Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Esty Loveing-Downes of Arthouse Literary

Esty Loveing-Downes is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary.

Esty holds a BFA in creative writing from Ringling College of Art + Design and is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at Queens University of Charlotte. Aside from serving as a daily editor for the Southern Review of Books, she joined the teams at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency and Tobias Literary Agency before joining the ArtHouse Literary Agency team and becoming an Associate Literary Agent. Esty is looking for romance, upmarket fiction, YA, genre-blending sci-fi, picture books, and select nonfiction and literary fiction.

She is seeking:

In romance and YA, Esty is looking for tropes like enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, and grumpy-sunshine like THE FLATSHARE or BEACH READ, or marriage-of-convenience stories like THE UNHONEYMOONERS. She’d love to see a fresh take on PRIDE & PREJUDICE, EMMA, or ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. If you’ve got contemporary stories with dual POVs and impossible love like THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, or a classic retellings like THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS that include high stakes, plot tension, and compelling soulmate vibes—send those her way, too.

In upmarket, Esty is looking for titles with women in STEM like LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY, updated classics like Ann Napolitano’s Little Women retelling, HELLO, BEAUTIFUL, and wlw knockouts with queer representation like THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO.

She’s also looking for genre-blending sci-fi or speculative fiction like THE NIGHT CIRCUS, magical realism like Carmen Maria Machado’s HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES, or nonlinear, poetic work like THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR. She’d also love to see “romantasy” with strong leads like A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES and CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, fae stories with romance tropes like THE CRUEL PRINCE, character-driven journeys like THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, or the fairy tale vibes of SPINNING SILVER.

In picture books, send heartwarming titles with a BIPOC focus like EYES THAT KISS IN THE CORNERS and creative, imagination-friendly projects like DRAGONS LOVE TACOS.

In nonfiction, she’s looking for insightful social commentary like that of Ijeoma Oluo, Brené Brown, and Mikki Kendall.

Esty would also like to see literary fiction with artful realism like THE RABBIT HUTCH and TOMORROW AND TOMORROW AND TOMORROW, the heart wrenching yearning of NORMAL PEOPLE, characters challenging society like OUR MISSING HEARTS, or books like THE INCENDIARIES and SEVERANCE that examine marginalized characters, injustice, or religion. Characters examining systems of oppression through twisty plots in books like THE NICKEL BOYS, SALVAGE THE BONES, and INTERIOR CHINATOWN are welcome, and mythological retellings like Madeline Miller’s CIRCE, especially those set outside of Europe.

This is a home for fresh retellings, fairy tales, and artful, rebellious prose. For a better look at the kind of titles Esty gravitates towards, scroll her Pinterest board here.

What She Doesn’t Want: horror, thrillers, erotica, police/legal procedurals, mysteries, anything ageist/ableist/racist/misogynistic, or anything where queer people die in the end.


Leave a Reply