Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Nikki Terpilowski of Hollway Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.07.42 AM.pngNikki Terpilowski is a literary agent and founder of Holloway Literary.

After receiving a B.A. in English, Nikki worked in the marketing communications field for several years as a writer and editor. Deciding she wanted to align her professional career with her lifelong passion for reading and writing, she interned at the Elaine English Agency based in Washington, DC, and then moved into literary management, representing a small group of women’s fiction and romance writers, that has expanded to include a list of YA, literary, historical, southern, mystery and thriller authors. Nikki loves all types of fiction, but is particularly interested in finding fresh Southern voices and ethnically and culturally diverse fiction. Books she’s represented have been nominated for RITA awards, RT Book Review top picks, Starred Publishers Weekly reviews, bestsellers, and Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees.

When she’s not working or wrangling her three sons, she enjoys traveling to the beach, mountains and all historical sites in between.

Nikki is currently accepting pitches for:

  • Southern fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Young adult
  • Women’s fiction
  • Literary fiction
  • Mysteries
  • Thrillers
  • Romance – Contemporary, historical and romantic suspense
  • Cozy mysteries – Written in the vein of Ellery Adams, Eva Gates, Amanda Flower, Bailey Cates, Leslie Budewitz,, with book, food and beverage (wine, beer, coffee, tea, etc.), gardening/herbs, historical society/museum themes or magical realism.
  • Science Fiction – Including Afrofuturist fiction, written in the vein of Nnedi Okorafor and Octavia Butler
  • African-American – Fiction of all types that explore the African diaspora or African-American experience in a new or interesting way that goes beyond a focus on racism or oppression.
  • Nonfiction related to mindfulness, healthy eating (Paleo, gluten-free, etc.), regional/ethnic/fusion cookbooks, foodie subjects, travel, alternative simple living, i.e. homesteading, minimalism, etc, interesting self-help (personal and professional), military experiences, Civil War, Southern living, etc.
  • Key words that interest Nikki in pitches: North Carolina, Virginia, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, Charleston, Savannah, Outer Banks, Napa, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Antartica, Mars, African-diaspora, Caribbean, African-American, Gullah, Native American, Indian, Japan, Food, Wine, Coffee, Beer, Bakery, Farms, Civil War, Revolutionary War, Southern, Mountains, Beach, Magical Realism, Spies, Espionage, DARPA, Treasure, Secret Histories, Aliens, Military, Conspiracy, Organic, Mindfulness, Yoga.

Do Not Pitch:

  • Stories that focus on chronic illness or dying
  • Erotica
  • Graphic horror (light elements of horror are acceptable)
  • Stories with graphic sex scenes
  • Police procedurals
  • Stories in which children are abused
  • Stories that explore sexual abuse and its effects
  • Stories in which racism or discrimination are the focus (unless it is historical non-fiction)
  • Fiction set in the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s.
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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Susan Velazquez of JABberwocky Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 1.05.08 PM.pngSusan Velazquez is a literary agent with JABberwocky Literary Agency.

Susan is looking for fantasy, science fiction (preferably speculative/near-future), literary/upmarket fiction, narrative non-fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and YA.

Susan was born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas, but strangely enough, has no strong opinions on football or country music. Much to her family’s dismay, she left the South to live amongst the Yankees. She received a B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Gender Studies from SUNY Oswego in 2016. Susan speaks fluent Spanglish and just mastered the art of cooking Mexican rice.

Before joining JABberwocky, Susan interned at Foundry Literary + Media, Coral Press, and Folio Literary Management.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jennifer Unter of The Unter Agency

Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 1.28.04 PM.pngJennifer Unter is a literary agent and the founder of The Unter Agency.

Before starting her own agency, Ms. Unter worked in many aspects of the publishing industry: in editorial at a publishing house; as a copyright lawyer at an entertainment law firm; and as VP at a literary agency.

The Unter Agency represents quality fiction and general nonfiction.

Her nonfiction interests include memoir, food/cooking, nature/environment, biography, pop culture, travel/adventure, true crime, politics and health/fitness.

Adult fiction interests are women’s/book club fiction and literary fiction. She is also open to seeing commercial thrillers and mysteries. (No romance or sci-fi or fantasy, please.)

The Unter Agency also represents all types of children’s literature — picture books, middle grade, and young adult.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ali Herring of Spencerhill Associates

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 6.33.40 PM.png Ali Herring is an assistant literary agent with Spencerhill Associates.

A former magazine associate editor, Ali has a diverse background in communications and editing. She graduated valedictorian of her class at Berry College in 2001, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Ali is excited to find new voices and build great relationships within the writing community.

She is seeking commercial young adult and middle grade (espescially sci-fi, fantasy and adventure), romance, Southern women’s fiction, and Christian/inspirational fiction – all with a marketable hook, captivating voice, fantastical world building and inventive plots.

For middle grade: commercial MG with a humorous/witty voice, likable protags and awesome sidekicks; meaningful, realistic situations built around great plots (think Wonder); and uplifting, relatable, empowering stories for girls.

She’s a voracious reader of sci-fi, but not a huge fan of superheroes, vampires (except for Edward), witches, erotica or anything overtly dark.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sally Apokedak of The Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.27.21 AMSally Apokedak is a literary agent with The Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency.

What She is Looking For (in Her Own Words):

Picture Books: I’m looking for author/illustrators. Not really looking for authors only right now.

Middle Grade Books: I love boy-centric middle grade books. I love boys who love science, boys who go on adventures, and boy geniuses. I love fantasies. I love any genre if the voice is strong–if the author is strong and not stumbling.

YA Books: Fantasy is my favorite, and if there’s romance, I love it even more. I still like dystopian, and fairy tales. I love mysteries and don’t see many of those for young adults. Books with characters who are spiritual and books set in worlds with established religions always strike me as being deeper and more realistic than books with no religion. We are more than physical beings, after all.

Nonfiction For All Ages: I’m interested in devotional books, Christian living, science for young children, and biography. But you may try me on anything.

Adult Inspirational: I’m looking for adult books for the Christian market, particularly fantasy and romantic suspense.

What I Don’t Like: I am not a huge fan of issue books, preachy stories,  gay lit, or sexual content. I read novels  for fun, not to grow. If the fun story makes me grow, that’s a plus, but I’m not looking for overt lessons in regards to how to be saved from sin, love gay people, or recycle my garbage and save the world. Supernatural books, with angels, demons, or any mix thereof, will probably not catch my fancy. I’m not salivating for werewolves, vampires, ghosts, fairies, or zombies. (Orcs, hobbits, and dragons are what I love.) I’m not into dark and angsty books, and I really like endings that, if not completely happy, are at least full of  hope. For young boys, I’m OK with some scatological humor, but I like characters older than ten to be a little more mature and a little less enamored with their own bodily functions than the real-life boys they are patterned after. Any picture books that rhyme where all the rhyming words are one or two syllables, are not going to be right for me, I’m pretty sure.