Suzie Townsend (New Leaf Literary)

Prior to joining New Leaf, Suzie graduated film school, earned her Masters of Education, and taught high school English. She started as an intern at FinePrint Literary Management and worked as an assistant before becoming a literary agent. She’s been part of the team at New Leaf Literary & Media since its inception in 2012.

LOOKING FOR: All brands of children’s and adult fiction, women’s fiction, all subgenres of romance, fantasy, and crime fiction. On the children’s side, YA and MG. Suzie loves strong characters and voice-driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres, and she’s always looking for unique new voices in stories.

Elaine Spencer

The Knight Agency

Vice President of Operations/Literary Agent

Elaine Spencer entered the publishing industry after realizing she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life as an Economist. After studying Economics and Comparative Literature at The University of Georgia, she joined the TKA team in 2005 and assumed a variety of roles including submissions coordinator and sub rights manager before settling in her current position as VP of Operations and Associate Agent.

Elaine keeps a focused client list as it is most important to her to be able to work closely with her clients through each step of the publishing process, from a manuscript’s inception all the way through publication, promotion and beyond. She enjoys seeing her clients grow as authors, and one of her favorite parts of the job is working side by side with her clients to educate them not only about the process but also the business at large. Elaine is a member of RWA and AAR and is interested in a wide-variety of subgenres including but not limited to romance, women’s fiction, young adult and middle grade material. She loves stories that include dogs, cooking, fashion, secret societies or clubs, southern flair, wit and humor, heart-tugging conclusions that will bring her to tears and smart sassy characters that stay with you long after the final pages. In addition to channeling her inner Martha Stewart and flexing her Pinterest-inspired muscles, Elaine spends her spare time traveling, cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her husband and four-legged child, Claude.

Alec Shane

Writers House

Literary Agent

Alec majored in English at Brown University, a degree he put to immediate use by moving to Los Angeles after graduation to become a professional stunt man. Realizing that he prefers books to breakaway glass, he moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a career in publishing. Alec quickly found a home at Writers House Literary Agency, where he worked under Jodi Reamer and Amy Berkower on a large number of YA and Adult titles. Twitter handle: @alecdshane.

On the nonfiction side, Alec would love to see humor, biography, history (particularly military history), true crime, “guy” reads, and all things sports. “What I’m looking for in fiction: mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, historical fiction, literary fiction, and books geared toward young male readers (both YA and MG). What I’m not looking for: Romance (paranormal or otherwise), straight sci-fi, high fantasy, picture books, self-help, women’s fiction, food, travel memoir.”

Renee Nyen

KT Literary Agency

Literary Agent

Several years in the editorial department at Random House’s Colorado division provided Renee with the opportunity to work with bestselling and debut authors alike. She moved to KT Literary in early 2013 to cultivate her passion for YA literature. Drawing on her editorial experience, she loves digging into client manuscripts and helping authors shape the best story possible. She makes her home in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and two small children. You can follow her on twitter @Renee_Nyen.

Linda Epstein

The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Associate Agent

Linda Epstein has been an Associate Agent at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City since 2011. Prior to that she interned at Folio Literary Management, The McVeigh Agency, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, and Meryl Zegarek Public Relations. She has a BA in English and Environmental Studies from Buffalo University and a BSN from New York University. Linda blogs at and you can find her on Twitter @LindaEpstein.

Linda represents picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, as well as children’s non-fiction. She likes stories for kids that deal with issues of identity, history, sexual politics, feminism, and culture. Some of her other interests also include art, food, and the environment. She looks for the offbeat, quirky, left of center, and bonus points are given if you keep your sense of humor about it all. Linda is looking for literary and commercial fiction, mysteries, speculative fiction, and projects that use magical realism. She is actively seeking to represent projects that give voice to work by and about all kinds of marginalized people.

Melissa L. Edwards

The Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency

Literary Agent, Foreign Rights

Melissa L. Edwards is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt Law School. She is a member in good standing of the New York State bar. While Melissa began her career as a commercial litigation attorney, she always maintained aspirations to work in publishing. At present, Melissa handles foreign rights for Aaron Priest and she is actively reading to develop her own list. Melissa’s taste ranges in genre from classic Victorian literature to hard-boiled crime dramas. She is interested in reading international thrillers with likeable and arresting protagonists, light-hearted women’s fiction and YA, female-driven (possibly small-town) suspense, and completely immersive fantasy. Ultimately, Melissa is looking for a book that will keep her glued to the couch all day and night, and continue to occupy her thoughts for weeks later.