Writers House is a full service literary agency that was founded in 1974. I started in our California office in 2009 as an intern to Steve Malk, and I have been in love with publishing and this company ever since. In NYC, I first learned under Brianne Johnson, and then went on to assist Rebecca Sherman and Geri Thoma. I've had the opportunity to work closely with a variety of bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators, in genres ranging from picture books to middle grade and YA, to adult literary fiction and nonfiction. I'm actively building my own list of clients.
I studied Literature & Writing at University of California, San Diego and earned my MFA in Fiction from Columbia University—not only do I understand the revision process from an agent’s point of view, I also understand it from a writer’s perspective. I truly love editorial work, and am hands-on when it comes to helping authors revise and build projects.
Below you’ll find detailed information about the types of projects I’m looking for:
I'm excited about literary and upmarket commercial fiction that blends gorgeous sentence-level writing with stories featuring younger protagonists, eg. Janet Fitch's WHITE OLEANDER—one of my favorite books ever, Celeste Ng's EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, and Elissa Schappell's BLUEPRINTS FOR BUILDING BETTER GIRLS. I'm a total sucker for vivid descriptions of California, and appreciate true-to-life fiction, but am also intrigued by fiction with magical elements or books that take place in worlds slightly different than our own. For example, I fell in love with Leslie Parry's CHURCH OF MARVELS. I'm game for beautifully constructed short story collections, literary thrillers and mysteries, novels told in stories, illustrated adult books, books that take place in a variety of locales. Recent favorites: THE GIRLS FROM CORONA DEL MAR by Rufi Thorpe and GOLD FAME CITRUS by Claire Vaye Watkins. On my reading list right now: THE STAR SIDE OF BIRD HILL by Naomi Jackson and MR. SPLITFOOT by Samantha Hunt.
I'm especially selective when it comes to nonfiction, but I'm interested in narrative work—memoirs, essay collections, etc. I'm a fan of Leslie Jamison, Meghan Daum and Alex Mar. I'm curious about stories that take place close to home and in other countries, that explore little known ways of life as well as work that illuminates experiences we all have. In this category, I gravitate toward work that makes me laugh or cry or both, all in a few pages. I’m drawn toward work that’s elegant, toward work that’s provocative. I also love nonfiction that helps me understand, that makes me want to highlight sentences and write quotes in my notebook. I’m a fan of work that defies genre lines. One title I read recently and loved: Nadja Spiegelman's I'M SUPPOSED TO PROTECT YOU FROM ALL THIS. Next on my nonfiction list: Molly Crabapple's DRAWING BLOOD.
I have a soft spot for literary YA. I like both true-to-life books and novels that include magical elements (I love low fantasy and magical realism, but I'm not the right match for high fantasy novels). I'm interested in stories about love, friendship, family dynamics, and mixtures of all of the above. Mysteries are great here, too. I do really like edgy Young Adult work, stories involving artwork, books that take place in a variety of locations, and novels that explore rarely discussed topics. A few YA titles I love: WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart, BONE GAP by Laura Ruby, BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver, I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson. Next on my reading list: INFANDOUS by Elana K. Arnold.
I love Middle Grade novels about friendships, and those that reveal intricacies of family relationships. I also love adventure stories, and when magical elements reveal truths about our world. I'm definitely a fan of the quirky, whimsical, and laugh-out-loud funny in this category. Voice is extra important. Illustrated middle grade works and graphic novels are great, and as in all categories, books that challenge traditional forms. For example, FLORA AND ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo and K.G. Campbell is one of my favorites. Other favorites: WILDWOOD CHRONICLES by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis, WONDER by R.J. Palacio, TIMMY FAILURE by Stephan Pastis and THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET by Brian Selznick. On my reading list: LOST IN THE SUN by Lisa Graff, ECHO by Pam Muñoz Ryan, and WATCH THE SKY by Kirsten Hubbard.
I’m looking for quirky and humorous picture books filled with heart, and stories that help kids learn more about environments they know well, and other ways of life they're less familiar with. I’m passionate about working with writers and illustrators who have stories they can’t help but tell, and who are excited about sharing tales that children will remember in their teens, in their thirties, in their sixties...stories they’ll want to pass on to their own children and grandchildren. I remember reading MARTHA SPEAKS and A BARGAIN FOR FRANCES countless times as a kid, and I’m looking for books that will also be read multiple times, with characters who are what Martha and Frances were to me. I’m extra selective when it comes to picture book text: I’m a fan of sparse text in general, and I’m most likely not the best match for rhyming text. I’m particularly excited about working with illustrators and author/illustrators—some illustrators whose work I admire: Dana Wulfekotte, Scott Campbell, Diana Sudyka, Matt Phelan, and Birgitta Sif...just to name a few! (The list could really be SO, so long.)
I look forward to seeing your work.