Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Ryann Wahl of Holloway Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.
About Ryann: Ryann Wahl holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in English from Allegheny College. Between literary journal editing and working in the trade publishing industry, she has six years of publishing experience. She grew to love working with foreign publishers through her three years in literary scouting with Jane Starr Literary Scouts and looks forward to continuing to do so as the Foreign Rights Manager at Holloway Literary, in addition to taking on her own clients as a literary agent. As a writer herself, she is dedicated to the rights and needs of authors, and takes a hands-on, editorial approach. Follow Ryann on Twitter @ryann_wahl.
She is seeking: Ryann is interested in representing literary fiction, upmarket fiction, and young adult novels.
For literary fiction, Ryann is looking for sharp, clean, language-driven writing with stunning turns of phrase. Ryann is interested in narratives that explore the strange within the mundane, dig into the human experience, and lift the corners of our daily lives to reveal what’s beneath. Introspective, meditative, lyrical, atmospheric, diverse, subversive, and politically relevant are all qualities to which she’s drawn. Nicole Krauss and Zadie Smith are two contemporary literary writers she loves.
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For upmarket fiction, Ryann is looking for strong writing with a compelling hook. She likes psychological thrillers that approach the genre in a fresh way, such as Mark Dunn’s UNDER THE HARROW, and also smart coming-of-age stories with a mature voice, such as the work of Curtis Sittenfeld. Other examples of a compelling hook carried by well-observed writing would be M.O. Walsh’s MY SUNSHINE AWAY and Jessica Knoll’s LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE.
For young adult, she would like well-written stories that tackle challenging subjects in imaginative ways, like Gavriel Savit’s ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN, although her interest is definitely not limited to historical YA. Ryann is drawn to special YA novels that are timely yet have a timeless feel. Three-dimensional characters and world-building are essential. To this day, her favorite YA book is still THE GIVER.
How to submit: Send your query and the first fifteen pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of your email to submissions a[t] hollowayliteraryagency.com. In the subject header write: “Ryann/Title/Genre.” You can expect a response in 4 to 6 weeks. If Ryann is interested, she’ll respond with a request for more material. If she’s not interested in your query but thinks it will be a good fit for others at the agency, she’ll share your submission. Due to the number of emails the agency receives, Ryann can only respond if she’s interested.
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