Sunday, November 22, 2020

Four literary agents at the Sandra Dijkstra Agency seek authors

The Island of Women by Lisa See
represented by the Dijkstra Agency

Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

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The Dijkstra Agency is a California-based literary agency with seven agents, five four of whom are looking for authors, including picture book author/illustrators, middle grade fiction and nonfiction, graphic novels, young adult novels, adult fiction and nonfiction:

Suzy Evans is an attorney, author, and agent at SDLA. She holds a Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. She represents picture books, middle grade fiction and nonfiction, young adult fiction, nonfiction for adults, and she’d love to find a great legal thriller.  

On the children’s front, Suzy has a great love of middle grade and is particularly on the hunt for lively, engaging nonfiction that pops off the page and makes kids excited about reading and learning.

She also wants wacky/hilarious commercial MG fiction with series potential; and graphic novels that bring history, great works of literature and fascinating historical figures to life (think Socrates, Machiavelli, and Hamilton).

She also have a soft spot for classic, coming-of-age MG works, contemporary YA fiction that tackles difficult issues in bold, daring ways and with inventive formats that can be brought into the classroom to stimulate meaningful discussion and debate (a la Walter Dean Myers’ Monster).

She’s also seeking sweet, lyrical picture books (favorite classics include Stellaluna and The Cat Who Walked Across France).

Like everyone else, she'd also love to find MG/YA fiction that explores diversity.

In the adult market, Suzy is particularly on the hunt for great serious nonfiction, especially by historians who are looking to make a transition from an academic to trade readership and journalists who have something unique and significant to say. She’s also on the lookout for smart parenting books; food, health, and diet-related titles; sports books with crossover appeal in other genres; self-help of every stripe by authors with well-established platforms; and riveting, elegantly-written memoir (recent favorites include William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days and Paul Kalanithi's deeply-rendered When Breath Becomes Air); cookbooks with inventive new twists; humor, especially as it relates to parenting; and small, quirky books that make her smile or think about the world in entirely new and surprising ways.

As an author herself, Suzy’s most recent books include Machiavelli for Moms (Simon & Schuster) and Forgotten Crimes: The Holocaust and People with Disabilities. She’s also a ghostwriter for a #1 New York Times best-selling author with more than 25 million copies in print and her first children's book will be published by HarperCollins in 2018.

Follow Suzy on Instagram at and on Twitter at @thehistorychef

Query Suzy at:

Update Nov 23: Jessica Watterson is now closed to queries. She hopes to begin accepting queries again in January 2021, once she has her current stack of queries under control.

Jessica Watterson has been with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency since 2013. She’s looking for Romance (Historical, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, and Paranormal), Women's Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Domestic Noir, Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Books. 

Jessica is most interested in all genres of romance. Independent heroines are a must, in addition to well realized heroes who aren't alpha-holes. Some of her favorite authors include: Kristen Ashley, Jennifer Armentrout, Jeaniene Frost, Amy Harmon, and Colleen Hoover. 

She also loves Women’s Fiction that concerns itself with elements of life that can greatly change one’s perspective and outlook on cultures and experiences.

Jessica is also open to select Cozy Mysteries that feature fun and independent heroines that can take what life throws at them with aplomb and a bit of humor. 

On the YA side, she is looking for just about anything contemporary, and a bit of romance thrown in is never a bad thing in her opinion. 

She is also interested in select author illustrated picture books that capture the fun and joy of reading between adults and children.

In nonfiction, Jessica is solely open to Pop Culture projects for authors who have established platforms. 

Query Jessica at:

Thao Le represents picture books and graphic novels by author-illustrators, Middle Grade fiction, and Young Adult across genres, as well as Science-Fiction/Fantasy and select Romance for adults.

In the picture books, she works only with writer/illustrators.

In Middle Grade and YA, whether in prose or graphic novel format, she’s currently seeking contemporary stories that are witty, heartfelt, and authentic. She's especially drawn to stories about family and friendships from the POV of diverse protagonists. She’s a fan of young characters who are passionate about the arts, sports, STEM, activism, and geeky fandoms. She adores stories with a touch of magic and whimsy, and is a fan of mythology and fairy tales.

