Literary Agents Fiona Kenshole, Kayla Lightner, Saba Sulaiman, and Book-To-Film Producer Marilyn Atlas






We are so excited to share our 100th podcast episode! This was our very first Zoom event, our first live podcast recording with guests in the room with us–and we were thrilled to welcome more than 100 of you.

We are so happy to welcome:
Kayla Lightner, Ayesha Pande Literary
Saba Sulaiman, Talcott-Notch Literary
Fiona Kenshole, Transatlantic Agency
Marilyn Atlas, Book-To-Film Producer

We discussed what each agent would like to find in her inbox, how to know when you’ve queried enough people (and when to pivot), rejections on Christmas Eve (and what they mean), how best to focus on your main character in women’s fiction, how to write age-appropriate fiction (and properly age your protagonist) for children, how to balance humor and fantasy elements, how to know if it’s your query or your pages that are getting you rejected…and much, much more.

On a personal note, we are amazed that we made it through 100 episodes! Thank you for joining us, and for bringing us along with you on your walks, commutes, and even mountain biking trips. We wouldn’t be here without you, and we appreciate you.

Hope this finds you well in this incredibly unusual year.


5:43: Panelist introductions and what they’d love to find in their inboxes

20:59: Kayla Lightner’s pick: Memoir, with panel focus on imagery, beautiful language, and a Christmas Eve rejection (and what it means)

35:44: Saba Sulaiman’s pick: Picture book, with panel emphasis on comp titles, how to use image notes, when to reveal that an author is writing about their own experience.

57:03: Marilyn Atlas’s pick: Women’s fiction, with panel emphasis on how to pitch a work by focusing on the main character (versus her boyfriend), share (or not share) that there’s a spiritual element, and when you know you’ve had a large enough querying sample size.

1:11:46: Fiona Kenshole’s pick: YA fantasy, with panel emphasis on choosing an age group (MG versus YA), balancing humor and fantasy elements, and what to do about prologues (and a trick about how to avoid the question and make it work).

1:37:03: If you’re getting form rejections, how do you know if it’s the query letter or first page that’s a problem?

1:39:15: What’s the best query letter format?

1:40:10: What protagonist ages are appropriate for Middle Grade vs. YA?