Get to Know a Literary Agent in Attendance: Lauren Scovel of Laura Gross Literary

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 7.08.36 PMLauren Scovel is a literary agent Laura Gross Literary Agency.

“I grew up outside of Seattle and graduated summa cum laude from Emerson College with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing as well as Theatre Studies. I began my publishing career as an editorial intern at Aevitas Creative Management (formerly Zachary Shuster Harmsworth). My editorial work can be seen at The Millions. I also worked as an indie bookseller for several years.”

She is especially interested in fiction and nonfiction involving social justice, political issues, and other timely and underrepresented stories. “I’m specifically interested in fiction and nonfiction stories that effortlessly depict a diverse cast of characters and perspectives.”

Her fiction specialties are: GLBT, literary fiction, and multicultural. She will also consider humor/satire, family saga, and short story collections. Her nonfiction specialties are cultural/social issues, current affairs, GLBT, investigative journalism, multicultural, narrative, politics, true crime, and women’s concerns. She will also consider: adventure/true story, history, humor, memoir, pets, and pop culture.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ben Grange of L. Perkins Agency

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 7.02.44 PMBen Grange is a literary agent at L. Perkins Agency.

Ben started out at a small publishing company in Salt Lake City, UT and proceeded to do internships at three literary agencies before working as the assistant at the JABberwocky Literary Agency. He decided he wanted to be an agent sometime along the line, and is happily growing an amazing list of clients.

His tastes gravitate towards middle grade fiction, and he is particularly on the lookout for exceptional author-illustrators who write middle grade or young adult. He sometimes gets the inkling to read a great YA sci-fi or fantasy, particularly weird or slightly dark stories (à la The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater). Thanks to his time at JABberwocky, he also loves epic fantasy and science fiction, and although his focus is on middle grade and young adult, he won’t say no to a great adult fantasy or sci-fi. He is also interested in pop culture nonfiction for authors with established platforms.

“I’m looking for books that remind me of what it was like to be enveloped by a story when I was a kid. I’m looking for authors who have the ability to give me a visual experience, whether it’s through good prose, lively characters, stunning scenery, or actual illustrations. I’m particularly on the lookout for exceptional author-illustrators for MG and YA.”

“A few books that hooked me on reading when I was a kid: Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, The Giver, Hatchet, Flipped, Eragon, Ender’s Game, and others. My tastes have evolved since then, and even though some of these books are better than others, there was something about all of them that drew me in and made me love them at the time. And that’s what I want to see: something appealing that will draw me (/children) into a book and make me (/them) love it.”

“I want authors who have put in the time (read: blood, sweat, and tears) learning how to write well. This means that if you’re trying to get me to read the first book you’ve ever written, I’ll likely pass on it. Most authors spend years honing their craft before selling their first book. Also, on that note, please don’t send me a first draft. Take your time and polish your work before submitting it. If you think your book is the right fit for me, I really look forward to reading it!”

“I really want to see to see something quirky and weird, maybe a little dark, yet at the same time emotionally powerful. Maybe illustrated, maybe not. Something that blends the storytelling prowess of Kubo and the Two Strings with the quirky aspect of Adventure Time and the dark weirdness of Over the Garden Wall. If you have this, I want to see it. Now, preferably.”

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Alicia Clancy of Lake Union Publishing

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 4.01.33 PMAlicia Clancy is an editor with Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of Amazon.

Lake Union Publishing seeks absorbing works of contemporary and historical fiction for voracious readers. This includes literary fiction, mainstream fiction, upmarket / book club fiction, historical fiction, contemporary domestic suspense, and women’s fiction.

Alicia Clancy works with a wide range of fiction authors, including the bestselling suspense duo Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke and USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean. She also cultivates upmarket debut novelists with fresh voices, including Glendy Vanderah and Suzy Krause, among many other talented writers.

Prior to joining Lake Union Publishing, Alicia worked as an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press, where her acquisitions included award-winning novelist Julie Cohen and Susie Orman Schnall, among others. Previously, she also worked in sales at Palgrave Macmillan and interned for FinePrint Literary Management. An author herself, Alicia published her humorous gift book, Be My Galentine: Celebrating Badass Female Friendship, with St. Martin’s Griffin in 2017. Alicia has a British husband and an Australian cattle dog named Whiskey. Her favorite activities include hiking, SoulCycle, and working on her first novel (many have been started, but not finished).

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Jason Kirk of 47North

Screen Shot 2016-12-29 at 3.20.28 PM.pngJason Kirk is an acquiring editor for 47North, part of Amazon Publishing.

Jason is a decorated editor and poet, the author of A Fabulous Hag in Purple on the Moor, Reverb, and The Other Whites in South Africa, and the composer of The Mirror of Simple Souls, an opera collaboration with poet Anne Carson. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Michigan. Recent awards and nominations for books he has edited include the 2016 UtopiaCon Best Edited Book Award for Amy A. Bartol’s Darken the Stars, the 2016 Philip K. Dick Award for PJ Manney (R)evolution (finalist), and the 2015 Bram Stoker Award for Christopher Rice’s The Vines (finalist).
 
