Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.18.29 PM.pngRachelle Gardner is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Agency.

For adult fiction, she seeks submissions in both the general and Christian markets — for women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller, family saga, historical, legal, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, and romance.

Fiction projects should be 75,000 to 110,000 words.

For nonfiction,she seeks both Christian market and general market projects: memoirs, home life, current affairs, health & diet, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, self-help, women’s and issues. Platform is important, so be sure to highlight it in your pitch.

She occasionally looks at devotionals

She is not looking for: fantasy, sci-fi, children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult books, poetry, cookbooks, screenplays, novellas, short stories, or graphic novels.

“As a literary agent, I’ve negotiated 200+ contracts with more than 20 publishers, and worked with more than 100 authors to bring their books to publication and build their careers. I’ve been in publishing since 1995, worked in-house at two publishing companies, and edited books published by Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and many more. Nowadays I’m lucky to do my work at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.”

“Besides publishing: Just out of college, I spent five years at Fox Broadcasting Company in Los Angeles. My bachelor’s degree is in Communications, and I later did graduate studies in Psychology at Pepperdine University in Malibu. When I’m not working, you can usually find me out hiking the local trails, riding my bike, haunting bookstores, or having coffee at Starbucks.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Becky LeJeune of Bond Literary

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 7.47.54 AM.pngBecky LeJeune is an associate literary agent with Bond Literary.

Becky is an associate agent at Bond Literary Agency, a Denver-based agency run by Sandra Bond. Prior to joining the agency, Becky spent time working as a bookseller, a freelance cookbook editor, and an acquisitions editor for a small, regional press. She is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute.

Becky is actively building her client list, and is interested in cookbooks and YA and adult submissions in the following genres: horror, mystery/suspense/thriller, historical fiction, sci fi, fantasy, and general fiction. She enjoys plot driven narratives with unique settings, strong world building, and well-developed characters.

Find her on Twitter here.

Get to Know an Agent Scout in Attendance: Angie Hodapp of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 9.16.21 PM.pngAngie Hodapp is the Director of Literary Development for Nelson Literary. At the 2020 Colorado conference, she is taking pitches on behalf of all four agents at her agency: Kristin Nelson, Danielle Burby, Joanna Mackenzie, and Quressa Robinson.

Kristin is currently seeking:

  • Voice and character driven stories well told.
  • Literary or literary/commercial adult novels (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet, Where’d You Go Bernadette?, A Man Called Ove)
  • Historical/literary adult novels
  • Big crossover adult novels (literary or upmarket level writing) w/one foot squarely in genre (Wool, Station 11, Lexicon, Ready Player One)
  • Literary Speculative Fiction
  • Voice & character-driven thrillers, science fiction & fantasy
  • Voice & character-driven upmarket women’s fiction, upmarket and smart Chick Lit and Rom Com (Think Crazy Rich Asians, The Kiss Quotient)
  • Young adult & middle grade novels (all genres including contemporary, #ownvoices, boy adventure, magical, girl power, STEM girls are my jam, characters who use brains over brawn)

Danielle is currently seeking:

  • Middle grade and young adult (all genres)
  • Select passion projects in women’s fiction
  • A strong voice, nuanced writing, plots with unexpected twists, high concept
  • Complex female characters, quirky adventures, complicated family dynamics, romantic plotlines that are an element of the narrative but don’t dominate it, seaside novels, girls with swords, stories that take place in the aftermath of disaster (whether personal such as the death of a loved one or bigger picture such as a revolution), magical realism, YA psychological thrillers, sister stories
  • Social justice themes, own voices authors, a special interest in LGBTQ+ stories
  • Recent reads I have loved include (in no particular order) The Thing About Jellyfish, It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, We Are Okay, Landline, The Sun Is Also a Star, Uprooted, Salt to the Sea, We Were Liars, A Spool of Blue Thread, When Dimple Met Rishi, Six of Crows, anything Liane Moriarty, anything Kristin Cashore, anything Sarah Dessen

Joanna is currently seeking:

  • Character-driven and atmospheric mysteries and thrillers—think Tana French, Blake Crouch, and Heather Gudenkauf.
  • Literary fiction—fish-out-of-water experiences, immigrant stories, complex families. I cried my way through The Namesake and couldn’t put down The Round House.
  • Upmarket women’s fiction featuring characters I can’t stop thinking about.
  • Literary and commercial young-adult fiction—I’ll Give You The Sun and Bone Gap and anything that reminds me of Veronica Mars.

Quressa is currently seeking:

  • Modern-day blue stockings, POC fangirls/fanboys, #blackgirlmagic, #carefreeblackgirls, #blackboyjoy, LGBTQ+, neuroatypical/neurodivergent, and disabled POCs as leads
  • Middle Grade (contemporary and SF/F). Cute, quirky, charming, and fun. Along the lines of Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away.
  • Young adult (contemporary, SF/F, historical)
  • Adult SF/F with strong genre-bending/crossover appeal. (Think the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. I’m also a fan of Anne Bishop and Naomi Novik.)
  • Literary fiction that is thoughtful, evocative, page-turning (The Mothers, Behold the Dreamers, Tell The Wolves I’m Home, Station 11)
  • Upmarket and commercial fiction
  • Passion projects in narrative nonfiction with a strong literary voice and commercial appeal (Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance, Black Man in a White Coat by Damon Tweedy, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi). Would love to see non-whitewashed cowboy stories; pop science by women, specifically women of color; and literary, voice-driven memoir with commercial appeal.
    #ownvoices and marginalized authors in all genres mentioned above. Inclusive narratives in all genres.

Angie holds a BA in English and secondary education and an MA in English and communication development, and she is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute at the University of Denver. The author of Do You Need a Literary Agent?, Angie has worked in language education and professional writing, editing, and publishing for more than twenty years. She is passionate about story and loves helping authors hone their craft and learn about the ever-changing business of publishing.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Keely Boeving of Wordserve Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-07 at 9.50.50 AMKeely Boeving is an Agent with WordServe Literary. After receiving her B.A. in English from the University of Virginia, she went on to attend the Denver Publishing Institute and then began her career in New York working in the editorial department at Oxford University Press, where she acquired books for the trade history list. She moved back to Colorado in 2014 and began her own freelance editorial company before joining WordServe the following year. She lives in Denver with her husband and their twins.

For general fiction, she will consider contemporary and literary fiction; as well as middle grade and YA (no fantasy, please).

For adult nonfiction, Keely is looking for well-researched nonfiction books in the areas of health and wellness, business (especially books targeting women in the workplace), parenting and family life, social justice, and religious studies; as well as projects from diverse and under-represented voices. She is also seeking narrative nonfiction and memoir.

For the Christian market, she is seeking books in the areas of Christian Living, spiritual transformation, devotion and worship, and women’s topics including motherhood, relationships and marriage, work-life balance, and calling.

She is not looking for thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, or picture books.