Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jessica Watterson of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 6.40.14 PMJessica Watterson is a literary agent with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

A graduate of the University of California at Irvine, Jessica has immersed herself in books and literature from the time she could first read. While in college, she started an indie review blog that featured author interviews and reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times best seller list.

Jessica is always on the hunt for new and diverse projects, and is most interested in all genres of romance. She’s drawn to fun, fresh voices, and character driven stories that keep a reader turning the page needing to know what happens next. Independent heroines are a must, in addition to well realized heroes who aren’t alpha-holes. Some of her favorite authors include: Kristen Ashley, Jennifer Armentrout, Jeaniene Frost, Amy Harmon, and Colleen Hoover.

She also loves Women’s Fiction that concerns itself with elements of life that can greatly change one’s perspective and outlook on cultures and experiences.

Jessica is also open to select Cozy Mysteries that feature fun and independent heroines that can take what life throws at them with aplumb and a bit of humor.

On the YA side, she is looking for just about anything in the contemporary sphere, and of course a bit of romance thrown in is never a bad thing in her opinion.

She is also interested in select author illustrated picture books that capture the fun and joy of reading between adults and children.

Some of Jessica’s recent sales include: Kerry Rea’s The Wedding Ringer (Berkley), Angie Hockman’s Shipped (Gallery), Alexa Martin’s Unfiltered (Berkley), Jennifer Yen’s A Taste for Love (Razorbill), Rosie Danan’s Never Have I Ever (Berkley), Debbie Burn’s A Chance at Forever (Sourcebooks), Dylann Crush’s The Cowboy Says I Do (Berkley) and many more.

Please note that Jessica is specifically not interested in: nonfiction, memoir, cookbooks, poetry, short stories, screenplays, self-help, or religious/spiritual books.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 4.08.41 PMKimberly Brower is a literary agent and the founder of Brower Literary.

She is interested in: commercial and upmarket fiction, with an emphasis in general/book club fiction (specifically books that involve complex relationships, ones with moral ambiguity plots is a plus), women’s fiction and romance. However, she is always looking for books that she wants to stay up all night reading, unable to put them down, regardless of what genre an author classifies it as. She loves stories that bring her into a world she doesn’t want to leave and characters that have strong character arcs. She also can never say no to an epic love story.

Kimberly fell in love with reading when she picked up her first Babysitter’s Club book at the age of seven (Super Special editions were her favorites) and hasn’t been able to get her nose out of a book since. She holds a BS in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge and received her JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. After spending a decade in the business world, it was kismet that she found herself in publishing.

She takes great pride in her client list, from the debut authors to #1 NYT bestsellers, and likes to consider them all her favorite authors. She previously worked for over two years at a boutique literary agency before starting her own. After spending 14 years in California, she is thrilled to be back on the east coast. When not providing individual attention to her clients, Kimberly manages all of the day-to-day operations of the agency. This includes overseaing the management of the foreign, audio and all other subsidiary rights for all the authors in the agency.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cecilia Lyra of The Rights Factory

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 3.39.20 PM.pngCecilia Lyra is a literary agent with The Rights Factory.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Banking and Financial Law from Boston University and is completing a graduate certificate in publishing. In 2016, she bid adieu to her life as lawyer and professor of law to become a writer and literary agent. She blames this heretical career move on her nine-year-old-self, who was bitten by the reading bug and began to dream of the day when she would work with books.

Cecilia is actively seeking literary and commercial adult Book Club fiction that feature diverse, layered characters and unexpected plot twists. She adores writers such as Curtis Sittenfeld, Liane Moriarty and Elin Hilderbrand. As a feminist, Cecilia loathes the term women’s fiction—it’s just fiction—but, for the purposes of clarity, that is her favorite genre. Cecilia is also looking for unique and compelling narrative nonfiction and memoirs such as the works of Esther Perel, Roxane Gay and Tara Westover. She is particularly passionate about representing under- or misrepresented voices and stories that contribute to a larger cultural conversation.

When she isn’t devouring novels—or dessert—Cecilia can be found drinking wine, writing her own novels, and snuggling with Babaganoush, her adorable English bulldog. Do not send her a manuscript where the dog dies—Cecilia can’t handle it. Cecilia does not accept submissions for children’s books, middle-grade, YA, or fantasy.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephany Evans of Pande Literary

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 11.05.35 AMStephany Evans is a literary agent at Pande Literary.

Stephany put a toe in the publishing waters at Simon & Schuster Audio when audio publishing was just beginning to be “a thing.”

Now, for more than twenty-five years, Stephany has represented nonfiction writers in the areas of health and wellness, spirituality, lifestyle, food and drink, and sustainability, running and fitness, memoir and narrative nonfiction. She also represents a range of women’s fiction, from literary to upmarket commercial, to romance, as well as crime fiction (mysteries, thrillers), and the occasional literary or commercial novel not aimed at a female market. She is looking for fine, accomplished writing, whether the work is by a first time or established author.

