New York Times bestselling author Mateo Askaripour aims to empower people of color to seize opportunities for advancement, no matter the obstacle. His first novel, Black Buck, takes on racism in corporate America with humor and wit. Askaripour was chosen as one of Entertainment Weekly’s “10 rising stars to make waves,” and Black Buck was a Read With Jenna Today Show book club pick. He lives in Brooklyn. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @AskMateo.
Noah Ballard is an agent at Verve. He studied creative writing at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and began his career in publishing at Emma Sweeney Agency. Noah focuses on literary fiction, short story collections and narrative non-fiction, including memoir, journalism and pop culture.
Andrea Blatt is a literary agent at WME. A Kansas native and graduate of Vanderbilt University, Andrea is seeking smart book club fiction, upmarket thrillers, and literary environmental and speculative fiction, as well as narrative nonfiction, journalism, untold history, and books that make the political personal to illuminate our modern moment.
Jaidree Braddix is a literary agent at Park and Fine Literary Agency. She represents non-fiction authors who are changing the ways we think about, talk about, and move through the world we live in. She will forever be fascinated by headline-making topics, ranging from serious non-fiction that dives deep to illuminate essential issues, to buzz-worthy “must-reads."
Kelly Caldwell has written for Vox, Pacific Standard, Entropy, New York Newsday, House Beautiful, Time Out New York, The Writer, and Essay Daily, among many others. One of her essays was named a Notable Essay by the editors of the Best American Essays series and anthologized in If These Walls Could Talk: Thoughts of Home. She is also dean of faculty at Gotham Writers Workshop.
Jamie Carr joined The Book Group in January 2020 as an agent. Prior, she worked in the literary department of William Morris Endeavor for almost six years. Born and raised in Lower Manhattan, she has an MFA in fiction writing and began her career in the books department of Tin House. Most interested in adult literary and upmarket commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction, she is drawn to writing that is highly transporting and that seeks to disrupt or reframe what appears to be known.
Rita Chang-Eppig is the author of the novel Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea. Her short fiction has been selected for Best American Short Stories and published in Midnight Breakfast, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, the Rumpus, Clarkesworld, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Santa Monica Review, Conjunctions, and the Kenyon Review Online, among others. She has taught for the University of San Francisco and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. She holds a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Fiction from New York University.
Angie Chatman is a contributor to Business Insider and iPondr, and her short stories have been anthologized in Dine, and appeared in Pangyrus, the Rumpus, YahooLife, Blood Orange Review, Hippocampus magazine, fwriction:review, and the blog Slice of MIT. She has performed stories for The MOTH, the RISK! podcast, StoryCollider, MassMouth, Tell-All Boston, and the TV series Stories from the Stage (WGBH). She holds a BS from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MS in Economics from MIT Sloan, and an MFA in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction from Queens University of Charlotte.
Jon Darga is a literary agent at Aevitas, where he represents both fiction and nonfiction. Prior to Aevitas, he worked as an editor at Crown, a division within Penguin Random House. He attended the Columbia University Publishing Course and holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.
Naomi Davis is a literary agent at BookEnds Literary Agency. Naomi seeks dynamic, character-driven adult and young adult titles in fantasy, sci-fi, and romance. LGBTQ+ elements and diversity in all fiction are a particular plus. Naomi is particularly passionate about finding new fantasy and sci-fi settings with unique magical structures that surprise the reader and change the rules readers associate with those worlds.
Samantha Fabien is a literary agent at Root Literary Agency. After attending the Columbia Publishing Course in 2016, she went on to intern and work part-time at three agencies: Ayesha Pande Literary, Writers House, and Chalberg & Sussman. From there, Samantha fostered her love for sharing diverse, lasting, and inclusive stories with the world. Samantha also works with events and organizations like DVcon and The New York Writing Room among others.
