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

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Becky LeJeune of Bond Literary

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 10.59.44 AMBecky LeJeune is an associate literary agent with Bond Literary.

She is actively building her client list, and is interested in adult and teen horror, mystery novels, thrillers, historical fiction, science fiction novels, fantasy novels, and general fiction (both YA and adult).

Becky has always been an avid reader, cutting her teeth at a very young age on the likes of R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike before quickly branching into the wider world of Agatha Christie, Stephen King, and other “adult” authors. But it wasn’t until after college that she decided publishing was the industry for her.

After working her way through college as a bookseller and earning a BS in Criminal Justice (with minors in English and Anthropology), Becky was accepted into the Denver Publishing Institute, one of a handful of graduate-level programs offering a crash course in publishing. It was there that she met Sandra Bond of Bond Literary Agency. After working for two years as managing editor for a cookbook imprint and another five as a commissioning editor for a local interest and regional history publisher, Becky reconnected with Sandra and has been working with her ever since.

Becky still reads R.L. Stine and believes her degree will eventually come in handy.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Vicki Selvaggio of Storm Literary (formerly Jennifer De Chiara Literary)

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 12.01.25 AM.pngVicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary).

Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to Storm Literary Agency as a Literary Agent and Partner. Previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. As a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio, Victoria’s desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent.

With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects! While Storm Literary is primarily a children’s book agency, Victoria will be accepting pitches for new adult and adult projects from conference attendees.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jill Marr of Sandra Dijkstra Literary

screen-shot-2015-05-28-at-3-22-28-pm.pngJill Marr is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

Jill is interested in: commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense and horror, women’s commercial fiction and historical fiction. She is also looking for non-fiction by authors who are getting their work published regularly and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Jill is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of history, sports, politics, current events, cookbooks, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor, music, and very select memoir.

Please note that Jill is specifically not interested in: YA, children’s books, sci-fi, romance, screenplays, graphic novels, or anything involving unicorns.

She graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in history. She has a strong Internet and media background and nearly 15 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, and continues to write book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces, and promotional features for television.

After writing ad copy and features for published books for years, she knows how to find the “hook” and sell it.

Some of Jill’s recent and soon-to-be-published nonfiction includes the Travel Channel’s Nick Groff’s Chasing Spirits (NAL); Maybe We’ll Have You Back (Skyhorse) by actor Fred Stoller; The Chosen Few (Da Capo) by USA Today writer Gregg Zoroya; Break Free from the Divortex (Seal Press) by Christina Pesoli; Teaching Kids to Think (Sourcebooks) by Darlene Sweetland, PhD and Ron Stolberg, PhD; Doulas A. Wissing’s Funding Our Enemy (Prometheus Books); Press One for English (The New Press) by Washington State Senator Pramila Jayapal; Why We Love Serial Killers (Skyhorse) by Scott Bonn; Mission High (Nation Books) by journalist Kristina Rizga; Don’t Lick the Minivan (Skyhorse) by Leanne Shirtliffe; William Jones’ More Than the Dream: The Untold Story of the March on Washington (Norton); and Spitting in the Soup (VeloPress) by Mark Johnson.

Some of Jill’s new and upcoming fiction includes Brain Storm (Thomas & Mercer) by Anthony-and-Agatha-Award winning author Elaine Viets; A Place We Knew Well (Ballatine Books) by Susan Carol McCarthy; Moving Day and The Teller (Thomas & Mercer) by Jonathon Stone; Fishbowl (St. Martin’s Press); and the Jaden Terrell series that includes the Shamus Award nominee Racing the Devil and A Cup Full of Midnight (The Permanent Press).

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.

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)