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.

 

Advertisements

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

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 2.49.19 PM.pngGordon 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)

Get to Know an Agent Assistant in Attendance: Rae Loverde of Donald Maass Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 2.32.06 PM.pngRae Loverde is an agent assistant at Donald Maass Literary Agency.

At the 2019 event, she will be taking pitches at the workshop on behalf of co-agents.

Her co-agent Kiana Nguyen is seeking the following:

  • contemporary romances like Alisha Rai and Alyssa Cole
  • adult sci-fi that feels like “Black Mirror”
  • psychological thrillers
  • In YA, she’s looking for thrillers and contemporary that’s queer, POC, or features a mystery.
  • In all categories except romance, the darker, the better.

Her co-agent Caitlin McDonald is seeking the following:

  • All science fiction & fantasy fiction for adult, YA, and MG, especially secondary world fantasy and alternate history
  • Genre-bending or cross-genre fiction, and stories that examine tropes from a new angle
  • Diversity of all kinds, including (but not limited to) race, gender, sexuality, and ability, in both characters and worldbuilding

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Laurel Symonds of The Bent Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 1.17.41 PM.pngLaurel Symonds is a literary agent with The Bent Agency.

She is seeking young adult fiction (all kinds), middle grade fiction (all kinds), chapter books, and picture books (both text only and author-illustrator work). She also seeks excellent illustrators and children’s nonfiction.

She does not want pitches for graphic novels or any kind of books for adults.

“I began my publishing career in the editorial department of HarperCollins Children’s Books/Katherine Tegen Books in New York City. In the past decade, I have also held positions in the marketing department at a small publishing house, in a library, and as a bookseller at one of the nation’s best independent bookstores. What I love about agenting is being the author’s number one cheerleader through all these parts of the publication process!

I am seeking young adult and middle-grade fiction with earnest, engaging voices set in immersive worlds. Fantasy, contemporary, historical settings, retellings, and manuscripts with unique elements are of specific interest. In particular, I am seeking voices that have previously been underrepresented and stories that have been overlooked. I’m also interested in middle grade that might lend itself to illustration.

“For chapter and picture books, I am seeking authors and illustrators (or author-illustrators) who bring a unique vision to their stories. In chapter books, I’m seeking sweet realistic or mystery series. My picture book tastes are diverse, ranging from sophisticated to quirky to gently humorous. I am interested in art in all mediums, but especially appreciate a smart use of color and perspective.

“In nonfiction for children and young adults, I am seeking biographies, histories, and explorations of STEM elements, especially projects with series potential. I’m also interested in prospective authors with an established expertise and/or platform that lends itself to expansion into the children’s market.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Anne Tibbets of Red Sofa Literary.

Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 5.12.36 PM.pngAnne Tibbets is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary.

She is seeking:

  • Adult science fiction: “Give me your dystopia, your utopia, your bloody, bomb-ridden, and gun-blazing shoot ‘em ups with hearts of gold and threads of hope. Earth bound or in space. Bring on your new planets and aliens of all sorts. I’m not afraid of grit, but I do detest sexism. Blow my socks off.”
  • Adult and young adult fantasy: “Give me your twist on magic, urban or high fantasy. Give me a unique kingdom or city to conquer, and I will be your greatest champion. Bonus points if female driven.”
  • Adult thrillers: “Innovative thrillers only. Can’t stress this enough. ‘Just say no’ to alcoholic detectives investigating dead girls. Give me something fresh and well researched. Historical a plus. No redemptive Nazi plots. Anything else? Bring it on.”
  • Adult and young adult horror: “I want demons, ghosts, ghouls, vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, or just really awful human beings – perhaps not all at once. Think early Stephen King mixed with Gillian Flynn. Scare me. Make me sleep with the lights on and marvel at your creepy word choice. My soul is ready.”

Anne is the author of multiple science fiction novels and a former screenwriter. In her free time, Anne watches television, reads, games, and participates in a myriad of “Old Lady” hobbies. She can be found on Twitter @AnneTibbets.

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, and popular culture. She is actively seeking middle grade and young adult fiction (all genres), from adventure driven and fantastical to contemporary settings exploring social issues. For new adult and adult fiction, she seeks plot-driven literary works and upmarket commercial stories with only a touch of genre. She is especially drawn to a strong voice and dynamic characters, a well-paced plot, witty or quirky humor, and am 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.

Meet an Agent and Scout in Attendance: Michael Neff of AEI Films and Books

Screen Shot 2018-12-23 at 10.43.50 AM.pngMichael Neff is an editor and independent literary agent for AEI Films & Books.

He is seeking: speculative fiction of all kinds — including, but not limited, to: science fiction, science-fantasy, fantasy, and all sub genres.

Query reviews: While Michael is taking pitches like other attending agents and editors, he is also happy to use his 10-minute meeting slots for quick query reviews, as well, if the attendee prefers. Please note that he prefers speculative fiction to review (in terms of queries), and the critique is limited to the 10-minute time slot.

Michael Neff is an author, agent, small press publisher, and a developmental editor. He is also an executive with AEI Films and Books in Los Angeles. His greatest satisfaction stems from helping dedicated fiction writers become commercially published. As an independent agent, he is actively searching for high concept projects that can be transformed into films or books, or both.

Agent deals and commercial novels he has worked on as a development editor over the past several years include ON MAGGIE’S WATCH by Ann Garvin, MURDER AT BARCLAY MEADOW by Wendy Eckel, THE EDGE OF NORMAL by Carla Norton, THE BLACK PANTHERS by Gina Niccolo, DIE BACK by Richard Hacker, and RISE OF THE AMERICAN CORPORATE SECURITY STATE by Bea Edwards, among others. Novels ushered to commercial publication via his Algonkian-method workshops include THE MANHATTAN PUZZLE by Laurence O’Bryan, THE WISDOM OF HAIR by Kim Boykin, ORPHAN 8 by Kim Van Alkemade, DARK TURNS by Cate Holahan, THE GOAT WOMAN OF LARGO BAY by Gillian Royes, and THE FICTION CLASS by Susan Breen, among others.

His own work has appeared in many national literary publications such as North American Review, Conjunctions, Pittsburgh Quarterly, The Literary Review, and Quarterly West, and he is author of ALL THE DARK WE WILL NOT SEE (Serving House Books), primary author, editor, and creator of WAR OF THE WORLD MAKERS (Del Sol Press), and creator of MAGICIANS IMPOSSIBLE (Macmillan Books).