Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Marie Lamba of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 4.22.18 PMMarie Lamba is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

Marie (www.marielamba.com) is author of the young adult novels What I Meant… (Random House), Over My Head and Drawn, of the picture book Green Green: A Community Gardening Story (Farrar Straus Giroux), and of the upcoming picture book A Day So Gray (Clarion). Her articles appear in more than 100 publications, and she’s a frequent contributor to Writer’s Digest. Marie has worked as an editor, an award-winning public relations writer, a book publicist, and has taught classes on novel writing and on author promotion.

Fiction interests:

“I’m currently seeking middle grade and young adult fiction, especially with diverse points of view, or a STEM tie-in. I also want general adult fiction and women’s fiction. I’d love to find an original women’s novel that would inspire the next smart and funny chick flick. I also represent a select number of established illustrators and picture book authors. I’d love a fresh non-gory ghost story for any age. I’m fascinated with hidden treasures, artifacts and with discovering ancient civilizations right beneath our feet. I’m a huge fan of folklore and fairy tales, and, while I wouldn’t want a retelling, I always enjoy those elements woven into a story in a unique way. Overall, books that are original, moving and/or hilarious are especially welcome.”

“I’m NOT interested in Christian fiction, horsey books, thrillers, genre science fiction or high fantasy (though I am open to speculative elements, especially in middle-grade fiction), erotica, category romance (though romantic elements are welcomed in novels), or books that feature graphic violence.”

“Some favorite titles on my reading shelf include Searching for Caleb by Anne Tyler, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Shug by Jenny Han, and Dogzilla and Hallo-weiner by Dav Pilkey. For more insight into my tastes, check out the books I’ve authored, as well as the works of the authors I represent, and visit marielamba.com for my Agent Monday blog posts.

Nonfiction interests:

“I represent nonfiction for children and for adults. For children’s, I’m open to most non-fiction subjects, especially ones that fit into my interests (see above).”

“In the adult realm, I want memoirs with strong voices and unique, inspiring stories (especially foodie memoirs, or ones with a celebrity or pop culture connection). In non-fiction, I’m seeking narrative nonfiction, pop culture, history (little known or unique view of well-known), science and technology for the rest of us, art, biography (especially unknown/little known sides of well-known people), parenting, cooking and food, health and wellness, lifestyle, advice and relationships, and personal finance.”

“Overall, I’m especially looking for nonfiction that is inspiring and hopeful. I have a special interest in social justice, in titles that elevate and celebrate women and diverse people, and in books that aim to improve our society and help our environment.”

“Some nonfiction favorites on my reading shelf include: Rush by Stephen Fried, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I also loved the movies RBG and Hidden Figures, and I’m a sucker for The Great British Bake Off.

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jade Wong-Baxter of Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 3.17.48 PMJade Wong-Baxter is a literary agent with Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents.

Jade got her start in publishing at Writers House, W. W. Norton, and Folio Literary Management. A graduate of Vassar College, she joined MMQ in 2017.

She’s looking for literary fiction, upmarket/mainstream fiction, and narrative nonfiction, with an emphasis on narratives by and about people of color, as well as the perspectives of marginalized identities.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Susan Velazquez of JABberwocky Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 1.05.08 PM.pngSusan Velazquez is a literary agent with JABberwocky Literary Agency.

“I am primarily interested in literary/upmarket fiction, historical fiction, and women’s fiction, especially family sagas. In science fiction and fantasy, I’m looking for stories that reflect or challenge how our society functions today. In young adult, I am open to all genres but am particular towards stories that are centered on the bittersweet pains of growing up. In nonfiction, I am only interested in narrative nonfiction that examines history, technology, or pop culture. Above all, I’m looking for strong emotional arcs and characters who feel as real as possible.

Susan was born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas, but strangely enough, has no strong opinions on football or country music. Much to her family’s dismay, she left the South to live amongst the Yankees. She received a B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Gender Studies from SUNY Oswego in 2016. Susan speaks fluent Spanglish and just mastered the art of cooking Mexican rice.

Before joining JABberwocky, Susan interned at Foundry Literary + Media, Coral Press, and Folio Literary Management.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Caitlin McDonald of Donald Maass Literary

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 9.58.57 PM.pngCaitlin McDonald is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency.

She is looking for:

– All types of science fiction and fantasy for adult, young adult, and middle grade, especially secondary world fantasy and alternate history
– Genre-bending or cross-genre fiction, and stories that examine tropes from a new angle
– Diversity of all kinds, including (but not limited to) race, gender, sexuality, and ability, in both characters and worldbuilding

Caitlin joined DMLA in 2015, and was previously at Sterling Lord Literistic. She represents adult and young adult speculative fiction, primarily science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and related subgenres, as well as contemporary fiction about geeky characters. She also handles a small amount of nonfiction in geeky areas, with a focus on feminist theory/women’s issues and pop culture. Caitlin grew up overseas and has a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

She does not want to see women’s fiction, crime fiction, Christian fiction, picture books, or young reader chapter books.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.53.46 PMEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary.

Eric 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. A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books appear on BookRiot, The Huffington Post, Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine’s Books section, and more. A published author with Quirk Books and Bloomsbury, he seeks to give his authors the same amount of love his writing has received. Follow him on Twitter: @ericsmithrocks

Eric is seeking: Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in Young Adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), New Adult, and Literary and Commercial Fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in Cookbooks, Pop Culture, Humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jessica Errera of Jane Rotrosen Agency

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.28.44 AM.pngJessica Errera is a literary agent with Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Jessica has been with JRA since 2014.

She is looking for: commercial women’s fiction with a fresh and fun hook, all genres of YA (especially diverse stories), contemporary romance, mysteries and suspense, the occasional historical fiction, and anything that might be read in a day on the beach.

“I love anything with lists/letters/texts/media embedded into the story, or subplots that get woven together in unexpected (but seamless) ways. I am particularly drawn to family or sister stories, imaginative re-tellings, stories with a food or travel element, and anything to do with theater.”

Jessica is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she spent four years cheering on the Tar Heels and a few fantastic months interning with Algonquin Books.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Michelle S. Lazurek of WordWise Media Services

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 11.36.04 PM.pngMichelle S. Lazurek is an associate literary agent with Wordwise Media Services.

Personally, she seeks Christian nonfiction for adults, and picture books (secular and Christian) for children. That said, she is taking pitches for her entire agency and co-agents, and is happy to hear pitches for science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. Nonfiction areas of interest for the agency include theology, Bible studies, religious/inspirational, professional, church issues, social/cultural issues, career, and reference. She takes both secular and Christian submissions.

No erotica or very vulgar manuscripts, please.

About Michelle: “In 2009, I felt a calling on my life to start writing. Apart from some poems in high school, I had never written anything before. As I studied and wrote down my thoughts, I soon published my first book. Today, with nine titles in print and hundreds of articles (and a few awards along the way), I teach aspiring authors at writers’ conferences. Now I get the privilege to journey with them more closely, and help them achieve their dreams. I have a Master of Arts in Counseling and Human Relations from Liberty University. When not occupied with literary pursuits, you can find me sipping a hot latte at Starbucks, reading a good book, or collecting records from the 1980s and 90s. I live with my husband, two children and our crazy dog, Cookie.”