Our faculty members are top agents, editors and authors–chosen for their kindness, brilliance, and creative teaching styles. We provide direct access to these professionals who give you the thought, time and care you deserve.
Meet The Faculty Members Who Make Everything Possible
Adriann Ranta Zurhellen
Adriann Ranta Zurhellen represents New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, journalists, illustrators, and graphic novelists. She represents media in all genres and for all age groups, specializing in projects that subvert expectations, and clever, powerful work that’s still accessible. She’s particularly interested in memoir, narrative nonfiction, graphic novels, fiction with a nonfiction hook, tentpole YA, all stripes of MG, author/illustrator picture books, and nonfiction for children.
Taj aims to widen the entryway for marginalized authors into the publishing industry and to normalize Black joy, fat joy, celebrations of culture, and love without limitations. She represents Adult Fiction (contemporary, romance, romcoms, women's fiction, mystery/thriller), Adult Non-Fiction (memoirs, narratives, cookbooks, satire, empowerment), Children's Fiction (MG and YA contemporary, mystery, romance, thriller, fantasy), Children's Non-Fiction (historical narratives, picture books).
Anjanette represents books across all age categories in both fiction and non-fiction. Some of her favorite themes include the natural world, found family, faith and myth, science, slow burn romantic relationships, and exploration of culture. Genres she is especially drawn to include anything under the Speculative/SFF umbrella, romance, book club fiction, popular science, and all things Middle Grade. She does not represent erotica or true crime.
Emily Daluga (she/her) is an Associate Editor at Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books. Before finding her place at Abrams in 2017, she worked as a bookseller at the Strand, a librarian in Illinois and Ohio, and a ticket taker at the AMC in Times Square. Emily mostly focuses on middle-grade and YA novels, but has also worked on chapter books and early readers and is happy to critique them.
Literary agent at Folio Literary Management. I represent a diverse list of iconoclastic voices in young adult, middle-grade, picture books, and everything in between. I’m seeking unique voices in fiction for young people, stories that move readers, moments that make me look up and say “Wow, yes. I’ve felt that.” Send me the books kids will sneak/steal/borrow in secret. Those personal, dangerous, life-saving stories. Genres: Children's, Middle Grade, Picture Books, YA, author-illustrators. No adult works.
Ismita Hussain is an agent with Great Dog Literary, representing adult fiction and non-fiction, and YA. She specializes in literary fiction, health/disability-related works, and books set in the South. She also works on short story collections. She is a founding member of Disability in Publishing. Some of her favorite authors are Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Oscar Wilde, and Tom Perrotta.
Kelly Van Sant
Kelly Van Sant (Red Sofa Literary). Categories/Genres: Children's, Young Adult, Middle Grade, fantasy, science-fiction, speculative, mystery, contemporary, adventure. Kelly has a decade of experience in the publishing industry. She cut her teeth in New York working at esteemed literary agencies such as Writers House and Harold Ober Associates. She has worked as a freelance editor and is a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center and runs the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast.
Jenissa Graham is an Associate Agent and Subrights Manager at BookEnds Literary Agency. She represents MG and YA in contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery/suspense, and thrillers as well as Adult in mystery/suspense and thrillers. As a first-generation Jamaican and advocate for marginalized voices, Jenissa is dedicated to increasing the BIPOC space in Publishing.
Alyssa Jennette joined Stonesong Literary in June 2015 after interning at Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in Illustration. As a result, she has unique insight and expertise when it comes to design-heavy or illustrated works. Alyssa is a very editorial agent; she finds a lot of joy in shaping stories alongside the author and delights in building long-term partnerships.
Stephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She primarily acquires adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. She represents: Commercial and Upmarket projects (Rom-Coms, Thriller/Suspense, etc.) with a millennial and queer lens as well as Pop Culture, Cultural Criticism, millennial Business/Finance, Narrative Nonfiction, How-To, and Lifestyle.
Editor, HarperCollins Children's/Harper Teen
Genres: Fiction: Action/Adventure, Children's, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Historical, Humor, LGBTQ, Literary, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Favorite sub-genres: Contemporary YA, Contemporary Young Adult, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Feminism, LGBTQIA, Literary Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Speculative Fiction, YA Fantasy, YA Historical Fantasy, contemporary MG, historical, science fiction.
