Meet The Agents Who Will Decline To Represent Your Debut Novel

Amy Drayer
Oct 27, 2019 · 3 min read
Photo by Luemen Carlson on Unsplash

Sophia Pagliacci is a graduate of Harvard, Princeton, Brown, and Columbia, where she edited all their literary journals. She offices in her Manhattan penthouse and has worked in the publishing world for over forty years. She manages the international rights and backlist for Hemingway, Kesey, and De Beauvoir. She currently represents Anna Wintour, Roxane Gay, and Gore Vidal — who is actually still alive. However he only speaks to Sophia and the other New York Times best-selling authors she represents. Certainly you can understand why she won’t respond to your query.

Jane North represents upmarket women’s fiction. She graduated Fordham the weekend you were at your twentieth reunion at a state school. She’s looking for authors who write like Virginia Woolf and sell like James Patterson. She’s interested in reading #ownvoices, but not acquiring it. She enjoys books with protagonists who are funny and real and confound every stereotype in the Western World but they should be 20-something single white women or Harry Potter. She prefers witty thrillers she can’t put down with a love story so epic it makes her fall in love with the concept of love (think The Girl on the Train meets The Hating Game). She’s currently reading spec fiction with mainstream appeal by Pushcart-winning authors who have outsold Dan Brown.

Michael Shapiro graduated Yale last year. Somehow, he’s a Senior Vice President at Simon and Schuster and a current contributor to the New Yorker, New York Magazine, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and Paris Review. He will be interviewed on Weekend Edition on NPR next month to talk about his upcoming book, Universal, the coming of age story of a young white man in Connecticut who grapples with the ennui that constantly plagues him and won’t give him that perfect moment of peace for chrissake, even when he’s alone on his yacht. He’s currently acquiring books written by his friends from Yale and Groton.

Lucca Knight holds a BA in Creative Writing from NYU. She loves to read bold, lush, delicious, gothic, rich, dark, gorgeous, profound, sexy, strange, raw, fresh, disruptive, ecstatic prose that deeply engages the human condition, renders bare the soul of the writer exploring his or her or their craft, and transforms the reader’s perception of reality. Send her work that challenges the arbitrary concepts of “borders,” both real and imagined. Think Noam Chomsky meets Coco Fusco, Beowolf meets Oscar Wilde. Lucca exclusively represents other literary agents writing literary novels about the publishing world.

Michelle Nour has read every single work by authors traditionally underrepresented in publishing. She started the hashtag #ownvoices and works twenty-four hours a day. Her client’s manuscripts are twice the quality of all others submitted to the major publishing houses and she boasts a .001% placement rate, which is three times that of authors of color represented by other agents. She holds MFAs from NYU and the USC Annenberg School of Communication. She recommends you work harder and maybe think about indie publishing.

Alexa Alexandria represents Sci Fi and Urban Fantasy. She’s on Twitter @alexaallworlds. She typically reads epic alt-reality apocalyptic polyamorous queer love stories featuring non-humanoid creatures exploring what it means to be truly and fully sentient, but she has a soft spot for multi-universe Game of Thrones style series running fifteen books or more. She can only be contacted at #obscuretwitterpitchcontest.

Matt Jordan lives in Beaverton, OR with his wife, two daughters, and their five-year-old Golden Retriever. He’s a graduate of University of Oregon where he was on the staff of the campus newspaper for four years covering Arts and Culture. He represents your genre and specializes in debut novels. All his debut authors have been sold at auction in “very nice” deals. All his favorite books are your favorite books, and all the authors he represents are on the comps list for your manuscript. He is not currently attending any conferences or accepting queries, unsolicited or otherwise.

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Amy Drayer

Written by

Amy writes novels, short stories, and essays. More about her and her work can be found at www.makahislandmysteries.com

Slackjaw

Slackjaw

Medium humor. Large laughs.

Amy Drayer

Written by

Amy writes novels, short stories, and essays. More about her and her work can be found at www.makahislandmysteries.com

Slackjaw

Slackjaw

Medium humor. Large laughs.

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