes without saying that you should vote. Even if you are depressed, anxious, or merely exhausted by the past three years - vote. And in the meantime, don't relinquish an ounce of your outrage. Because outrage is what we should all be feeling. With every word we write, with every breath we take, with every fiber of our being, we must continue to resist autocracy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

6 Literary Agents Seeking YA, Nonfiction, Memoirs, Speculative Fiction and more

Here are six literary agents currently expanding their client lists. Danya Kukafka is interested literary fiction. Courtney Paganelli gravitates towards realistic adult or young adult novels that offer multiple points of view, feature complex relationships, or have dashes of paranormal activity or romance. In the nonfiction space, Courtney is drawn to true crime, millennial-driven self-help, practical business, pop culture, memoirs written by marginalized voices, and books that advocate for women’s rights and social justice issues. Renée Jarvis is seeking narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, literary fiction, and children’s books. Stephanie Kim is interested in narrative non-fiction (memoir, pop culture, self-help) as well as select voice-driven fiction. Stefanie Rossitto is currently looking for historical fiction, and funny, witty, modern romances. She also enjoys anything and everything medieval as well as exciting historical romances and/or fiction based on real characters. Aida Lilly is seeking fiction in upper middle grade, YA, and adult, and select narrative non-fiction. Her favorite genres are adult and YA sci-fi and fantasy, contemporary YA, humor, and adult general fiction.

Always check the agency website and agent bio before submitting. Agents can switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements can change.

You can find a full list of agents actively seeking new clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.

_____________________

Ms. Stephanie Kim of New Leaf Literary & Media

Stephanie Kim is a literary agent with more than a decade of experience in publicity and marketing across the publishing, tech, and media industries. She began her career as an assistant publicist at William Morrow/HarperCollins where she cut her teeth on high-profile campaigns for Neil Gaiman, Laura Lippman, Wiley Cash, and many others. At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Stephanie led publicity for three consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers: What If? and Thing Explainer by xkcd creator Randall Munroe, and Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Some additional highlights include working on Gabourey Sidibe’s memoir This Is Just My Face, Chinelo Okparanta’s Lambda Literary award-winning debut novel Under the Udala Trees, and comic artist Ariel Shrag’s quirky, irreverent coming-of-age love story, Adam.

What she is seeking: As an agent, Stephanie is focused on representing authors from diverse backgrounds with compelling stories to tell. She’s interested in narrative non-fiction (memoir, pop culture, self-help) as well as select voice-driven fiction. Some of her favorite books include Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, The Color of Water by James McBride, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, and anything by John Green.

How to submit: Send query to query@newleafliterary.com. The word “Query” must be in the subject line, plus the agent’s name. Please also include the category (ie, PB, chapter book, MG, YA, adult fiction, adult nonfiction, etc.) You may include up to 5 double-spaced sample pages within the body of the email.

_____________________

Ms. Danya Kukafka of Aevitas Creative Management

Danya Kukafka a is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized study, and the author of the novel Girl in Snow. She began her publishing career at Riverhead Books as an acquiring assistant editor, where she worked with authors like Meg Wolitzer, Paula Hawkins, Lauren Groff, Brit Bennett, Emma Straub, Gabriel Tallent, Helen Oyeyemi, Maile Meloy, Sigrid Nunez, and many, many more. Released in 2017, her debut novel Girl in Snow was a national bestseller.

What she is seeking: She is interested literary fiction with particularly propulsive storylines. She is seeking literary suspense, sophisticated thrillers, speculative fiction, and experimental fiction—she also loves true crime that feels attuned to today’s cultural conversations, as well as upmarket literary fiction you can read in one gulp.

How to submit: Use her form, found HERE.

_____________________

Ms. Courtney Paganelli of Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency

Courtney Paganelli joined the agency in May of 2019 and currently assists Jim Levine and Stephanie Rostan. Courtney graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English Literature. Her time in the Twin Cities was both bone-chilling and rewarding as she launched her publishing career as an intern with Wise Ink Creative Publishing. Upon graduation she returned home to the East Coast and began working on prominent business titles at Pearson. She later joined the managing editorial department at Random House Children’s books before becoming a part of the team at LGR. Some (but certainly not all) of her favorite authors include Kate Elizabeth Russell, Stephen King, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jennifer Niven, Marisha Pessl, Gillian Flynn, Lisa Lutz, Jenny Han, Kara Thomas, and Jacqueline Woodson.

What she is seeking: Courtney enjoys reading character-driven literary fiction, diverse voices, dark psychological fiction, and anything so scary it will make her hope she locked her doors. Her interests span across genres, but she particularly gravitates towards realistic adult or young adult novels that offer multiple points of view, feature complex relationships, or have dashes of paranormal activity or romance. Her absolute favorite novels incite emotion, whether fear, heartbreak, or happiness — a book that makes her feel something is one she will read time and time again. In the nonfiction space, Courtney is drawn to true crime, millennial-driven self-help, practical business, pop culture, memoirs written by marginalized voices, and books that advocate for women’s rights and social justice issues.

How to submit: Use their form HERE.

