Literary agents lead very busy lives, so when Michelle and I reach out to see if they’ll participate in Sun versus Snow we’re 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 21 AGENTS who found time in their busy schedules to make this contest happen. You are all AWESOME! On this blog I have 10 out of the 21. 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!
Lisa Abellera – Kimberley Cameron & Associates
Lisa Abellera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. She has studied creative writing, design and business, earning her B.A. in Strategic Management from Dominican University of CA and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco.
Lisa had a successful career in the corporate world before joining the world of publishing. After editorial internships with an independent press and Kimberley Cameron & Associates, she now follows her true passion for books and writing. She leverages her business and marketing expertise to help authors navigate the complexities of publishing. She is excited to develop talented authors and help advance their careers. She is looking to form long-term, collaborative relationships with writers who are committed to putting forth their best work.
Lisa responds to well-crafted prose with strong hooks and high personal stakes, to idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, to a tangible sense of place, to multicultural aspects and international settings, to page-turning twists, and to emotionally immersive fiction that explores the human condition, especially within family and close relationships.
Amanda Ayers Barnett – Donaghy Literary Group
Amanda Ayers Barnett began her publishing career 20 years ago, fresh out of Middlebury College and the Radcliffe Publishing Course. She has worn many hats—Publicity Assistant at Random House, Associate Editor at Pocket Books, Acquisitions Editor at Re.ad Publishing, freelance book editor for New York Book Editors—all of which have given her extensive and valuable experience. She is thrilled to add Literary Agent to these titles, and to join the Donaghy Literary Group.
While she has worked on a variety of different genres throughout her career, Amanda especially loves mystery/thrillers and middle grade, young adult, new adult and women’s fiction. She enjoys coming of age novels and precocious main characters. But more than anything, she loves an intriguing and well-written story. With a strong, bordering on obsessive, attention to detail, she is especially excited to work closely with authors and help them develop into amazing storytellers.
When she isn’t working, Amanda can be found in the bleachers of one of her three sons’ numerous sporting events.
Jennifer Johnson-Blalock – Liza Dawson Associates
Jennifer Johnson-Blalock joined Liza Dawson Associates as an associate agent in 2015, having previously interned at LDA in 2013 before working as an agent’s assistant at Trident Media Group. Jennifer graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in English and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Before interning at LDA, she practiced entertainment law and taught high school English and debate
Mark Gottlieb – Trident Media Group
Mark Gottlieb attended Emerson College and was President of its Publishing Club, establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature & publishing, he began his career with Penguin’s VP. Mark’s first position at Publishers Marketplace’s #1-ranked literary agency, Trident Media Group, was in foreign rights. Mark was EA to Trident’s Chairman and ran the Audio Department. Mark is currently working with his own client list, helping to manage and grow author careers with the unique resources available to Trident. He has ranked #1 among Literary Agents on publishersmarketplace.com in Overall Deals and other categories.
Shannon Hassan – Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Shannon Hassan brings a depth of business and editorial experience to her role as agent, having worked in publishing and law for more than a decade. She represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction, and select nonfiction. With respect to fiction, she is drawn to fresh voices, compelling characters, and crisp prose, and enjoys both contemporary and historical settings. For nonfiction, she is interested in exceptional narratives from authors with strong platforms. Based in Boulder, Colorado, she is also eager to hear from authors with a unique perspective on the New West.
A few of Shannon’s recent or soon to be published books include DIE YOUNG WITH ME, a memoir by Rob Rufus of the Blacklist Royals (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), THE WORLD’S GREATEST ADVENTURE MACHINE, a middle-grade adventure by Frank L. Cole (Delacorte/Penguin Random House), LET THE GOOD PREVAIL, a thriller by Logan Miller and Noah Miller being adapted as a feature film (Rare Bird Books), THE MOON IN THE PALACE, a historical series by Weina Dai Randel (Sourcebooks), ALMOST ANYWHERE, a nature memoir by Krista Schlyer (Skyhorse), DIAL EM FOR MURDER, a young adult suspense novel by Marni Bates (Merit Press/F+W Books), IN ANOTHER LIFE, a historical/time-slip novel by Julie Christine Johnson (Sourcebooks).
Peter Knapp – Park Literary
Fueled by the thrill of reading a new story for the first time, Peter works creatively with clients and the PLM team on marketing, branding initiatives and promotions to get great books into the hands of readers. Before joining PLM, he was a story editor at a book-scouting agency working with film clients, and he continues to look for new ways to partner with Hollywood on adaptations and multimedia properties. Find him re-watching Studio Ghibli movies, playing board games with friends, or right here to submit a new fiction query—he’s ready to add more authors to his growing client list!
Lindsay Mealing – Emerald City Literary
Lindsay has been writing stories since she could first hold a pencil. It wasn’t until she sat down to edit a manuscript for the first time she realized her true love was not on the writing side of the publishing industry, but the business side. She began interning for Mandy in early 2015 and quickly realized agenting was what she wanted to do forever more.
Valerie Noble – Donaghy Literary Group
Valerie Noble is a senior agent at DLG. While studying chemistry at California State University, Long Beach, Valerie mastered the art of doing proper research, particularly for technical writing. Her love of science and reading merged when she began penning her first novel in the midst of her studies. In true scientific fashion, Valerie researched all there was to know about publishing. She connected with agents, editors, and other writers, and interned for Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency.
An education is never finished and Valerie continues to cultivate relationships and hopes to use her knowledge and skills in finding fresh new voices for Donaghy Literary Group.
Valerie’s client list includes: Pamala Brondos, Emily B. Martin, Erin Beaty, Karen Kaufman, Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown and Serra Swift, Jennifer L. Austin, Brooke Findley, Sarah Ignatius and Shane Dix.
Valerie loves science fiction and fantasy (think Kristin Cashore and Suzanne Collins) but reads everything under the sun. For her, it’s more about the writing and less about the genre. In saying that, Valerie is generally not interested in romance or paranormal.
Saba Sulaiman – Talcott Notch Literary
Saba Sulaiman is an agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services, a boutique agency located in Milford, CT. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MA from the University of Chicago, where she studied modern Persian literature. She is looking primarily to build her Middle Grade and Young Adult lists, and is particularly interested in contemporary realistic stories. She’s also open to category romance (all sub-genres except paranormal), literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction, tightly plotted, character-driven psychological thrillers, cozy mysteries à la Agatha Christie, and memoir. Being a first generation immigrant who is constantly negotiating her own identity and sense of belonging in a place she now calls “home,” she is committed to highlighting more diverse voices with compelling stories to tell; stories that demonstrate the true range of perspectives that exist in this world, and address urgent and often underexplored issues in both fiction and non-fiction with veracity and heart. Follow her on Twitter @agentsaba.
Blair Wilson – Park Literary
Blair is actively building her client list in the areas of middle grade and young adult fiction and adult non-fiction with a focus on D.I.Y., lifestyle, pop culture, pets, and books dealing with issues of sexuality, identity, and culture. In addition to seeking out new and exciting voices, Blair represents foreign and audio rights for Park Literary clients. Before joining PLM, Blair was the managing editor of an indie textile arts magazine. In her spare time, Blair can be found teaching embroidery classes at the American Folk Art Museum, testing out a new cookbook, or settling in for a night of Hammer horror movies.