Stefanie Molina is an agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency. She is primarily looking for BIPOC stories across all age groups, especially contemporary and urban fantasy, romcom, mysteries, and thrillers. She loves stories that incorporate food, animals/the outdoors, and intergenerational relationships. Outside of agenting, she enjoys hiking, swimming, baking, and playing the piano. Her favorite place in the world is Yosemite National Park! You can find her on Twitter @fiction_tech.
Stacey Graham, agent at 3 Seas Literary, has worked both sides of the literary door as a humor writer with the wickedly funny Zombie Tarot, author of three books, screenwriter, ghostwriter, and short story writer. She loves working with writers at all stages of their careers and uses her experience in authorship to help navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of publishing for her clients. She is currently looking to expand her list with snappy Rom-Coms, hilarious/spooky middle grade, and weird nonfiction.
Savannah Brooks, KT Literary. She earned her MFA, focused in creative nonfiction, from Hamline University and her BS in marketing management from Virginia Tech. She focuses most heavily on kid lit—from picture books to YA, both fiction and nonfiction—and also represents adult thrillers, romcoms, and contemporary/commercial fiction. She’s especially interested in stories that teach her something new, add to a larger sociopolitical conversation, and highlight underrepresented identities.
Former literary agent Sarah LaPolla has over a decade of experience in the publishing industry. Starting at Curtis Brown, Ltd. in 2008, and later as an agent at Bradford Literary Agency, Sarah has primarily represented Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction in a variety of genres featuring complex, diverse characters who often challenge the status quo and address timely issues. Sarah has an MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from The New School and a BA in Creative Writing from Ithaca
Agency: Thompson Literary
Genres: Fiction: Children's, Fantasy, Historical, Humor, Middle Grade, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult. Non-Fiction: Humor, Pop Culture. She loves creative and epic fantasies in the vein of Sarah J. Maas or Leigh Bardugo. But she is also drawn to contemporary YA with multi-dimensional female characters like those of Rainbow Rowell, Julie Murphy and Melina Marchetta. She also loves middle grade with themes of friendship, adventure and tragedy.
Saba Sulaiman is an agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services, a boutique agency located in Milford, CT. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MA from the University of Chicago, where she studied modern Persian literature. She is looking primarily to build her Middle Grade and Young Adult lists, especially contemporary realistic. She's also open to category romance (except paranormal), literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction, character-driven psychological thrillers, cozy mysteries, and memoir.
Renee C. Fountain, President of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Lit Mgmt. With eight years in Big 5 publishing, writing reviews for Kirkus and NY Journal of Books, five years as a story analyst for a television network. Interested in developmental editing and critiquing: All types of non-fiction. Most fiction, especially: YA, adult thrillers, rom-com, mystery, horror, fantasy (urban, dark, magical realism). Not interested in PB, MG, political, religious, westerns, hard sci-fi, erotica, poetry.
Rebecca Raskin is a former assistant editor who acquired nonfiction and fiction on Harper Wave, Harper Business and Harper Perennial lists at HarperCollins. She has previously worked at Kensington Publishing and Folio Literary Agency. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature.
Rachel Diebel is an editor at Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, acquiring middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels. Throughout her career, she has worked on multiple New York Times bestsellers, as well as celebrity projects including books by Lili Reinhart, Jimmy Fallon, and the forthcoming Natalie Portman's Fables. She is always looking for projects from marginalized voices and has a particular soft spot for stories of found families and YA and MG graphic novels with colorful, commercial art styles.
Agent at Nelson Literary Agency.
Fiction: Commercial, Family Saga, Fantasy, General, Historical, Humor, LGBTQ, Literary, Middle Grade, Romance, Science Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Humor, Memoir, Pop Culture, Science. Wonderfully, realized characters, untold stories from underrepresented communities, immersive world-building, and complex narrative approaches/plots. I am a huge romantic and don’t mind romance subplots outside of the romance genre.
Penny Moore is a Senior Agent at Aevitas Creative Management who represents mainly children’s literature: chapter books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels. She also represents select upmarket adult titles with smart hooks in romance, women's fiction, and SFF. Though her tastes are broad, she’s specifically seeking inventive works featuring diverse voices with strong plot and character development.
Agency: Odom Media Management.
NONFICTION ONLY, PLEASE.
