Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-21 at 2.32.54 PM.pngAlice Speilburg founded Speilburg Literary Agency in 2012, bringing with her the editorial and business expertise she had developed in previous publishing positions at John Wiley & Sons and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, and she is a board member of Louisville Literary Arts. She is currently building her client list and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction.

Nonfiction:

She enjoys nonfiction in the areas of History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Travel, and True Crime. “In nonfiction, I’m looking for cultural narratives, microhistory, nature, and pop science written by journalists and academics. I’d love to see more nonfiction proposals, so even if you think your nonfiction project is not quite what I’m looking for, please send it over so that I can take a look.” She’d love to see

  • Pop Science Narratives that inform some particular quirk of our human nature or the world around us, like STIFF, or ON TRAILS
  • Pop Science Narratives that tie closely with political discussions regarding the environment, social issues, etc., like INFERIOR, OVERRUN, or LOST MOUNTAIN
  • Nonfiction Narratives that weave history or science through memoir, like THE OREGON TRAIL, or SPINELESS
  • Nonfiction narratives that focus on the intersection of two — perhaps unlikely — subjects, like WAR AND WINE, or EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
  • Journalistic Narratives that focus on a specific place, thing, or circumstance to show something about our culture at large, like JANESVILLE, THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, GHOSTLAND, or WILD ONES

Fiction:

She represents women’s fiction, crime fiction, some fantasy (specifics below), historical fiction, mystery, thriller, action/adventure, and horror.

“In fiction, I’m looking for stories that sidestep into history, magic, mystery, horror, or adventure. My favorite sub-genres are feminism, narrative nonfiction, and upmarket genre fiction.” She would love to see

  • Historical Fiction that reimagines factual events, especially crimes or mysteries, like BURIAL RITES, THE BALLAD OF TOM DOOLEY, or THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT
  • Women’s Fiction that oscillates between modern and historical perspectives like THE DOLLHOUSE
  • Historical Fiction that sidesteps into magic, like OUTLANDER, A SECRET HISTORY OF WITCHES, or THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON
  • Fantasy based on American folklore, earthy and magical, like THE VINE THAT ATE THE SOUTH
  • Fantasy that contains mythical elements, like THE BIRD KING, THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI, or THE BEAR & THE NIGHTINGALE
  • Adventure Fantasy with fresh and unique magic, like A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, THE BOOK OF DUST
  • Police Procedural Mysteries that are grounded in both a unique investigator and an evocative setting like the ARMAND GAMACHE series and the ALEX MCKNIGHT series
  • Psychological Thrillers that border on horror with smart female protagonists, like IN A DARK, DARK WOOD

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Jill Marr is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

She graduated from SDSU with a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in history. She has a strong Internet and media background and nearly 20 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, as well as book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces, and promotional features for television.

After writing ad copy and features for published books for years, she knows how to find a project’s “hook” and sell it.

Jilll is looking for: fiction and non-fiction by BIPOC and Latinx writers, disabled persons, and people identifying as LGBTQ+, among others. She is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, and horror, book club, and historical fiction. She is also looking for non-fiction by authors with a big, timely, smart message as well as historical projects that look at big picture issues. Jill is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of current events, science, history, narrative non-fiction, sports, politics, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor, music, and very select memoir.

Some of Jill’s recent and soon-to-be-published non-fiction includes the New York Times best-selling The Vagina Bible (Citadel Press) by Dr. Jennifer Gunter; Big Dirty Money (Viking) by Jennifer Taub; Use the Power You Have (The New Press) by Congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal; White Women, We Need to Talk (Sounds True) by Karen Fleshman; Keep Marching (Hachette) by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, the co-founder of MomsRising; Aurora (Berkley Press) by Dr. Lynne Fenton; Ali on Ali (Workman) by the daughter of Muhammad Ali, Hana Ali; Being Heumann (Beacon Press) by American disability activist Judith Heumann; Building a Business with a Beat (McGraw Hill) by the founder and CEO of Jazzercize, Inc. Judi Sheppard Misset; The Trigger Trap (Chicago Review Press) by August McLaughlin and Jamila M. Dawson; Walking Through Anger (Sounds True) by Dr. Christian Conte, the host of USA Networks’ The Secret Life of Kids; paranormal investigator Nick Groff’s Chasing Spirits (NAL); The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure (Pegasus Books) by Gerald Easter and Mara Vorhees; Escaping the Rabbit Hole (Skyhorse) by science writer and professional debunker Mick West; The Chosen Few (Da Capo) by USA Today writer Gregg Zoroya; Teaching Kids to Think (Sourcebooks) by Darlene Sweetland, PhD and Ron Stolberg, PhD; Mission High (Nation Books) by journalist Kristina Rizga; Don’t Lick the Minivan (Skyhorse) by Leanne Shirtliffe; and Spitting in the Soup (VeloPress) by Mark Johnson.

