2024 Washington Writers Conference Literary Agents

(Note: Agents are subject to change. Check back frequently for updates!)

Erica Bauman of Aevitas Creative Management represents a wide variety of authors across middle grade, young adult, and commercial adult fiction, including acclaimed YA author Andrew Auseon and Broadway performer Tiffany Haas. Erica is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and has worked in the publishing industry since 2012. Prior to Aevitas, she worked at Spectrum Literary Agency. Based in New York, Erica is most interested in commercial novels that feature an exciting premise and lyrical, atmospheric writing; imaginative, genre-blending tales; speculative worlds filled with haunting, quietly wondrous magic; fresh retellings of mythology, ballet, opera, and classic literature; sharply funny rom-coms; graphic novels for all ages; fearless storytellers who tackle big ideas and contemporary issues; and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.

Penelope Burns joined Gelfman Schneider in 2012. Penelope represents fiction and nonfiction authors, as well as middle-grade and young adult fiction, and is actively building her client list. Her adult fiction interests are primarily focused on literary and commercial fiction with unique voices and premise, and perhaps even an unreliable narrator. She is also drawn to psychological thrillers, although she is not looking for typical thrillers. Penelope is also actively looking for middle-grade and YA fiction. For YA fiction, she enjoys contemporary narratives, fantasy, and thrillers. With regards to middle-grade authors, Penelope is looking for narratives that are packed full of humor. She would also like to see a middle-grade or young adult narrative that features some form of reality TV or echoes the “Gossip Girl”-style characters and storylines. Penelope’s nonfiction interests tend to focus on narrative nonfiction projects and memoirs. Penelope describes herself as an editorial agent; she endeavors to nurture and develop her clients’ careers. She looks for authors who are passionate about their work, unafraid to ask questions, and above all are open-minded. In an interview with the “Middle-Grade Minded” blog in 2016, Penelope explained that one of her main pet peeves from querying agents is when they address their queries to “Dear Agent” rather than to the agent directly. In addition, Penelope offered detailed advice to querying authors: “Do your research! There are so many resources out there for writers these days, for all stages from writing the manuscript to actually querying. Also, keep an open mind. You may have a dream agent in mind, but there could be another agent out there who also has the same excellent qualities.”

Sophie Cudd joined the Book Group in 2023, after nearly four years at William Morris Endeavor. Born and raised in Nashville, TN, Sophie has a degree in English literature from Southern Methodist University, studied Shakespeare at the University of Oxford, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In fiction, Sophie loves compelling, high-stakes tales of love, loss, mystery, and belonging. She is drawn to accessible and deeply resonant characters and plot-driven stories with a strong sense of time and place, and she’s a sucker for a twist she never saw coming. In nonfiction, Sophie’s interests are wide-ranging, but she is particularly interested in moving and introspective memoirs, food writing, essay collections, and well-researched narrative nonfiction. Sophie splits her time between Nashville and NYC. When she’s not reading, Sophie can be found haunting an art museum, hiking Nashville’s Percy Warner Park, or making her favorite Ottolenghi saffron pasta.

Lily Dolin joined United Talent Agency in 2019 and represents clients in both fiction and nonfiction. She is drawn to literary fiction with dark and offbeat humor, gripping narratives, strong commercial hooks, family dynamics, and nuanced female perspectives. She especially loves sweeping family dramas, strange and unusual women in strange and unusual circumstances, and books with strong voice and plot. Additionally, she is interested in literary mystery and some speculative fiction. For nonfiction, she is looking for narrative nonfiction, memoirs, or essay collections that are funny, outrageous, shocking, emotional, or all of the above. She enjoys true crime, pop culture, and narrative history with a feminist bent. She is not looking for historical fiction or science/psychology nonfiction at this time.

Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank established Fairbank Literary Representation in 2002. Since then, she has had the pleasure of working with a dynamic and varied client list, representing bestselling authors, award-winning journalists, artists, and illustrators, television and YouTube stars, and, of course, one of her favorite kinds of client: the debut author. Her authors are found with all the major publishers, as well as in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, the New Yorker, Tin House, Glimmer Train, the Best American series, Pushcart Prize, Granta, Smithsonian, McSweeney’s, Narrative, One Story, and many more. Sorche’s tastes in novels tend toward literary fiction, international voices, and voice-y novels with a strong sense of place. On the nonfiction side, books that tackle current events and topical and societal issues with a narrative treatment. She has a strong interest in women’s voices and class and race issues, quality lifestyle books (food, craft, design), and the occasional memoir, providing it goes beyond the “me-moir.” Sorche reps a few wildly successful children’s books and is eager for more submissions from illustrator-authors only. She is one of the leading agents of humor, pop culture, and gift books. She and her co-agents work closely to maximize clients’ ancillary rights, including film and television, merchandising, and translation rights. Sorche is a longstanding member of the Association of American Literary Agents (AALA, formerly known as AAR), as well as Sisters in Crime, PEN, and the Agents Round Table, and is on the Literary Council of Grub Street.

Jennie Goloboy joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2017 after six years at a Twin Cities-based literary agency. She has a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard and published a book based on her dissertation, “Charleston and the Emergence of Middle-Class Culture in the Revolutionary Era,” in 2016. Her novel, Obviously Aliens, was published by Queen of Swords Press in 2021. (X: @jenniegoloboy)

Sam Hiyate of the Rights Factory worked at the literary magazines Blood & Aphorisms and the Quarterly in the 90s. He ran the edgy micropublisher Gutter Press from 1993 to 2002 as publisher. He launched the literary division of the Lavin Agency in 2003, where he built a list of clients and did his first deals. ​Sam’s projects for the agency have been in various categories, including memoir, literary and commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction, and graphic novels. He’s looking for works of all categories with distinct and compelling voices. He loves to discover and help new writers prepare their works for the market and to help them build a career with their talent. (X and Instagram: @SamHiyate)

Michelle Z. Jackson of LCS Literary is actively building her list and looking for authors with stories that leave her feeling all the feels. She wants books that make her heart squeeze, make her ugly cry, have her heart pound, or make her laugh until she cries. She loves loves loves romance and feel-good stories that make her heart sigh with contentment at the end. She is seeking books from all genres that still have an underlying message of hope and joy. She does enjoy twisty reads that keep her guessing and that make her eyes burn at night. She is also a lover of stories involving great friendships and those that explore family dynamics in new ways. Give her a great premise, a twist on an old tale, and some great descriptive writing. She wants to feel as if she’s living the story right up until the end. (X: @mlindorice)

Kelly Karczewski of United Talent Agency majored in English at Amherst College before getting her start in publishing at (now-defunct) Foundry Literary + Media. She moved to UTA in January 2023 and is now building her own list of varied fiction and nonfiction. On the fiction side, Kelly is generally drawn toward books that will translate well to the screen — contemporary stories that draw you in with a strong commercial hook and keep you reading with sharp, surprising writing. She has a soft spot for elevated romantic comedies, thrillers, stories set on the East Coast, and books with a touch of lifestyle envy. (Anything Nancy Meyers might adapt.) For nonfiction, she reads solely to learn something new — and while there is little she isn’t curious about, she’s most interested in exploring topics with bite, especially those that speak to a larger moment in our culture. She’s always eager to read more about sexuality, art history, sports, conspiracy theories, cults, dating and relationships, and feminist history.

