Writers House is a full service literary agency that was founded in 1974. I've worked in both the California and New York offices of Writers House, having started as an intern and working my way up to agent. I've had the opportunity to work closely with a variety of award-winning authors and illustrators, in genres ranging from picture books to middle grade and YA, to adult literary fiction and nonfiction.
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, books that take place in a variety of locales (aside from vivid descriptions of California, I really just love when setting serves as a character of sorts). I also especially love books that explore the intricacies of friendship, and novels that tackle the complexities of mother/daughter relationships. A few books I loved: THE GIRLS FROM CORONA DEL MAR by Rufi Thorpe, THE ASSISTANTS by Camille Perri, and THE IMMORTALISTS by Chloe Benjamin, SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid. Next on my reading list: THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett.
I'm especially selective when it comes to nonfiction - I tend to focus more on fiction - 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. A couple of titles I loved: Nadja Spiegelman's I'M SUPPOSED TO PROTECT YOU FROM ALL THIS and Allie Rowbottom's JELL-O GIRLS. Next on my nonfiction list: T Kira Madden's LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS, Jia Tolentino's TRICK MIRROR, and Nicole Chung's ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW.
My tastes are pretty wide when it comes to YA. I like both true-to-life books and fantasy. Both fast-paced and gripping commercial novels, and more literary novels; in either case, I'm looking for complex and nuanced characters who surprise you, and who you can't help but fall in love with. 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 Young Adult work that reflects the realities of being a teen in our world today, 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, CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon, ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen McManus, and I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson. Currently reading: YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN by Leah Johnson.
I love Middle Grade novels about friendships, and those that reveal intricacies (lighthearted or serious) 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, and TIMMY FAILURE by Stephan Pastis. Next on my reading list: THE FIRST RULE OF PUNK by Celia C. Pérez.
I’m looking for quirky and laugh-out-loud picture books filled with heart, and, as in all categories, for stories featuring diverse characters by diverse creators - books that allow kids to see themselves in the stories they read. I’m passionate about working with author/illustrators who have stories they have to 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. **At this point in time, I'm only taking on author/illustrators and illustrators of picture books.**
Thanks so much for reading. I hope to see your work!
**PLEASE NOTE THAT ON JANUARY 4, 2021 I'll BE CLOSING TO UNSOLICITED QUERIES TEMPORARILY. I HOPE YOU'LL QUERY ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES INSTEAD, OR I LOOK FORWARD TO BEING IN TOUCH IN THE FUTURE.**