Jennifer Grimaldi (Chalberg & Sussman)
Raised on a steady diet of Holly Black & Philip Pullman, Jennifer Grimaldi has always gravitated toward otherworldly, fantastical novels that reflect our own world’s past and present. At St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne, she edited and acquired S. Jae-Jones’ New York Times bestseller Wintersong—a Labyrinth-inspired gothic YA—and worked with numerous bestselling and award-winning authors such as Kate Forsyth. Jennifer’s broad exposure to the domestic and foreign publishing markets as a scout with Barbara Tolley & Associates further shaped her taste for the eclectic. She is now an agent with Chalberg & Sussman, where she first started her publishing career in 2012.
Although the titles on her shelves have changed over the years, the content has not: they are still stuffed with magic and spaceships, fairytales and faraway lands. Across all genres, Jennifer loves strong, voice-driven novels, dark and romantic themes, and books that make her think—and learn. She is particularly excited by books that explore gender and sexuality, especially those with diverse, LGBTA+ leads, and own-voice writers.
Aspects sure to delight her include: cities and urban-planning, anecdotal histories, that trope where there were supposed to be two rooms at the hotel but they’re all booked up so the leads have to share, spies, thieves, mythological retellings, witches just trying to get by, weird obsessions, and puns.
She is looking for historicals, romance, horror, and young adult and adult sci-fi and fantasy.
Jolene Haley (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency)
Jolene Haley joined the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2020 and has been in the publishing industry since 2012. She has worked for literary agencies and publishers like The Bent Agency, Corvisiero Literary Agency, Entangled Publishing, and Swoon Romance, and has an extensive background in marketing. Her well-rounded experience provides a unique perspective and a solid foundation to support authors as they build their careers.
Jolene represents middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction. She is drawn to original concepts, compelling characters, and stories with plot twists that keep her guessing. In all genres, she welcomes diverse stories and characters that reflect the world we live in. She graduated with accolades from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Composition. She runs a global horror writer’s resource site The Midnight Society and is a member of ALA, HWA, and SCBWI. Follow Jolene on Twitter or Instagram.
Jolene’s Wish List:
On the children’s side, Jolene is open to a broad range of MG and YA, especially contemporary, mystery, magical realism, romance, and horror. On the adult side, she is seeking commercial women’s fiction, romance (all subgenres), mystery/crime, horror, and immersive literary fantasies. On the nonfiction side, Jolene enjoys books on the following topics: lifestyle, health, wellness, self-help, spiritualism, and true crime.
Eric Myers (Myers Literary Management)
Eric Myers founded Myers Literary Management in 2017, following two years with Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret LLC and thirteen with The Spieler Agency. A graduate of UCLA and the Sorbonne, Eric entered publishing as a journalist and author.
He is proud to be a member of both the Authors’ Guild and the Association of Authors’ Representatives. His own books include Screen Deco: A Celebration of High Style in Hollywood, Forties Screen Style: A Celebration of High Pastiche in Hollywood, and Uncle Mame: The Life of Patrick Dennis, all published by St. Martin’s Press.
His writing has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Arts and Leisure sections, Time Out New York, Opera News, Art and Auction, Variety, and Quest.
Among his authors are Chris Grabenstein (Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, The Island of Dr. Libris, the Welcome to Wonderland series), Lydia Kang (Control, Catalyst, A Beautiful Poison, The Impossible Girl), MAD MEN cast member Bryan Batt (She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother, Big Easy Style), David Neilsen (Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom, Beyond the Doors), Sam Staggs (All About “All About Eve”), Simon Gervais (The Thin Black Line, Hunt Them Down), Tracey Goessel (The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks), financial advisor Erin Lowry (Broke Millennial), former Soviet spy Jack Barsky (Deep Undercover), auto mechanic and entrepreneur Patrice Banks (The Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide), and World War II Resistance fighter Justus Rosenberg, whose autobiography will be published by William Morrow in 2020.
Eric’s Wish List:
He is looking for Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction, as well as adult nonfiction, especially in the areas of history, biography, psychology, health and wellness, and pop culture. He also represents thrillers and historical fiction, and is open to memoir from writers who already have a strong platform.
Abby Saul (The Lark Group)
Abby founded The Lark Group after a decade in publishing at John Wiley & Sons, Sourcebooks, and Browne & Miller Literary Associates. She’s worked with and edited bestselling and award-winning authors as well as major brands. At each publishing group she’s been a part of, Abby also has helped to establish ebook standards, led company-wide forums to explore new digital possibilities for books, and created and managed numerous digital initiatives.
A zealous reader who loves her iPad and the ebooks on it, she still can’t resist the lure of a print book. Abby’s personal library of beloved titles runs the gamut from literary newbies and classics, to cozy mysteries, to sappy women’s fiction, to dark and twisted thrillers. She’s looking for great and engrossing adult commercial and literary fiction. A magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College, Abby spends her weekends—when she’s not reading—cooking and hiking with her husband and son. Find her @BookySaul on Twitter.
She is looking for adult fiction only in the following genres: mystery, thriller, suspense, women’s fiction (upmarket and commercial), historical fiction, and select literary fiction. (No science fiction or fantasy; no Jack Reacher-esque thrillers, ditto talking animals in mysteries. She does like works of fiction that are character-driven and smart.