Linda Konner of the Linda Konner Literary Agency has been in the publishing business for over 30 years as an agent, author, editor, columnist, and lecturer. She has served as editor-in-chief of Weight Watchers Magazine and Richard Simmons’ monthly newsletter, Richard Simmons & Friends, and was a features editor at Redbook, Seventeen, and Woman's World. She was a columnist for Glamour and Fitness magazines, and her articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Playboy, The N.Y. Daily News, Cosmopolitan, TV Guide, and Woman's Day. Her controversial piece for New Woman magazine, "Living Apart and Loving It," became the basis for “Donahue” and “Sally Jessy Raphael” shows. Konner has lectured on book and magazine publishing at more than four dozen writers' conferences and colleges, including New York University, the Willamette Writers' Conference (Portland, Oregon), the Cape Cod Writers’ Conference, Brooklyn College, the BlissDom bloggers’ conference, and the University of Wisconsin (River Falls). Konner is a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives, the Authors Guild, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Bridget Wagner Matzie is an agent and partner at Aevitas Creative Management. She has represented projects such as the #1 New York Times bestseller Shattered by Jon Allen and Amie Parnes, the Washington Post's #1 New York Times bestseller The Mueller Report, the national bestseller The Case for Impeachment by Allan Lichtman, the acclaimed novel The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma by Ratika Kapur, as well as To Raise A Boy by Washington Post journalist Emma Brown, and Emory Professor Ruby Lal’s L.A. Times book prize finalist, Empress, among others. ‍Matzie graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. in English and writing. She attended the Columbia University publishing program and subsequently worked for ICM in New York and London as an agent and rights director at the Sagalyn Agency, and as foreign rights manager at Random House India. Matzie works as an agent and partner with Aevitas, based in Washington, DC, where Washingtonian Magazine listed her as one of DC’s top book agents. She is most interested in strong original ideas, new and international voices, big-think topics, and books that challenge readers and create discussion.

Tom Miller joined Liza Dawson Associates as a senior literary agent in 2018 after several years as an agent with the Carol Mann Agency. Prior to becoming an agent, Tom held executive and senior editorial positions with Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Disney, Wiley, and McGraw-Hill. As an editor, Tom acquired and edited numerous New York Times bestselling and prize-winning books by authors including Deepak Chopra, Jared Diamond, Gabor Maté, Judy Collins, Steve Forbes, Erica Jong, Jack Cafferty, Ginger Rogers, Kirk Douglas, Dame Beryl Bainbridge, Eric Bogosian, Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, Dave Asprey, Aphrodite Jones, Shirley Temple Black, Oliver North, Annette Funicello, Dr. Loren Cordain, Charles Busch, Brian Wilson, Erich Schiffmann, and Peter Straub. He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in English and comparative literature.

Lizz Nagle is a senior agent at Victress Literary. She used to read books while walking to school as a kid and got lost in stories at the Allentown Public Library. She then stayed local, graduating from Cedar Crest College in May of 2009, where she studied English with a creative-writing concentration and picked up another communication major along the way. After graduating college, mothering, office managing for a chiropractor, substitute teaching for the Allentown School District, working construction for a little while, and writing for fun herself, Lizz began her agenting career in 2019 at Victress Literary under the mentorship of Victress founder Shannon Orso. She immediately began seeking out layered, character-driven stories with social relevance that challenge stereotypes, soften hearts, and spread hope with a message of resilience. With a client list including but not limited to young adult, women’s fiction, horror, and fantasy titles, Lizz thrives in a creative atmosphere working on a wide variety of books that mash up genres and are propelled by characters. As an agent, she values communication, community, and collaboration. When not reading, writing, painting, practicing guitar, traveling, or at a concert, she might be found on a hiking trail or with her menagerie of kids and rescue animals. (X: @VictressLizz; Instagram: @VictressLizz)

Rita Rosenkranz of the Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency founded her boutique agency in 1990 after working as an editor and interacting with agents at major publishing houses, including Random House, Scribner Books, and Outlet, a division of Crown. “I was attracted to their autonomy and appreciated the freedom to be productive on my terms,” she says. Working with nonfiction only, Rosenkranz represents biography, business, cooking, health, history, how-to, humor, illustrated books, music, parenting, popular reference, popular science, spirituality, sports, writing, and general-interest titles.epresents all areas of adult nonfiction. (X: @litage)

Catherine Ross of Corvisiero Literary Agency is a recent graduate of Howard University School of Law. Always knowing that her love of books would somehow find its way into her career, Catherine strived to learn about publishing and copyright law. Along the way, she fell in love with agency work as well. Catherine hopes to bridge both legal and agent services to serve clients at each stage of the process and is excited to learn more from Corvisiero. Catherine loves anything from the fantasy genre — from urban to high fantasy, young adult to new adult, she’ll read it all! But honestly, she loves anything that has strong worldbuilding, complex characters, and a twist. When Catherine is not reading (a rarity), she is likely watching old horror films or finding new places to travel.