Melissa represents award-winning and best-selling fiction and nonfiction. In nonfiction, she is particularly interested in conversation-changing books including journalism, science, technology, business/finance/economics, memoir/narrative, essays and cultural criticism. Melissa’s authors have won numerous awards including the Pulitzer, the National Book Critic Circle Award, the Whiting Award, the Windham Campbell Prize, the Rona Jaffe Award, the Hugo Award, n + 1 writer’s fellowship and The Nation’s Ridenhour Prize among others.
Stephanie Fretwell-Hill is a literary agent with over 15 years’ experience in the children’s book publishing industry. After starting her career in foreign rights at Walker Books in the UK, Stephanie moved home to the US as an acquiring editor at Peachtree Publishers. In 2016, she joined Red Fox Literary where she represents authors and illustrators of fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade, and YA. Stephanie lives in North Carolina with her English husband, two very spirited daughters, a rescued border collie, and three chickens.
Sarah Gailey is a Hugo Award Winning and Bestselling author of speculative fiction, short stories, and essays. Their nonfiction has been published by dozens of venues internationally. Their fiction has been published in over six different languages. Their most recent novel, The Echo Wife, and first original comic book series with BOOM! Studios, Eat the Rich, are available now. You can find links to their work at sarahgailey.com and on social media at @gaileyfrey.
Varud Gupta is the author of the graphic novel Chhotu: A Tale of Partition and Love and the nonfiction travel memoir Bhagwaan Ke Pakwaan: Food of the Gods. His food and travel articles have appeared in National Geographic and America's Test Kitchen, among others, and his short graphic fiction has appeared in Comixense and Inklab. He has worked as head of originals for the production studio Resting Kitsch Face, and taught for the Indian Institute of Art and Design. He holds a BS from New York University.
David Hale Smith is an agent at Inkwell Management. He is looking for mind-blowing commercial fiction. He represents some of the most beloved authors in contemporary crime and noir fiction. His clients have won multiple Edgar Allen Poe Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, as well as the International Thriller Writers, Anthony, Agatha, Barry, Eisner, Shamus, and Bram Stoker Awards.
Kai Harris is the author of What The Fireflies Knew. A writer and educator from Detroit, Michigan, Harris uses her voice to uplift the Black community through realistic fiction centered on the Black experience. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Lit Hub, Kweli Journal, Longform, and the Killens Review, amongst others. A graduate of Western Michigan University’s PhD program, Kai now lives in the Bay Area where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Santa Clara University.
Haley Heidemann has been at WME since 2016. She represents commercial and literary adult fiction, along with narrative nonfiction, pop culture, and lifestyle. She is drawn to novels with complex female characters, dark female friendships and relationships, queer stories, and a fun family saga. For non-fiction, she’s looking for voice-driven narratives, cultural criticism, sex and dating, essay collections, thought leaders, and lifestyle. In both, she is looking for books that move her and say something subversive about our culture.
Janine Kamouh has been with WME since 2012. Her list focuses on the children’s, illustrated, and graphic novel spaces. She is looking for stories that reach readers on both a head and heart level; picture books that can stand the test of being read over and over again; resonant storytelling that opens the door to important conversations with peers/parents; laugh out loud middle grade; bold and visually propulsive graphic novel fiction and non-fiction; sidekicks in the driver’s seat; timeless adventure; fumbly, funny, butterfly-inducing YA and crossover romance; and fantasy where real people are thrust into magical mayhem.
Natalie Kimber has worked with The Rights Factory since 2014. She appreciates authors who incorporate a strong vision into their writing, writers who fully understand the WHY of their book, and she encourages strong author connection with the writing community and broader readership. In fiction she is looking for: literary, commercial, and upmarket, LGBTQ+, international diversity, speculative, action/adventure, animal stories, modern mythology, nostalgic, transnational, historical, and collections with a strong theme. Find Natalie on Twitter here: @Nat_TRF
Akil Kumarasamy is the author of the linked story collection, Half Gods, which was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, American Short Fiction, BOMB, among others. She has received fellowships from the University of East Anglia, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Yaddo, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She is an assistant professor in the Rutgers University-Newark MFA program and her debut novel, Meet Us by the Roaring Sea, is forthcoming with FSG in August 2022.
