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:


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.


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.


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

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Olga Filina of The Rights Factory

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 9.17.44 AM.pngOlga Filina is an associate agent with The Rights Factory.

She is seeking: business, commercial contemporary, crime, historical, lifestyle, memoir, middle grade, mystery, romance, thriller, and young adult.

After more than a decade as a sales manager and book buyer for both national and independent book store chains, Olga graduated Humber’s Creative Book Publishing Program and spent two years as a literary assistant at The Cooke Agency, until she found her perfect home (and family!) at TRF.

While Olga will read anything that may set her book clubs on fire, she gravitates towards commercial and historical fiction, great genre fiction in the area of romance and mystery, non fiction in the fields of business, wellness, lifestyle and memoir and young adult and middle grade novels with memorable characters.

In her spare time, Olga sits on library boards, organizes literary festivals and runs more book clubs than she can count.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Emmy Nordstrom Higdon of The Rights Factory

Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 9.20.58 PM.pngEmmy Nordstrom Higdon is a literary agent with The Rights Factory.

Emmy (they/them) is a PhD student at McMaster University, a bookseller at Another Story book shop, a blogger at Books Beyond Binaries, and a member of the planning team for the Festival of Literary Diversity. They are a trans non- binary colonizer originally from Newfoundland, now based in Tkaronto (Toronto, Ontario). Emmy keeps busy with research projects, spending time with their family (including adopted dogs and cats), embroidery, vegan cooking, and … obviously, a lot of reading.

Emmy grew up on fantasy novels and 90’s kidlit horror like Bunnicula and Goosebumps. They represent authors of literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction, and narrative nonfiction for adults and young adults. They specialize in #OwnVoices literature, particularly from the LGBTQ2S+ community.


“I am is particularly interested in work that is fast-paced, voicey, character driven, and accessible. Murder is my comfort read.”

Fiction for Adult and YA:

While atmospheric stories with lots of plot twists are my favourites, I’m eager to read literary fiction, feminist thrillers, book club, millennial, dark fantasy, paranormal horror, contemporary Gothic, and magical realism.

Nonfiction for Adult and YA:

On the nonfiction side, my interests include memoir, deep dive journalistic accounts, investigative true crime, activism, essay collections, and progressive political and social commentary. Please send me more nonfiction!

What I Love:

  • #OwnVoices stories with diverse representation, especially…
  • LGBTQ2S+, especially non-binary, trans, QTPOC
  • polyamory
  • disability, physical and/or psychiatric
  • autism spectrum
  • neurodivergence, especially plurality/multiplicity/DID
  • deafness, hard of hearing, sign language speakers, deafblind
  • sex work
  • Indigenous, especially living in what is currently called Canada
  • fat characters, body positivity
  • Millennial voices and characters (aka, “new adult”)
  • Morally ambiguous feminine protagonists
  • Accessible world building
  • Elderly feminine characters
  • Small/closed settings (think cult, island, exclusive boarding school, isolated town, etc.)
  • I have a soft spot for the ocean, and coastal settings in general
  • Anything spooky
  • Traditionally feminine sports (think ballet, cheerleading, roller derby, gymnastics, etc.)
  • Intense friendship stories
  • Hauntings of any flavour
  • Rich people problems, particularly if they come with pretty dresses
  • Stories rooted in (dark) folklore and fairytales






Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Nicole Payne of Golden Wheat Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 5.16.57 PM.pngNicole Payne is a literary agent with Golden Wheat Literary.

“I am mainly looking for young adult, new adult and adult novels. They have a special place in my heart. However, if the writing and story is amazing, I’ll always make exceptions so don’t hesitate to pitch it. As an agent at Golden Wheat Literary, we accept both spiritual and secular books. As long as your manuscript’s elements can all be true without any part of God’s Word needing to put aside or be discounted, it is acceptable for submission.

“In general, what I look for is romance, romantic comedy, mysteries, contemporary, suspense, thriller, speculative fiction and science fiction and fantasy. These can fit any of the age categories I’ve mentioned. I don’t have a preference there. I always have to have a strong male and female hero/heroine or one who becomes strong as they evolves. It really grinds my teeth when I read books where the leads can’t seem to do anything for themselves. Both Secular and/or Christian themes welcome.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lindsay Leggett of The Rights Factory

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.53.04 PM.pngLindsay Leggett is a literary agent with The Rights Factory.

Lindsay grew up in the frozen wilds of Northern Ontario, and turned a love of reading and writing into a passion for editing. After working for a variety of authors and publishers, she found a home at The Rights Factory.

Lindsay is focused on young adult, middle grade, and children’s books with unique, engaging, and diverse world’s and unforgettable characters. Within these kidlit realms, she would like to see horror, thriller, magical realism, fantasy, science fiction, LGBTTQIA+, #ownvoices.