Algonkian Interviews Literary Agents Ken Atchity, Peter Rubie, Paige Wheeler, Tina Wexler, Lisa Bankoff, and Many More.

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Timeless Interviews With Famous Literary Agents

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It is our intention with this interview series to deliver valuable and realistic publishing advice to the writer community, and just as importantly, to put a human face on the world of publishing. As you will see below, the best agents possess not only superior market knowledge and business skills, but a true passion for the literary arts.

On The Literary Coast
Betsy Amster is president of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises, a literary agency in Los Angeles. Before opening her agency in 1992, she spent ten years as an editor at Pantheon and Vintage and two years as editorial director of the Globe Pequot Press. A frequent instructor in UCLA Extension's Writers Program, Amster also runs publishing workshops at The Loft, the acclaimed literary ... [more]
Focusing on Franchise Potential
Ken Atchity is a writer, film producer, and literary manager, responsible for launching dozens of films and books. Ken Atchity has produced 28 films, including LIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT (Angelina Jolie; Fox), GOSPEL HILL, and HITTING THE BRICKS. Films in development include THREE MEN SEEKING MONSTERS (Universal) and RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT (starring Jim Carrey; Paramount) ... [more]
Time Enough for Literature
Lisa Bankoff has been a major force on the literary book scene for twenty years as an agent for International Creative Management (ICM), her first four years spent assisting the late, great Jed Mattes. Prior to this she worked for several book publishers that included stints in production ... [more]
Best In The West
Elise Capron works for the Sandra Dijkstra Agency in California which represents over 100 authors around the world and was proclaimed "the most powerful literary agency on the West Coast" by the LOS ANGELES TIMES. Elise manages agency book sales, handles first serial rights, and works with both unsolicited and solicited project submissions. She specializes in literary fiction, women's fiction, and short stories. [more]
A View From The Top
Robert Gottlieb started Trident Media Group, LLC, in September, 2000. The organization specializes in all areas of representation in regards to intellectual property. Mr. Gottlieb discovered Tom Clancy and represented the sequel to "Gone With The Wind." Mr. Gottlieb also represents entities such as the Frank Herbert Estate ... [more]
Poise, Tenacity, and Clancy
Deborah Grosvenor has worked in the book publishing industry for over twenty years, both as an agent and editor. As an editor, she acquired and edited several hundred nonfiction books, although her best-known acquisition was a first work of fiction, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER by Tom Clancy, when she was director of book acquisitions and subsidiary rights at the Naval Institute Press. [more]
A Man For All Genres
Jeff Kleinman is a literary agent and attorney with the prestigious east coast agency of Graybill & English in Washington, D.C. His recent sales include THE GROVE to Warner Books for six figures and bonuses, film options pending. Also, Ron McLarty's MEMORY OF RUNNING, was recently sold by Jeff to Viking/Penguin for over $2 million. As an agent, his taste varies widely ...[more]
Still in His Salad Days
Daniel Lazar is an agent with Writers House Literary Agency, one of the industry's oldest and largest agencies. For over six years, he has been on the lookout for distinct fiction, and lively non-fiction. Daniel represents a broad list: literary and commercial fiction, middle-grade and young adult fiction, narrative nonfiction, parenting, pop culture, and humor ... [more]
Passion and Class
Ellen Levine began her career with two publishers: New American Library and Harper & Row (now HarperCollins). She then worked at two other agencies before forming the Ellen Levine Literary Agency in 1980. Since then, Ellen has acquired a reputation and a client list second to none in the industry. The authors she represents include Garrison Keillor, Jane Heller, Michael Ondaatje ... [more]
The First Five and Beyond
Noah Lukeman is President of Lukeman Literary Management Ltd, which he founded in 1996. His clients include multiple winners of the Pulitzer Prize, American Book Award, Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Award, National Book Award finalists, Edgar Award finalists, Pacific Rim finalists, multiple New York Times bestsellers, national journalists, major celebrities, and faculty of universities ranging from Harvard to Stanford. [more]
Only The Best
Donald Maass is president of the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York, which he founded in 1980. He represents more than one hundred fiction writers and sells more than one hundred novels per year to top publishers in America and overseas. Recently, he obtained six-and-seven-figure advances from publishers such as Warner, Ballantine, Penguin Putnam and others ... [more]
Looking To Fall In Love
Peter Rubie spent the 1970s and early 1980s as a Fleet Street newspaper reporter, and a TV and radio journalist, first in England and then in the United States. In 1981, he immigrated to America to follow his passion for playing jazz. While living and working in New York City as a professional musician, he was lucky enough to study and play with such musicians as Warne Marsh, George Coleman, Junior Cook, and Jack Wilkins. Peter Rubie's first novel was published in 1988, followed by a second in 1992 ... [more]
The Voice Needs To Be Alive
Tina Dubois Wexler is actively list building at ICM. Recent sales include the first two books in Susan Runholt's mystery series, THE MYSTERY OF THE THIRD LUCRETIA and RESCUING SENECA CRANE (Viking), and commercial fiction sales including Donna Gephart's AS IF BEING 12 ¾ ISN'T BAD ENOUGH (Delacorte), Robin Friedman's THE GIRLFRIEND PROJECT (Walker), and Sanjay Patel's THE LITTLE BOOK OF HINDU DEITIES (Plume) ... [more]
Looking For The High Concept
Paige Wheeler is the President of Creative Media Agency and has worked as an agent in both a literary and entertainment capacity over the course of her career. ...[more]
Wry and Lean Writers Must Apply
Barbara J Zitwer agency specializes in discovering new writers from all over the world. They look for writers with original voices and who have commercial, international appeal, and also for books that have potential to be developed for film and television. Barbara J Zitwer herself specializes in developing books and editing. She has written several books and the play, PAPER DOLL, about Jaqueline Susann, which was produced in regional theaters in the US. She has produced films such as VAMPIRE'S KISS with Nicolas Cage, and was also an Executive Producer on LAZARUS RISING with Columbia Tri-Star and Bernie Sofronski. Currently she is executive producing THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB that will star Julia Roberts. [more]

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