Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cortney Radocaj of Corvisiero Literary

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Cortney Radocaj is a literary agent at Corvisiero Literary.

Cortney has spent her life eating and breathing literature. From the time she could hold a pen in her hand, she’s been writing everything possible, from journal entries to poetry to works of fiction. She’s devoured every book that’s come her way, and she continues to read as much as she can. When Cortney’s not working, she spends her time spoiling her Labrador-mix, Rhaegar. She also enjoys consuming copious amounts of chocolate and binge-watching TV shows (particularly “Supernatural” and “The Office”).

As a member and advocate of both the LGBT and neurodiverse communities, Cortney adores seeing works that celebrate and normalize these experiences, particularly in YA. For Cortney, compelling characters are what grab her the most; she loves books with strong, dynamic, complex characters that have complicated and nuanced relationships with other—especially romances! She loves romantic threads that weave in seamlessly with the plot and characters’ motivations, particularly in SFF. In regard to POVs, the closer, the better; she wants to live inside characters’ heads when she reads, and loves as little distance as possible. She enjoys when authors break stereotypes and tropes, and she loves when plots and characters surprise her, leaving her breathless on the edge of her seat.

Some of Cortney’s favorite books: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas; City of Bones by Cassandra Clare; The Shining and IT by Stephen King; Tithe by Holly Black; Skinned by Robin Wasserman; This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab.

What Cortney is seeking:

– Young adult, new adult, and adult fiction
– LGBT (particularly F/F) in any genre she represents (see below)
– Neurodiversity in any genres she represents (see below)
– Fantasy of all shades (dark, low, high, urban—ALL OF IT)
– Sci-fi (character-centered; lots of tech is fine, but focus on the characters, not the tech!)
– Steampunk (gritty and NOT inventor-centered; think aesthetic, atmosphere, and world building)
– Cyberpunk
– Mythology/fairytale retellings (BE SUBTLE)
– Gothic fiction, particularly Southern gothic
– Paranormal (but if it’s vampires/werewolves, there NEEDS to be a twist or something unique!)
– Contemporary (needs to have a STRONG, unique hook)
– Horror (more psychological than gory, think The Shining–the book, not the movie!)
– Magical realism

Cortney is NOT accepting:

– Middle grade
– Children’s/Picture Books
– Crime/detective fiction
– Mysteries
– Political/military thrillers
– Nonfiction
– Novellas, short story collections, poetry collections, or screenplays

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rachel Letofsky of Cooke Mcdermid

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Rachel Letofsky is a literary agent with Cooke McDermid.

Rachel is actively seeking: ground-breaking and heart-breaking middle grade and YA titles in all genres. She is drawn to works with a whimsical nature or a grounded, gritty edge in equal measure, though in either instance, unforgettable characters and original concepts are a must. She also has a natural soft spot for exquisite literary fiction. In nonfiction, Rachel is looking for narrative-driven memoirs, and anything quirky, life affirming or mind blowing.

Rachel is a graduate of the Humber Creative Book Publishing Program and the University of Toronto, where she specialized in English literature. She joined what was then The Cooke Agency in 2010. She frequently travels throughout North America to writers’ festivals and literary events to moderate panels, take part in quick-pitch sessions, and host workshops for authors.

When not traveling or reading for pleasure or work, Rachel loves spending time with her family, inventing new recipes under the strict supervision of her cat, Mimsy, planning for the upcoming alien/zombie invasion, and swimming in lakes and oceans as much as possible. She is on Twitter at @rachelletofsky.

 

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Jennifer Worick of Sasquatch Books

Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 3.51.11 PM.pngJennifer Worick is the editorial director of Sasquatch Books.

In her role, Jennifer is passionate about bringing excellent books into the world. Before joining Sasquatch, she was a publishing consultant and New York Times best-selling author. She has written more than 25 books and helped hundreds of writers develop book proposals. Prior to that, Jennifer served as editorial director at Running Press and becker&mayer!

Genres & categories: “At Sasquatch, our adult acquisitions team acquires nonfiction books by Pacific Northwest authors, artists, influencers, and thought leaders on the following subjects: cookbooks, health and wellness, nature, house & home, self-help, craft and how-to, history, pop culture, and lifestyle, as well as memoir and books that capture the zeitgeist of our current culture in ways large and small.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Britt Siess of Martin Literary Management

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 3.44.09 PM.pngBritt Siess is a literary agent with Martin Literary Management.

As a child, Britt was a voracious reader and she easily fell in love with fairytales about knights, dragons and wicked fairies. She grew up to attend the University of Washington where she earned her B.A. in both English Literature, and Cinema and Media Studies.

Britt looks for stories that are character driven and full of strong, resonating themes. She’s interested in literature that completely immerses readers into new worlds and that is imaginative and diverse. She also likes a little (dark) humor, and there must be stakes! She is particularly drawn to literature that makes us reflect on our own society and confront our choices.

