Sunday, May 2, 2021

Literary agent Hillary Jacobson at ICM partners seeks new authors ~ adult and young adult fiction, creative nonfiction and memoir

The Girls Are All So Nice Here
by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn,
represented by Hillary Jacobson

ICM Partners

Offices in New York
Los Angeles
Washington DC
and London, UK

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ICM Partners represents authors, artists, content creators, broadcasters, journalists and artisans. It’s one of the world’s leading talent agencies. Among the agency’s clients are acclaimed and popular authors such as Thomas L. Friedman, Cormac McCarthy, Walter Isaacson, Toni Morrison, Anna Quindlen, Carl Hiaasen, E.L. Doctorow, Anthony Swofford, John Feinstein, Vince Flynn, Nelson DeMille, Chris Cleave, Ann Patchett, Jennifer Egan, Katherine Boo, and Steve Martin. For each of the last several years, ICM has represented more than 100 titles on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

In addition to selling publication rights, ICM’s New York literary agents work closely with ICM agents in Los Angeles to seek out opportunities for film and television adaptations. For foreign rights, ICM works in partnership with Curtis Brown in London, who sell UK and translation rights to ICM books. In recent years, ICM has joined forces with two outside literary agencies: Rafe Sagalyn in Washington, DC, (submission info here) and Gelfman/Schneider in New York. (submission info here, but currently closed to submissions).

Hillary Jacobson is a literary agent at ICM Partners in New York City. She is actively building a list consisting of commercial and literary fiction, YA, as well as narrative nonfiction and memoir. She joined ICM in 2015, started representing books in 2016, and was officially promoted to agent in 2017.

In more detail, here’s what she says she’s looking for:

I am actively building a list consisting of upmarket, literary, and commercial fiction, YA, select middle grade, as well as narrative nonfiction and memoir. I read widely and am on the hunt for any and all writing that provokes a strong emotional reaction, adds an important perspective to the cultural conversation or forces the reader to challenge what they think. (Or ideally all of the above!)

More specifically, I'm looking for:

  • Fiction that engages with contemporary social issues and the modern female experience, especially female coming of age. Some favorites: THE NEW ME, FRIENDS & STRANGERS, NORMAL PEOPLE, THE MOTHERS, GOODBYE VITAMIN, WHAT WE LOSE, HISTORY OF WOLVES, MARLENA
  • The same but for nonfiction, along the lines of: TRICK MIRROR, THREE WOMEN, UNCANNY VALLEY or WITHOUT YOU, THERE IS NO US
  • A sweeping family saga with a compelling hook like ASK AGAIN YES, THE LAST ROMANTICS, PACHINKO, or SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS
  • Speculative fiction that features a world like ours with a twist or just a touch of the unreal. Books like THE IMMORTALISTS, STATION ELEVEN, SEVERANCE, THE AGE OF MIRACLES, or NEVER LET ME GO
  • An upmarket, witty romantic comedy like ONE TO WATCH, RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE, or EVVIE DRAKE STARTS OVER
  • Memoirs that read like tightly plotted and suspenseful fiction a la BRAIN ON FIRE, HOUSE IN THE SKY, WILD GAME, or THE FACT OF A BODY
  • Memoirs of female empowerment that shine a light on untold experiences like LAB GIRL, MAID, or EDUCATED
  • True crime that feels as immersive and suspenseful as the best thrillers. SAY NOTHING, I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK and RED NOTICE are some recent favorites.
  • My Dark Vanessa
    by Kate Elizabeth Russel,
    represented by Hillary Jacobson
    • Suspense, or what I like to call "secrets & lies" novels. I definitely gravitate towards the dark and disturbing, and I love feeling unsettled…
    • I want literary suspense as serious and topical as LONG BRIGHT RIVER, or as playful and satirical as SOCIAL CREATURE.
    • I'd especially love to see these stories told from diverse perspectives!
  • For YA:
    • I am a sucker for anything that can be (accurately) pitched as GOSSIP GIRL meets X, like ANNA K or THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR...
    • High-concept contemporary with a killer voice
    • Contemporary fantasy/speculative
    • Historical from unique perspectives and/or with a magical twist.
    • Always a plus if you can subvert the tropes of the genre!
  • #ownvoices! I’m committed to promoting underrepresented voices. I'm also always eager to read stories not set in the US.

But sometimes I surprise myself with what I fall in love with, so please do query me even if your manuscript falls outside these guidelines!

Hillary tweets @hillaryjacobson See her page at Publisher’s Marketplace here.

Query Hillary at:

Paste the first ten pages of your manuscript into the body of your email. “I respond to every query, and my average response time is about a month.”

Literary agent Maria Vicente

If you’re interested in meeting an agent and in getting published, don’t miss our online How to Get Published Saturday, May 8, with literary agent Meg Wheeler of Westwood Creative Artists (see here), and we’ll have another online How to Get Published workshop in the summer. Details to come.

If you’re especially interested in writing for children, don’t miss Writing Little Kid Lit course, offered online Thursday afternoons, July 8 – Aug 26 (see here) and Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshops online Sunday, July 11, with literary agent Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary (see here).

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

Online: Beginning Right – How to open your novel, Saturday, May 15. Details here.

Online: Finding Your Voice, Sunday, May 30. Details here.

Online: Writing Conflict, Saturday, June 26. Details here.

Writing retreat:

Algonquin Park: Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines Resort, an island of luxury in the middle of a wilderness. Friday, June 11 – Monday, June 14.  Details here.

Summer classes:

In-person: Exploring Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, July 7 – Aug 25, in Burlington. Details here.

Online: Writing Little Kid Lit Thursday afternoons, July 8 – Aug 26. Details here.

In-person: Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, July 7 – Aug 25, in Burlington. Details here.  

Details of all summer classes here.


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

See Brian’s complete current schedule here,  including 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.

 Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. If you're searching for interviews with literary agents or a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post.


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