Genres: Biography, Cookbooks, Crafts/DIY, History, Humor, Journalism, LGBTQ, Memoir, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Sports, Travel, True Crime.
Favorite sub-genres: Business, Feminism, Illustrated, Narrative Nonfiction, Pop Psychology, Self-Reflection, Social Issues.
Molly Cusick is a former editor & agent, and works on Young Adult, Middle Grade, and picture book projects, as well as select adult fiction and nonfiction. Molly has represented and edited authors including Julie Murphy (#1 New York Times bestselling author of DUMPLIN’), Pat Zietlow Miller (New York Times bestselling picture book author of BE KIND), Julie Berry (Newbery Honor Award-winning and bestselling MG and YA author), and Nina Laurin (USA Today bestselling suspense author). She works with all genres.
Agent at Stonesong Literary. I represent adult commercial fiction, predominantly thrillers and women’s fiction. I am looking for fresh voices in both genres– unusual takes on the tropes that we all love. Genres: Fiction: Commercial, Thriller, Women’s Fiction,
Non-Fiction: Humor, Pop Culture.
Maeve is an agent at Copps Literary Services specializing in genre-blending commercial queer SFF in YA/MG/Adult/Graphic Novels with a particular focus on BIPOC authors and authors of marginalized identities. Maeve began her career in Foreign Rights and Sales at Scholastic and Insight Editions. She began agenting in 2019 at Ladderbird Literary and now in 2022 is continuing her crusade for increased POC representation in publishing at CLS. She often judges books by their villains.
Agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency. Linda is open to MG and YA fiction, all genres; select graphic novels; select picture book writer-illustrators; adult fiction (namely, upmarket/book club fiction, women's fiction/romance, and literary horror)
Leticia Gomez is a literary/film/television agent who specializes in bringing culturally diverse voices to the forefront. She has helped her clients secure deals with the largest publishers in the world and seen several of her projects successfully optioned for film and television rights. Upmarket Women's/Debut Fiction, Mystery, Suspense/Thrillers, Literary Fiction, YA, Middle-grade, Narrative Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography, True Crime, Politics & Current Affairs, Health & Medicine, Cookbooks, Lifestyle.
Larissa Melo Pienkowski
Larissa Melo Pienkowski is a literary agent at Jill Grinberg Literary Management, the assistant publisher of Dottir Press, and a freelance editor. As a Latinx, mixed-race bookworm, she's passionate about #OwnVoices stories, uplifting marginalized voices, and reading across genres, especially YA, MG, literary fiction, and narrative nonfiction. She earned her BSW at Simmons College and her MA in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College, and makes pottery in her free time (when she’s not reading, that is).
Agent at The Tobias Literary Agency. I represent a wide range of fiction and non-fiction projects: Romance, fantasy, science fiction, pop-culture, science, and more. I am LGBTQ-friendly and am looking for works with diverse characters in a way that is not appropriation. Genres: Fiction: Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Science Fiction, Women’s Fiction. Non-Fiction: Journalism, Pop Culture, Science, True Crime.
iana is an agent at Donald Maass Literary and focuses primarily on YA Contemporary, but she'd love to work with low/high Fantasy and Sci-fi, and is HUNGRY for queer and POC voices, especially if the narrative is as much driven by the main character(s) as by a high-concept plot. She's also looking for an achingly bittersweet queer love story with thriller or genre spin, and adult thrillers, romance, and upmarket genre fiction.
Kayla Lightner is an agent at Ayesha Pande Literary. An adventurous reader, Kayla loves stories—across commercial fiction, literary fiction, and nonfiction—that masterfully straddle the line between story-telling and teaching her something new. In terms of literary tastes, she works with speculative fiction (SFF, horror, and magical realism), literary and upmarket family sagas, short story collections, humorous essay collections, and memoir.
Katie Greenstreet joined Paper Literary in 2022. A corporate lawyer by training, she worked for several large law firms before making the leap into publishing. She started her career in books as an assistant at ICM Partners in New York, where she supported a list of Booker, Pulitzer, and Nobel Prize-winning authors. She then moved to London and joined C&W. Katie would love to see your: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller/Suspense, Book Club, Romantic Comedy, and Upmarket Women's Fiction.
