Get to Know a Literary Agent in Attendance: Beth Marshea of Ladderbird Agency

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 2.39.57 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency.

At the 2020 Tampa workshop, she will be taking pitches from attendees, and also teaching a speech.

Beth founded Ladderbird Literary Agency with the intention of bringing diverse stories tot the forefront. She has a long love of literature, but found herself disappointed by the homogeneity of canonical work. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in literature, Beth earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration and decided to merge her passions and create her own agency. Beth is passionate about writing that pushes genres and boundaries and challenges the reader to accept a new point of view.

 

What she’s looking for:

Beth is actively seeking narrative nonfiction centering around cultural phenomena, hidden histories. or weird histories, and issue-driven books.

Her first love is and always will be literary fiction, where she’s looking for work with unusual settings or work that involves clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism. Think: Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi, The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, and anything by Haruki Murakami.

Adult fiction:

Mainstream/Commercial Fiction: Multi-gen family sagas (ideally multicultural) meets cutes/RomComs (especially LGBTQ+).

Women’s Fiction: Smart, sharp, and funny, especially centered around F/F relationships, friendship or romantic,

Literary Fiction: Work with unusual settings and/or involving clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism.

Mysteries: Beth loves unusual settings and prefers cozies,

Thrillers: Work about anything other than rich suburban women.

Fantasy: Books that are fast-paced with wonderful (ideally non-European) characters.

Science Fiction: Near future; unusual tech; not focused around the US.

Kidlit:

Young Adult: Contemporary (friendship stories; found family; non-US based settings) mysteries (high stakes), thrillers (stories with big twists; no unreliable narrators), fantasy (character-driven and really original).

Beth is starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books. In middle grade, she’s looking for fun, compelling characters that deal with real problems that middle schoolers face: friendship, divorce, gender identity, budding feelings of attraction or a lack of those feelings, feelings of isolation, and found family stories. In picture books, she’s dying to find books with really cute hooks like “The Day the Crayons Quit,” or nice messaging like “Not Quite a Narwhal.” She’d love to find a book that brings parents and kids together with language simple enough for a young child to read, but engrossing enough for and adult to enjoy.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Erin Clyburn of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 6.07.56 PMErin Clyburn is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Erin joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as Associate Agent after an internship and apprenticeship with Corvisiero Literary Agency. She has worked as a copy editor and recipe editor in the magazine industry and was general manager and director of collection development for Turtleback Books. She received her BA in English Literature from Mississippi State University and her MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. When not working, Erin loves hiking, cooking, traveling, painting, working on a manuscript or two, and trying to keep her three rabbits, Felix, Agnes, and Valentino, from chewing up every baseboard in the house.

She is seeking:

Children’s:

  • Picture books: Nonfiction picture books ONLY, particularly multicultural picture books and picture books about lesser-known individuals or historical events
  • Chapter books: High-concept chapter book series
  • Middle grade: Stories with big hearts and unforgettable voices, and especially mysteries (Did you write a novel like The Westing Game, Holes, or Greenglass House? Send it to her!)
  • Young adult: Dark contemporary, horror, thriller, mystery
  • All children’s: Graphic novels, high-interest nonfiction, magical realism, characters going on journeys

Adult:

  • Fiction: Character-driven literary fiction; plot-driven suspense, mysteries, and thrillers in the vein of Gillian Flynn or Tana French; laugh-out-loud novels about quirky, dysfunctional families; all horror from psychological to gothic to slasher; multigenerational family sagas like We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

Nonfiction:

  • Pop science (Oliver Sacks, Mary Roach); high-interest nonfiction, particularly stories about fascinating people and issues that haven’t been told before (Radium Girls, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks); true crime; cookbooks; science- or culture-focused memoirs (My Brain on Fire, Educated, Full Body Burden)

Across the board:

  • Emotional, character-driven sci-fi (Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Anderson’s Feed)
  • An Alabamian, Erin would love to see diverse Southern voices writing stories set in the South.
  • #ownvoices
  • Characters dealing with mental illness, neurodiverse representation

Not seeking:

  • ​Erin is not the right person for fiction picture books, romance, Westerns, epic fantasy, political or military thrillers, hard sci-fi, short stories, or stories with a strong focus on religion.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cate Hart of Harvey Klinger Literary

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 2.56.29 PM.pngCate Hart is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency.