She loves to be told a great story!

Stephany is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR), the RWA, the MWA and the Agents Round Table (ART). She has served as ghostwriter on seven published books in the categories of memoir and spirituality.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Michelle Richter of Fuse Literary

Screen Shot 2020-06-26 at 12.02.04 PM.pngMichelle Richter is a literary agent with Fuse Literary.

Michelle joined Fuse Literary after eight years at St. Martin’s Press. While there, she edited nonfiction including MELISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL by Melissa Joan Hart, and worked on upmarket,commercial, and women’s fiction, memoir/ biography, pop culture, cookbooks, and diet/health books. She has an M.S. in Publishing from Pace University (where she is an adjunct faculty member).

Her clients include Kellye Garrett, the Anthony-, Agatha-, Lefty-, and IPPY Award-winning author of HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE and HOLLYWOOD ENDING; Carl Vonderau, Lefty Award-winning author of MURDERABILIA; John Vercher, Lefty- and Edgar- nominee for THREE-FIFTHS; and Tara Laskowski, a finalist for the Lefty, Agatha, and Mary Higgins Clark Awards for her debut, ONE NIGHT GONE.

Michelle is seeking:
-suspense
-mystery
-psychological thrillers
-domestic suspense
-women’s fiction
-book club fiction
-YA mystery/thriller
-select contemporary YA

She’s eager to find mystery/thriller/suspense with complex lead characters who are women, LGBTQ, or people of color. Underrepresented voices and #ownvoices in fiction always welcome. She loves unreliable narrators, stories of family secrets, friendships, and sibling relationships. Her favorite writers include Celeste Ng, Ruth Ware, Laura Lippman, Megan Miranda, Lori Rader-Day, and Tana French. She’d love to find the next SUCH A FUN AGE, #FASHIONVICTIM, LONG BRIGHT RIVER, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, or BLACKTOP WASTELAND.

You can follow Michelle on Twitter at @michrichter1

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Tia Mele of Talcott Notch Literary

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 10.30.30 PM.pngTia Mele is a literary agent with Talcott Notch Literary.

She is seeking: middle grade and young adult projects in any genre. “I’m especially interested in dark middle grade and contemporary YA. Please send me your LGBT+ stories, as well as stories featuring visible and invisible illnesses, especially relating to mental health. I like everything from deep, terrifying thrillers to sweet, heartwarming romances. Sports plots are always interesting to me, especially if they involve baseball or softball. Dogs are a huge part of my life, so I’m all for dog-related stories as well!”

Tia is also seeking limited adult projects in women’s fiction and romance. In nonfiction, she is looking for anything sports related, especially baseball, football, or basketball. “I’m also open to cookbooks from chefs who have a following from a blog or channel.”

“When I was in elementary school, our library held a contest to have breakfast with the author of a popular series. For each book from the series you borrowed from the library, you got one entry into the breakfast raffle. I read as many books as my brain could handle, including the ones I’d already read in order to get extra entries, but I still didn’t win the contest. It was disappointing, but looking back, that was when I realized just how much I love books and reading. Despite being an avid reader, writer, and book-lover, I ended up in school for Music Business. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a semester into my degree, I realized my favorite class was actually the English GenEd I was taking. It only made sense to switch gears, so I transferred to the University of Connecticut and completed a B.A. in English. After finishing my undergraduate studies, I went on to earn a M.A. in English and Creative Writing.”

“When I’m not exploring new worlds in literature, you can probably find me visiting MLB stadiums (I’ve been to 10 of 30!), cheering on the Yard Goats, or hanging out with my dogs and rabbit.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephanie Winter of P.S. Literary

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 10.54.27 AM.pngStephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary.

She first joined the agency as an intern before becoming the agency’s relations assistant. Stephanie is a dedicated bookseller who holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in English Literature and a M.A. in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London.

Her experiences of living and traveling in and around Europe have left her eagerly devouring upmarket, fantasy, and nonfiction genres that make new worlds and perspectives come alive. Stephanie particularly appreciates strong characters who bend stereotypes, genders, and more.

Stephanie is acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. Within fiction, she’s actively seeking diverse and inclusive representation in Upmarket, Commercial, Historical, and Women’s Fiction, in addition to urban and magical fantasies, cozy mysteries, dramatic comedies, light romances, and genre-bending narratives. Within non-fiction, she’s interested in Humor, Pop Culture, Pop Psychology, Memoir, cultural or event-based History, select Dessert Cookbooks, LGBTQ+ narratives, and essay collections.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Eva Scalzo of Speilburg Literary

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 9.35.22 AMEva Scalzo is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary.

