Writer's Digest

The NEXT STEP

You’ve written the first draft of your book or book proposal. You’ve let it sit in the proverbial drawer and gotten countless trusted beta readers to review your work. They all say it’s ready. So what does the future hold for you?

We’ve consulted 20 literary agents who are actively seeking submissions to help answer that question. Each has outlined their likes, dislikes, recent sales, and submission guidelines so that you can find the perfect person to trust with your query. In addition to their helpful insights into the submission process and one-of-a-kind advice for writers, we’ve also asked agents to reveal what they think the future holds for the world of writing and publishing.

Whatever your genre, we hope this roundup sets you on the path to discovering your future as an author. Happy querying!

AMELIA APPEL

Triada US

NEW YORK

TRIADAUS.COM

@AMELIALAPPEL

FICTION INTERESTS: “For adult, right now I’m most interested in literary fiction, mystery, thriller, upmarket women’s fiction, graphic novels, and horror. For YA, I’m looking for savvy protagonists, slightly dark tones, and stories that deal with serious coming-of-age issues well. My favorite projects have a smart, distinct voice, a fantastic setting to jump into, and/or a witty protagonist.” NONFICTION INTERESTS: “I’m most interested in sports, creative nonfiction, humor, how-to, pop culture, true crime, and cookbooks. Projects that play with form, have exceptionally unique content, and teach me something new/little-known are the most intriguing to me.” RECENT SALES: Ink by Tori Bovalino (Page Street); Choose Your Own Misery: The Wedding by Jilly Gagnon and Mike MacDonald (Quirk Books); The Unexpected Guest by Michael Konik (Diversion); Throw Like a Girl, Cheer Like a Boy by Robyn Ryle (Rowman & Littlefield). DOES NOT WANT: “I am not interested in queries for romance novels or memoirs at this time.” SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: “Send an email to amelia@triadaus.com with QUERY and the manuscript title in the subject line. In the body of the email, paste your query letter, author bio, the first 10 pages of the manuscript, and a full synopsis.” TIPS FOR WRITERS: “Do your research! Don’t query until you’re ready. Make sure you’re querying the right people (meaning they’re actively looking for your type of project), and you’re querying them according to their individual guidelines. After all the effort you’ve put into your project, don’t throw away your chances with an agent by querying improperly or unprofessionally.” THE FUTURE IS … “I hope the future of publishing will be much more inclusive in many ways. My dream projects have meaning beyond entertainment; I want to share stories that highlight marginalized voices, that lift readers up and allow them to feel seen and heard. Growing up, my favorite characters were ones I could relate to and with whom I felt an intimate connection. Publishing will continue publishing more diverse books. That’s the only future that makes sense to me.”

NOAH BALLARD

Curtis Brown, Ltd.

NEW YORK

CURTISBROWN.COM

@NOAHBALLARD

“Fast-paced, voicedriven novels that subvert genre tropes. Literary fiction, especially including elements of crime, thriller, and sci-fi.” “Platform-driven narratives by underrepresented voices, including memoir, original or expanded reporting, true crime, how-to, humor, and pop culture.”   by Joe Berkowitz (HarperCollins); by Scott Meslow (Dey Street); by Tochi Onyebuchi (Tor); by Julie DiCaro (Dutton); by Joshua Hunt (Simon & Schuster); by Emily Tamkin (HarperCollins);   edited by Cinelle Barnes (Hub City Press); by Justin Taylor (Random House). Spiritual/religious; children’s and picture books; romance; screenplays. Email or submit an electronic submission on Curtis Brown’s website with a query letter and first 10 pages. “In your query, be clear and concise. Limit yourself to three paragraphs addressing your background/career, a brief synopsis of the book, and why you think we’d work well together. Follow guidelines and be professional.” “Publishing will see a contraction after the dust settles from the coronavirus. Those individuals brave enough to continue publishing urgent fiction and nonfiction and challenge the status quo will drive publishing into a more

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