Have you written a book you believe has the potential to be bestseller? A literary agent can help you get a contract with an esteemed publisher. Below we’ve featured 19 top New York literary agents accepting submissions.
1. Kirby Kim
Kirby Kim is one of the finest agents at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. Before joining the literary company situated in Madison Avenue, New York City, he honed his skills at Charlotte Sheedy Literary and Vigliano Associates. Likewise, he has a Juris Doctor and holds a position at the Asian American Writers Workshop.
Apart from nonfiction categories such as pop culture and science, Kirby loves to work on literary fiction and mass-appeal fiction including YA fiction and thrillers. For example, he represents the acclaimed Gina Apostol, author of Gun Dealer’s Daughter and Insurrecto.
Interested writers can contact Kirby about sending submissions online. Remember to include the initial ten pages of your writing project, whether fiction or nonfiction.
2. Nicole Aragi
Based in New York City, Nicole Aragi is the founder of Aragi, Inc. literary agency, which includes other agents such as Duvall Osteen and Frances Coady. A quick view of her portfolio reveals her keen eye for impeccable storytellers, many of which have won awards.
Two of her most notable author clients are Tommy Orange and Hannah Tinti. The former wrote the novel There There, which was nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Hannah authored Animal Crackers and Good Thief, with the latter winning the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction.
While Nicole isn’t keen on screenplays, she’s interested in fiction and nonfiction. Graphic novels are also welcome. You can email your query to Nicole and it’s up to you whether you submit a partial or complete manuscript.
3. Carol Mann
Forty-five years ago, Carol Mann left her editorial position to establish her eponymous literary agency on 5th Avenue, New York City. Through impeccable skills and decades of experience, she earned the respect of many colleagues and helped up-and-coming writers in finding their voice and niche in the industry.
Carol sometimes accepts fiction writers. But for the most part, she represents authors of nonfiction. This includes books about history, faith & belief, family, well-being, and current events. A couple of her clients are Roy Rowan (Keeping Love Alive) and Lauren Winner (Girl Meets God).
You can send your query online. Carol requires authors to include the first 25 pages of their work in their letter itself instead of being an attachment.
Moving on from his studies and work in filmmaking, Peter Steinberg eventually became a literary agent. And just last year, he finally became a part of Fletcher & Company, the prestigious company in New York City that includes other professionals like Sarah Fuentes and Lisa Grubka.
Peter’s clients have been nominees for the National Book Award and The Story Prize. Furthermore, a few books under his management were adapted into films, one of which is Steve McVicker’s nonfiction crime biography I Love You Phillip Morris.
Currently, Peter is looking for fiction (both literary and commercial) and nonfiction (narrative, humor, and pop culture, to name a few). Submit your manuscript by email — and don’t forget to specify that you are sending it to him.
5. Kiana Nguyen
If you’ve been to Brooklyn, New York, you’ve probably heard of the Donald Maass Literary Agency where Kiana Nguyen currently works. She joined the company six years ago as an assistant. Today, she manages her own group of fiction authors.
Kiana specializes in YA fiction and would love to read novels that tackle social stratification and highlight queer and POC identities. She also likes romance fiction for adult readers and thrillers featuring domestic settings and highly suspenseful sequences.
You can send a query, partial manuscript, or your entire manuscript. The type of content you submit will affect how quickly she can respond, which can vary from a few weeks to a couple of months.
Michele Mortimer has been a full-time member of Darhansoff & Verrill Literary Agents in Kingston, New York, for almost 20 years. She ensures that business is running smoothly by helping with editorial duties, commercial rights, and publishing permissions.
Her client list is nothing short of impressive. You’ll find not only Penny Guisinger (Postcards from Here) but also picture book author David Covell (Run Wild). Michele’s topics in nonfiction range from animal welfare and sociology to sports and pop culture. As for fiction, she likes complex crime fiction, literary fiction, and YA novels.
Writers are encouraged to check Michele’s client list to understand the type of writing she represents before they email a query.
When Mark Gottlieb isn’t working on his client list at the Trident Media Group in Lexington Avenue, New York City, he dedicates his time to volunteering. Specifically, he teaches English to adult immigrants who earn little. Clearly, he values the power of words in his professional and personal life.
