Are you an American author who has written a book you believe has the potential to be a bestseller?
Is your plan to partner with a literary agent in order to find a publisher? Continue reading to learn about 15 top literary agencies in the US.
After harnessing her skills at independent publishing houses, Katherine Boyle established Veritas Literary Agency in 1995. Based in San Francisco, California, the company currently employs Michael Carr to work as an agent alongside the founder.
In nonfiction, Veritas Literary Agency prints not just general history but also natural history and cultural history. Fiction genres include women’s fiction and speculative fiction. Furthermore, it has titles for kids and handles clients like Ellen Marie Wiseman (The Orphan Collector) and Julie Gregory (Sickened).
The agency is open to fiction and nonfiction submissions. Katherine is interested in pop culture, history, and children’s literature (among others) while Michael seeks sci-fi & fantasy, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and any kind of nonfiction.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Capital Literary caters to promising literary voices and well-established authors alike. Led by President Whitney Gossett and fellow agent Lauren Hall, the agency values honest communication and fruitful collaborations with its superb writers.
Capital Literary specializes in nonfiction. Specifically, Whitney and Lauren are searching for authors who have a distinct and creative approach to writing about real people and relevant issues. After all, there’s always a new perspective out there that can reignite interest in otherwise old cultural conversations.
If you’re interested, you can email your book proposal to Capital Literary.
Located in New York City, New York, InkWell Management is a globally renowned agency for a couple of reasons. First, it cooperates with other agencies, ensuring that it has agents in other US states and even Australia. Second, it’s the home of many acclaimed and best-selling authors.
Inkwell Management employs a diverse set of agents. For example, Michael V. Carlisle’s clients have won everything from the British Book Award to the Pulitzer Prize. Kimberly Witherspoon manages the likes of actress Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl) and legendary novelist Dean Koontz (Sole Survivor).
Do you have an exceptional story to tell? If so, feel free to send a query either to the agency (in general) or to a particular agent. Other than screenplays, Inkwell Management welcomes works in all categories.
After working for publishing companies Harcourt and Simon & Schuster, BJ Robbins launched her own literary agency in Los Angeles California. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the titular company now has dozens of authors in fiction and nonfiction whether of the commercial or literary kind.
BJ Robbins Literary Agency loves working with novelists. Of course, nonfiction authors can work with them as well, especially if they focus on memoirs, travel, and well-being. In fact, the client list includes medical professionals like Pamela Nagami, M.D. (The Woman with the Worm in Her Head) and Dr. Lisa Masterson (Paper Dollhouse).
The agency accepts fiction and nonfiction submissions. However, you should read the submissions page to verify the genres they are (and are not) actively seeking.
Equipped with years of industry experience and degrees in business administration and law, Kimberly Brower advanced her career and founded an agency in Jacksonville, Florida. Writers under the care of Brower Literary & Management receive all the support they need from start to finish.
Kimberly and Aimee Ashcraft are the agency’s two exceptional literary agents. The former specifically likes romance and book club fiction while the latter is into YA novels and historical fiction. As for Jess Dallow, she’s a novel-loving associate agent representing writers such as Elizabeth Davis (I Love You, I Hate You).
As of writing, both Kimberly and Jess are open to queries. Visit the submission page to identify their manuscript wishlists, which include speculative fiction and romantic suspense, respectively.
Before establishing Rodeen Literary Management in Chicago, Illinois, Paul Rodeen already knew that this was his ultimate calling. After all, he learned all about editing and creative writing in college. And during his stay in New York City, he landed a job at the one and only Sterling Lord Literistic.
Rodeen Literary Management specializes in children’s literature. Apart from masterful illustrators, the agency represents some of the finest writers of stories for young readers. These include award winners Josh Schneider (Tales for Very Picky Eaters) and Victoria Jamieson (Roller Girl).
The agency accepts all kinds of children’s books. Whether it’s a graphic novel, YA nonfiction, or a picture book, your work is eligible for submission.
Jim Donovan Literary is another Texas agency that every aspiring author should consider. Operating in Dallas, Jim Donovan’s titular company has been around since 1993 and constantly lands deals with the biggest publishing houses in and beyond New York City.
