Pitch Madness 2016 Mario Kart Edition!
Pitch Madness is a contest to win a request from one or more of the amazing agents.
The submission window will be open from 12:01 AM EST until 11:59PM EST on February 26. There is no limit of how many entries will be accepted. Please note: All entries sent before or after the allotted times will be deleted.
Sixty finalists move to the agent round. Pitch Madness will accept Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult completed and polished fiction, novel length manuscripts only. No non-fiction. One entry per writer.
All the twitter fun will be happening on the hashtag #PitchMadness!
And here are this year’s outstanding agents:
Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Patricia Nelson joined Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2014. She represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and is actively building her list.
In general, Patricia looks for stories that hook her with a unique plot, fantastic writing and complex characters that jump off the page. On the adult side, she is seeking women’s fiction both upmarket and commercial, historical fiction set in the 20th century, and compelling plot-driven literary fiction. She’s also looking for sexy, smart adult contemporary and historical single title romance. For YA and MG, Patricia is open to a wide range of genres, with particular interest in contemporary/realistic, magical realism, mystery, horror, and fantasy. She is interested in seeing diverse stories and characters, including LGBTQ, in all genres that she represents.
Jessica Sinsheimer, The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
From manuscriptwishlist.com: I’m officially open to all genres–I know how that sounds, and yes, I know, YIKES, I’ll be getting a lot of mail–but I’m particularly interested right now in the following:
Whatever the age group, I tend to love contrast–highbrow sentences and lowbrow content, beautiful settings and ugly motives–the books that are beautiful and scary, heartbreaking and hilarious. I love secrets, scheming, revenge, plotting–and stories that have to be written forward and backward to make sense (I LOVE discovering a very cleverly planted clue that makes sense in retrospect). I love watching powerful people navigate their public and private lives. As you can probably imagine, I’m totally addicted to House of Cards (I love that Frank is both warm AND evil), Scandal, Revenge, and Pretty Little Liars. And also The Avengers from 1965 onward. Everyone should watch that show.
Louise Fury, The Bent Agency
I’m looking for writers with a unique voice and an unforgettable story. I’m particularly drawn to stories with a strong protagonist. In young adult, I look for manuscripts that are written with an unforgettable voice—this can be deep, dark and gritty or literary, lyrical and emotional. I’d love to find a young adult novel that has a bone-deep sense of danger that haunts me from page 1 and doesn’t let go of me for days. I want delicious adult romances with creative plots, sexy liaisons and unique characters who sweep me up in their love story. I want to feel something unforgettable when I read your pages. I want manuscripts that I can’t stop thinking about.
Brent Taylor, Triada US
I’m seeking upmarket fiction (stories that are extremely well-written, robust with emotion, and appeal to a wide, commercial audience) across a big range of categories: middle grade, young adult, graphic novels for kids and teens, crime fiction, women’s fiction, and literary fiction.
#MSWL posts: Middle grade | Young adult
Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency
Sean McCarthy began his publishing career as an editorial intern at Overlook Press and then moved over to the Sheldon Fogelman Agency. He worked as the submissions coordinator and permissions manager before becoming a full-time literary agent. Sean graduated from Macalester College with a degree in English-Creative Writing, and is grateful that he no longer has to spend his winters in Minnesota.
He is drawn to flawed, multifaceted characters with devastatingly concise writing in YA, and smartly paced mysteries or adventures in MG. In picture books, he looks more for unforgettable characters, off-beat humor, and especially clever endings. He is not currently interested in issue-driven stories or query letters that pose too many questions.
Rachel Brooks, L. Perkins Agency
Prior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel worked alongside Louise Fury for a year as an agent apprentice. Rachel has a business degree and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from Texas A&M University- CC.
She is excited about representing young adult fiction, as well as sexy adult romances. In YA, she’s looking for authentic voices and memorable characters. In romance, she loves swoon-worthy heroes and determined heroines.
She’s a fan of both print and ebooks and has a soft spot for marketing savvy writers. Please check her personal website for the most current information.
No Picture books, Middle Grade, Women’s fiction, Non-fiction
Maria Vicente, P.S. Literary Agency
Maria Vicente is a creative and editorial agent, providing support to her clients through all stages of the writing and publication process. Her publishing career began as an intern with Bree Ogden at D4EO Literary Agency, and she also interned at P.S. Literary before joining the agency as an associate agent. Her reading preferences vary across categories and genres, which is reflected in her client list. Maria holds a B.A. in English Literature from Carleton University and a B.Ed. from the University of Western Ontario. She has affinities for literary prose, strong character development, original storytelling formats, and anything geeky.