She is currently accepting adult fiction submissions for science fiction, fantasy, horror, and thriller.

Britt is specifically looking for cyberpunk, steampunk, and speculative fiction (Particularly titles like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Soulless, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Power). She seeks epic fantasy, high fantasy, historical fantasy, and retellings of myths and fairytales (such as Winter of Ice and Iron, A Darker Shade of Magic, The Night Circus, Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and The Bear and the Nightingale). Pitch her with gothic horror, and thrillers (teminiscent of The Silent Companions, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and Sharp Objects)

​She enjoys magical realist literature (such as Wildwood and Elmet).

Britt is also accepting middle grade manuscripts with fantastical or supernatural elements. Some recent titles that have absolutely delighted her are Nightmares!, Shadow Weaver, and The House with Chicken Legs.

Britt has a strong background in publishing, having experience in both literary agencies and a book publisher. She has interned for the Taryn Fagerness Agency, Wales Literary Agency, and Martin Literary & Media Management. She comes from the sales division of The Quarto Group where she worked in domestic and foreign book sales. She’s delighted to be back at MLM as an Associate Literary Manager. Britt is a native of the Pacific North West, but has never gotten used to the rain. She usually escapes the weather by popping into her local comic book shop or settling into a cafe with an extra large coffee and a piece of cake.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Tara Gilbert of Corvisiero Literary

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 2.52.20 PMTara Gilbert is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Agency. At the 2019 Seattle conference, she is taking pitches on behalf of herself as well as co-agents.

Tara wants nothing more than to live and breathe literature. While every other girl grew up wanting to be Cinderella, Tara dreamed about being Belle. Not because she wanted a Beast to call her own. No. She wanted to spend her days with her nose stuck in a book and to find a home with a gigantic library.

Personally, she is seeking all kinds of young adult and middle grade, adult sci-fi, adult fantasy, graphic novels, contemporary fiction, and romance. On behalf of co-agents, she will take pitches for historical novels, women’s fiction, mainstream/general fiction, and children’s picture books.

When Tara isn’t reading for pleasure, writing, critiquing manuscripts for her CPs, or interning; she is a full-time recruiter and part-time student trying to get her Bachelors in English. She is happily married with four fur-babies in Portland, Oregon.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary

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Gordon Warnock is a founding partner at Fuse Literary, serving as a literary agent and Editorial Director of Short Fuse Publishing.

He brings years of experience as a senior agent, marketing director, editor for independent publishers, publishing consultant, and author coach. He frequently teaches workshops and gives keynote speeches at conferences and MFA programs nationwide. He is an honors graduate of CSUS with a B.A. in Creative and Professional Writing.

With a zest for fresh, new voices and a deep love of the classics, Gordon actively seeks out both the timely and the timeless. In that spirit, he establishes involved, long-term working relationships with talented and dedicated authors of many genres.

“I’m looking for large-platform projects in which the book represents something bigger than the book itself, of which you are the expert, the one best fit to bring it to the page. I prefer to work with socially-responsible books that raise new issues or illuminate common issues in new ways. I love books with strong charity tie-ins and celebrities coming together to promote a good cause on a large scale.”

The nonfiction categories I consider include the following:

• Memoir (Adult, NA, YA, Graphic)
• Cookbooks/Food Narrative/Food Studies
• Illustrated/Art/Photography (especially graphic nonfiction)
• Political and Current Events
• Pop-Science
• Pop-Culture (especially punk culture and geek culture)
• Self-Help
• How-To
• Humor
• Pets
• Business and Career

Some of my favorites are: Wreck This Journal, What to Drink with What You Eat, Barolo, Drinking at the Movies, and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.

Fiction:

“I’m looking for fresh concepts that excite me before I even start reading and tension-filled prose that won’t let me stop. Plot is very important, as is an authentic voice that makes me believe your protagonist is a real person. I am not a big fan of paranormal or SF/F, so please, no vampires, zombies, werewolves, angels, chupacabras, etc. Novels must be completed, polished and between 55,000 and 100,000 words long. Please paste in the first chapter below your query. Unsolicited attachments and links will not be opened. The genres I consider include the following:

• High-Concept Suspense
• Literary Fiction for Adults through YA
• Graphic Novels for Adults through MG

Some of my favorites are: The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, The Garden of Eden, This Is How You Lose Her, Freakboy, and We the Animals.

Not looking for:

• Religious Fiction
• Genre Fiction (Western, Romance, Sci-Fi, Fantasy)
• Satire
• Legal Thrillers
• New Age
• Picture Books or Middle Grade
• Novellas
• Screenplays
• Collections of essays, short fiction, or poetry (unless you also write full-length works)