Latoya Smith, LCS Literary Services
Latoya C. Smith started her editorial career as an administrative assistant to New York Times bestselling author, Teri Woods at Teri Woods Publishing while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree at Temple University. She graduated Cum Laude from Temple in August of 2005. She then attained a full-time position at Kensington Publishing in March of 2006. In October 2006, Latoya joined Grand Central Publishing, an imprint at Hachette Book Group. For the span of her eight years there, Latoya acquired a variety of titles from Hardcover fiction and non-fiction, to digital romance and erotica. She was featured in Publishers Weekly, Forbes and USA Today, as well as on various author, book conference, and book blogger websites. In early 2014, she appeared on CSpan2 where she contributed to a panel discussing the state of book publishing. From August 2014 to February 2016, Latoya was Executive Editor at Samhain Publishing where she acquired short and long-form romance and erotic fiction. She is the winner of the 2012 RWA Golden Apple for Editor of the Year, 2017 Golden Apple for Agent of the Year, and the 2017 Literary Jewels Award for Editor of the Year. Latoya provides editorial services and literary representation through her company, LCS Literary Services.
Latoya’s Wish List:
Latoya’s is looking for projects 50K words and up. Fiction: women’s fiction, humor, thriller/suspense, romance (contemporary, paranormal, small-town, suspense, erotic, LGBTQ), YA fiction. Non-fiction: Memoir, relationship, advice/how-to, self-help, business, sports, politics/social justice, pop culture, health/wellness (strictly based on platform).
Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary)
Alice Speilburg is the founding agent of Speilburg Literary and has worked in book publishing for more than a decade. She represents narrative nonfiction and commercial fiction for adults and YA readers.
Her first editing gig was on the news desk of her college daily, and she is still drawn to compelling nonfiction stories, especially those written by journalists, that deepen our understanding of culture and society. In fiction, she loves a complete immersion read that takes her to another world through the eyes of original characters.
Alice previously worked at John Wiley & Sons, and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She has worked with bestselling and award-winning authors, literary and professional societies, and branded content. She spends her weekends hiking with her husband and two sons.
In fiction, she’s looking for stories that sidestep into history, magic, mystery, horror, or adventure. In nonfiction, she’s looking for cultural narratives, microhistory, nature, and pop science written by journalists and academics. Fiction: Action/Adventure, Commercial, Crime, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult. Nonfiction: History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Sports, Travel, True Crime. Favorite sub-genres: Feminism, narrative non-fiction, upmarket genre fiction
Amy Stapp (Wolfson Agency)
Amy Stapp received her BA from Samford University and MA from Georgia State University before beginning her publishing career at Macmillan, where she was an editor for seven years and had the privilege of working with numerous New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Amy joined Wolfson Literary in December 2018 and continues to actively build her list, with interest in women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, upmarket book club fiction, historical fiction, young adult, and select nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to a high concept hook, well-paced prose, immersive settings, and smart, multidimensional characters. As an editorial agent, she enjoys working hand-in-hand with authors to take their work to the next level. Find her online at wolfsonliterary.com.
Amy’s Wish List:
I’m most eager to find twisty, intelligent suspense, upmarket book club fiction, women’s fiction that explores friendships and multigenerational ties, light magical realism, and historical fiction from a new perspective. In Young Adult, I love a fast-paced, “unputdownable” story with a mature voice in a variety of genres—romance, mystery, historical, and unique coming-of-age stories. I am always looking for stories from underrepresented voices and in diverse settings. For a more extensive wishlist please visit my MSWL page.
Cherry Weiner, Cherry Weiner Literary Agency
Cherry Weiner (Cherry Weiner Literary Agency) grew up in Australia, lived in Europe for three and a half years and moved to American when she married her husband Jack. She has been agenting since 1977, when she was fired by her boss the well-known Robert P. Mills. Mills’ famous clients (she will not any drop further names, but might tell you about it, if you ask her), took two years to convince her to open her own agency. They did this by inundating her with new authors and their manuscripts.
She started out by handling science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She now handles all genres of fiction and a good number of fairly well-known authors in the field of Horror, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Westerns, Native American novels and Historical novels covering all the various genres each category can break out into. Only once in a very special situation has non-fiction crept into the mix but no poetry, no children’s fiction and almost no Young Adult works. If there is Y.A., then it is science fiction, fantasy or horror, and only by the authors she already handles in adult fiction.
Shannon Kelly, Associate Editor at Abrams
Shannon Kelly is an associate editor at ABRAMS. Previously, she worked in editorial at Penguin Books for five years and was an intern at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency, Folio Literary Management, and the Wisconsin Book Festival. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she studied journalism and LGBT Studies. At ABRAMS, she acquires projects across adult categories. Her nonfiction tastes include: visual and gift, prescriptive and lifestyle, essays and cultural criticism, memoir, true crime, and popular history. Her fiction tastes include: all forms of satire, quirky or dark literary fiction, Midwestern narratives, literary horror, thrillers and crime, short stories, clever fables, and coming of age tales. In all categories, she looks for transporting, voice-driven projects that explore hidden or lesser-known facet of common experiences and cultural touchstones, or that explore the universalities of unique, singular experiences and unusual settings.