Cate joined the agency in 2019 after 5 years with a New York agency. She specializes in historical, whether in young adult, women’s fiction and romance, or narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to oft-forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. She also loves high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee, studying Theatre and History, Cate currently lives in Nashville with her children.

Cate seeks the following nonfiction categories: narrative, history, film, TV, theatre, pop culture, and music. She also seeks the following fiction genres: historical, commercial, women’s fiction, romance, fantasy, mystety, psychological thriller, middle grade, and young adult.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Erica Bauman of Aevitas Creative Management

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 3.10.25 PM.pngErica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management.

Erica represents a wide variety of authors for both children and adults, including acclaimed YA author Andrew Auseon and Broadway performer Tiffany Haas.

Erica is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and has worked in the publishing industry for the last seven years. Before coming to Aevitas she worked at Spectrum Literary Agency.

Based in New York, Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.

“For middle grade, my interests span all genres, from contemporary to mystery to fantasy. I love quirky, funny stories and main characters who are misfits (and proud of it). I’m especially on the lookout for eerie horror (like Coraline) and really unique magic.”

“For young adult, I am a lover of all genre fiction, especially fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. I love stories based off of mythology, folklore, and obscure fairy tales, and novels that cross genres. I’m especially on the lookout for stories inspired by classic literature/ballet/opera, mysteries and thrillers with unreliable narrators, and books that play with structure to tell a story in a really unique way.”

“In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh.”

“Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.”

“That said, I’m probably not the best for projects involving the following:

Serious literary fiction
Vampires/werewolves/zombies
Serious family drama
Intergalactic war/alien invasions
Dead pets
Erotica
Manic Pixie Dream Girls
Instalove.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance Katharine Sands of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 11.44.03 AMKatharine Sands is a literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency in New York City.

She is the author of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye and has been a guest speaker on writing and publishing for Poets and Writers, The American Society of Journalists and Authors, UCLA, New York University, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Katharine is seeking all types of fiction, memoir and nonfiction. Katharine likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks, which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. When reading fiction she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling, and hooked by characters. For memoir, femoir, and himoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed. Katharine has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books including fiction, memoir and non-iction. Among the books she represents are: The Apothecary’s Curse, by Bram Stoker Award nominee Barbara Barnett; and Girl Walks Out of a Bar, a memoir by Lisa Smith that was featured by People as Notable Nonfiction.

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.”

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Mike Parker of WordCrafts Press

Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 10.15.56 PM.pngMike Parker is the publisher and acquiring editor for WordCrafts Press.

An award-winning freelance writer, actor, director, novelist, playwright & screenwriter, Mike earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Philosophy, served as an officer with the US Army Special Forces (Green Berets), and pursued a career as a stock broker during the great bull market of the 1980s before launching into the uncertain world of music, television, theatre, film and publishing. He previously served as managing editor for Grassroots Music Magazine and TrueTunes Magazine before founding WordCrafts Press and its sister companies, WordCrafts Theatrical Press and Rule 14 Pictures.

WordCrafts publishes fiction, nonfiction and stage plays for both the Christian and general markets.

Mike is actively seeking adult and young adult fiction in the following genres:

  • Contemporary
  • Literary
  • Historical
  • Biblical
  • Fantasy
  • Paranormal
  • Horror
  • Sweet Romance
  • Mystery/Thriller

Mike is actively seeking nonfiction titles in the following categories:

  • Pop Culture
  • Technology
  • Sports
  • Memoir
  • History
  • Inspirational

Mike is actively seeking stage plays in any genre, but is particularly interested in scripts offering strong roles for females.