Mark is eager to find promising new voices in the book industry no matter the topic and reader target. After all, many authors he currently represents have earned awards and became NYT bestsellers. Some of his top clients are Ronald H. Balson (Eli’s Premise) and historical novelist Kim Taylor (Cissy Funk).
Since he’s open to virtually all works in fiction and nonfiction, you should definitely submit a query to Mark whether you’re a published writer or not.
Boasting almost two decades of relevant experience in the industry, Danielle Chiotti is one of the most crucial individuals at Upstart Crow Literary in Brooklyn, New York City. She’s been with the agency since its inception in 2009 — and her editorial expertise is an invaluable asset to her clients.
Danielle is passionate about upmarket and literary fiction. In nonfiction, she’s open to topics like current affairs, comedy, food, and relationships. Children’s literature isn’t left hanging either since she champions middle-grade and YA fiction. For one, she represents Beth Hautala, the children’s book author known for The Ostrich and Other Lost Things.
Whether you’re working on narrative nonfiction or a YA novel, feel free to send your project to Danielle online.
9. Janet Reid
Janet Reid heads her own literary agency at 1st Avenue, New York City. Her job is already hectic as it is, but she always finds the time to manage two highly useful blogs for writers. One of her blogs replies to questions about books and publishing while the other posts substantial evaluations of queries.
Given her membership in International Thriller Writers, it’s no wonder that Janet specializes in writers of crime and thriller fiction. Then again, she also manages biographies and historical nonfiction, especially of the narrative type. Janet represents the journalist Thomas Lippman (Hero of the Crossing) and Hilary Holladay, author of the biography The Power of Adrienne Rich.
Currently, Janet is looking for domestic suspense novels, literary fiction, middle-grade nonfiction, and science nonfiction, among others. Check the query page for the full submission details.
When she arrived in New York City, Sarah Bedingfield’s career was all about teaching English. This went on for three years until she transitioned to the publishing industry, starting as an assistant in a couple of agencies. In 2016, Sarah finally joined Levine Greenberg Rostan, which is headquartered at 7th Avenue.
You only need to take a quick peek at her client list to know her literary preferences. From Zoje Stage’s well-reviewed domestic thriller Baby Teeth to Marissa Levien’s dystopian The World Gives Way, Sarah is deeply interested in fiction filled with suspense, drama, twists, and complex insights into humanity and society.
Sarah is currently seeking literary fiction, feminist fiction, historical fiction, dramatic family fiction, and novels highlighting diverse perspectives from minorities. Go ahead and submit your manuscript online.
11. Celeste Fine
Celeste Fine forms half of the illustrious Park & Fine, an agency located at 55 Broadway, New York City. She went to Harvard University no less and capped her higher education by graduating as a magna cum laude. Once you add that to her professional wit, it’s easy to see why the most successful writers in the world heed her words.
New and veteran authors alike will learn about advertising, movie & TV plans, building social networks, and everything they need to know to develop their careers. The renowned chef Rocco DiSpirito (Real Life Recipes) and wellness expert Karen Salmansohnis (Instant Calm) are just two of her best-selling clients.
As of writing, Celeste is open to socially conscious and compelling nonfiction, children’s literature, and fiction like thrillers and women’s fiction. For more details about sending manuscripts, click “Submission Instructions” under her About page.
12. Elizabeth Bewley
After finishing her studies at Northwestern University, Elizabeth Bewley kickstarted her career by doing editorial tasks for different publishing companies. In 2017, she began working at Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc., the historic agency in Broadway, New York City.
Elizabeth represents authors of children’s literature such as picture books, YA novels, and middle-grade fiction. Similarly, she’s interested in narrative nonfiction and richly detailed upmarket fiction for adults. Elizabeth has an impressive list, which includes Joan Bauer (Almost Home) and novelist Elissa Sussman (Drawn That Way).
Are you ready to submit your work? Head to the submissions page to write your query and specify that you’re looking for Elizabeth.
13. Ariana Philips
Ariana Philips is a smart and hardworking individual. With a degree in English and Communications, she only spent a year as an intern before she was promoted to a full-time literary agent at JVNLA, the agency established by Jean Naggar at 7th Street, New York City.
She’s steadily developing her client list by accepting fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers alike. Middle-grade fiction that involves secrets, sorcery, and one-of-a kind journeys is in high demand — and the same goes for contemporary YA novels. Ariana loves adult fiction featuring historical, familial, romantic, and comedic elements.
