Wednesday, March 3, 2021

3 Agents Seeking Literary and Commercial Fiction, Narrative Nonfiction, Memoir, Translations and more

Updated 9/4/21

Here are three literary agents actively seeking new clients. Ria Julien's interests include literature in translation, diaspora fiction, and nonfiction works of conscience on a wide range of topics including law, history, economics, women & gender, environmental and cultural studies. Iwalani Kim is seeking adult upmarket and literary fiction and select narrative nonfiction. Nicole Cunningham is looking to acquire literary and upmarket women’s fiction, historical fiction, and novels with a magical or speculative bent. In nonfiction, Nicole wants to read voice-driven essay collections, fresh and surprising memoir, and well-researched, entertaining nonfiction that explores topics like reproductive health, motherhood, feminism, family, and the natural world.

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. Nicole Cunningham
 of The Book Group

Nicole joined The Book Group in 2016 to support Julie Barer. Prior to joining the agency, she worked as the Manager of Author Relations at a book discovery website and as an assistant in the publishing department of ICM Partners. She studied English and American Literature at New York University, with a minor in Gender and Sexuality studies. 

What she is seeking: Nicole is looking to acquire literary and upmarket women’s fiction, historical fiction, and novels with a magical or speculative bent. She loves books about people – who they love and why, what gets them through the day, what they can’t get over – and finds herself drawn to character-driven fiction that is immersive, smart, and deeply felt.  She believes great fiction makes readers feel seen, so she wants to read about the complexities of relationships, home and community, grief and regret, and identity. Originally from upstate New York and constantly missing its scenic beauty, Nicole gravitates towards work with a strong sense of place and vivid natural settings. 

In the nonfiction space, Nicole wants to read voice-driven essay collections, fresh and surprising memoir, and well-researched, entertaining nonfiction that explores topics like reproductive health, motherhood, feminism, family, and the natural world. She would love to represent cultural criticism and social history that reckons with subjects often considered “unserious,” for example, beauty and body image, and celebrity and tabloid culture.

How to submit: Please email a query letter and 10 sample pages to submissions@thebookgroup.com. Please include the name of the agent to whom you are submitting in the subject line of your query email. 

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Ria Julien is an attorney who has worked in publishing since 1999. She joined the agency in 2013 after being called to the Bar in New York. She represents authors whose works offer a critique of power and social injustice. Her clients include biographer Colin Asher, award-winning novelist Álvaro Enrigue, reporter Alexa O’Brien, muckraking journalist Greg Palast, and radical economist Richard Wolff. Having previously worked as an editor and foreign rights agent, she enjoys developing book projects, and finding an international readership for her authors.

What she is seeking: Ria's interests include literature in translation, diaspora fiction, and nonfiction works of conscience on a wide range of topics including law, history, economics, women & gender, environmental and cultural studies. 

How to submit: Please follow their guidelines HERE.

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Iwalani joined Sanford J. Greenburger Associates in 2018 after interning at Ayesha Pande Literary, Don Congdon Associates, and Kweli Journal. She was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i and graduated from Vassar College with degrees in Political Science and German Studies. As the senior assistant and foreign rights liaison to agency president Heide Lange, Iwalani has the pleasure of working with Heide’s extraordinary clients such as Dan Brown and Brad Thor. She continues in that role as she builds her own list, further honing her negotiation and editorial skills under Heide’s mentorship.

What she is seeking: Iwalani is seeking adult upmarket and literary fiction and select narrative nonfiction. In fiction, she loves coming-of-age narratives, family dramas, and stories that challenge systems of power. She gravitates toward lush prose, wry humor, irreverent characters, and a sense of yearning. In nonfiction, she is looking for literary memoir and cultural criticism. She is particularly drawn to food writing, deep dives into subcultures, and writing that complicates the idea of ‘paradise’ or explores progressive movements such as prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition. Some of her favorite authors include Jesmyn Ward, T Kira Madden, Raven Leilani, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, and Ling Ma, and she would love to consider any manuscripts in a similar vein. She is passionate about championing the work of underrepresented authors and would especially love to work with Pacific Islander writers.

How to submit: Query Iwalani at ikim@sjga.com. Please put “Query: [your book’s title] by [your name]” in the subject line. Include a brief pitch letter and the first few chapters in the body of your email, and if Iwalani thinks your project might be a good fit for her list, she will be in touch within 4-6 weeks. Due to the volume of queries she receives, Iwalani is unable to personally respond to each submission.

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