John Rudolph joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC in 2010 after 12 years as an acquiring children’s book editor. He began his career at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers as an editorial assistant and then moved to the G.P. Putnam’s Sons imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group, where he eventually served as executive editor on a wide range of young adult, middle-grade, nonfiction, and picture-book titles. He graduated from Amherst College with a double major in Classics and music. While John’s list started out as mostly children’s books, it has evolved to the point where it is now half adult, half children’s authors — and he’s looking to maintain that balance. On the children’s side, John is keenly interested in middle-grade and YA fiction and would love to find the next great picture book author/illustrator. For adults, he is actively looking for narrative nonfiction, especially in music, sports, history, popular science, “big think,” performing arts, health, business, memoir, military history, and humor. He is also interested in commercial fiction but is very selective in what he takes on.

Katharine Sands of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books. She is the agent provocateur of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye, a collection of pitching wisdom from leading literary agents. Actively building her client list, she likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks (which might be at issues, life challenges, or popular culture). When reading fiction, she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling and hooked by characters. For memoir and femoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed.

Abby Saul of the Lark Group is an editorial expert with a passion for fantastic reads. She founded the Lark Group after a decade in publishing at John Wiley & Sons, Sourcebooks, and Browne & Miller Literary Associates. She’s worked with and edited bestselling and award-winning authors as well as major brands. At each publishing group she’s been a part of, Abby also has helped to establish e-book standards, led company-wide forums to explore new digital possibilities for books, and created and managed numerous digital initiatives. A zealous reader who loves her iPad and the e-books on it, she still can’t resist the lure of a print book. Abby’s personal library of beloved titles runs the gamut from literary newbies and classics, to cozy mysteries, to sappy women’s fiction, to dark and twisted thrillers. She’s looking for great and engrossing adult commercial and literary fiction. A magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College, Abby spends her weekends — when she’s not reading — cooking and hiking with her husband and children.

Max Sinsheimer launched Sinsheimer Literary in the fall of 2016 after nearly seven years as an editor at Oxford University Press. He represents exclusively adult nonfiction across a range of genres, but with a particular interest in food and culture, history, popular science, and social issues. As a former academic editor, he welcomes scholarly works that he think can reach a crossover trade market. For instance, a few food studies and “issues” books he's represented include Marion Nestle’s Unsavory Truth (Basic Books), Michael Jacobson’s Salt Wars (MIT Press), and Catherine Donnelly’s Ending the War on Artisan Cheese (Chelsea Green). He’d love to take on more popular science, particularly where there is a personal narrative woven in. He’s also keen to represent environmental and social-issue books, having worked on Disposable City (Nation Books), about Miami’s existential sea-level-rise crisis, and If I Don’t Make It, I Love You (Skyhorse), an anthology of narratives from school-shooting survivors. He’s not afraid to take on difficult, depressing topics, but he does expect the writer to leave the reader with something hopeful to cling to. Really, though, he has eclectic tastes and wants to see more pitches in his inbox. So, if you have an exceptional nonfiction manuscript (or even just a complete proposal and sample chapter), he wants to see it! (X: @SinsheimerLit; Instagram: @msin10)

Emily Williamson represents a variety of projects in nonfiction and fiction, working with major publishers, university presses, and boutique imprints alike to find the perfect home for her clients’ work. She holds degrees from American University and Johns Hopkins and began her editing career in 2011 at Chrysalis Editorial in Washington, DC. She founded Williamson Literary in 2016, driven by the desire to help great writers achieve their publishing goals. As a writer, she understands the investment of time and heart it takes to follow this challenging path. It is the core of Williamson Literary — to support the careers of dedicated writers who deserve to see their ideas and imaginings realized. Williamson Literary is also about building relationships: agent-author, agent-publisher, and author-publisher. In the past, Emily spent 13 years as an archaeologist traveling all over the U.S. and abroad in search of many things…sometimes finding nothing. It is this varied, nomadic past that has influenced her own writing and her particular interests as an agent. Emily is also a poet and a painter, and she loves the outdoors, traveling, playing with her nutty border collie, doing CrossFit, and watching football, but not all at once. She is a native of New Jersey, cuts her own firewood, and is one of those annoying people who can’t eat gluten.

Questions about agents? Contact [email protected].