Agents & Editors
AGENTS TAKING PITCHES AT NECRWA19
Name: Kiana Nguyen
Agency: Donald Maass Literary Agency
Bio: Kiana Nguyen joined Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2016, where she assisted several agents, and is now building her own client list. She is seeking YA fiction across genres, particularly those with POC and queer voices. She is also interested in Adult romance and domestic suspense thrillers.
What you're currently seeking:
- Dark, twisty narratives that explore human complexity
- YA Contemporary featuring lower socioeconomic backgrounds; poor kids who get in as much reckless mischief as their rich counterparts!
- YA featuring happy/hopeful queer romances
- Domestic suspense Thrillers!!!
Not interested in:
- Crime or military fiction
- Picture books, chapter books, or MG
- Poetry, screenplays, or short stories
- Religious fiction
Name: Courtney Miller-Callihan
Agency: Handspun Literary Agency
Bio: Courtney Miller-Callihan founded Handspun Literary Agency in 2016, after more than ten years with Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She is a hands-on editorial agent whose eclectic list includes historical fiction, women’s fiction, romance, mysteries, YA novels, humor, and practical nonfiction. Her website is www.handspunlit.com and her Twitter username is @millercallihan.
What you're currently seeking: I am especially interested in:
- romance (all subgenres except inspirational)
- women's fiction
- science fiction and fantasy, especially if it's fairly light on genre elements
- young adult novels
- mystery novels
- diverse casts of characters (including ethnicity, LGBTQ+, differently abled people, mental illness)
- feminist sensibilities
I like books that are a little bit weird: things that work within their genre, but maybe push up against the edges of it a bit.
Name: Tara Gelsomino
Agency: One Track Literary
Bio: Tara Gelsomino is the founder and CEO of One Track Literary Agency, a boutique editorial agency. A twenty-plus year veteran of the publishing industry, she was formerly the Executive Editor of Simon & Schuster’s digital imprint, Crimson Romance, and also worked for BBC Audiobooks America/AudioGO and Romantic Times Magazine.
What you're currently seeking: One Track Literary is currently seeking completed works with vibrant, fresh voices in these genres: romance (all subgenres), contemporary young adult, women’s fiction, and mystery/thrillers.
Special preferences include (but are not limited to) these dynamics and elements:
- confident, competent, and complicated heroines
- humorous beta heroes
- smart and snappy banter
- feminist themes
- gender-role reversals
- slow burn relationships
Own voices stories are especially welcome.
EDITORS TAKING PITCHES AT NECRWA19
Name: Madeleine Colavita
Publisher: Forever, Forever Yours (Hachette)
Publisher bio: Forever, the romance imprint of Grand Central Publishing, publishes a wide array of romance and commercial women’s fiction with romantic elements. Bring us your cowboys, your Regency rogues, your Highlanders, and that irresistible boy next door. We’re also looking for inclusive and diverse novels that reflect authentic experiences. Forever authors include New York Times bestsellers such as Kristen Ashley, Carolyn Brown, Grace Burrowes, Helena Hunting, Elizabeth Hoyt, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Debbie Mason, Jamie McGuire, Heidi McLaughlin, Jill Shalvis, Mia Sheridan, and Rebecca Zanetti.
Forever Yours is the digital-first sister of the Forever romance imprint, which publishes ebook and print-on-demand editions for novels over 50k words.
Personal bio: I always knew I wanted to work in publishing, and I was lucky enough to make that dream come true in 2013 when I joined the Grand Central/Forever team. Five years later, I still love every minute. As I build my list, I'm looking for stories and writing that take me someplace new. Whether it's a Regency ball or the Scottish Highlands, a charming small town or crowded city streets, I want to be surrounded by characters who mostly make me laugh, only occasionally make me cry, and always make me believe in true love. I'm looking for heroes I can fall in love with, heroines who can become my best friends, and that swoop in my stomach when the main characters realize, "This is the one." I love all tropes—Best friend's sibling! Enemies-to-lovers! Secret baby! Virgin hero!—but I will never say no to reading about sweethearts reunited.
