Thursday, July 4, 2024

Three agents at kt Literary want your manuscripts ~ everything from picture books to adult fiction & nonfiction

On the Bright Side by Anna Sortino
represented by kt Literary

kt Literary

Highlands Ranch,
Denver, Colorado

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kt literary is a full-service literary agency. It was founded by Kate Testerman in 2008 when she moved to Colorado after a dozen years working in publishing in New York City. kt literary has fourteen agents. Three of them are currently open to queries:

Kari Sutherland is a literary agent based out of Southern California. She began on the editorial side of publishing, first at Disney Press, then HarperCollins Children’s Books where she had the honor of editing many talented authors, including Victoria Aveyard and Sara Shepard. 

Kari graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in English and Psychology and received a Masters in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice before pivoting back to her first love–books.

With her editorial insight and experience with the entire publishing process, Kari is passionate about helping to polish each manuscript and equip her clients for success.

Middle grade and YA are at the heart of her list, but Kari also represents picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, and upmarket fiction.

Query Kari through her query manager here.


Note: If you’re interested in meeting an agent and in getting published, don’t miss our online How to get Published workshop Sunday, July 21, with guest speaker Gordon Warnock of the Fuse Agency (see here).


Chelsea Hensley is an agent at kt literary where she represents a varied list of clients writing across ages and genres and a few who are also illustrating. She began her agenting career in 2020 at kt literary and continues to build a list that reflects her own diverse tastes.

In fiction, she wants the lushest of fantasies, the tensest thrillers, steamy, hilarious romcoms, smart sci-fi, and imaginative, innovative horror.

In Kid Lit, she seeks lyrical picture books and plucky middle grade.

She’s also eager to build up her list of Young Adult authors. She wants mysteries, thrillers and suspense and is looking for layered, tricky stories loaded with twists, turns, and red herrings. She’d love to see some confident projects with intense protagonists who aren't very concerned with being liked, and mysteries that could become series. She loves stories with complicated teenage girls, revenge arcs, puzzles, and games.

In YA she also wants horror, realistic fiction, and Fantasy/Sci-Fi.

She’s open to select nonfiction and is seeking projects in the areas of women’s sports (particularly women’s soccer), pop culture and media criticism, astrology, and tarot (including tarot decks). She’s only interested in takes that are intersectional, affirming and socially-conscious from writers who are experts in their fields, have fun and interesting platforms and something interesting to say.

See more details of what she’s looking for here.

Chelsea is a Capricorn from St. Louis, where she lives with a pair of very cute, though very chaotic, dogs. She enjoys D&D, Golden Girls, women’s soccer, chocolate chip cookies, and Airtable.

She is a member of the AALA and serves on the board of the 501©3 nonprofit, Literary Agentsof Change, which is committed to the diversification of the publishing industry in general and the agenting profession in particular. She also serves as co-director of Communications and Fundraising Committees.

Query Chelsea through her query manager here.


Note: If you’re especially interested in Kid Lit, don’t miss our one-day day “Writing for children and for young adults” workshop, with Nan Froman, editorial director at Groundwood Books, Sunday, Sept 22. Details here.

Also, be sure to check out our weekly course, “Writing Kid Lit ~ the next level,” on Monday evenings this fall. Details here.


Maria Napolitano began her career in publishing as a book scout, where she fell in love with the process of matchmaking books with just the right editors and publishers around the world. She went on to work in subrights and as an agent, and joined kt literary as foreign rights manager and agent in 2024. In foreign rights, Maria's focus is bringing authors to international readerships and building multi-faceted careers across global markets. 

Maria is a native New Yorker and Cornell graduate who currently lives in Astoria, Queens with a sourdough starter named Ryeley.

As an agent, Maria represents a broad range of fiction, from commercial rom-coms to radical speculative fiction, subversive thrillers, and upmarket book club fiction. She is drawn to character-driven stories, unusual perspectives, genre-bending works, and supremely pitchable high concepts.

In nonfiction, she’s looking for:

Narrative nonfiction about under-discussed historical trends, events, or origin stories that have present-day consequences.

Micro-histories that use one object or topic to explore a more universal experience or theme.

Nonfiction a la Sabrina Imbler — somewhere on the axes of narrative-pop science-personal essay. Contemporary, voicey, personal while also being sneakily educational. I love weird pieces of natural history and overlooked critters, and how the natural world can be used as a way in to writing about the human condition, but if your beat is some other area of surprising and fertile ground, that’s still fair game.

Read more about Maria's wish list on her website.

Query Maria at:

She doesn’t say what she’d like to see, so I’d send her a query and paste a short sample into your email, say the first chapter. ~Brian

See all upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend 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 more interviews with literary agents or a literary agent who represents a particular type of book, check out this post.

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