The organization is home to fiction and nonfiction. Novelists working on literary fiction and thrillers are familiar with Jim Donovan Literary — and the same goes for pop-culture authors such as Sam Staggs (All About Eve) and Kurt Anderson (How to Back Up a Trailer).
Interested writers can submit their fiction or nonfiction projects online or by post. Jim Donovan Literary usually only needs a month to evaluate them.
Mandy Hubbard stepped into the book publishing industry as an author. However, it didn’t take long until she realized her great potential as a literary agent. By 2015, Mandy founded Emerald City Literary Agency in Seattle, Washington.
Similar to Rodeen Literary Management, this company focuses on children’s books. With five agents, the agency covers all books for young readers in fiction and nonfiction. Linda Epstein alone manages picture book author Carrie Finison (Don’t Hug Doug) and acclaimed YA novelist Bill Konigsberg (Openly Straight).
Emerald City Literary Agency accepts queries, but you should verify what each agent is looking for. The team is also interested in LGBTQ+ stories and encourages writers from marginalized sectors to send their work.
Maria Massie and Rob McQuilkin worked for Witherspoon Associates and Warner Books, respectively, before becoming top names in their own literary agency. Based in New York City, New York, Massie & McQuilkin boasts a rigorous approach to client representation, ensuring that each writer receives the attention and acclaim they deserve.
The organization is abundant in award-winning and best-selling titles across fiction and nonfiction. Its client list includes Anthony Veasna So, author of the universally beloved story collection Afterparties. Another extraordinary writer under their care is Ashley C. Ford whose memoir Somebody’s Daughter garnered much praise from the biggest media outlets.
Most agents at Massie & McQuilkin are looking for fiction, especially literary fiction. Other genres they seek are narrative nonfiction, history, and commercial fiction. Check the contact page to know how you can submit a query.
Like Jim Donovan Literary, Hornfischer Literary Management is a Texas agency that has been working with some of the top New York publishers since its inception. Led by President Jim Hornfischer (who happens to be a veteran author and attorney as well), the company in Austin continues to have one of the most diverse lists in the industry.
In particular, Hornfischer Literary Management represents authors who excel in fields such as history, journalism, and science. This is important because although the agency is open to a bit of fiction, its primary interest is in literary and commercial nonfiction. Thus, it manages award-winners like Patrick Beach (A Good Forest for Dying) and Don Graham (Kings of Texas).
Are you interested? Writers can freely submit queries online.
After more than 15 years of handling authors for other agencies, Denise Shannon decided to create her own business in 2002 in New York City. Two decades later, her agency now has authors who’ve won the biggest accolades in the industry like the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
Denise Shannon Literary Agency is all about quality and informative storytelling. Its authors specialize in business, literary fiction, and current affairs, to name a few. Top-tier novelists include Johanna Stoberock (Pigs) and Gary Shteyngart (The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan).
Fiction and nonfiction queries are welcome. However, please refrain from sending a query for fiction if you haven’t finished the manuscript.
Steve Laube is one of the most decorated individuals in the Christian book industry and the publishing world in general. Award-giving organizations have recognized him as a stellar bookshop manager, editor, and agent. With four decades of experience, he confidently leads his titular agency in Phoenix, Arizona.
What sets The Steve Laube Agency apart from the competition is its specialization in Christian writing. Still, the projects of its clients can cater to general readers. Their fiction and nonfiction authors include Mesu Andrews (In the Shadow of Jezebel) and Darryl Dash (Preach Well and How to Grow).
Authors of Christian fiction and nonfiction can submit proposals to The Steve Laube Agency. All agents accept online submissions. Plus, Steve is open to hardcopy submissions.
Just like the founder of Hornfischer Literary Management, Marisa A. Corvisiero is an attorney and author who eventually established her own agency. Located in New York City, Corvisiero Literary Agency handles clients at an international level, maximizing the reach of their books no matter the genre.
Fiction and nonfiction are well-represented in this agency. Tessa Shaffer handles Laura Sanders, author of Organizing Her Life. On the other hand, Marisa manages Megan Erikson, the romance writer responsible for novels like Strong Signal and Chasing Destiny.
