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: 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 2020 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: Leslie Varney of Prentis Literary

Screen Shot 2019-12-26 at 12.09.15 PMLeslie Varney is a literary agent and co-president of Prentis Literary.

She specializes in adult speculative fiction — science fiction and fantasy — for adults, young adult, and middle grade. Leslie has also established herself as a specialist in genre-bending fiction, enthusiastically representing authors whose works defy easy classification.

“It was never my plan to learn to read. In fact, I resisted it with all my five-year-old might, which was fairly significant. My favorite times were when my dad would read to me and I was afraid that when I learned to read myself, those lovely times would end. But my dad’s plan was different and his will was equal to mine. After many knock-down battles, and lots of Dick and Jane, I reluctantly learned.”

“I grew up during the mid-70s on my family’s hippie farm, situated in a small middle-class town in the Hudson Valley. This would have made me unique in any case, but the fact that we had no television was downright bizarre. While all my friends were watching re-runs of the “Brady Bunch” (again), I was re-reading “A Wizard of Earthsea” (again). Or “Watership Down”, “A Wrinkle in Time”, “The Crystal Cave”, whatever was around. Luckily for me, there were always books around. And, since my dad’s favorite books tended to the fantasy and science fiction genres, my house was a fantastic playground of interesting ideas and wonderful stories. I was known as the weird kid who always had a book with her. If you couldn’t find me, I was probably hiding in Oz. Instead of doing my boring chores, I was Laura Ingalls Wilder, and her chores were exciting frontier adventures! There were no limits when it came to stories and there was always somewhere wonderful to visit.”

“I am pleased as punch that now I get to help authors bring new worlds, new ideas, and new magic to the literary world. I will always love the oral story-telling tradition, but my appreciation for the written work knows no bounds and I love being a part of bringing that passion to new readers. It turns out that my dad’s plan was better than mine after all.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amy Levenson of Blue Heron Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.12.03 AM.pngAmy Levenson is the founding literary agent of Blue Heron Literary.

She represents: mainstream literary and commercial fiction, and nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, and cookery. She is actively seeking non-fiction, especially with topics in heath and nutrition, cookbooks, lifestyle and popular culture. She is especially drawn to new trends or new takes on old favorites, strong voice and dynamic platforms, and is always susceptible to a good solid tug on the heart strings.

Blue Heron Literary is a boutique agency based out of Seattle that places fiction and nonfiction with major and independent publishers throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Amy, a native to the Pacific Northwest and graduate of the University of Washington, began her career at the Sheldon Fogelman Agency in New York City, where she had the opportunity to work with books by some of her favorite childhood authors and illustrators.

She later returned to Seattle, selling books for becker&mayer! that focused on well-known estates and intellectual properties, including Star Wars and the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Neal Swain of Wales Literary

Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 10.11.03 PMNeal Swain is a literary agent with Wales Literary.

Subjects of interest for the agency are: mainstream and literary fiction, graphic novels, narrative-driven nonfiction and memoirs— with particular emphasis on science, nature, social justice, politics, health, food writing, and culture.

Neal graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in History. She handles permissions, marketing, and publicity for the agency.

Recently published and forthcoming titles represented by the Agency include: At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life by Samuel Harrington, MD (Hachette, 2018); Our Native Bees by Paige Embry (Timber/Workman, 2018); Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life by David R. Montgomery (Norton, 2017), a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing; Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Little, Brown, 2017); Witness Tree by Lynda Mapes (Bloomsbury, 2017); Be Brave, Be Kind, Be Thankful: A Year in Small Town Government (Algonquin, 2019) by Heather Lende, author of NY Times Bestseller, If You Lived Here, You’d Know My Name and Find the Good (Algonquin, 2016) — the latter two titles have been optioned for TV by Freemantle Media; and Victory Parade, a graphic novel about WWII by Leela Corman (Schocken/Pantheon, 2019), author of Unterzakhn, a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, 2013 Le Prix Artemisia, and the Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Album.

Also among are agency clients are: Dan Savage, David Mas Masumoto, Julia A. Boyd, Peter Donahue, Gordon Edgar, Kenny Fries, Jean Hegland, Martin Laird, Cinthia Ritchie, and Robert Spector.

Agency titles have appeared on the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and other national bestseller lists and earned strong reviews.

Agency client awards include: American Book Awards, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Literary Award, the Anisfeld-Wolf Book Award, the AWP Award, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, Guggenheim Awards, the Harvard Goldsmith Award, a Julia Child Literary Food Writing Award, Lambda Literary Awards, Lannan Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Library of Congress, MacArthur Fellowships, NEA Fellowships, PEN Awards, the Polk Award, Pulitzer Prize finalists, Pushcart Prizes, Rockefeller Grants, and Washington State Book Awards.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Garrett Alwert of Emerald City Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-02-28 at 9.15.19 PM.pngGarrett Alwert is an associate literary agent with Emerald City Literary Agency.

He and the agency represent young adult and middle grade — specifically in the areas of romance, thriller/mystery, magical realism and sci-fi (no kidlit fantasy for him).

Prior to joining Emerald City Literary, Garrett graduated from Washington State University with a degree in business. He played professional baseball and worked as a contractor until he found his true passion in publishing. In 2016 he began interning for Mandy Hubbard then became Agency Assistant before being promoted to Associate Agent. A long-time book lover Garrett can be found reading just about anything he can get his hands on. He is currently co-representing multiple authors alongside co-agent Mandy Hubbard.