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 Kiana Nguyen, a literary agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency who 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.
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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 seems 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: Amy Levenson of Blue Heron Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.12.03 AM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Amy 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.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kelli Martin of Wendy Sherman Associates

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 10.43.00 PM.pngKelli Martin is a literary agent with Wendy Sherman Associates.

She is seeking: Kelli is passionate about building the agency’s romance program, and is also excited to discover new talent and shape content in commercial women’s fiction and book club / upmarket fiction.

Kelli began her book publishing career over twenty years ago. She started at Simon & Schuster and rose up the editorial ladder at HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Amazon Publishing. At Amazon Publishing, Kelli acquired and edited some of the house’s highest selling, breakout authors and books in romance and commercial fiction; in addition, she served as a founding editor and public face of Montlake Romance as well as Executive Editor at Lake Union.

For Kelli, guiding writers, perfecting manuscripts and building a list of beloved books that satisfy publishing houses and readers are the loves of her life.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Natalie Grazian of Martin Literary Management

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 10.22.04 AM.pngNatalie Grazian is an Associate Literary Agent at Martin Literary Management.

As the latest on staff, Natalie is eager to build her adult fiction list. She is currently accepting queries for commercial, upmarket, and literary adult fiction. Natalie would love it if you sent her contemporary fantasy (in the vein of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians). She’s drawn to dark comedy that still carries a beating heart—because at the end of the day, she turns to books to find humanity. She is highly interested in reimagined myths and fairytales from different cultures, historical fiction, and a good quest narrative in any genre. More than anything, she looks for complex characters who make the unrelatable relatable, and for a smart, distinctive narrative voice. At this time, she’s not seeking military thrillers, sports stories, or romance novels.

Natalie has a BA in English and Minor in Spanish from Santa Clara University. Upon graduating, she worked as a sales representative for W. W. Norton & Co. and interned for two literary agencies, including Martin Literary & Media Management. For two years, Natalie was the Fiction Editor of The Santa Clara Review, the oldest literary magazine on the West Coast.

She’s thrilled to join MLM and fully realize her passion for working with authors and bringing their stories to life. She has a knack for collaborative manuscript development, extensive insight into the publishing world, and an irrepressible drive to see her clients’ work at the bookstore.

Natalie grew up in sunny San Diego, which she recalls wistfully from time to time, but not too often. She’s taken to Seattle like a duck to water. When she isn’t lost in a book, she might be writing stories or doing any number of bipedal activities in the mountainous Pacific Northwest. She is distrustful of any purse that can’t fit a slim paperback. Or two. Natalie tweets at @NatalieGrazian

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.07.57 AM.pngAdria Goetz is an associate literary agent with Martin Literary Management.

She represents the lifestyle genre and everything under the Christian writing umbrella: children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult, adult fiction, and adult nonfiction (including memoir). If your work does not fall somewhere under the Christian/inspirational umbrella, she is not the best fit for your work.

Prior to becoming an Associate Literary Manager, Adria fostered her knack for developing creative work during her three years as an intern and assistant at Martin Literary & Media Management with Sharlene Martin and Clelia Gore.

Adria is a 2016 graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, a six-week intensive course on all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. She is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle with a B.A. in English with a creative writing emphasis. Adria has also worked for Washington’s Pierce County Library.

Adria lives in the Seattle area with her husband Alex, a youth pastor, and her bunny, Eleanor Roosevelt. She tweets at @AdriaMGoetz.

Get to Know Writing Day Workshops Coordinator Jessica Bell

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 12.15.26 AM.pngJessica Bell is the executive coordinator of Writing Day Workshops, which organizes one-day writing conferences. These events take place mostly in the U.S., but can happen elsewhere.

If Jessica could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she spends most of her time in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a 30-something Australian contemporary fiction author, award-winning poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written.

She started as a poet, drawing from her musical background and etching her thoughts and feelings into verse. Those stanzas soon turned into sentences and paragraphs, and eventually into published books. Her literary voice is said to overflow with “lyrical descriptions, unique metaphors, tight dialogue, and an abundance of sensory detail.” She has also been told she has the ability to take a seemingly ordinary three-chord type story and turn it into a main stage event.

In addition to her novels about unique dysfunctional families, poetry collections, and her best-selling pocket writing guides (Writing in a Nutshell series), she has published a variety of works in online and print literary journals and anthologies, including Australia’s Cordite Review, Writer’s Digest, and the anthologies 100 Stories For Queensland and From Stage Door Shadows, both released through Brisbane, Australia’s, eMergent Publishing.

One of Jessica’s proudest moments was when, in November 2013, her poem, Sugar (which was published in a poetry anthology called Women’s Work, edited by Libby Hathorn) was broadcast on ABC National Radio’s Poetica program.

Jessica Bell is the Publisher of Vine Leaves Press, and she makes a living as a Book Cover Designer for indie authors, and an editor/writer for English Language Teaching publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, Macmillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

As of October 2016, she is the singer of Keep Shelly in Athens.

To see a list of awards click here.