What the Agents & Editors Are Seeking

In 2016, we’re offering more Pitchfest slots as well as opportunities to practice your pitch. Before you rush to book a Pitchfest appointment, we urge you to check out what this year’s agents and editors are seeking and not seeking. Choose an agent who reads the genre you write.

And by the by – we highly recommend attending Laurie Scheer’s “How To Pitch” on Saturday morning.

2016 Pitchfest Agents and Editors

Danielle Egan-Miller
Browne & Miller Literary Associates

Wants to see:
“Commercial adult FICTION. I have particular interest in women’s fiction, especially ‘book club’ kind of books; romance (most sub-genres); mysteries; thrillers; suspense/psychological suspense contemporary or historical. I love anything Gothic and overall, I like a great story that’s really well written. My ‘white whales’ remain a Chicago-set historical thriller along the lines of Caleb Carr’s THE ALIENIST (which is set in 1896 NYC) and a golf-themed mystery!

Does not want to see:
“No memoirs; children’s books; poetry; gift books; horror; sci-fi/fantasy. No self-published books.”

Michelle Grajkowski
Three Seas Literary Agency

Wants to see:
“Fiction, women’s fiction, literary and commercial fiction, romance, mystery, thrillers, young adult and children’s books. Nonfiction: Self-help, relationships, motivational, business.”

Does not want to see:
“Erotica, fantasy and dystopian.”

Paul S. Levine
The Paul S. Levine Literary Agency

Wants to see:
“All forms of adult, young adult, and children’s fiction and non-fiction.”

Does not want to see:
“Science fiction; fantasy; horror.”

Joanna MacKenzie
Browne & Miller Literary Associates

Wants to see:
“Contemporary YA; thrillers/mystery for YA and adult; women’s fiction; romance.”

Does not want to see:
“Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Poetry, Short Stories.”

Jennifer Mattson
Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Wants to see:
“I exclusively represent children’s books. For authors, I’m interested in fresh fiction or nonfiction picture books (preferably no folktales, and preferably not in verse); middle grade in any genre, but especially soulful contemporary, magical realism, or fantasy-adventure; and YA in any genre, but especially literary speculative fiction. For author-illustrators, I’m interested in seeing full dummies of board books and/or picture books.”

Does not want to see:
“Light humorous chapter book fiction and light humorous middle grade or YA with a mass market vibe. For illustrators, no cartoon-style artwork.”

Grace Menary-Winefield
Sourcebooks, Inc.

Wants to see:
“I am seeking mostly non-fiction, which includes self-help that explores new and current ideas and have a wide readership; American History; and gift books that include illustration, humor, or inspiration. For fiction, I am looking for historical fiction, and highly commercial books that break down genre barriers. That includes science fiction, dystopian, and magical realism concepts, like STATION ELEVEN, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, or ARCADIA.”

Does not want to see:
“I am not seeking any poetry, or European history unless it ties STRONGLY back into America. Please no parenting, and no memoir. For fiction, no romance, and no literary fiction. When considering commercial genre-crossover, please don’t show me any novels that could be solely categorized as genre, and therefore should be published by a specifically science fiction/horror/fantasy publisher (i.e. no space operas, no epic fantasy, no vampire or aliens).”

Ian Morris
Fifth Star Press

Wants to see:
“Trade fiction, non-fiction relating to Chicago and the region.”

Does not want to see:
“Genre.”

Marcy Posner
Folio Literary Managment

Wants to see:
“As far as fiction, I’m looking for extremely well-written, character-driven books that make me absolutely fall in love with the characters and their world. I am looking for bookclub fiction (not genre commercial, like cozy mysteries or romances), and I am particularly on the lookout for very well-written thrillers and suspense novels, or novels with a great, quirky, fun voice. As far as non fiction is concerned, I am looking for history, science or prescriptive books with scientific support. I will look at spectacular middle grade or YA but it has to be that good.”

Does not want to see:
“I don’t want children’s books, Christian books, travel books, poetry, or genre fiction (western, cozy mystery, romances). No fantasy or science fiction.”

Abby Saul
Browne & Miller Literary Associates

Wants to see:
“Generally: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Historical, Literary, Romance. More specifically: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Contemporary Romance, Cozy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Historical Fiction, Narrative Nonfiction, Psychological Thrillers, Suspense, Upmarket Women’s Fiction.”

Does not want to see:
“No sci-fi or political/legal thrillers with explosions!”

Cynthia Sherry
Chicago Review Press

Wants to see:
“All non-fiction along with historical fiction and mysteries.”

Does not want to see:
“No poetry, short story collections, YA novels, sci-fi, or horror.”

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