Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cole Hildebrand of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency

Cole Hildebrand is a literary agent with Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency.

“I began my publishing career as an Assistant Editor at YesYes Books, going on to become Managing Editor for the press, whose list includes award-winning authors such as Ocean Vuong, Elizabeth Acevedo, Justin Phillip Reed, Danez Smith, Michael Wasson, Kayleb Rae Candrilli, and many others. I joined JVNLA in 2021, working alongside agency President Jennifer Weltz, and am now building my list, seeking adult literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, and poetry, with a particular interest in queer voices.

“In fiction, I’m looking for contemporary literary and experimental work, and am open to novels that blur genre elements in surprising or unconventional ways. I am drawn character and voice driven stories that play with form and narrative structure, written with stylistically distinctive prose and evocative imagery. As a reader, what engages me is not so much the plot of a story (though it certainly matters!), but the unique ways that story is told, from structure to POV to narrative voice. Overall I’m seeking works that break open the possibilities of fiction and immerse the reader in a story both unfamiliar yet utterly convincing.

“In nonfiction, I’m drawn to narrative and/or investigative work that blends personal, cultural, political, and historical threads. Books that engage with radical thought, queer history, art, pop culture, environmental studies, and mental health are always up my alley. I am also interested in memoirs with experimental narrative and formal structures, and well-researched accounts of understudied historical movements.”

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