The agents at Corvisiero Literary Agency are interested in a variety of fiction and nonfiction: cookbooks, picture books, family sagas, magical realism, graphic novels, and true crime, to name a few. Head to the query page for the guidelines.
Initially headquartered in San Francisco upon its establishment 43 years ago, Hill Nadell Literary Agency now resides in Los Angeles, California. With Bonnie Nadell heading the company, it continues to develop its services not just in the book industry but also in movies, TV, and even podcasts.
Hill Nadell Literary Agency has an extensive list of authors in children’s literature, fiction, and nonfiction. Their genres range from rural fiction and historical fiction to narrative nonfiction and biographies, which is why you’ll find books like Nicole Mones’s Night in Shanghai and Jamie Harrison’s The Widow Nash.
After checking the literary preferences of agents, you can send a query online or by post.
15. Adams Literary
Launched by husband and wife Josh and Tracey Adams, Adams Literary is the best agency in Charlotte, North Carolina, for children’s book authors and illustrators — and has been so since 2004. This isn’t a big surprise when you learn about Josh’s strong background in business and Tracey’s extensive experience in the book industry.
Adams Literary recognizes the priceless value of literature for young people. Whether it’s an adventure novel or picture book, these stories can help kids navigate their way in real life. As such, the agency has authors like John David Anderson (Homebound and Finding Orion) and Amy Huntley (The Everafter).
The agency is highly favored and gets more than 10,000 queries annually. Adams Literary isn’t open to further queries right now, but you should read the guidelines in advance.
Some More Top Literary Agencies in the US
Located in San Diego, California, Bradford Literary Agency is the 21-year-old business of Laura Bradford. Apart from her extensive genre preferences, Laura and the other agents have successfully developed the agency over the years thanks to their highly active approach to working with new and veteran authors.
The agents represent authors of children’s books, fiction, and nonfiction. For example, Laura manages top-selling novelists Lauren Dane (Undercover and Relentless) and Anya Bast (Midnight Enchantment). Likewise, Katherine’s list includes picture book authors Lisa Bentley and Angela Pham Krans.
Bradford Literary Agency usually requires up to only 10 weeks to evaluate queries and proposals. There are slight differences in sending fiction, nonfiction, and picture books, so the submission guidelines are essential.
The late Jane Jordan Browne established the agency in the early 1970s. By 1978, the office moved from Beverly Hills to Chicago, Illinois. However, it only earned its current name after the company welcomed Danielle Egan-Miller, who now serves as the president.
Browne & Miller Literary Associates has successfully landed deals for thousands of adult titles across fiction and nonfiction. Two outstanding books from its clients are Francine Rivers’s romance novel The Masterpiece and William Kent Krueger’s acclaimed coming-of-age novel Ordinary Grace.
Writers seeking representation can send queries online. Open the query page to know more about the agents and their top genres.
Courtney Miller-Callihan cultivated her professional skills at an esteemed literary agency and publishing house before launching Handspun Literary Agency in San Diego, California. Currently, the team includes fellow agent Ben Miller-Callihan and assistant Cheyenne Faircloth.
The agency has authors of children’s books and adult fiction & nonfiction. Still, Handspun Literary Agency clearly dominates in one specific genre: romance. Of course, romance is home to distinct subgenres like historical romance, contemporary romance (Sandra Owens’s Crazy for Her), and LGBTQ+ romance (Piper Vaughn’s Wanting).
Sadly, the agency temporarily ceased accepting queries. Once it has reviewed all existing submissions, the team will likely accept more entries.
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Hartline Literary Agency originally dedicated most of its time and energy to the Christian book industry. Today, the company led by president Joyce Hart is expanding its literary objectives without letting go of its formidable foothold in titles about Christian faith & living.
Hartline Literary Agency combines quantity and quality without fail. It has hundreds of authors that have collectively sold millions of books around the world. Moreover, there’s no scarcity of award-winners with Cindy Sproles’s Liar’s Winter and Shelley Pierce’s Battle Buddies leading the way.
What did you think of our list of top literary agencies in the US? Do you know of any others? Please tell us about them in the comments box below.
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