Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Megan Barnard of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 4.35.27 PMMegan Barnard is an associate literary agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Megan joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an associate agent in 2020, after interning for nearly three years at several top literary agencies, including P.S. Literary Agency and Folio Literary Management. She has worked as an editor and copywriter and has a BA in English (with a concentration in Creative Writing) from Hollins University. When not working, she runs, drinks coffee, and travels widely. Her favorite places to read across the globe are Île Saint-Louis in Paris, Pacific Grove, CA, and Portmagee, Ireland. In reality, though, she spends most of her free time shuffling her towering stacks of books around so they don’t kill her or her husband.

She is seeking:

Adult Fiction:

  • Historical — I particularly want historical fiction in the vein of Kate Morton, Kate Atkinson, and Susanna Kearsley. I prefer time periods after the 19th century (but will consider others). I also love what I think of as “historical fiction with magic.” Think Circe, The Snow Child, Life After Life, A Secret History of Witches. I’d LOVE to find anything like these books.
  • Women’s Fiction — upmarket or commercial is fine
  • Literary and upmarket — wonderful prose, but a strong commercial hook is important too. Think The Good People, The Secret Chord, or My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.
  • Family Sagas — I come from a big family, so I have a soft spot for stories about big families and/or sister/sibling relationships.
  • Thrillers — in the vein of The Beloveds, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl (I love unreliable narrators). I’m looking for psychological suspense over gore. A little blood is fine, a lot, not so much.
  • Fairy tale retellings — I’m quite picky about these, they need to be new and fresh, but I love retellings that turn old fairy tales on their heads (think The Hazel Wood, Snow Glass Apples). I’d particularly love to find retellings outside the well-known western canon. Fairy tales/stories from all cultures are welcomed and encouraged.

I’m not looking for any of the following: romance, erotica, epic fantasy, SF, YA, MG, picture books, short stories, screenplays, or poetry collections.

Adult Nonfiction:

I’m very picky about my nonfiction, and I’m only looking for narrative nonfiction right now. I particularly love memoirs that show beauty that comes out of adversity or pain, like Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene, The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, and Educated by Tara Westover. I’m also interested in nature writing like that of Robert Macfarlane and John Lewis-Stempel. If you have something that combines memoir with nature writing like Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun, I definitely want to see it.

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