Monday, July 6, 2015

Literary agent Jennifer Johnson-Blalock joins Liza Dawson Associates, seeks nonfiction, memoir & upmarket thrillers

Liza Dawson Associates
350 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2003
New York, NY 10001

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Jennifer Johnson-Blalock has recently joined Liza Dawson Associates (LDA) as an associate agent, and like all new agents, she needs authors. All told, Liza Dawson Associates has five literary agents – all accepting new clients and interested in a broad range of books. They’re looking for both fiction and nonfiction, literary fiction and genre fiction, adult fiction, picture books, Middle Grade, Young Adult and New Adult fiction.

Jennifer interned at LDA in 2013 before working as an agent's assistant at Trident Media Group. Jennifer graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in English and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Before interning at LDA, she practiced entertainment law and taught high school English and debate.

Jennifer is focusing on nonfiction. She is looking for seasoned writers with strong platforms and is excited by narrative nonfiction and memoirs that use a unique story to explore a larger issue. Particular areas of interest include current events, social sciences, women's issues, law, business, history, the arts and pop culture, lifestyle, sports, and food, including cookbooks and health/wellness.

Jennifer is also seeking upmarket commercial fiction, especially thrillers, and is pleased to work with clients who write both fiction and nonfiction.

While she'd be happy to receive queries for works in any of those broad areas, Jennifer would jump out of her seat for the following:

Liza Dawson, President;
seeks plot-driven literary fiction and thrillers,
historicals, suspense, history, psychology, politics,
parenting, narative nonfiction & memoir.
Query at
  • highly readable books rooted in psychology or sociology that use memorable research (the kinds of details you'd whip out at cocktail parties) to explain why we act and think the way we do
  • politically minded issue books that put hot-button items like education into a realistic, holistic context or Washington insider narratives
  • history that's quirky (THE SECRET HISTORY OF WONDER WOMAN) or has particular relevance to today's issues (ON IMMUNITY)
  • works situated in the classical dance world, indie/alternative music world, contemporary art world, or Hollywood at any point in history--working in the entertainment industry didn't manage to squelch Jennifer's enthusiasm for it
  • books that help you figure out how to do life better (THE HAPPINESS PROJECT; THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP)
  • all things football and basketball--Jennifer graduated from UT the year Vince Young brought home the National Championship, and her family in Oklahoma City never misses a Thunder game
  • chronicles of unique communities like competitive Scrabble players
  • cookbooks that tell a story about the person writing the book or the food itself, research-based health/diet books with programs that sane people would actually follow, or accessible books about wine or cocktails that strive to make reading about it as fun as drinking it
  • food memoirs or novels that take the reader behind the scenes in a fresh way like SOUS CHEF--being VIPed at French Laundry is a recurring fantasy of Jennifer's
  • thrillers with a literary bent à la Tana French, with an outsider protagonist who stumbles into a conspiracy like THE PELICAN BRIEF, or with a psychological focus and an unreliable protagonist (SISTER)
  • absolutely any sort of book with a strong feminist slant
When she's not reading, Jennifer enjoys film, food, and travel.

Rachel Letofsky
Brian Henry will lead a "How to Get Published"workshops  in St. John, NB, on Saturday, Oct 3 (details here), and in Hamilton on Saturday, Oct 17, with Rachel Letofsky of the Cooke Agency (here). 
For more information or to register, email:

Other upcoming workshops, include "How to Write Great Characters," Saturday, July 11 in Burlington (here) and Saturday, July 18 in Kitchener (here), and "Writing Your Life," Saturday, August 15 in Midland (here).

But the best way to grow as a writer or to get your manuscript ready for publication is with a weekly class. This fall, Brian will offer a full line-up of six weekly courses for beginners through advanced:

“Exploring Creative Writing,” Thursday afternoons, Sept 24 - Nov 26, in Mississauga.
“Writing Personal stories,” Thurs mornings, Oct 8 - Nov 26, in Oakville (see here)
“The Next Step in Creative Writing,” Wednesday evenings, Sept 30 - Dec 2, in Burlington (here).
“The Next Step in Creative Writing,” Thursday evenings, Sept 24 - Dec 3, in Georgetown (here).
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Tuesday afternoons, Sept 15 - Dec 8, in Burlington (here).
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday afternoons, Sept 16 - Dec 16, in Burlington  (here).
For details or to reserve a spot, email:
Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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