Alice Speilburg

Speilburg Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

Alice Speilburg is the founding literary agent at Speilburg Literary Agency and has worked in publishing since 2008. She represents commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction. In fiction, she’s looking for stories that sidestep into history, magic, mystery, horror, or adventure. In nonfiction, she’s looking for cultural narratives, microhistory, nature, and pop science written by journalists and academics.

March 2022: I’m actively looking to grow my list again! I’m now accepting new submissions in NONFICTION through June 17. After that, I’ll open to novels again starting in July 2022.

In Nonfiction, I want to read about topics I didn’t realize I wanted to learn — an obscure disaster that has global ramifications, a species whose extinction could bring about the end of a long line of an animal family, a food industry whose story demonstrates an aspect of our society — something seemingly small that tells a broader story, and stories that start conversations.

I’m also interested in strong women historical narratives, travel/adventure narratives, culturally-engaged history narratives that look at how we came to be where we are, music books that go beyond the a basic biography narrative, environmental/conservation narratives, true crime.

In Fiction, I’d like to see unconventional narrators in overlooked settings, like a BIPOC woman of a certain age who runs a car repair shop in northern Wisconsin, or trans man who sings in the church choir in the bible-belt South. Settings in the South or in so-called flyover country are rich with complex people and stories, and I’d love to represent more novels that showcase this.

Fiction genres I’d like to see: historical novels from fresh and unique perspectives, women’s fiction that has thriller and/or horror elements, high-stakes mystery novels with female protagonists, fantasy that imagines fresh worlds with non-Western roots or fantasy that springs from newer American folk magic (especially Appalachian), contemporary fantasy that explores a dark version of childlike magic. I like darker elements, especially when they’re woven deeply and subtly into the atmosphere of a novel.

Across the board, I’m looking for an inclusive cast of characters, across gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, and mental health spectrums.


  • Memoir: I tend not to be the right fit for memoir unless it is focused on a specific topic (a la Bill Bryson, Sy Montgomery, where the memoir piece is simply a first-person exploration of the topic at hand).
  • Young Adult: I’m tightening my list and will not take on any new clients writing YA.
  • Poetry, screenplays, picture books, middle grade, which I have never represented.

Fun facts about me:

Before I turned my sights on publishing, I thought I might be a veterinarian. I worked at a vet clinic all through high school, and started college as an animal science major. If you need to ID a cow breed, I can probably help you out.



Submission Guidelines

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Guidelines & Details