Thursday, May 16, 2024

ArtHouse Literary has three agents looking for authors ~ everything from picture books to literary fiction

ArtHouse Literary Agency

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ArtHouse Literary is a new agency, originally founded in 2020 (I think) as Art + Deco and relaunched in 2021 as ArtHouse. To date, they have just 32 deals listed on Publishers Marketplace (largely romance) and, as of yet, don’t seem to have any well-known authors. In short, it’s a start-up looking for authors who wow them with their queries.

They’re trying to position themselves as “an agency built around bold, thought-provoking, and underrepresented voices.” But of course, everyone and their dog is looking for underrepresented voices, so nothing to set them apart there. In truth, like every agency what will (or perhaps won’t) eventually give them a reputation are the authors they represent. So far they're still looking.

The firm has four agents, including the founder and Senior Agent Felice Laverne, plus three associate agents, real beginners, all of whom really need authors:

Esty Loveing-Downes, Associate Agent

Esty holds a BFA in creative writing from Ringling College of Art + Design and is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at Queens University of Charlotte. Aside from serving as a daily editor for the Southern Review of Books, she joined the teams at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency and Tobias Literary Agency before joining the ArtHouse Literary Agency team and becoming an Associate Literary Agent.

Esty is looking for romance, upmarket fiction, YA, genre-blending sci-fi, picture books, and select nonfiction and literary fiction.

In romance and YA, Esty is looking for tropes like enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, and grumpy-sunshine like THE FLATSHARE or BEACH READ, or marriage-of-convenience stories like THE UNHONEYMOONERS. She’d love to see a fresh take on PRIDE & PREJUDICE, EMMA, or ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. If you’ve got contemporary stories with dual POVs and impossible love like THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, or a classic retellings like THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS that include high stakes, plot tension, and compelling soulmate vibes—send those her way, too.

In upmarket, Esty is looking for titles with women in STEM like LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY, updated classics like Ann Napolitano’s Little Women retelling, HELLO, BEAUTIFUL, and wlw knockouts with queer representation like THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO. She’s also looking for genre-blending sci-fi or speculative fiction like THE NIGHT CIRCUS, magical realism like Carmen Maria Machado’s HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES, or nonlinear, poetic work like THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR. She’d also love to see “romantasy” with strong leads like A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES and CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, fae stories with romance tropes like THE CRUEL PRINCE, character-driven journeys like THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, or the fairy tale vibes of SPINNING SILVER.

In picture books, send heartwarming titles with a BIPOC focus like EYES THAT KISS IN THE CORNERS and creative, imagination-friendly projects like DRAGONS LOVE TACOS.

Esty would also like to see literary fiction with artful realism like THE RABBIT HUTCH and TOMORROW AND TOMORROW AND TOMORROW, the heart wrenching yearning of NORMAL PEOPLE, characters challenging society like OUR MISSING HEARTS, or books like THE INCENDIARIES and SEVERANCE that examine marginalized characters, injustice, or religion. Characters examining systems of oppression through twisty plots in books like THE NICKEL BOYS, SALVAGE THE BONES, and INTERIOR CHINATOWN are welcome, and mythological retellings like Madeline Miller’s CIRCE, especially those set outside of Europe. This is a home for fresh retellings, fairy tales, and artful, rebellious prose.

For a better look at the kind of titles Esty gravitates towards, scroll her Pinterest board here.

In nonfiction, Esty is looking for insightful social commentary like that of Ijeoma Oluo, Brené Brown, and Mikki Kendall.

Query Esty through the agency’s Query Manager here.


Note: If you’re interested in writing kid lit, don’t miss our upcoming online “Writing for Children and for Young Adults” workshop with Erin O’Connor, senior editor at Scholastic Books, Saturday, June 15. Details here.

Also, this summer, we’ll offer an online “Writing Little Kid Lit” course on Wednesday evenings, July 3 through August 14. Details here.


Miriam Cortinovis, Associate Agent 

Born and raised in Italy, Miriam (they/she) moved to Chicago as a teenager and has since earned a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Writing & Publishing from DePaul University. After an excellent internship at Aevitas Creative Management, for which she also freelance read, she landed at ArtHouse Literary as an intern. 

Miriam became Associate Agent through intense months of professional growth and supported learning. When not reading or writing SFF fiction of their own, Miriam enjoys playing videogames with their partner and scheming on Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Their MSWL is inspired by all these speculative passions on top of their non-binary, bisexual, and chronically ill identity.

In general, Miriam is eagerly looking for everything and anything speculative across most age ranges – Adult, Young Adult, and Upper Middle Grade.

Query Miriam through the agency’s Query Manager here.

Carleen Geisler, Associate Agent

Carleen lives in the Greater Vancouver area. She comes from a background in technical writing and content marketing. When she found the world of publishing, she fell in love and dove in head first: starting her own author career as well as an internship at ArtHouse. She works on both sides with equal passion, and loves to help authors discover their "why" and curate their careers.

For fiction, Carleen is looking for adult contemporary stories across genres. She loves suspense, especially if it comes with a dose of weird (think GOOD RICH PEOPLE by Eliza Jane Brazier or BUNNY by Mona Awad), and dark stories are her typical go-to. She is okay with mild speculative elements if they are close to real-world or very grounded.

She loves the strange and whimsical, as well as the dark and dreadful. She likes romance, but prefers it to be part of a "bigger picture" story (think THE ARC by Tory Henwood Hoen), or at least that it has a great b-plot.

She is especially interested in stories told from the voices of women, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized communities. She loves morally grey characters, or stories where no one is really good in the end, and craves finding something that breaks the norm of a trope in a satisfying way.

She prefers shorter stories over long ones (still within novel standards though, please!) and is happy to consider manuscripts that bend or combine genres.

For nonfiction, Carleen is interested in topics along the lines of spirituality, intuition, natural living, community, culture, food, and agriculture.

Query Carleen through the agency’s Query Manager here.

See the agency’s submission guidelines here.

See all our upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and four-day writing retreats here.

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 a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post 

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