Friday, March 25, 2016

New literary agent at Donald Maass Agency seeks science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, and humor (both fiction and nonfiction)

Donald Maass
Donald Maass Literary Agency
1000 Dean Street
Suite 252
Brooklyn, NY 11238

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The Donald Maass Literary Agency is a well-known literary agency for professional novelists. In addition to being an agent, Donald Mass is the author of Writing the Breakout Novel and other books for writers.

The Donald Maass Literary Agency specializes in commercial fiction but also represents literary fiction with commercial potential. "All genres are welcome. We handle many authors of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, horror, romance, historical, literary and mainstream novels.”

Do they work with previously unpublished writers? "Yes, all the time."

Paul Stevens is the newest member of the team and like all new agents, he needs authors.  Paul worked as an editor for 15 years, primarily at Tor Books, where he edited science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. Paul has worked with authors such as Alex Bledsoe (The Hum and The Shiver), Marie Brennan (A Natural History of Dragons), Tobias S. Buckell (Crystal Rain), and many more. 

During his time at Tor he also managed Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time and Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive.

Paul is an Ohio native and a graduate of the Ohio State University. He also grows carnivorous plants.

Paul is looking for science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, and humor (both fiction and nonfiction). He’s looking for strong stories with interesting characters. Well-rounded LGBT characters and characters of color are a plus.

Science Fiction and Fantasy: Paul would love to see stories that take tried-and-true genre tropes and turn them on their heads in an inventive way. Epic fantasy should stretch the boundaries and shake things up. For example, if your book is about a group of characters going on a quest, be sure you have an inventive take on the quest fantasy subgenre. Show us something that we’ve never seen before.

Mystery and Suspense: Ideally your book should have an intriguing concept that makes the reader think, “Oh, that’s a cool idea.”

Author Kira Vermond will be a guest speaker
at the Writing for Children & for Young Adults
mini-conference, Saturday, April 30, in Guelph
(See here).
Paul is also interested in historical mysteries (set in both the past and the future), mysteries with a speculative element (ghosts, magic, monsters), and mysteries with an unusual setting. Again, strong, memorable characters are key.

Humor: Paul is interested in humorous fiction, nonfiction, and “other.” Humor is very subjective, but if he’s inspired to rush into a coworker’s office to show them a funny passage, that’s a very good sign. Humorous fiction: Think Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, and A. Lee Martinez. Humorous nonfiction: Think David Sedaris. Humorous other: Think along the lines of The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley, It’s Happy Bunny by Jim Benton, or Bent Objects by Terry Border.

Include a synopsis pasted in the body of the email. (If your book has a twist at the end, please don’t reveal the twist in the synopsis. Paul needs to judge how well a twist works in the actual manuscript, and it’s better to read the ending cold without spoilers.) Please also include the first 5 pages of your manuscript pasted into the email. No attachments.

For humor books that include images, please attach one or two representative low resolution images (so the files are of reasonable size).

Response times: Query letters – up to 3 weeks; Partial manuscripts – up to 6 weeks’ Full manuscripts – up to 2 months.

Brian Henry
Brian Henry will lead Writing for Children & for Young Adults workshops on Saturday, April 2, in Barrie, with literary agent Rachel Letofsky (see here), on Saturday, April 30, in Guelph, with Yasemin Uçar, senior editor, Kids Can Press and authors Jennifer Mook-Sang and Kira Vermond (see here), and Sunday, May 29, in Ottawa with acclaimed author Alan Cumyn (see here).

Other upcoming workshops include Writing Your Life, Saturday, April 16 in London (see here), How to Write Great Characters, Saturday, May 14 in Toronto (see here) and Sunday, June 5 in Georgetown (see here), and Writing and Revising, May 28, in Mississauga (see here) .

Also, Brian will be part of the Windsor International Writers’ Festival May 5 – 8, where he’ll be leading Writing Query Letters that Get a Yes and a Query Letter Clinic (see here). 

Finally, Brian will lead Writer’s Retreats at Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park, Friday, June 10, through Sunday, June 12, (see here) and Friday, Sept 16 through Sunday, Sept 18 (details the same as the June retreat).

For more information or to register, email:

But the best way to grow as a writer or to get your manuscript ready for publication may be with a weekly class. This spring, Brian will be offering a full range of courses from beginners to more experienced. See details of all six classes starting this spring here.
“Exploring Creative Writing,” Tuesday afternoons, April 19 – June 21, in Burlington (see here)
“Writing Personal Stories,” Wednesday mornings, April 27 – June 15, in Mississauga (see here)
“Next Step in Creative Writing,” Wednesday evenings, April 13 – June 15, in Burlington (see here)
“Next Step in Creative Writing,” Thursday afternoons, April 21 – June 23, in Oakville (see here)
“Intermediate Creative Writing,” Thursday evenings, April 14 – June 16, in Georgetown (see here
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday afternoons, March 30 – June 15, in Burlington ~ Full. To reserve a spot for the summer class, email:

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

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops, writing retreats, and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, 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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