_____________________


Ms. Renee Jarvis of Mackenzie Wolf Literary

Renée joined Mackenzie Wolf in 2018, assisting partners Gillian MacKenzie and Kirsten Wolf. Born and raised in New York City, she graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College. She previously interned at Don Congdon Associates and spent two years as a writing teacher at the non-profit organization Legal Outreach.

What she is seeking: Renée is seeking narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, literary fiction, and children’s books. She is looking for works across these genres which center BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ voices. In nonfiction, she is interested in pop culture analysis, cultural histories, linguistics, international stories, and explorations of music, fashion, and art. In fiction, she loves books with strange and unique formats,  humorous narrators, robust plots, and lyrical prose.

How to submit: To submit a project, please send a query letter along with a 50-page writing sample (for fiction) or a detailed proposal (for nonfiction) to queries@mwlit.com. Samples may be submitted as an attachment or embedded in the body of the email. Address your query to Renee.

_____________________

Ms. Stefanie Rossitto of The Tobias Literary Agency

Originally from the German Alps, Steffi used to spend hours in quaint bookstores as a child. She went on to study English language, American literature and medieval history at Regensburg University and Edinburgh University. Her master's thesis was based on a New York Times article on modern day ‘suburban’ novelists and how these authors shaped American suburban culture. After graduation, she moved to New York City where she gained publishing experience at three different literary agencies before moving on to Doubleday and Crown at Random House to explore the corporate side of the business. At Random House, she handled foreign and domestic rights for over five years and dealt with books and authors of every genre.

What she is seeking: Steffi is currently looking for historical fiction, and funny, witty, modern romances. She also enjoys anything and everything medieval as well as exciting historical romances and/or fiction based on real characters.

How to submit: Use her submission form HERE.


_____________________


Ms. Aida Lilly of KT Literary

Aida Z. Lilly was born in Alabama and now calls Denver home. She attended the University of Montevallo and studied English and writing. She holds an MA in Organizational Management and a graduate certificate in publishing. She is the Communications Fellow for The Word for Diversity, and an Associate Agent at kt literary. 

What she is seeking: Aida is seeking fiction in upper middle grade, YA, and adult, and select narrative non-fiction. Her favorite genres are adult and YA sci-fi and fantasy, contemporary YA, humor, and adult general fiction (bonus points for books written by diverse authors with characters that leap off the page).

How to submit: Please email your query letter and the first three pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to Aida at aidaquery@ktliterary.com


Thursday, September 10, 2020

3 UK Agents Seeking YA, Nonfiction, Literary Fiction, Crime and more

Here are three UK literary agents actively looking for writers. Juliet Mushens is looking for adult and YA fiction. She is looking for crime, thriller, YA, reading group fiction, ghost stories, historical fiction, SFF, romcoms, and high concept novels. Kevin Pocklington is looking for a wider range of non-fiction submissions and would like to develop a fiction list with new authors, including accessible literary fiction and crime titles. Patrick Walsh wants fiction and nonfiction, especially from new authors.

Always check the agency website and agent bio before submitting. Agents can switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements can change.

You can find a full list of agents actively seeking new clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.

_____________________


Juliet Mushens of Mushens Entertainment

Juliet Mushens started her publishing career in 2008 at HarperCollins, and became an agent in 2011. She has been shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year four times and is currently the number 1 ranked UK dealmaker on Publishers’ Marketplace. She represents a bestselling and critically acclaimed list, including million-copy no. 1 bestseller Jessie Burton, multi-million copy NY Times bestseller Taran Matharu, Pointless presenter Richard Osman, and Sunday Times bestsellers Ali Land, Claire Douglas, Debbie Howells, Stacey Halls, Laura Lam and James Oswald. Her guide to YA creative writing was published by Hodder in 2015. You can find her on twitter as @mushenska and email her at juliet@mushens-entertainment.com.

What she is seeking: Juliet is looking for adult fiction and YA only. She is looking for crime, thriller, YA, reading group fiction, ghost stories, historical fiction, SFF, romcoms, and high concept novels.

How to submit: Please email sesubmissions@mushens-entertainment.com with your query and writing sample. (See website for specific instructions.)

_____________________


Kevin Pocklington of The North Literary Agency

Kevin joined JBA as an agent in 2011, where he developed a mainly non-fiction list from scratch.

What he is seeking: At The North, he is looking for a wider range of non-fiction submissions and would like to develop a fiction list with new authors, including accessible literary fiction and crime titles.

How to submit: Use the agency's submission form HERE.

_____________________


Patrick Walsh of PEW Literary 

Born and brought up in Venezuela, Patrick Walsh studied law at Cambridge before becoming a literary agent. Having co-founded Conville & Walsh in 2000, he then sold the agency to Curtis Brown before founding PEW Literary in 2016. His clients have won or shortlisted for numerous literary awards.

What he is seeking: He is always keen to hear from new authors.

How to submit: If submitting a fiction manuscript, please submit the opening three chapters (or fifty pages) along with a synopsis. The synopsis should be a clear explanation of the plot from first to final chapter. Please accompany your submission with a brief cover letter that tells us a little about you as a writer. Send your work to submissions@pewliterary.com For non-fiction send a proposal. Your proposal should be approximately thirty pages long. (See website for specifics.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...