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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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


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