In the Adult SFF realm, she’s a fan of character driven contemporary fantasy, near future science fiction, and romantic space operas. She is particularly excited about stories with fresh twists to common genre tropes.

Her favorite romantic tropes are: hate-to-love/enemies-to-lovers, slow burn, forbidden/doomed romance, fake dating/marriage of convenience, grouchy curmudgeon and bubbly optimistic, mistaken identities, and she is a sucker for beta second male leads who steal the show (and hopefully the heroine’s heart!).

In general, she loves beautiful literary writing with a commercial hook and tight plotting. Like everyone, she is actively seeking underrepresented voices (including, but not limited to, all ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental and physical health, and socioeconomic status) to her client list.

Query Thao at: QueryMe.Online/thaole

Elise Capron is most interested in well-written narrative nonfiction (particularly trade-friendly history, cultural studies, and science) as well as character-driven literary fiction.

A graduate of Emerson College, Elise holds a BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing. She has been with the Dijkstra Agency since 2003.

Elise is interested in fiction that has unforgettable writing, a distinctive narrative voice, and memorable characters. She loves novels with an unusual or eccentric edge and is drawn to stories she has never heard before. She aims to work with writers who are getting their work published regularly in literary magazines and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience.

On the nonfiction front, Elise is looking for fascinating true stories told in a compelling way. She is especially interested in working with up-and-coming scholars (particularly historians) who are looking to transition from the academic market to a trade readership, as well as journalists.

Query Elis at: QueryMe.Online/DijkstraCapron

Sandra Dijkstra seeks adult Literary and Commercial fiction, including mystery, suspense and thrillers, sci-fi/fantasy, romance, picture books, middle grade books, and young adult fiction.

In nonfiction, she’s interested in History, Politics, Current Affairs, Business, Science, and Religious Studies. Sandra looks for writers with something significant to say, who know how to say it in a distinctive way, and whose books help to make this a better world. 

Query Sandra at: QueryMe.Online/DijkstraCapron

What to include in your query

For any email queries, please include the word "QUERY" in your subject line. 

Fiction: Please send a query letter, a 1-page synopsis, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript, all pasted in the body of the email. No attachments.

Nonfiction: Please send a query letter and your book proposal. For more about what to include in your proposal, see the Dijksta Agency submissions page here.

Picture Book Writers: Please send a query letter, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and full manuscript text pasted below your query letter. No attachments.

Illustrators with dummy: Please send a query letter, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), full manuscript text pasted below your query letter, full dummy (in pdf format as an attachment) that includes 1-2 color samples, and link to online portfolio.

See the Dijksta Agency submissions page here. See more about individual agents here.

Literary agent Stephanie Winter

If you’re interested in meeting an agent and in getting published, don’t miss our online How to  get Published workshops Saturday, Nov 28, with Stephanie Winter of P.S. Literary (see here), and {tentatively} Sunday, January 24, with Barbara Berson of the Helen Heller Agency {details to be confirmed, but to reserve your spot, email:}

And if you’re specifically interested in writing and publishing Kid Lit, don’t miss our online  Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop with Kids Can Press editor Kathleen Keenan, Saturday, Feb 27 (see  here), plus the Writing Kid Lit weekly class Tuesday evenings, Feb 2 – March 30 (see here) and the Writing Little Kid Lit weekly class, Wednesday evenings Feb 3 – March 31 (see here).

Beyond that, Brian’s schedule continues to take shape...

Weekly classes (see all winter classes here):

Online: Exploring Creative Writingan introductory, low pressure course to get the creative juices flowing  – Offered at two times: Thursday evenings, Jan 21 – Apr 1 {see here} and Friday afternoons,  Jan 22 – Apr 2 {see here}.

Online: Writing Personal Stories, nine weeks of creativity and fellowship. Thursday afternoons, Jan 28 – March 25. Details here.

Upcoming workshops:

Online: Writing and Revising, Saturday, February 6. Details here.

Online: How to Write a Bestseller, with New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, Saturday, April 3.  Details here.

For more details or to register for any workshop, retreat or weekly class, email

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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