Angela Lam is the author of the memoir Red Eggs and Good Luck, the novels Friends First, The Divorce Planner, and Blood Moon Rising, and the short story collection The Human Act and Other Stories. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Sun, the San Jose Mercury News, SFGate, the Portland Book Review, and the Bohemian. She holds a BA from Sonoma State University.
Tricia Lawrence is an agent at Erin Murphy Literary Agency. She represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won't let go.
Alexandra Levick is a junior agent at Writers House where she is developing her picture book, middle grade, young adult, and adult lists. She represents a diverse list of creators whose style ranges from literary to commercial, and just about every space in between. Above all else, she seeks a captivating voice and a strong thematic point behind any work she represents.
Chad Luibl is an agent at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. He comes from the workshop model of creative writing and has a hands-on editorial approach to agenting. For fiction, he is particularly drawn to novels that are more character or plot-driven, thrillers that are as inventive as they are suspenseful, speculative and historical fiction that offer a nuanced perspective on place, and graphic novels that push the boundaries of the genre.
Cameron McClure is an agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. She specializes in fiction and is looking for all types of science-fiction and fantasy or anything with a speculative element. She's especially looking for projects that combine genre style plotting with literary quality writing, and provide us with a new perspective.
Brooke McIntyre is the founder of Inked Voices, an all-online literary organization focused on “small community.” More than 130 writing groups use Inked Voices for their critique, accountability, and discussion groups. Inked Voices also offers small group workshops with literary agents and editors. Because of her background, Brooke was asked to help develop the curriculum for SNHU’s online MFA program, and she’s spoken about creating community and giving feedback at writing conferences. Brooke holds an MBA from the University of Michigan. She lives in Brooklyn with her family and kangaroo-esque puppy.
N. West Moss is the author of the memoir Flesh and Blood, the short story collection The Subway Stops at Bryant Park, and the middle-grade novel Birdy. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Salon, the New York Times, Brevity, River Teeth, and Ars Medica. She has taught at William Paterson University, Montclair State University, and Passaic County Community College. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, a Master of Secondary Education from Mercy College, an MFA in Creative Writing from William Paterson University, and a CPA in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University.
Matt Ortile is the author of the essay collection The Groom Will Keep His Name and the co-editor of the nonfiction anthology Body Language. He is also the executive editor of Catapult magazine and was previously the founding editor of BuzzFeed Philippines. He has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and MacDowell; has taught workshops for Kundiman, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and PEN America; and has written for Esquire, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Out magazine, and BuzzFeed News, among others. He is a graduate of Vassar College, which means he now lives in Brooklyn.
Kristen Paulson-Nguyen is Writing Life Editor at Hippocampus Magazine and has presented at the magazine’s conference, HippoCamp. Through her Title Doctor service, she has titled The Writer Magazine's 2021 contest-winning essay, as well as 12 books. A memoir she titled is forthcoming in 2022 from Toad Hall Editions. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Flyway – Journal of Writing and Environment and Solstice Literary Magazine, among other outlets. Learn more at www.persistencepersonified.com.
Sharon Pelletier joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret in 2013 after working for Europa Editions and Barnes & Noble. While her interests are broad, Sharon is especially seeking upmarket fiction, including unexpected suspense fiction and smart, complex women’s fiction. On the nonfiction side Sharon is eager for compelling, fierce narrative nonfiction by journalists, experts, and emerging voices with a growing platform. In all categories she particularly welcomes marginalized voices.