Brianne Johnson, Writer’s House, A Literary Agency
I started at Writers House as starry-eyed intern in 2007 and worked my way up to Senior Agent over several years. I LOVE what I do, and am cultivating a pretty omnivorous list. My main focus is children’s books, but I also love some select adult fiction and offbeat nonfiction-—see her Website (Publisher’s Marketplace) page for a more precise breakdown.
Julia Alexandra Weber, J. A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH (Germany)
(Please note that Julia is open to international submissions, and has many American and Canadian clients.)
I’m always looking for contemporary MG, YA, NA, WF, and Romance, and psychological thrillers. I’m more of a realistic kind of girl; it’s hard to make me fall in love with Sci-Fi and Fantasy, though I’m open to Fantasy that’s set in the real world. I’d love to see stories set at a farm/ ranch, boarding school, summer camp, sports academy, fat camp, or the like. Sports themes are my weak spot — I want all the sports-themed fiction (in my genres). I want an amazing stalker thriller — bonus points if the victim actually knows and trusts the stalker. I’d love to see manuscripts in the vein of ROOKIE BLUE, DAWSON’S CREEK (more Pacey, less Dawson), LITTLE WOMEN (revamped), 13 GOING ON 30, SHE’S ALL THAT, CLUELESS, ELECTION, PLEASANTVILLE, SLIDING DOORS, ONE TREE HILL, CENTER STAGE or FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. Most importantly, I want strong voices, even stronger writing, compelling characters, and proper page turners. But four things I’ll never want to find in my inbox are 1) clowns, 2) cannibalism, 3) dolls, and 4) incest.
Melissa Jeglinski, The Knight Agency
A graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in English with a writing concentration, Melissa began her career as an editor with Harlequin Enterprises. Looking to work with a variety of authors and genres, she joined The Knight Agency in 2008. With over two decades experience in the publishing industry, Melissa has fostered her clients to National prominence including a recent Newbery Honor. She is a member of RWA and AAR. Melissa is currently seeking projects in the following areas: Romance (contemporary, category, historical, inspirational) Young Adult, Middle Grade, Women’s Fiction and Mystery.
Caitlen Rubino-Bradway, LKG Agency
I joined the LKG Agency in 2008, thereby disproving the theory that no English major ever does anything with their degree. Before that I worked at another literary agency, Don Congdon Associates, where I had the behind-the-scenes thrill of seeing Kathryn Stockett’s The Help first come in (and getting one of the first reads). And before that I was getting my Masters in English and Publishing from Rosemont College. I have enjoyed my apprenticeship under Lauren very much, and I am now actively looking to build my own list, which includes (after a surprisingly minimal amount of begging and pleading on my part), securing Lauren’s agreement to open the agency to considering middle grade and young adult fiction.
In my spare time, I am an author in my own right (or is that write?). My first book, Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, which I co-wrote with my mother, was released by Crown in 2009. We also contributed to Jane Austen Made Me Do It, published by Ballantine in 2011. My first middle grade novel, Ordinary Magic, was published by Bloomsbury Children’s in 2012.
Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis
CHRISTA HESCHKE has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children’s Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively acquiring for all age groups in children’s. For YA, she is especially interested in contemporary fiction, thriller/mystery, and horror. She is always on the lookout for a compelling voice combined with a strong, specific hook that will set a YA novel apart in its genre and the flooded market. She is open to all types of middle grade and especially enjoys adventure, mystery, and magical realism, whether in a voice that is more light and humorous or one with more of a timeless, literary feel. For both YA and MG, she is particularly interested in unique settings and cultural influences, interesting storytelling structure, complicated romances, diverse characters, sister or friendship-centric stories, and stories that feature artists of any kind. In picture books she is drawn to cute, funny stories (as opposed to sweet and quiet) with strong hooks that will grab both kids and their parents as well as the occasional nonfiction biography on a unique subject whose story has yet to be told.
Shira Hoffman, McIntosh & Otis
SHIRA HOFFMAN began her career in publishing as an intern at Tor Books and started working at McIntosh & Otis, Inc. in 2007. In 2013 she took over as M&O’s Director of Subsidiary Rights. Shira is currently developing her own list and is interested in a broad range of fiction and non-fiction in the adult market as well as an occasional YA or middle grade title. Her primary interests include mainstream commercial fiction, mystery, literary fiction, literary thrillers, women’s fiction, romance, urban fantasy, fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Shira is particularly keen to acquire projects that push genre boundaries without shattering them and challenge the way that readers see the world. She hopes to discover writers with well developed and original voices.
Shira is not currently taking on projects in the following categories: historical romance, political thriller, family saga, self help, prescriptive nonfiction, westerns, and picture books.
For more detailed info on what Shira is looking for as an agent, please read her “Get to Know the Agent” blog post.