Eva Scalzo was born in New Jersey, but has lived in Houston, Buenos Aires, San Juan, and Boston before settling down outside of Binghamton, New York. She has a B.A. in the Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico and a M.A. in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. Since graduating in 2002, she has spent her career in scholarly publishing, working for Houghton Mifflin, Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, and Cornell University in a variety of roles.

Eva has been reading romance since the fifth grade when she discovered the Sweet Valley High series. On inheriting her grandmother’s collection of vintage Harlequin Romances, she promptly set about filling the gaps, and her goal is to someday finish reading all the treasures.

Eva is looking to represent all subgenres of Romance, as well as Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Young Adult fiction. Before you hit submit on any queries please verify her #MSWL page and check out the agency’s Writing Tips.

Fun Facts: “My name is not pronounced with a long E sound. I’m of Puerto Rican, Lebanese, and Spanish descent.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Carly Watters of P.S. Literary

Screen Shot 2019-07-31 at 1.47.25 PM.pngCarly Watters is a literary agent with P.S. Literary.

Carly is currently acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. In terms of fiction, she is seeking women’s fiction, upmarket adult, commercial adult, domestic suspense, literary mystery & thrillers, historical, contemporary romance, and smart book club fiction. In terms of nonfiction, she is looking for pop science, business, psychology, cookbooks, unique memoirs, lifestyle (health, wellness, relationships, parenting), narrative, and platform-based nonfiction (must have demonstrable expertise and a quantifiable market).

Carly began her publishing career in London at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. She has a BA in English Literature from Queen’s University and a MA in Publishing Studies from City University London. Since joining PSLA in 2010 Carly has had great success launching new authors domestically and abroad. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents at PSLA. Representing debuts and bestsellers, Carly is drawn to: emotional, well-paced fiction, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in; and platform-driven nonfiction.

Carly is actively looking for: For fiction, she seeks literary, upmarket and commercial fiction, world Literature, smart Women’s Fiction and Book Club books, Literary Thrillers, LGBT; and nonfiction in the Health, Wellness, Cookbook, Narrative, Lifestyle, Memoir, Humor, Pop Science, Pop Psychology and Business categories.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amy Giuffrida of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 9.01.14 AMAmy Giuffrida is an associate agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

“My life is consumed with all things bookish. When I’m not working on books, I’m talking about stories with my classes as an 8th grade ELA (English/Language Arts) teacher. In my spare time, you can find me renovating my house, binge-watching TV shows on Hulu, or reading something scary—all while snuggling with my three rescue dogs.

What I’m looking for:

MIDDLE-GRADE AND YA

Horror- Give me your dark and twisted tales that make me question reality. I also love those campy stories full of tropes, so send them my way!

Fantasy/Paranormal- I want to see more stories with connection and relevance to culture and legends. I’m dying for a spooky ghost story! As for vampires? I’m totally interested in finding something unique and contemporary, especially if there’s an element of humor.

Romance- Remember your first kiss? I really want to see sweet first love stories. I want to feel that wave of butterflies first love creates and the awkwardness of a first kiss or that tension of having a crush—no matter the type of coupling (F/F, M/M, or F/M).

Contemporary- I am extremely interested in healthy female friendships, girl sport stories, and girls in rock bands. Give me girl power! I really want some darker or more serious stories as well, like kids dealing with homelessness, mental health, or adoption to name a few.

Mystery- I’d love to see stories including a group of teens that band together to solve puzzles and mysteries. Think of a modern day Goonies, Scooby-Doo, Nancy Drew (not the CW version), The Hardy Boys, or Pretty Little Liars. Make it gritty and dark for the win!

Novel in Verse- First love, discovering your true self, and growing up told in a lyrical form is exactly what I’m looking for.

ADULT

Horror- I want scary, smart stories. Show me your most devious characters and unreliable narrators.

Romance/Chic Lit/Rom Com- Give me books that make me swoon, laugh, and cry all at the same time. Stories of best friends turned lovers makes me super happy, no matter the coupling. I’d love to see more of true love stemming from blind dates and making it in the face of diversity.

NONFICTION

I am looking for powerful stories from diverse voices, including cookbooks that highlight family stories or ancestral anecdotes. I also LOVE pop culture and am always searching for that fun book that gives us the scoop.

In all age categories, if you have a unique perspective on an old theme…send it to me! I am especially interested in underrepresented and diverse voices. All people need to see themselves in the characters on the page, so send me LGBTQIA, POC, #OwnVoices stories.

What I am NOT looking for:

• Pandemic stories

• Angel/demon stories of any kind

• Political/Military thrillers

• Novellas/Short Story Collections

• Historical stories in fiction or non-fiction

• Chapter/Picture Books

• Screenplays

• High Fantasy

• Retellings

• Science Fiction

• Stories dependent on religious themes

• Stories focusing on suicide, rape, physical/mental abuse, or abductions

• Werewolf or zombie stories- unless you have something extremely unique