Ramona Pina is an associate agent at BookEnds Literary. She is interested in carving a space for and elevating underrepresented voices. Fantasy, magical realism, sci-fi, paranormal romance, horror, and a spin-off of villain retellings are her favorite genres. In YA and Adult fantasy, give her a fast-paced adventure that emphasizes the hero’s journey! But she’s also hoping to see more SciFi that focuses more on Fiction and less on technology while still showcasing how to build a better world. If you have a SFF that is slightly different from this, she's open to being pleasantly surprised.
Albert Samaha is an investigative journalist, Inequality Editor at BuzzFeed News, and author of two books: Never Ran, Never Will: Boyhood and Football in a Changing American Inner City and Concepcion: An Immigrant Family’s Fortunes. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant and the New York Society Library’s 2019 Hornblower Award.
is a Literary Agent at Carol Mann Agency. She hopes to work with authors from diverse backgrounds. Her typical preferences include narrative nonfiction, contemporary fiction, memoir, women’s fiction, popular culture, and lifestyle. Prior to Carol Mann, she was a junior agent at New Leaf and an editorial assistant at HarperCollins Publishers. She holds a BA in Journalism and Political Science from Boston University's College of Communication.
Josh Sippie is Gotham’s Director of Publishing Guidance and host of Inside Writing. He is the Fiction Editor at The Razor magazine, an associate editor at Uncharted Magazine, has served as a developmental editor and proofreader for Del Sol Review and Writers Clearinghouse, and was a literary assistant at Talcott Notch Literary.
Eric Smith is a literary agent and author living in Philadelphia. An agent with P.S. Literary, he's worked on New York Times bestselling and award-winning books. He's actively looking for Young Adult novels, genre-blending literary fiction, select sci-fi and fantasy, and all kinds of non-fiction (especially cookbooks and memoir!). You can learn more about him at his website, www.ericsmithrocks.com.
Alexa Stark joined Writers House in 2022, after ten years at Trident Media Group. On the fiction side, she is particularly drawn to debuts with a singular voice and perspective, stories about dysfunctional friendships and families, novels that engage with social issues, underrepresented voices, and fiction that delves into the surreal or plays with genre in fresh or subversive ways. She gravitates towards the humorous, the bold, the off-beat, and the tender, and is drawn to emotionally acute fiction that centers around intimacy and fervor.
Emma Stephenson is the Director of Communications and Events at Gotham Writers. She has a voracious appetite for stories, and since her graduation from Emerson College’s Performing Arts program, she has gravitated to places where stories are front and center: including Symphony Space in New York City, the Columbia Publishing Course in Oxford, England, and a brief stint selling tickets at an aging movie theater in Cambridge, Mass. Emma is now a writer based in Brooklyn, and she can’t wait to see where her obsession with stories will take her next.
Michaela Whatnall is an agent at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Their background in school and library marketing accounts for their strong interest in children’s literature, from picture books up through middle grade and young adult novels and graphic novels. In the adult fiction space, they are particularly seeking character-driven speculative fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, and other genre fiction that features historically underrepresented characters. They are also interested in nonfiction for both children and adults, especially narrative nonfiction in the areas of history, the creative arts, and lifestyle.
Maria is a literary agent at InkWell. Before joining InkWell, she worked as a Foreign Rights Assistant at Janklow & Nesbit and interned at Akashic Books. Maria enjoys a blend of literary and commercial fiction, as well as speculative fiction and magical realism. She is particularly fond of novels that straddle the cultural divide. She is looking for books in the fiction and nonfiction space that speak to the current cultural moment or examine overlooked facets of society.
Keaton Wooden is a Rhodes and Emmy-nominated screenwriter, composer, and social impact producer. Notable works include the award-winning trans civil war musical "Albert Cashier", social justice film "Kenneth Chamberlain" with EP Morgan Freeman, and the single "Sirens" sung by Hamilton star Javier Muñoz, to raise funds for first responders. Wooden serves around the country as a creative consultant and speaker on creative artist feedback (SAG, IFP Chicago), semiotics & ethnography (Kingston University, Ball State, Oxford), and social impact producing/fundraising.