Katharine Sands is a literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Agency in New York City. She is the agent provocateur of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch A Literary Agent’s Eye. She has been a guest speaker on writing and publishing for Poets and Writers, The American Society of Journalists and Authors, UCLA, New York University, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Katharine likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks, which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. When reading fiction she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling, and hooked by characters. For memoir, femoir, and himoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed.
Agent at Bradford Literary. The stories I like to acquire range from emotional to funny. I also look for diversity all in forms, including, but not limited to, BIPOC, neurodiversity, and LGBTQ+. For picture books, I enjoy all formats from character-driven to concept. I connect with lyrical writing (rhyme and non-rhyme) just as much as funny. I also enjoy nonfiction STEAM books and picture book biographies. For novels, historical fiction, mysteries, magical realism, humorous, and friendships stories.
Julie Falatko writes about misunderstood characters trying to find their place in the world. She is the author of Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book), illustrated by Tim Miller (Viking, 2016); Snappsy the Alligator and his Best Friend Forever (Probably) (Viking, 2017); The Society of Underrepresented Animals, illustrated by Charles Santoso (Viking, 2018).
John M. Cusick
John M. Cusick is an agent with Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management, representing picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. He is also the author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY (Candlewick Press), as well as a regular speaker at writers conferences. John is doing query and partial manuscript critiques. Members can schedule one with him here.
Jessica Watterson is an agent with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She has been with SDLA since 2013 and is always on the hunt for new and exceptional voices in the genres of: romance, women’s fiction, contemporary young adult fiction, middle grade, select picture books and select cozy mysteries. She is most excited about fiction that presents itself as unabashedly feminist, in addition to tackling societal norms.
Laura Barbiea is a social media manager at Alloy Entertainment, a publishing arm of Warner Brothers Entertainment. Talking about Young Adult books “on the interwebs” is her specialty. In addition to her experience at Alloy, Laura is a creative entrepreneur (actor/producer/extraordinaire!), who has experience building a brand on a personal level.
Marilyn R. Atlas
Marilyn R. Atlas is a literary manager and award-winning producer. Among her credits as film producer are “Real Women Have Curves” for HBO, which won the Audience Award at the Sundance; “A Certain Desire,” starring Sam Waterston; and “Echoes,” which won the Gold Award at the Texas International Film Festival.
Jessica Sinsheimer has been reading and campaigning for her favorite queries since 2004. Now an agent at Context Literary Agency, she is always on the lookout for new writers, and--whatever the age group--she tends to love contrast: highbrow sentences and lowbrow content, beautiful settings and ugly motives–the books that are beautiful and scary, heartbreaking and hilarious. She loves secrets, scheming, revenge, plotting–and stories that have to be written forward and backward to make sense (SHE LOVES discovering a very cleverly planted clue that makes sense in retrospect). She'd love more of what she thinks of as "Rom Com 2.0" works--powerful, nerdy women with humor and heart. More underrepresented characters, please–especially those with power, agency, and happy endings. You can find her #MSWL here."
Agent at the Seymour Agency. Jennifer is interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author/illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health-conscious, budget-friendly, or celebrity chef variety. For fiction, she’s interested in middle grade, YA with a sci-fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the non-fiction side, narrative non-fiction and memoir.
While earning her B.A. in English and Marketing from the College of William & Mary, Hannah completed an internship at a boutique literary agency in Virginia, where she fell in love with this side of publishing. After graduating from the Columbia Publishing Course, she joined JRA and is now keeping her sights set on growing her list. In fiction, she’s looking for literary, upmarket, historical, and select rom-coms. She will always have a soft spot for speculative and magical realism.
Hannah Robinson is an editor of practical nonfiction at Tiller Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. Hannah enjoys commercial women’s fiction, self-help, pop science, psychology, social psychology, health and wellness, advice and relationships, spirituality, and memoir.
Fiona represents children’s and YA books, from picture books to older teenage, split about 70/30 fiction/nonfiction. Likes: Unreliable narrators, MG stories with real children in an imaginary world, and feelgood YA. Enjoy elements of cycling, suspense, mysteries, plots that go awry, humor. No rhyming picture books, poetry, or faith-based works.
Erica Finkel, Abrams Books, hails from Maryland and studied English Literature at Tufts University in Boston. After graduation, she taught English in a teeny town in France, then returned to Boston to earn an MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. She moved to New York to take a job at Abrams Books in 2010 and has been there ever since.
