Monday, May 30, 2016

Seven literary agents at Inklings all looking for authors

Inklings Literary Agency
3419 Virginia Beach Blvd
Virginia Beach, VA 23452

In April, I went to the Windsor International Writers’ Conference. The writers in attendance enjoyed lots of  face time time with agents and editors, plus 20 lucky attendees left with irresistible query letters re-written with help from yours truly. While there, I took the opportunity to find out what various agents are looking for right now so I could share this info with you, dear reader, and also to pitch the agents on behalf of my students who have manuscripts almost ready to go. One agent in attendance was Michelle Johnson of Inklings.…. ~Brian

Inklings Literary Agency is a new agency, established just four years ago, staffed by seven relatively new agents all seeking authors – both established authors and talented new-comers. The agency represents a broad range of commercial and literary fiction, plus memoirs, true crime and some narrative nonfiction, and young adult and middle grade fiction.

Michelle Johnson is the founder and lead agent of Inklings. After a lifelong obsession with books, a career in business management/ownership including bookstores and community writing centers, and a few years with small presses in an editorial capacity, Michelle Johnson is now in her fourth year as a literary agent, where she represents many New York Times bestsellers, debut authors, and indie authors alike. 

“As for the one manuscript I’d love to see right now ... it's always the one I'm least expecting that grabs me,” says Michelle. “But what I'm actively seeking are diverse works, written by authors with diverse backgrounds and fictionalized accounts of current controversial subjects. Make me love a character and take me on their journey. Plus, I have a particular interest in First Nations subject matter.

“I guess that's not really one manuscript... sorry!”

More generally, in adult, New Adult and Young Adult, Michelle is looking for Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Romance, Horror, Fantasy, and light Sci-Fi. She also will look at the occasional Middle Grade manuscript if it has a phenomenal hook and voice. 

She loves books that are like watching something so compelling that you can't look away; characters who leave you feeling like a friend’s left the room when the book’s over, and plots she can't predict. She especially loves books that make her think about something in a new way, but without preaching. Michelle also loves to laugh and adores dark, smart humor.

Query Michele at:
Put “Query, Michelle Johnson,” plus the title of your novel in the subject line. Also paste the first 10 pages of your manuscript and a brief synopsis (1-2 pages) into to email (no attachments).
Full submission guidelines here.

Readers should also especially take note of Amanda Jain, the newest member of the team at Inklings, because like all new agents, Amanda needs authors. Amanda has loved books for as long as she can remember. When she was a kid, Amanda always had her head in a book. In her room, in the car, in the bathtub – wherever. She probably would have brought a book to the dinner table every evening if that were allowed.

After earning a BA in English, she worked in the trade department at W. W. Norton for seven years before leaving to pursue graduate studies. She graduated in 2011 with a MA in the history of decorative arts. Amanda then joined Inklings in 2014, first as an intern and then as Michelle Johnson’s assistant.

Amanda is primarily interested in adult fiction in the following categories: historical fiction (in all genres), women’s / book club / upmarket fiction, romance (particularly historical, suspenseful, or with a comedic bent), mysteries (particularly historical or cozy, or historical cozies).

She’s looking for narrative nonfiction in the areas of social history, archaeology, art history, material culture, etc.

She is also interested in select young adult and middle grade projects with unique hooks and a strong voice. 

In all cases, what Amanda is most looking for is a story that completely immerses the reader in the world of the book. She wants to feel the sun on her shoulders, smell the smoke of the battlefield, and hear the horses galloping in the distance.

Query Amanda at:
Put “Query, Amanda Jain,” plus the title of your novel in the subject line. Also paste the first 10 pages of your manuscript and a brief synopsis (1-2 pages) into to email (no attachments).
Full submission guidelines here.

Literary agent, Barbara Berson
For those who love great food and a beautiful setting with their writing, Brian Henry has two Writer’s Retreats coming up at Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park: Friday, June 10 – Sunday, June 12 (see here) and Friday, Sept 16 – Sunday, Sept 18 (see here).

Brian hosts From the Horse's Mouth ~ Strategies for Getting Published on Saturday, June 18, with Barbara Berson of Helen Heller Agency, Michael Mirolla, publisher Guernica Editions, and Bhavna Chauhan, editor, Penguin Random House Canada, at Ryerson University in Toronto (see here).

Other upcoming workshops include  “Writing a Page-turner,” July 9, in Burlington (see here), “How to Build Your Story,” Saturday, July 16, in Midland (see here), and “Writing and Revising,” Saturday, July 23 in Kitchener (see here).

For more information or to register, email:

Finally, this summer, Brian will offer a variety of classes:
“Welcome to Creative Writing,” Tuesday afternoons, Tuesday afternoons, July 5 – Aug 23, in Burlington (see here)
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday afternoons, July 6 – Aug 24, in Burlington (see here)
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday evenings, July 6 – Aug 24, in Burlington (see here) 
See details of all three classes here
To reserve a spot, email

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.
To register or for more information for any class or workshop, email

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. Also, if you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale, to: ~ Brian

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

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