I began my career in publishing in 2004 while studying for my Master’s degree in English Literature at New York University, and have been hooked ever since. During that time, I assisted the agents Wendy Sherman and Joelle Delbourgo, and found myself in love with the process of discovering new writers and helping existing writers further their careers. After graduating, I became an agent with Wendy Sherman Associates, and there began representing books in many different areas of fiction and non-fiction. My list includes the authors S.G. Browne, Novella Carpenter, Mieshelle Nagelschneider, Michele Young-Stone, and Julia Wertz just to name a few, and it is equally split between fiction and non-fiction.
I greatly enjoy working with emerging writers, and will work closely with you to make sure your novel or proposal is in great shape before sending it out to editors. Although I do find many of my authors through referrals, I understand that there are great sources of untapped talent out there, and many of my authors have come through my submission pile. Those submissions that stand out to me are professional, straightforward, and show that the author has done his or her research about the publishing industry and what I in particular I might like. I also love working with authors who are not afraid to get out there and promote their book once it is published; as I always say, you are always your own best publicity tool! For instance, an author might cultivate a demonstrable online following, show that they’ve attended conferences or joined groups that might be interested in their subject, studied under masters in their field, etc.
What I’m looking for
I’m interested in fiction that pays equal attention to both the voice and the story, and I’m particularly drawn to thrillers and literary mysteries, quirky women’s fiction, “book club” fiction that brings a tear to the eye and a thrill to the heart, books with a fantastic/paranormal element that reach beyond genre fiction, and literary fiction that pops off the page. I am also selectively representing edgy YA with the same qualities. In non-fiction, I am mostly interested in subject-driven narratives, memoirs, or journalism, but will always be on the lookout for the right book on the right practical subject. Food, science, psychology, pets/animals, and humor are some of my favorite topics. Overall, I love a book that takes an unusual look at the world, whether that’s by writing through the lens of a personal story or focusing on the big picture.
Some of my favorite non-client authors are Alice Hoffman, Sarah Waters, Barbara Kingsolver, Lisa Unger, C.J. Box, Ian McEwan, Cormac McCarthy on the fiction side, and Temple Grandin, Barbara Ehrenreich, Alan Weisman, and Sarah Vowell. As you can see, my tastes vary!
What I’m not looking for
I am not looking for genre romance, cozy mysteries, westerns, hard science fiction or fantasy. I also do not represent children’s picture books, plays, or screenplays.
How to submit
I only accept submissions via email, and request that you include your query letter and first 10 pages in the body of the email. Unless they have been requested, attachments will be deleted unopened. Email me at: michelle(@)foliolit.com [you have to remove the parenthesis in order to email me].
I will usually respond within 4-6 weeks with a pass or a request for more material. Due to the high number of submissions, I cannot respond personally to each one, but if I have requested material I will do my best to give you appropriate feedback.