Some of Jill’s new and upcoming fiction includes Edgar Award-nominee Queen’s Gambit (Seventh Street Books) by Bradley Harper; Under Pressure (Minotaur) by Robert Pobi; The Missing Sister (Thomas & Mercer) by Elle Marr; Juror #3 (Little, Brown) a thriller written with James Patterson, by Nancy Allen; The Burden of Truth (Tor/Forge) by LA Times best-selling author Neal Griffin; The Wicked Hour (Minotaur) by Alice Blanchard; It Will Just Be Us (Crooked Lane) by Jo Kaplan; Last Dance (Blackstone Publishing) by Jeffrey Fleishman; Die Next (Grand Central) by Jonathon Stone; A Deadly Fortune (Pegasus Crime) by Stacie Murphy; Lost Souls (Gallery) by J. Lincoln Fenn; We, the Jury (Blackstone Publishing) by Robert Rotstein; Millard Salter’s Last Day (Gallery) by Jacob Appel; Library of Legends (William Morrow) by Janie Chang; Look What You Made Me Do (Grand Central) by Elaine Murphy; The Girls Weekend (Crooked Lane Books) by Jody Gehrman; and The Finders (Minotaur Books) by Jeffrey B. Burton

Please note that Jill is specifically not interested in: YA, children’s books, sci-fi, screenplays, poetry, novellas or anything involving unicorns.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Léonicka Valcius of Transatlantic Literary

Léonicka Valcius is a literary agent at Transatlantic Literary.

Areas of interest:

“As I build my client list, I will be co-agenting with senior literary agents at Transatlantic.

“I am eager to work with people of color, including (but not limited to) trans people, disabled people, religious minorities, and queer folks.

Adult and Young Adult fiction: “I like books I can read on a beach vacation — fun commercial fiction, romance that ranges from sweet to steamy, otherworldly fantasy, and sweeping historical fiction. For reference, my faves include Kevin Kwan, Alisha Rai, N.K. Jemisin, Philippa Gregory, Nicola Yoon, Marie Lu, and Elizabeth Wein. I do not represent literary fiction, mysteries or thrillers.”

Middle Grade and younger: “I love humour, adventure, and make believe. I also enjoy stories about children navigating their changing relationships with family and friends. I strongly prefer books with at least one human character. My faves include Jason Reynolds, Dan Santat, Dav Pilkey, and Christopher Paul Curtis. I do not represent picture books.”

Nonfiction: “At this time I am accepting non-fiction proposals by referral only.”

Léonicka Valcius was that kid who got in trouble for reading past her bedtime… and while the teacher was talking… and while crossing the street. In 2011 she was able to turn this obsession into an actual career, much to her mother’s relief.

After completing the publishing program at Centennial College, Léonicka interned at HarperCollins Canada before working at Scholastic Book Fairs Canada for nearly 4 years as a book buyer and marketer. She then joined the Online and Digital Sales team at Penguin Random House Canada where she sold ebooks and audiobooks. Léonicka is eager to draw from these experiences to return to her original passion: working with writers.

As the founder of #DiverseCanLit and the first Chair of the Board of the Festival of Literary Diversity, serving readers and writers of colour is the core of Léonicka’s career. She brings this same mandate to her work at Transatlantic. As Assistant Agent, Léonicka will be working closely with Senior Agents with whom she will be coagenting new clients.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kaitlyn Sanchez of Context Literary

Kaitlyn Sanchez is a mom, wife, agent with Context Litetary Agency, middle school math teacher, and picture book author. She’s also the proud co-creator and co-host of the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest and Kidlit Zombie Week as well as creator and co-host of the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest. In her free time, she loves to play soccer, binge-watch TV shows, and, of course, read, especially when she’s all cozied up with her husband and daughter reading together.

I mainly represent Kidlit authors and author-illustrators. That includes board books, picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, and young adult novels. Please do not pitch me adult books at this time.

“For picture books, I am looking to represent the following (but you never know what might catch my fancy!)

  • Fiction: STEM/STEAM, humor, magical realism, rhyme, diversity, creative ways of looking at normal things, tear-jerkers, and I always love a sweet/sentimental story, too.
  • Nonfiction: STEM/STEAM, historical (biographies rock but make sure they have a super creative hook and/or are about an underrepresented person).
  • Note: for rhyme, please make sure you have rockin’ rhythm.

“I would also LOVE to represent a great chapter book series, especially if it’s in graphic novel format and/or with great characters.”

For middle-grade and young adult: “I enjoy character-driven coming of age stories, mysteries, historical fiction, and dramas, especially with great friendships, and of course I always love diversity. I would definitely consider books in verse as well in this category, but again, you never know what will strike my fancy.”