Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jackie Williams of The Knight Agency

Jackie Williams is a literary agent at The Knight Agency.

“I joined The Knight Agency in July of 2020, after working as a Food & Lifestyle Editorial Fellow for Chronicle Books. I began my career in government, graduating from Johns Hopkins University in Political Science and Latin American Studies, and subsequently working in consumer protection policy at the Federal Trade Commission.

“I love a broad range of commercial and genre fiction, especially stories with psychological suspense, gritty voices, speculative elements, multi-generational plots, and intricate world-building; even better if the stories are set in space. And I’m interested in collaborating closely with writers throughout all stages of their careers and bringing more multicultural representation to the publishing landscape.”

Fiction she seeks:

I’m interested in all types of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror in middle grade, YA, and Adult.

Novels that span generations like REMEMBRANCE OF EARTH’S PAST trilogy, Dark, and THE PASSAGE. The weird, strange, and speculative—books like N.K. Jemisin’s THE FIFTH SEASON and Samantha Shannon’s THE BONE SEASON.

I’m a huge fan of magical realism and surrealism. I would love to see projects like THE MEXICAN GOTHIC, THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER, and Haruki Murakami’s work. Novels with light-hearted magic like THE EMPEROR’s SOUL, THE SHADOWSHAPER CYPHER series, and the WAYWARD CHILDREN series. Geeky books that inspire nostalgia like Stranger Things or READY PLAYER ONE. And, science-fiction and fantasy with thick threads of romance like DARK MATTER and THE NIGHT CIRCUS.

Books with a unique take on sports, dance, and hip-hop like Love & Basketball, Pose, or The Get Down.

Mysteries, thrillers, and suspense with smart female protagonists and/or unreliable narrators, like the LOU NORTON series, THE WIFE BETWEEN US, THE OTHER SISTER, SHARP OBJECTS, and YOU.

I tend to prefer literary fiction with a commercial appeal like Celeste Ng or literary fiction that includes elements of other genres a la Tana French.

Nonfiction she seeks

When it comes to food and drink, I’m particularly interested in projects involving southern food and culture, single-subject books, and project where food and community intertwine (AFRO-VEGAN, LET’S MAKE RAMEN!, THE COOKING GENE, SON OF A SOUTHERN CHEF, and WE ARE LA COCINA are great examples).

In the lifestyle and wellness space, I would love to work with authors that explain big ideas and large concepts like happiness, productivity, business, or creativity in ways that are accessible, fun, and humorous (think THE LAZY GENIUS WAY, ATOMIC HABITS, AM I OVERTHINKING THIS?, and GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER). And whether it’s meditation, breathwork, astrology, or Wicca, I would love books or novelty items that explore physical and mental resilience through a BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ lens.

As far as memoirs, I look for culture-related stories that expand the readers’ empathy and self-awareness like EDUCATED, MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE, and WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR.


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