Laura Biagi, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
Laura Biagi joined JVNLA in 2009. She is actively building her own client list, seeking adult literary fiction and young readers books. She also handles the sale of UK and Australian/New Zealand rights, as well as audio rights. She has worked closely with Jean Naggar and Jennifer Weltz on their titles, as well as Jennifer Weltz on the submission of JVNLA’s titles internationally.
Laura’s writing background has honed her editorial eye and has driven her enthusiasm for discovering and developing literary talent. She studied creative writing and anthropology at Northwestern University. As a writer, she has participated in workshops at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. She is the recipient of a Kentucky Emerging Artist Award for fiction writing.
Laura grew up in a small town in Kentucky and maintains a fondness for Southern biscuits and unobstructed views of the stars.
Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
She graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in sociocultural anthropology and English. Jessica has made books a serious part of her life for many years. During college, she started an indie review blog that has featured author interviews and has reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Jessica is actively building her list and is most interested in all genres of romance, especially historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, and paranormal. She greatly enjoys romance novels with strong characters that jump right off the page and a plot that stays with the reader long after the book has finished. She is also interested in young adult fiction that takes the reader on an emotionally satisfying journey, whether that be in far off places or at home.
Her most recent sales include: Sophia Henry’s continuation of the Pilot’s Hockey series (Flirt/Random House). Jamie Howard’s Until We Break series (St. Martins), Amanda Heger’s Without Borders (Diversion), Emily Albright’s The Heir and the Spare (Merit Press), Tara Wyatt’s Body Guard series (Forever/Grand Central), Melissa Brown’s Red Carpet Kiss (Montlake Romance), Beth Ehemann’s Cranberry Inn series (Montlake).
Please note that Jessica is specifically not interested in: middle grade, cookbooks, poetry, short stories, screenplays, self-help, or religious/spiritual books.
Liza Fleissi, The Liza Royce Agency
Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. Their goal was, and remains, to represent authors in all stages of their careers, from the most established to those developing their craft, as well as debuts. Both former partners in NYC based litigation law firms, Liza and Ginger bring a combined 40 years of negotiating experience to the field. This background, along with connections rooted in publishing, movies and television, allowed them to focus and build on a referral based clientele.
From picture books through adult projects, fiction and non-fiction, LRA welcomes strong voices and plot driven works. Their inaugural books became available in stores January 2013. Their first was an Edgar nominee, another was an Indie Next Pick, and two others were optioned for film. LRA’s success began right out of the gate.
Here’s to more great books!
Peter Knapp is an agent at New Leaf Literary & Media, where he represents fiction for all ages. Previously, he was an agent at The Park Literary Group. He began his career as a story editor at Floren Shieh Productions, consulting on book-to-film adaptations for Los Angeles-based movie and TV entities. His clients include Melanie Conklin (COUNTING THYME, Putnam/Penguin), Soman Chainani (author of the New York Times bestselling THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL series), Lucy Keating (DREAMOLOGY, HarperTeen), Brenda Drake (THIEF OF LIES, Entangled Teen), Anna Michels (26 KISSES, Simon Pulse) and Will Walton (ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN, Scholastic). He graduated from NYU summa cum laude and lives in Brooklyn.
Danielle Barthel, New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
Following her completion of the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation, Danielle began interning at Writers House. While there, she realized she wanted to put her English degree and love of the written word to work at a literary agency. She worked as a full-time assistant for three years, and continues to help keep the New Leaf offices running smoothly in her role of Coordinator of Team and Client Services.
In her downtime, she can be found with a cup of tea, a bar of chocolate, or really good book…sometimes all together.
Jaida Temperly, New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
Jaida is actively building both her Children’s and Adult list. She has a particular love for all things Middle Grade, especially those that are a bit quirky, strange, and fantastical (a la The Mysterious Benedict Society, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Snicker of Magic, Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, etc.). She’s also open to YA submissions (all genres), and picture books by author-illustrators with completed dummies.
For all other fiction (both Adult and Children’s) she has an affinity for magical realism, historical fiction, and literary fiction, as well as stories with a strong mystery and/or religious undertones (The Westing Game, A Discovery of Witches, The DaVinci Code, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Outlander, The Rule of Four, etc.).
On the non-fiction side, she’s actively seeking topics that are offbeat and a bit strange (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, etc.), as well as photography projects that offer unique insight into the human experience (Humans of New York, The Scar Project, etc.).
Prior to joining New Leaf Literary, Jaida grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm, studied classical ballet, and briefly attended medical school. She loves art history, traveling, logic puzzles, horticulture, and numerous other topics that come in handy for Trivia Night and crossword puzzles.
Stefanie Lieberman, Janklow & Nesbit Associates
Stefanie seeks to represent authors who write upmarket commercial fiction, and she would likewise welcome young adult and romance submissions that feel fresh to the reader. She is particularly energized by manuscripts that feature strong female characters and voices that sparkle off the page.