He is seeking: science fiction for adults, fantasy for adults, and young adult of all types (both SF/F and otherwise/contemporary).

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 4.13.24 PM.pngChip MacGregor is a literary agent and the founder of MacGregor Literary.

His company has focused on specific niche markets — memoir, spirituality, self-help books, Christian and literary fiction, true crime, romance, as well as some specialty projects. He has worked with dozens of bestsellers, sold numerous movie and TV projects, watched authors honored with all variety of writing awards, and has become a voice in the industry for helping authors think long-term about their writing careers.

Chip has a comprehensive knowledge of the industry—from book development to writing, acquisition to production, marketing to sales. A former Associate Publisher with the Time-Warner Book Group, he has secured nearly 1,000 book deals for authors with all of the major publishers, including numerous imprints at Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins, Thomas & Mercer, Jossey-Bass, Llewellyn, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, Baker, Tyndale, Waterbrook, Howard, B&H, Worthy, Revell, Harvest House, and dozens of others. As an editor, he discovered Phillip Gulley, worked with bestselling authors such as Andy Andrews and Karen Kingsbury, and helped craft books for some of the best names in publishing, including Vince Zandri, Chuck Swindoll, Mindy Clark, and David Jeremiah. He has also written more than two-dozen titles, including two books that hit #1 on the bestseller lists in their category, and he has been the collaborative writer on nearly three-dozen other titles. During his tenure as a publisher at Time Warner, he helped start Center Street, the “heartland publishing” initiative at what is now Hachette, and did books with the likes of Mike Huckabee and John Ashcroft.

As a longtime agent he has represented Brennan Manning, Vincent Zandri, Rachel Hauck, Mindy Clark, Irene Hannon, Bonnie Gray, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Jill and Stuart Briscoe, Alistair McGrath, Neta Jackson, Vickie McDonough, the MOPS organization, and many others. His work with Lisa Beamer and Ken Abraham led to Let’s Roll hitting #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, eventually becoming the bestselling nonfiction book the year it released. After starting his own agency, he has focused on helping bring great fiction to market, representing authors such as Leslie Gould, Les Edgerton, Ann Tatlock, Jim Kraus, and Janice Thompson. Some of his bestselling nonfiction clients include New York Times bestsellers Mike Hingson and Susy Flory, bestselling writers Sheila Wray Gregoire, Shane Stanford, David Thomas, and Ira Wagler. A longtime member of AAR, he has represented dozens of books on all the national bestseller lists, and the authors he represents have won numerous national awards.

A popular writer’s conference speaker, Chip has presented workshops at more than 200 publishing conferences, spoken at colleges and universities, and is frequently invited to speak to writers groups around the country on the topics of writing and publishing. He earned his BS with High Honors at Portland State University, earned an MA with Honors from Biola University, and did his doctoral work at the University of Oregon in Policy and Management, focusing on organizational development. He later did a post-doctoral semester at Oxford University. Chip has been written up in numerous writing and publishing related magazines and newsletters, is frequently asked for his opinions on trends in the publishing industry, and his blog is regularly on the list of Writer’s Digest’s “101 Best Websites for Writers.”

Get to Know an Agent: Cortney Radocaj of Belcastro Agency

Screen Shot 2019-10-27 at 2.58.15 PMCortney Radocaj is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency.

She is seeking:

Young adult, new adult, and adult fiction in the following genres & categories:

  • LGBTQIA+ (particularly F/F)
  • Neurodiversity
  • Contemporary
  • Horror
  • Fantasy
  • Sci-fi
  • Steampunk
  • Cyberpunk
  • Mythology/fairytale retellings
  • Gothic fiction, particularly Southern gothic
  • Paranormal
  • Magical realism

She is NOT seeking:

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

“Born and raised in Eastern Washington, I’m currently an associate agent at the Belcastro Agency. When I’m not doing book-related things, I’m spending time with my husband, my animals, or attempting a new craft I’ll never spend enough time on to truly get good at. Supernatural and The Office are constantly running on my TV, and I adore watching creative shows (i.e. baking shows and Project Runway are my ish).”

“I’m a member of the LGBTQIA+ community (#BisexualPride! <3) and of the neurodiverse community. I love to see healthy representation of queer and neurodiverse identities, espcially in SFF, and I’m ecstatic to find and represent books that would have benefited me as a teen. I adore seeing works that celebrate and normalize these experiences, particularly in YA. Compelling characters are what grab me the most; I love books with strong, dynamic, complex characters that have complicated and nuanced relationships with others—especially romances! I love romantic threads that weave in seamlessly with the plot and characters’ motivations, particularly in SFF. In regard to POVs, the closer, the better; I want to live inside characters’ heads when I read, and love as little distance as possible. I enjoy when authors break stereotypes and tropes, and I love when plots and characters surprise her, leaving her breathless on the edge of her seat.”

“Some of my 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; The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth.”

“I’m a Hufflepuff to the core with a penchant for punk, a weakness for puns, and the ferocity of dragons.”

 

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.