Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kenzi Nevins of CYLE Literary Elite

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 4.23.30 PMKenzi Nevins is a junior literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite.

Kenzi personally seeks picture books (text only is fine, but author-illustrators are her favorite), middle grade (all kinds), young adult (all kinds, including graphic novels with images), and adult fantasy. She is also happy to take pitches on behalf of her many co-agents, and pass on great submissions to them after the event. That means she will take pitches for romance (all kinds), literary fiction, mainstream fiction, science fiction, high & low fantasy, historical, mystery, thriller, suspense, women’s, and Christian/inspirational. For nonfiction, she will take pitches for parenting, leadership, ministry, devotionals, and self-help. She will also take pitches for board books and chapter books

“My personal interests lie in mythology and retold fairy tales, so I would say that fantasy and magic realism generally get me the most excited, but I will look at anything.”

Kenzi is an award-winning writer with a passion for magic realism and mythology. A graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing and theatre programs, she spent two semesters studying in the story-laden Wicklow Mountains of eastern Ireland. Previously, she won second place for theatre journalism and critique from the Kennedy Center for American College Theatre, and her short story, “The Last Freedom,” was published in eBook and paperback by StoryShares.

When she isn’t writing, Kenzi can be found watering her fairy garden, experimenting with little-known tea flavors, or wandering the aisles of her Kentucky library.

Get to Know a Literary Scout in Attendance: Brittany Smith of Metamorphosis Literary

Screen Shot 2019-12-21 at 2.59.47 PMBrittany Smith is a literary scout for Metamorphosis Literary. At the 2020 KY conference, she will be taking pitches on behalf of several of her co-agents (Amy Brewer, Patty Carothers, and Erica Christensen).

She is taking pitches for:

  • romance of all kinds; if your plot revolves around love or angst or both, that’s a good thing. Also looking for general/mainstream fiction, LGBTQ+, women’s fiction, book club reads, and quirky humor.
  • nonfiction, graphic novels, children’s book illustrators.
  • upper young adult, new adult and adult romance in most subgenres, ranging from clean/sweet to high heat in any pairings. Also seeks mysteries and thrillers (bonus points for cozy mysteries and psychological thrillers). Also, picture books with diverse characters that bring valuable lessons to children in an entertaining and lighthearted way.

For as long as she can remember, Brittany has had a book in hand and story ideas whirling in her mind. A voracious reader and lover of ice cream, she often dreams of owning a personal library to rival Belle’s. A former mental health counselor, Brittany is currently working on a nonfiction book and preparing to launch her blog Real Life Real Well. “A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kortney Price of Raven Quill Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-14 at 11.47.38 PMKortney Price is a literary agent with Raven Quill Literary.

Kortney specializes in books for children from picture books through young adult. Her belief in these stories’ ability to change lives and the world drives her to always look for a way to introduce young readers to new people, cultures, and adventures much like her favorite childhood stories did for her. Whether a story changes the reader’s world view, tells them they aren’t alone or just offers an escape, every book in this field has the potential to make a difference in a child’s life and Kortney is honored to play a part in getting those stories into the hands of readers.

Kortney graduated with a B.A. in English from Greenville University in 2014. Since then she has interned with Andrea Hurst & Associates, Amphorae Publishing Group, and Inklings Literary Agency. She was an associate agent for two years before finding her home with Raven Quill Literary Agency.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-21 at 2.32.54 PM.pngAlice Speilburg founded Speilburg Literary Agency in 2012, bringing with her the editorial and business expertise she had developed in previous publishing positions at John Wiley & Sons and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, and she is a board member of Louisville Literary Arts. She is currently building her client list and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction.

Nonfiction:

She enjoys nonfiction in the areas of History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Travel, and True Crime. “In nonfiction, I’m looking for cultural narratives, microhistory, nature, and pop science written by journalists and academics. I’d love to see more nonfiction proposals, so even if you think your nonfiction project is not quite what I’m looking for, please send it over so that I can take a look.” She’d love to see

  • Pop Science Narratives that inform some particular quirk of our human nature or the world around us, like STIFF, or ON TRAILS
  • Pop Science Narratives that tie closely with political discussions regarding the environment, social issues, etc., like INFERIOR, OVERRUN, or LOST MOUNTAIN
  • Nonfiction Narratives that weave history or science through memoir, like THE OREGON TRAIL, or SPINELESS
  • Nonfiction narratives that focus on the intersection of two — perhaps unlikely — subjects, like WAR AND WINE, or EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
  • Journalistic Narratives that focus on a specific place, thing, or circumstance to show something about our culture at large, like JANESVILLE, THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, GHOSTLAND, or WILD ONES

Fiction:

She represents women’s fiction, crime fiction, some fantasy (specifics below), historical fiction, mystery, thriller, action/adventure, and horror.

“In fiction, I’m looking for stories that sidestep into history, magic, mystery, horror, or adventure. My favorite sub-genres are feminism, narrative nonfiction, and upmarket genre fiction.” She would love to see

  • Historical Fiction that reimagines factual events, especially crimes or mysteries, like BURIAL RITES, THE BALLAD OF TOM DOOLEY, or THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT
  • Women’s Fiction that oscillates between modern and historical perspectives like THE DOLLHOUSE
  • Historical Fiction that sidesteps into magic, like OUTLANDER, A SECRET HISTORY OF WITCHES, or THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON
  • Fantasy based on American folklore, earthy and magical, like THE VINE THAT ATE THE SOUTH
  • Fantasy that contains mythical elements, like THE BIRD KING, THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI, or THE BEAR & THE NIGHTINGALE
  • Adventure Fantasy with fresh and unique magic, like A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, THE BOOK OF DUST
  • Police Procedural Mysteries that are grounded in both a unique investigator and an evocative setting like the ARMAND GAMACHE series and the ALEX MCKNIGHT series
  • Psychological Thrillers that border on horror with smart female protagonists, like IN A DARK, DARK WOOD

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Chrysa Keenon of CYLE Literary

ChrysaChrysa Keenon is a literary agent with CYLE Literary.

Chrysa has always loved stories—both reading and writing them. Her degree from Taylor University’s acclaimed Professional Writing program helped her learn a thing or two about the craft, and she set her sights on working in the publishing industry. She has published over 400 pieces of fiction (including poetry, short stories, and stage plays) and nonfiction (book reviews and journalism articles). She has multiple first-place awards for her writing, including 1st Place in Sci-Fi/Fantasy for the Blue Seal Award. Setting her sights on the industry, Chrysa kickstarted her career in publishing by interning with GenZ Publishing and The Seymour Agency. By day, she works in editorial for a prominent bridal magazine. By night, she is an agent at the Cyle Young Literary Elite agency, helping writers achieve their publishing dreams, one query at a time.

She is actively seeking: YA contemporary romance, YA fantasy, adult romance, adult fantasy, nonfiction picture books, MG fantasy, MG contemporary; anything with diverse casts, creative worldbuilding, and romances that make my heart throb.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cate Hart of Harvey Klinger Literary

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 2.56.29 PM.pngCate Hart is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency.

Cate joined the agency in 2019 after 5 years with a New York agency. She specializes in historical, whether in young adult, women’s fiction and romance, or narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to oft-forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. She also loves high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee, studying Theatre and History, Cate currently lives in Nashville with her children.

Cate seeks the following nonfiction categories: narrative, history, film, TV, theatre, pop culture, and music. She also seeks the following fiction genres: historical, commercial, women’s fiction, romance, fantasy, mystety, psychological thriller, middle grade, and young adult.