On the other hand, Ariana’s preferences in nonfiction include narrative nonfiction and categories such as comedy, crime, society, science, cooking, and history. The submission guidelines are easy to follow since you go through the process one step at a time.
14. Kerry D’Agostino
Located at 45th Street, New York City, Curtis Brown is the globally recognized literary agency where Kerry D’Agostino offers her representation services. Why should authors seek her? For one, she studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Second, Kerry is a board member of the Association of American Literary Agents.
Kerry is on the lookout for YA literature and nonfiction writing that have unusual stories, complex family dynamics, and intriguing aspects that nurture and develop how readers perceive themselves and society at large. Since she represents Micah Dean Hicks (Electricity and Other Dreams) and Liza Wieland (Land of Enchantment), you can guess that she also likes literary fiction and upmarket fiction.
Right now, Kerry accepts online queries and usually only takes a month to evaluate submissions. Writers can choose to send a partial or complete version of their manuscript.
15. Meg Thompson
Just like Celeste Fine, Meg Thompson is a magna cum laude graduate. She went to New York University and took an extremely relevant field of study in the publishing industry: British and American literature. After working at LJK Literary Management and co-founding the Einstein Thompson Agency, she created Thompson Literary Agency at Great Jones Street, New York City, on her own.
Meg seeks nonfiction writings that expand and challenge what people know about culture and society. From politics, sports, and pop culture to memoirs, well-being, and art & design, her preferred subjects are incredibly diverse. It’s why her client list includes not only activist Jeremy Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution) but also the mystical artist Kim Krans (Blossoms and Bones).
Writers can send their complete nonfiction proposal or partial manuscript (scroll down a bit to find the Query Manager link). Meg evaluates queries relatively fast and will usually respond within six weeks if she’s interested in your work.
16. Sam Stoloff
The Frances Goldin Literary Agency has been at 29th Street, New York City, since 1977. Twenty years after its founding, Sam Stoloff started working at the company. He studied poetry and cultural history, and the agency’s passion for justice and social change was perfect for what he wanted to represent.
Sam likes speculative fiction, literary graphic novels, and literary fiction in general. As for nonfiction, he’s interested in scathing journalism, global politics, American politics, race, science, sociology, and history, among many others. Mandy Len Catron and Rutu Modan, two of Sam’s clients, have authored acclaimed books such as How to Fall in Love with Anyone and Exit Wounds, respectively.
Authors must first make an account before they can compose and submit their queries. Sam will typically review submissions within a month or two.
Jenni Ferrari-Adler works at Union Literary, the agency at 30 Vandam Street, New York City. Apart from a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, she also finished her master’s degree in fiction. Furthermore, Jenni has experience in bookselling and teaching literature to both students and authors.
Since her educational background leans toward fiction, Jenni represents a wide variety of adult fiction, YA novels, and short story collections. Maria Adelmann’s How to Be Eaten is a humorous psychological novel while Jenn Baker’s Forgive Me Not is a must-read YA book. Nonetheless, this agent is interested in nonfiction such as cookbooks and memoirs too.
Jenni accepts online queries. Check the instructions carefully since there are different requirements for fiction and nonfiction.
18. Laura Mazer
Laura Mazer is a supremely talented literary agent working at Wendy Sharman Associates at 25th Street, New York City. Of course, her coworkers weren’t that shocked at her professional brilliance. After all, she competently took on high-rank editorial duties at Seal Press and Counterpoint, among other companies.
Aside from the occasional upmarket fiction, Laura’s list focuses on adult nonfiction. Her favorite topics include self-help, history, biography, contemporary culture, and the complex lives of women (and the issues they face). She represents Ijeoma Oluo, esteemed author of So You Want to Talk About Race.
Currently, Laura is open to email queries. Read the submission guidelines and ensure that you mention her name in your letter.
19. Michael Congdon
Along with his father, Michael Congdon co-founded Don Congdon Associates Inc., which is based at 88 Pine Street, New York City. For nearly 40 years, Michael has grown the company to be what it is today, the home of in-demand agents representing best-selling authors.
Michael adores nonfiction. He’s always eager to represent new and veteran authors of history (especially military history), current events, science & technology, and real-life adventures. Essentially, he’s open to both creative and traditional nonfiction.
Authors can submit online queries. You only need to add a sample chapter instead of your full project.