What you're currently seeking: In particular, but in no particular order, I'm looking for:
- Rock stars
- Athletes (especially with PoC)
- Office romance
- Smart, beautifully written historicals
- Romantic suspense/contemporary with a band-of-brothers hook (think law enforcement/military heroes)
- Strong heroines who know who they are/what they want
- Jane the Virgin in romance novel (or women's fiction) form
- Ocean's 11 (or other heist story) in romance novel form
- Women’s fiction with a central friendship like the one in Playing House
I am not looking to acquire inspirational romance.
Name: Esi Sogah
Publisher bio: Founded in 1974, Kensington Publishing Corp. is located in New York City and is known as “America’s Independent Publisher.” It remains a multi-generational family business, with Steven Zacharius succeeding his father as President and CEO, and Adam Zacharius as General Manager. As the foremost independent commercial publishing house in the United States providing hardcover, trade paperback, mass market, and digital releases, Kensington publishes the books that America wants to read. Its diverse imprints include Zebra, Pinnacle, Dafina, and Lyrical Press which are well known for providing readers with a range of popular genres such as romance, women’s fiction, African American, young adult and nonfiction, as well as true-crime, western, and mystery titles.
Personal bio: Esi Sogah joined Kensington Publishing in January 2013 as a Senior Editor, working with such authors as Lynn Cahoon, Alyssa Cole, Kate Clayborn, and Casey Barrett. When not reading or editing, you can find her on Twitter at @esisogah.
What you're currently seeking: She is looking to acquire Fiction—Romance: historical, especially American historical and non-traditional time periods (e.g. early 20th century); contemporary (especially romantic comedy); mystery (cozies, historical, suspense/thrillers); and upmarket fiction. Non-fiction—narrative non-fiction (with a focus on arts and culture) and personal memoir (with a focus on identity) for all Kensington and Lyrical imprints.
Name: Cat Clyne
Publisher bio: Sourcebooks, Inc. is an independent book publisher outside of Chicago that publishes fiction, romance, children's books, college guides, history, business books, and more. Sourcebooks publishes authors in countless subjects and styles, and in formats both classically physical and dynamically digital. The eclectic and exciting breadth of its list—nonfiction in most categories, commercial and historical fiction, romance novels, gift books, college-bound materials, calendars, children’s books and more—is unmatched anywhere. Its future is guided by its continuing commitment to reaching readers with books that will illuminate, inspire and enlighten their lives. Sourcebooks’ mission is to reach as many people as possible with books that will enlighten their lives.
Personal bio: Cat Clyne has been helping writers hone their craft for most of her adult life. She worked in academia and magazine publishing before joining Sourcebooks in 2010. Cat acquires single title romance in all subgenres: romantic suspense, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, erotic romance, Highlanders and historicals. Born in Germany to diplomat parents, Cat has a Master’s degree from New York University and lives in Brooklyn.
What you're currently seeking: Romance in all subgenres: romantic suspense, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, historical, western, and erotic romance. I’m looking for diverse stories with a slam-dunk hook, curl-my-toes romance, and out-of-the-box thinking (surprise me!). Projects from Authors of Color—especially Black Authors—and #ownvoices are warmly welcomed. Cross-genre projects are also desired, like fantasy or sci-fi romance, issue-driven contemporary romantic stories, or romantic thrillers.
I love unforgettable characters who grab me and make me root for their happy ever after. I’m a sucker for damaged heroes who aren’t looking for love or redemption—but it finds them anyway. Smart, kick-ass heroines are my catnip. Pair one with an alpha male who can keep up with her, and I’m yours. I love snappy banter, fast pacing, and that perfect mix of heart, humor and heat. I also have a soft spot for an epic, swoony emotional arc with an all-the-feels black moment that tears me up and keeps me wondering: how will these two ever get together? (Must keep turning the pages…)