Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amanda Leuck of Spencerhill Associates

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.15.11 AMAmanda Leuck is a literary agent with Spencerhill Associates.

She is seeking: strong, character-driven stories with an unforgettable voice. She’s looking for literary and commercial YA, select adult sci-fi and fantasy, and romance in all genres, including edgy romantic suspense, contemporary, and paranormal with a fresh twist.

About Amanda: Amanda Leuck started her career  in various facets of the media, including work on a TV talk show, at a fashion magazine, as a print journalist, and as an on-air traffic reporter. After graduating from New York University, Amanda went on to study literacy and literature at the post-graduate level. It was then that she developed a passion for the publishing industry. Amanda started at Spencerhill Associates as an editorial assistant, and was promoted to agent in August 2014. Her Twitter handle is @MandiLeone.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Saritza Hernandez of Corvisiero Literary

Screen Shot 2020-01-10 at 2.29.20 PM.pngSaritza Hernandez is the VP and a Sr. Literary Agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

At the 2020 workshop, she will be taking pitches and also teaching a class.

While Saritza’s personal tastes lean toward romance (all kinds), she is currently acquiring commercial fiction in all categories from middle grade to adult as well as graphic novels from diverse voices. In nonfiction, she’s actively looking for narrative nonfiction, health/body/spirit, and cooking books.

Known as the first literary agent to represent marginalized authors in the digital publishing landscape, Saritza’s clients have been awarded the RITA, Lambda Literary Award and selected among the NYPL’s Book of the Year. While she is a leading literary agent in digital publishing deals, her recent sales to traditional publishers include Macmillan and HarperCollins. A geek with a passion for all things Star Wars, Star Trek and Harry Potter, her love of great storytelling is what has driven her work in the publishing industry for the past 17 years. An avid coffee-drinker with a Kindle book obsession, she enjoys a steaming cup of strong Cuban coffee every morning while escaping into worlds and stories from all walks of life. A strong advocate of the LGBTQIA+ community, she enjoys fresh voices in Young Adult and Adult genre fiction.

In addition to taking pitches for herself, Saritza is also representing the entire agency and their genres. She is open to hearing pitches for all her co-agents in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, romance, thrillers, adventure, paranormal, young adult, middle grade, picture books, historical romance, new adult (both romance and non-romance), and graphic novels. In nonfiction, she can take pitches for parenting, education, self-improvement, science, and business.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Vicki Selvaggio of Storm Literary

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Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary).

Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to Storm Literary Agency as a Literary Agent and Partner. Previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. As a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio, Victoria’s desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent.

With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects! While Storm Literary is primarily a children’s book agency, Victoria will be accepting pitches for new adult and adult projects from conference attendees.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Michael Joy of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 11.01.53 PMMichael L. Joy is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Michael is a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA Creative Writing program and a board member of the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, where he is the co-chair of their annual mystery writing conference, SleuthFest. (SleuthFest.com). He is a professor of English, musician and recovering programmer living in Southwest Florida.

Fiction:

  • character-driven commercial fiction in mystery/crime/suspense/thriller (including graphic novel script format.
  • Stories that transcend genre and have the potential to attract a wider audience (aka: Upmarket fiction)
  • new perspectives – #OwnVoices, race, gender, LGBTQ, or sub-culture – different POVs, obstacles and outcomes. Situational humor is good, but not required.
  • Cozies will be a tough sell unless the “community” is something extremely different.

No talking or communicative animals. No Romance, but romantic elements are good if done well. Don’t force it.

Nonfiction:

  • art, music, pop-culture or sub-culture topics, including positive mental and physical health for artist
  • True crime
  • Business Self-Help: How to survive and keep positive while starting a business, running a business or working a high-pressure job.
  • I’d be excited to look at graphic novel formats for non-fiction also.

No politics or religion.

The key to selling non-fiction is having an existing platform – first-hand expertise or experience – no arm-chair quarterbacking. If you’re going to write about winning the World Beard and Moustache Championship, you better be a competitor or a barber…or better yet, be both.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sharon Belcastro of the Belcastro Agency

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.54.56 PM.pngSharon Belcastro is the founder of The Belcastro Agency.

She is seeking cozy mysteries, thriller, suspense, mystery with romantic elements, romance (contemporary and suspenseful), and young adult fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, and action/adventure).

“We love fiction with superb writing with a voice that jumps off the page and a twisted or colorful plot that compels us to keep reading is a must. We look for a unique voice and a strong protagonist full of attitude. We like dark and intense but we won’t turn away something that’s a little on the lighter side. We enjoy a touch of humor, and we would never turn away something sexy. We seek rofound young adult with a strong male or female protagonist. A whacky, funny, crazy, or thought-provoking voice will draw attention. We look for entertaining story lines that deal with tough life issues. We look for big writing that remains fast-paced.”