Agents lead very busy lives, so when Michelle and I reach out to see if they’ll participate in Sun versus Snow, we are never sure how many we will get to participate. But every year, without fail, agents step up to the plate and agree to join us for this very fun contest.
HUGE thanks to the 17 agents who found time in their busy schedules to make this contest happen. You are all AWESOME! On this blog I have 7 out of the 17. To discover who else will be perusing the entries this year, head over to Michelle’s blog.
Please tweet your thanks to this great group by using the hashtag #sunvssnow and let them know how much you appreciate them!
Noah Ballard is an agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. He received his BA in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and began his career in publishing at Emma Sweeney Agency where he sold foreign rights for the agency in addition to building his own client list. Noah specializes in literary debuts, upmarket thrillers and narrative nonfiction, and he is always on the look-out for honest and provocative new writers. Noah has appeared across the country at graduate programs and writing conferences speaking about query letters, building nonfiction platforms and submission etiquette. He lives in Brooklyn.
Before joining Prospect Agency in 2015, Kirsten learned the agenting ropes at Sobel Weber Associates and the Waxman Leavell Agency. She fell in love with working on writers while getting her B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration from Amherst College, and cemented her fascination with publishing with a Graduate Certificate in Publishing from the Columbia Publishing Course and internships at Charlesbridge and Liza Dawson Associates. As an agent, she gets to be a champion for the author throughout the challenging publishing process. She loves sharing an author’s vision for the book, working to help him or her uncover it, and finding a home for it with editors and readers who also feel that connection. Beyond the individual book, she wants to develop satisfying and successful careers that celebrate great talent.
Kirsten is currently seeking upmarket YA and adult fiction with strong characters and storytelling, across speculative, thriller, and literary genres. She’s drawn to books that capture her attention early on with a dynamic plot, and innovative storytelling that blends or crosses genres. In particular, she’s interested in novels that bend and blur genres; literary takes on high concept worldbuilding; diverse characters in stories that are not just about diversity; antiheroes she find herself rooting for; characters with drive and passion; girls and women in STEM fields; settings outside the US/Europe; well-researched historical settings; YA noir/thriller/mystery; stories that introduces her to a new subculture and makes her feel like a native. Follow her on Twitter: @kirstencarleton
Caitlin McDonald joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2015, and was previously at Sterling Lord Literistic. She represents adult and young adult speculative fiction, primarily science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and related subgenres, as well as contemporary fiction about geeky characters. She is always looking for fun, clever projects featuring badass women, diverse worldbuilding, tropes and genre-bending, heists, and LGBTQ protagonists. She also handles a small amount of nonfiction in geeky areas, with a focus on feminist theory/women’s issues and pop culture. Caitlin grew up overseas and has a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. You can read more about her on her blog or follow her on Twitter @literallycait.
Jaida is actively building both her Children’s and Adult list!
She has a particular love for all things Middle Grade, especially those that are a bit quirky, strange, and fantastical (a la THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY, ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY, SNICKER OF MAGIC, CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, etc.) She’s also open to YA submissions (all genres), and picture books by author-illustrators with completed dummies.
For all other fiction (both Adult and Children’s) she has an affinity for magical realism, historical fiction, and literary fiction, as well as stories with a strong mystery and/or religious undertones (THE WESTING GAME, A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, THE DAVINCI CODE, JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL, OUTLANDER, THE RULE OF FOUR, etc.)
On the non-fiction side, she’s actively seeking topics that are offbeat and a bit strange (STIFF: THE CURIOUS LIVES OF HUMAN CADAVERS, SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES, etc.), as well as photography projects that offer unique insight into the human experience (HUMANS OF NEW YORK, THE SCAR PROJECT, ETC.)
Prior to joining New Leaf Literary, Jaida grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm, studied classical ballet, and briefly attended medical school. She loves art history, traveling, logic puzzles, horticulture, and numerous other topics that come in handy for Trivia Night and crossword puzzles.
Carlie Webber is looking for a wide variety of fiction genres in adult, YA, and middle grade, including contemporary, lighter fantasy and science fiction, adventure, horror, women’s fiction, romance, mystery, suspense, thriller, and westerns. She especially loves fiction that pushes the envelope and encourages conversation (or controversy), but she’s also open to light reads and humor. In all genres and age ranges, she wants to see interesting plots, strong voices, and memorable characters. (She’d love to find the Cookie Lyon of women’s fiction!) Her current wishlist includes high-concept YA and stories with creepy gothic settings. For more info, check out the CK Webber website.
Julia is specializing in representing international authors of unique and captivating commercial children’s and adult fiction, namely Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, Women’s Fiction, thrillers, and romance. Julia’s not too keen on sci-fi and futuristic stories, and Fantasy should be set in the real world. Other than that, she’s open to all sub-genres. A hooking plot, engaging characters, and a fresh voice are a must.
Julia also offers freelance editing over at www.jaw-editing.com.
Roseanne Wells joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an associate agent in 2012. Previously with the Marianne Strong Literary Agency, she has also worked as a proofreader and a special sales and editorial assistant. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with degrees in Literature and Dance. An avid reader, Roseanne discovered her passion for book publishing during her internship at W. W. Norton, and she approaches agenting as a writer’s advocate, editor, and partner. She is a member of SCBWI and a volunteer for Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in Soho, NYC. You can find her on Twitter @RivetingRosie.
Currently Roseanne is looking for: strong literary fiction that emphasizes craft and style equally, and doesn’t sacrifice plot and character for beautiful sentences; young adult of all genres; very selective middle grade of any genre that connects me to a strong main character; science-fiction and fantasy; con/heist stories, especially featuring art, jewelry, and tech; and smart detective novels (more Sherlock Holmes than cozy mysteries).
I’d also love projects that blend genres that I’m interested in; have unique narrative structures that add meaning and enhance the storytelling; unreliable narrators that are unreliable for a reason; and books that include the LGBTQ experience without the central conflict focused solely on being queer.
If you want to participate in the contest, the submission window opens February 1 at 4pm EST. Find out more here:
And don’t forget to head to Michelle’s blog for the rest of the amazing list!!