Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Chelsea Eberly of Greenhouse Literary

Chelsea Eberly is a literary agent with Greenhouse Literary.

She represents authors of middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, and women’s fiction, as well as illustrators who write picture books.

“I joined Greenhouse Literary Agency after over a decade as an editor at Random House Books for Young Readers, where I rose to become a Senior Editor. I’ve had the honor and pleasure of editing the Newbery Medal winner WHEN YOU TRAP A TIGER by Tae Keller as well as numerous New York Times bestsellers by Tamora Pierce, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Sarah J. Maas, Mark Siegel, and Kim Johnson to name only a few. Prior to Random House, I was an editor of Kindergarten and Pre-K reading textbooks at McGraw-Hill, which gave me a solid respect for everything that the school/library market does. I also attended the Columbia Publishing Course, making valuable connections across the industry. My editorial background gives me a deep understanding of how publishers think. This experience allows me to be an expert advocate and negotiator for my clients. I am also a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree, which recognizes “the rising stars of the US publishing industry.

“I love to help my clients think Big Picture about developing a strategy to achieve their career goals, while also working closely with them editorially to make sure their work stands out in a crowded market. Basically, I love books and the people who make them. There’s nothing better than falling in love with a story and then telling everyone you know that they HAVE to read this book! If I love something, you will hear about it, and I bring that energy and enthusiasm to my clients’ work on a daily basis.

“My taste is upmarket and both literary and commercial. Bring on multiple hooks and best-in-class storytelling!

High-concept, commercial and literary reads with unforgettable characters and a unique voice. Projects by BIPOC creators, as well as those marginalized identities that include sexuality, gender identity, and disability.

I am actively building my list and looking for:
• Middle Grade across all genres except sci-fi and horror
• Young Adult across all genres except sci-fi and horror
• Graphic Novels for all ages except adult
• Illustrators of Picture Books
• Upmarket/Book Club Women’s Fiction
• Non-fiction with a unique and timely point of view (why now? what’s new?) and/or a platform-driven project.

I am not the best fit for stories centered on suicide, sexual assault, or eating disorders.

I do not represent the following:
• Picture Book Authors (unless you are already a client)
• Poetry Collections
• Short Story Collections
• Screenplays
• Erotica
• Christian/Inspirational Market

Middle Grade
An unforgettable voice and an uplifting take on the problems that middle-school readers face, especially if the story is told from a specific point of view that can act as a mirror, window, or sliding glass door into diverse experiences. I love when authors tackle Big Truths in a heartfelt way. Send my your school stories with strong hooks and memorable characters. I would love a mystery like THE WESTING GAME. I am also on the lookout for memorable characters in action-packed fantasy adventures (similar to Rick Riordan Presents titles) and humorous voices that can grow to become series juggernauts. If you have a humorous main character with a voice like comedian Mitch Hedberg, send your project my way! I also love when kids are connecting with animals in a BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, bring-your-tissues kind of way. Unique structures and interesting, ambitious POV choices are right up my alley.

Young Adult
A great love story with fantastic banter and/or a unique fantasy world with high stakes. Stories that sit at the crossroads of literary and commercial. I would love a mystery/thriller that features teens being teens in school similar to ONE OF US IS LYING rather than a mystery where the teen is mostly working with adults, e.g. interning at the FBI. I love when authors are thoughtful about structure and voice; e.g. a ticking-clock timeline, a closed setting, a journal-entry format, Death as a unique narrator, and so forth. Ambitious projects with multiple commercial hooks and an empowering sensibility with feminist and social justice angles are a plus. I am a voracious YA reader, so I fall head over heels for any voice or plot that can surprise me. And, as always, I am looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.

Graphic Novels
Middle grade and YA contemporary, fantasy, magical realism, humor, slice-of-life romance, and select historical/non-fiction projects if they have clear hooks. I love when creators are mining their own experiences in an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical way. Hit me with side-busting humor and/or box-of-tissues feels. I have a soft spot for cats. And, as always, I am looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.

Picture Book Illustrators
I am looking for illustrators who can also create a strong character, a clear conflict, and write with a silly, laugh-out-loud voice and/or a surprising twist at the end. I love creators who understand the power of the page-turn and the heartwarming sense of community that being read a book aloud delivers. I am open to non-fiction if the story has multiple hooks and an evergreen, contemporary delivery. And, as always, I am looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.

Adult Women’s Fiction
I love upmarket fiction featuring female main characters that are perfect book club reads. Think QUEENIE, ANXIOUS PEOPLE, ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE, WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE, AYESHA AT LAST, BIG LITTLE LIES, and WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING as examples of my taste. And, as always, I am looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.

Greenhouse is where authors’ careers grow. A transatlantic literary agency, Greenhouse provides exceptional individual attention to each of its clients while working closely with a robust team of foreign, accounting, royalty, and contract departments. Founded in 2007, Greenhouse has since established itself at the forefront of the US and UK children’s markets and built a powerful, supportive community of bestselling and critically acclaimed clients whose books have been translated into many languages. Our vision is to work with clients in as full a way as possible, so if our authors and illustrators diversify into other markets, we are often able to represent that work, too. With our vast editorial backgrounds at major publishing houses, Greenhouse can help authors develop their voice and craft and then be their advocate and partner through the publishing process and beyond. Our sister company Rights People is an industry leader and represents our foreign rights to the rest of the world. We also have strong relationships with some of the best film agents in Hollywood, including Creative Artists Agency, The Gotham Group, United Talent Agency, Paradigm, ICM Partners, and so forth to always partner with the most passionate advocate when selling creators’ dramatic rights. Most of all, Greenhouse seeks talented authors who are ready to put down roots.