Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Bibi Lewis of The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 10.26.27 AMBibi Lewis is a literary agent with The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture books, as well as Commercial and Upmarket Fiction. In all genres I am looking for contemporary realism, fantasy, mysteries, historicals and lots of humor. I have a soft spot for heists and sleuths (and would especially love to see a new YA Harriet the Spy or Veronica Mars!) as well as twisty thrillers. On the Adult side, I am looking for anything smart, sharp and witty — but specifically for Romance, Women’s Fiction, Mysteries and Thrillers. Well-developed characters are a must. I always welcome diverse narratives, including but not limited to LGBTQ or minority voices.”

Bibi manages subsidiary rights for the agency in addition to her duties as an agent and general office manager.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Dana Murphy of The Book Group

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 4.34.28 PMLiterary agent Dana Murphy joined The Book Group in 2012 to provide administrative and creative support to Brettne Bloom and Elisabeth Weed. Dana worked collaboratively with Brettne and Elisabeth as their assistant, began building her own list in 2015 and was promoted to Agent in 2017. Prior to working at The Book Group, Dana studied Critical Film Theory and Sociology at New York University.

Dana is hungry for writing that is immersive and surprising, with a voice so distinct it makes her cancel plans and read through meals. She is attracted to upmarket and literary fiction for both adults and young adults, as well as smart narrative nonfiction, essay collections and journalism about culture, social issues, science, feminism, race, gender, film and television, music, comedy, religion and place.

She’d love to read work that reckons with “low” or “unworthy” pop culture in a serious way, especially regarding art created for and consumed by teenagers, and stories set in and about the modern American South. She is passionate about finding literary homes for underrepresented and marginalized voices.

A few books she loves: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips, The Mothers by Brit Bennett, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi, Love Goes to Buildings on Fire by Will Hermes, and The Wrong Way to Save Your Life by Megan Stielstra.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 4.29.52 PMAlyssa Eisner Henkin is a literary agent with Trident Media Group.

Actively seeking new clients, Alyssa represents all forms of literature and illustration for children and young adults.

Alyssa’s primary focus for new projects is middle grade. She is fond of both fiction and nonfiction: from illustrated and graphic novels and memoirs to series with the interactive spirit of a trivia game. A lover of underdogs, school stories, humor, heart, mysteries, and regional and ethnic flavors, Alyssa looks to spice up the canon with projects that break new ground. She also enjoys select young adult projects, especially when they champion social justice or have an intriguing family or romantic dynamic. And with picture books, rollicking read-alouds and fascinating biographies are always intriguing.

After earning her Bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania, Alyssa fulfilled a childhood dream that she professed on a home video at the age of six: Move to New York and work with books. In 1999, Alyssa began her career in editorial at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Here she found “kindred spirits” who loved Anne of Green Gables as much as she did and a kids book space that was rapidly growing. In late 2006 Alyssa (and her inner-entrepreneur) headed to Trident to expand the firm’s children’s book business.

Over twelve years, hundreds of deals and numerous bestsellers and award-winners later, Alyssa still delights in nurturing her books at every stage. From editing and idea-honing to collaborating with marketing, foreign, dramatic, merchandising, and audio partners, Alyssa works hard to ensure longevity for her authors’ work.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jacqueline Lipton of Raven Quill Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 2.50.21 PMJacqueline Lipton is the founder of Raven Quill Literary Agency and the author of Law & Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers (forthcoming, University of California Press, fall 2020).

She is seeking most kinds of middle grade and young adult fiction — especially contemporary, romance, science-fiction, mystery, and/or anything with engaging characters and plot! She also seeks MG and YA nonfiction.

Jacqueline has been an avid reader since elementary school, back in the days when “YA” wasn’t even a thing.

Her background is also eclectic. At university (yes, in Australia and England they call it “university”), she studied law, psychology, drama, languages, and information technology. She practiced as a banking and finance attorney in Australia, and has worked as a law professor in Australia, the U.K. and the United States where her teaching and writing has focused on laws relating to the publishing industry, digital technology law, copyright, trademark, privacy, and defamation.

She holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and regularly teaches classes on writing and on legal aspects of publishing around the country for organizations like The Writing Barn, Savvy Authors, and a variety of adult education courses, M.A. and M.F.A. programs, and libraries.

Before founding Raven Quill Literary Agency, she was an Associate Agent at Storm Literary Agency, and, prior to that, a reader for literary agent Susan Hawk, and a reader and member of the social media team for The YA Review Network (Y.A.R.N.).

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sarah Yake of Frances Collin Literary

Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 1.44.39 PMSarah Yake is a literary agent with Frances Collin Literary.

Sarah has been with the agency since 2005 and handles foreign and sub-rights as well as her own client list. She has been a sales rep for a major publisher and a bookstore manager. She currently teaches in the Rosemont College Graduate Publishing Program and holds an MA in English Literature.

Sarah is seeking: literary and commercial fiction and is especially interested in work where the arts intersect. She loves books about women, solitude, wilderness, and any combination(s) thereof and would love to see more work that incorporates the visual arts and prose by authors who are also poets.

The agency represents the Estates of John Williams (STONER, BUTCHER’S CROSSING, AUGUSTUS), Vonda N. McIntyre (DREAMSNAKE, THE MOON AND THE SUN, THE EXILE WAITING) and Esther Forbes (JOHNNY TREMAIN), among others.

Fran Collin is the Trustee for the Estate of Rachel Carson (SILENT SPRING, THE SENSE OF WONDER, THE SEA AROUND US, THE EDGE OF THE SEA and UNDER THE SEA-WIND).

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Allison Cohen of Running Press Kids

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 7.18.06 PM.pngAllison Cohen is an editor with Running Press Kids.

Allison got her start in publishing at Random House before moving over to The Gersh Agency for several years. She is now an editor with RPK. She is currently seeking:

  • Picture books (fiction and some nonfiction, mainly with an environmental twist if nonfiction)
  • Middle grade nonfiction (anthologies, light/humorous history, STEAM-themed books, etc.)
  • Middle grade and YA fiction (contemporary stories only—no fantasy or sci-fi—and anything with an interactive component; lighthearted [not too edgy])

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Leah Pierre of Ladderbird Literary

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 12.43.24 PM.pngLeah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary.

A Texas native, Leah moved to the east coast to pursue her dream of working in publishing. Leah spends her time enjoying the company of fictional characters more than people. When not in the company of fictional characters, Leah hangs out with friends and family, cooks, and catches up on movies and TV shows.

She is seeking: “I am looking for diverse and unique work that is faced paced, that I will not be able to put down, and will leave me on the edge of my seat. As much as I pretend to hate them, I do love a good plot twist and a shocking ending. I love stories with a complex cast of characters and I am a sucker for camaraderie, banter, and the tight-knit, family-like group of friends trope.”

Adult novels: romance (ideally interracial), fantasy with elements of myth and legends, historical fantasy/fiction, social-justice-inspired espionage/heist.

New adult novels: romance, coming-of-age, finding one’s identity, F/F friendship, the college experience as well as the post-college experience.

Young adult novels: Fantasy with elements of myth and legend (lesser know myths/legends i.e. Middle Eastern), Meet-Cute/Coming-of-age that involves romance and self-discovery/self-love, Contemporary, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries and thrillers (unreliable narrators are okay), fairy-tale retellings, and a good heist concept.

“A lot of what I am looking for does overlap, so please use your best judgement when submitting. If you’re not sure, give it a try.”