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agent : jmackenzie@nelsonagency.com
Joanna MacKenzie
Nelson Literary Agency
illustration

I joined Nelson Literary Agency in 2017 and am currently building a list of adult and YA titles. Previously, I was with Browne & Miller Literary Associates where I successfully placed numerous manuscripts that have gone on to become critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling novels.  I enjoy working with authors who embrace the full publishing process (read: love revising) and am committed to the stories my clients want to tell both with the words they put on paper, as well as with the careers the build. 

I'm looking for the epic read that, at it's center, beats with a universal heart.  In particular, I'm drawn to smart and timely women's fiction, as well as absorbing, character-driven mysteries and thrillers - both, ideally, with a little edge.  On the YA side, I'm interested in coming of age stories that possess a confident voice and characters I can't stop thinking about.   Originally from Poland, and by way of Canada, I'm all about narratives that deal with the themes of identity and the immigrant experience, as well as those that delve into the relationships that make us who we are - parents, siblings, best friends, and first love.


years experience: 15
GENRES & SPECIALTIES
General fiction, Mystery, Suspense/thriller, Juvenile fiction
LEADING CLIENTS
John Galligan, Alison Hammer, Kathleen West, Jonathan Messinger, Meghan Scott Molin, Shana Galen, Kristen Simmons, Kate Baer, Robin Huber
BEST-KNOWN PROJECTS
You & Me & Us by Alison Hammer; Minor Catastrophes by Kathleen West, Bad Axe County by John Galligan, The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons, The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott, Molin, The Article 5 Series by Kristen Simmons, The Covent Garden Cubs Series; Jewels of the Ton Series; Sons of the Revolution Series all by Shana Galen
MOST RECENT SALES/ FORTHCOMING BOOKS
Fiction: Debut
Veteran teacher Kathleen West's MINOR CATASTROPHES, pitched as perfect for fans of BIG LITTLE LIES, about helicopter parents, overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle—and the fallout for each of them when a social media video goes viral, to Kerry Donovan at Berkley, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2020, by Joanna MacKenzie at Nelson Literary Agency (NA).
Rights: jenny@meyerlit.com

Fiction: Debut
Founder of Every Damn Day Writers Alison Hammer's YOU & ME & US, a mother-daughter love story pitched as perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Marisa de los Santos, about an advertising executive mom and her distant teenage daughter struggling to be a family without the one person who held them together, to Tessa Woodward at William Morrow, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Joanna MacKenzie at Nelson Literary Agency (world).
Film: Alice Lawson

October 29, 2018: Fiction: Debut
Robin Huber's A LOVE LIKE YOURS and A STORY LIKE OURS, of first love and second chances, about reunited childhood soulmates whose future depends on forgiving the mistakes of their past, to Lexi Smail at Forever Yours, in a two-book deal, by Joanna MacKenzie at Nelson Literary Agency (world).

September 24, 2018: Children's: Fantasy
NYT bestselling author Sara Raasch and author Kristen Simmons's SET FIRE TO THE GODS, a duology set in a Greco-Roman inspired world, which follows the daughter of a murdered champion seeking vengeance against the god of fire, and an underprivileged stonemason fighting to reclaim his standing under the god of earth as they are swept into an ancient war between gods and mortals, pitched as Gladiator meets The Hunger Games, to Kristin Daly Rens at Balzer & Bray, by Mackenzie Brady Watson at Stuart Krichevsky Agency for Raasch and Joanna
MacKenzie at Nelson Literary Agency for Simmons (World English).

August 8, 2018: Fiction: Women's/Romance
Shana Galen's WILD IRISH BRIDE, a book in The Royal Saboteurs, a new series about a disparate group of men and women offered an opportunity of a lifetime: to become elite operatives for the Crown, to Sue Grimshaw at Loveswept, for publication in 2019, by Joanna MacKenzie at Nelson Literary Agency.

July 8, 2018: Fiction: Thriller
John Galligan's THE BAD AXE, pitched as Mystic River meets Windigo Island, about the Silk Road running through America's heartland, a local sheriff on the hunt for a missing girl, and a trail of clues that lead her too close to home, along with a second Wisconsin-set thriller, to Peter Borland at Atria, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2019, by Joanna MacKenzie at Nelson Literary Agency (world)

Digital: Fiction: Debut
Meghan Scott Molin's THE DRAG NET, pitched as Kick Ass meets Castle, following a female comic book writer who teams up with the LAPD when someone in LA starts re-creating panels from her favorite comic using real-life crime scenes, to Adrienne Procaccini at 47North, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2018, by Joanna MacKenzie at Nelson Literary Agency (World).

Children's: Young Adult Fiction
Yalsa Top Teen Nominee and Kansas Reading Circle Best of the Best winner, Kristen Simmons's trilogy beginning with THE PRICE OF ADMISSION, pitched as a Norse myth-inspired riff on The Skulls, about an elite boarding school where students earn their keep running cons for their powerful headmaster; the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who gains admittance into their too-good-to-be-true world; and the real cost of success, again to Melissa Frain at Tor Teen, in a good deal, for publication in 2018, by Joanna MacKenzie, her first deal at Nelson Literary Agency (world).
Film/TV: Alice Lawson at The Gersh Agency

KEY PERSONNEL
Kristin Nelson, Danielle Burby, Quressa Robinson
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Please remember that NLA does not look at submissions for nonfiction, memoir, screenplays, short-story collections, poetry, gift or coffee table books, children’s picture books or early reader chapter books, or material for the Christian/inspirational market.

Please review the Submission Guidelines before submitting

Query by email only: queryjoanna@nelsonagency.com . No snail mail queries or submissions accepted.