Foreward Literary is a brand spanking new agency, with five agents all looking for authors. The agency is headed up by Laurie McLean who was with Larsen Pomada for eight years. Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense and horror) plus middle-grade and young adult children’s books.
Include the first ten pages and a 1 to 2 page plot synopsis of a completed and polished manuscript; no attachments
Gordon Warnock is a founding partner at Foreword Literary. He primarily represents nonfiction.
“I’m looking for projects in which the book is more of the means than the end,” says Gordon. “Essentially, your book should relate to something bigger of which you are the expert, the one best fit to bring it to the page. I prefer to work with socially-responsible books that raise new issues or illuminate common issues in new ways. I love books with strong charity tie-ins and celebrities coming together to promote a good cause on a large scale”
Gordon represents Memoir (Adult, New Adult, YA, Graphic), Cookbooks and Food Studies, Political and Current Events, Pop-Science, Pop-Culture, Self-Help, How-To, Humor, Pets and Business
Gordon also represents some fiction. “A novel really has to grab me from the first page without letting go until I finish it at 4 a.m. This is most likely to happen with realistic, younger adult or older YA set in the present day. I am not a big fan of paranormal or SF/F, so please, no vampires, zombies, werewolves, angels, or chupacabras.”
Novels must be completed, polished and between 55,000 and 100,000 words. Gordon represents High-Concept Commercial Fiction, Literary Fiction, New Adult, YA (Think Ellen Hopkins and Jay Asher, not Stephanie Meyer) and Graphic Novels
Query Gordon at Queries via paper mail will be referred to Homeland Security. For memoir, paste in the first chapter below your query. For all other nonfiction, please email your query letter only. For fiction, paste your first chapter into your email. No attachments.
New agents need new authors
But your best bet at finding representation at Foreward is with one of their three agents who are new to the business and therefore hungry for clients:
Danielle Smith began her agent career at Foreword Literary Agents in 2013 She represents picture books and middle grade authors and illustrators.
Danielle reviews children’s books on her website . For more than five years she’s been involved professionally with books through print and online publications such as Women’s World and Parenting Magazine. Danielle is also a writer, represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg for her middle grade novel The Protectorate.
A few of Danielle’s recent favorite children’s books include Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds, Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell, In a Glass Grimly by Adam Gidwitz and anything Jon Klassen has had his hands in.
Danielle is currently looking for picture books, early readers and chapter books with characters that embody the true essence of what it means to be a child. She’s not afraid to represent all that this encompasses, whether it be vibrant joyous stories or darker and harder to tackle subjects such as bullying, loss and death.
She would also love to find a great new Middle Grade novel and/or graphic novel author/illustrator with a flair for great humor that doesn’t involve devaluing others in order to be funny. More than anything she loves to represent authors who are passionate about getting children to love reading and are able to execute that in a way that both children and parents can love.
Include the first 10 pages of a completed manuscript to. If you are submitting a picture book (no more than 1,000 words): paste in the whole text. No illustrations are required at this stage, unless you are an author/illustrator. All information must be in the body of the email; no attachments.
Jen Karsbaek has been immersed in the book world since 2008 when she founded the influential blog . She was formerly with Larsen Pomada, and joined Foreword Literary Agency in 2013.
Jen is aggressively looking to build her list with women’s fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, historical fiction, and literary fiction. She looks for books with particularly well-developed characters and strong authorial voice.
In historical in particular she is interested in books that bring the setting to life and maintain balance between historical accuracy and strong plot choices. She is also interested in mystery, fantasy, and occasionally romance approaches to any of the genres listed above.
Include a 1 to 2 page plot synopsis, followed by the first 10 pages of a completed manuscript. All information must be in the body of the email; no attachments.
Pam van Hylckama Vlieg started her literary career early in 2012 as assistant to Laurie McLean at Larsen Pomada. In January of 2013 after selling twenty-one books in her first year of agenting, Pam was promoted to agent. When Laurie McLean mentioned creating Foreword Literary, Pam jumped at the chance to follow her mentor and create a new agency together.
Pam blogs at Bookalicio.us, Bookalicious.org, and Brazen Reads. Pam lives in the Bay Area of California. She has two kids, two dogs, two guinea pigs, but only one husband.
Pam is interested in high concept young adult in any genre. Some of Pam’s favorite recent YA books are: The Masque of the Red Death, Cinder, Shadow and Bone, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Small Damages, and Insignia.
She is also looking for Middle Grade fantasy, science fiction, dystopian fiction, paranormal fiction, and literary fiction. Pam’s recent favorite MG books are The Peculiar, The Emerald Atlas, Storybound, The Prince Who Fell from the Sky, and Icefall.
She also wants Historical Romance, Fantasy Romance and erotica. Pam’s favorite recent romances are Loving Lady Marcia, Be My Prince, Rogue’s Pawn, and The Siren.
She also wants New Adult in all categories. Recently, Pam has enjoyed The Ivy and Leopard Moonby Jeanette Battista.
Finally, in nonfiction, Pam wants pop culture and pop science.
Query Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org
Include a 1 to 2 page synopsis, and the first chapter of your manuscript; no attachments.
For nonfiction, send a proposal with your query.
Finally, Foreward has recently entered the market as an e-book publisher specializing in short works. (Hence their claim to be a “hybrid agency.” For their e-books, they’re currently accepting submissions only from published authors, but the plan to open up submissions to new authors soon. See here.
Brian Henry will host “From the Horse’s Mouth: Getting published or self-published” at Ryerson University on June 15 with Stacey Donaghy of the Corvisiero Literary Agency, Greg Ioannou of Iguana Books, and Patrick Crean of HarperCollins Canada (details here). To register, email email@example.com
On Saturday, June 22, Brian will lead a “How to Build Your Story” workshop in Brampton, with guest speaker Lynda Simmons (details here). To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org
However, before you submit, though, the best way to get your manuscript into shape is with a weekly course. This summer, Brian will be leading Intensive Creative Writing courses on Tuesday afternoons in Burlington (details here) and on Thursday evenings in Mississauga (details here).
To register, email email@example.com
See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.