Eric Smith is a literary agent at P.S. Literary, with a love for young adult books, sci-fi, fantasy, and non-fiction. He began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working social media and marketing on numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University, and his MA in English at Arcadia University.
Emmy Nordstrom Higdon
emmy (they/them) represents across age categories + genres, specializing in identity-driven works. They work in both fiction and non-fiction, from PB to adult, including commercial, upmarket, book club & literary. They specialize in contemporary books grounded in reality, with and without speculative elements. Mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, romcom, women's fiction, LGBTQ2S+, magical realism, fabulism, horror, graphic, narrative non-fiction, true crime, religion + spirituality, humanities + science.
Danielle has worked in publishing for sixteen years. Formerly an editor, she joined Upstart Crow when it was founded in 2009, specializing in young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as cookbooks, select nonfiction, and literary and upmarket fiction for adults. Thanks to her extensive editorial background, she enjoys working closely with authors to develop projects. She welcomes first-time authors with a unique voice and point of view.
Claire is actively seeking adult projects that shine a spotlight on people, places, and events that are often overlooked or not given the attention they deserve. In fiction, she's looking for rom coms, psychological thrillers, select horror, and cozy mysteries—all for millennial audiences. For non-fiction, Claire is seeking a range of projects, including lifestyle guides, pop culture celebrations, pop psychology, cultural criticism, humor, true crime, essay collections, and illustrated books for adults.
Chelsey Emmelhainz joined Copps Literary Services as a literary agent after a decade as an editor in the NYC publishing world, working on a wide range of adult commercial fiction and nonfiction. She’s a very editorial, collaborative agent, and loves new authors. Literary, commercial, women's, young adult, and genre fiction—mainly romance, erotica, horror, cozy mysteries, suspense, and thrillers—as well as nonfiction projects exploring subjects like gender issues, politics, pop culture, and history.
Cecilia Lyra is an agent at P.S. Literary actively acquiring adult fiction and nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to stories centered around dysfunctional families, ethical or moral dilemmas, and taboo subjects. She adores reading about protagonists who grew up straddling two opposing worlds and appreciates subtle storytelling, with characters who are nuanced and flawed, as opposed to overwritten and nice.
Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Middle-grade and YA with a focus on books featuring underrepresented stories and voices. Character-driven, whipsmart protagonists, spooky and atmospheric MG speculative fiction, contemporary YA thrillers in the vein of JANE ANONYMOUS or SADIE, friendship breakup stories, romance with lots! of! angst!, and stories rich with diverse cultural traditions and storytelling.
Caitlin McDonald is an agent at Donald Maass Literary Agency, where she represents adult and young adult fantasy and science fiction as well as select nonfiction titles.
Editor at Quirk Books. I am always after intriguing, off-the-wall, geeky, smart, and/or lady-centric projects in both fiction and non-fiction. Genres: Fiction: Humor, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult. Non-Fiction: Cookbooks, Crafts/DIY, Humor, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Science.
Bibi Lewis is a literary agent with the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, where she has been since 2014. She has always had her nose in a book and is delighted to represent a great mixture of Children’s and Adult books, especially Picture Books, MG adventure, YA Non-Fiction and Contemporary Fiction and Adult Romance and women’s fiction. She is the office manage and foreign rights manager for EELA and is a contract nerd through and through. She lives in NYC with a lot of plants and a chatty black cat.
Aneeka Kalia is an Editorial Assistant at Viking Children’s Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House). She works on Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult Fiction and Narrative Nonfiction with a particular interest in sports (although definitely open to other categories). Aneeka likes humor in stories for all ages, contemporary/realistic fiction in the Middle Grade and Young Adult spaces, and character-driven picture books. Prior to working at Viking, Aneeka was an Editorial Intern at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and graduated from Connecticut College in 2016.
Amy Elizabeth Bishop joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret as a literary agent and assistant in 2015 after interning for them in 2014. She represents a wide variety of adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as YA and middle grade. Before diving into the world of publishing, she graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Creative Writing. Though she grew up upstate, she currently resides in Astoria, Queens. You can find her on Twitter @amylizbishop.
I’m a freelance editor and former full-time Scholastic and Penguin Random House editor of nonfiction middle grade, YA, and adult projects. I specialize in narrative nonfiction (historical, scientific, and memoir), creativity and gift books, and historical or science reference for MG readers.